I slightly butchered a bridesmaid's dress I had to make it even more flouncy and fanciful and of course I shopped very carefully for the mask to accompany it. If you turn up without one, they slap you with a ten pound "fine" which then gets you a mask for the evening.
Once you're in you are allowed to remove it, which is handy as there's a lot to see and do and sometimes a mask can rather obscure your view.
This night took place in one of their regular haunts - the members' club on Adam Street. You descend some stairs to find a chocolate fountain gushing in a corner, a room with a bar for dancing and mingling, an adjacent room where there is a DJ (who was blasting the finest in classical music when we arrived) for more dancing, a smaller room where the "menagerie" was housed, and then a room in which "instruments of torture" were available for anyone to have a play, as well as a cage.
Downstairs was where the dance lesson took place (that I missed out on) and where you could get portions of borscht, pickled vegetables and Russian (I'm guessing) pastries. When I went by to get myself a snack the borscht was still being warmed, not ready for another ten minutes and I'm sad to say I didn't remember to go back and get some. No matter, I certainly made the most of the chocolate fountain and I was very impressed wiht the dipping selection - marshmallows, fruit and best of all pretzels and little biscuits from which you could make your very own Flipz and choccy digestives. Amazing. I made a bit of a glutton of myself, which proved somewhat embarrassing when I then went into the menagerie to have a stroke and a play with the beasties in there.
|Someone making friends with one of the snakes|
Being passed around the room were two lizards, two snakes and a hairy tarantula. I stayed well away from that but had a pet of one of the lizards - letting it stalk across my hand a couple of times before it was claimed back by the guy who'd grown attached to it, and I was completely charmed by one of the snakes. Someone chose to turn the lights out and when they came back on, my friend alerted me to something nasty-looking on my hand. Yes, snake poo. Actually, no, not snake poo. To my shame, it was chocolate from the fountain all over my hand. Wresting myself from the entrancement of the snake wending it's way around we went over to the next room and had a play around in the cage, posing like pent-up prisoners.
The torture playthings were rather basic - anyone who's been to Antichrist or Torture Garden I'm sure would consider them rather tame, if not lame, but the crowd at this place weren't hardcore S & Mers and the 'toys' did what they were supposed to do - provided a frisson of eroticism to the night. One contraption required you to kneel into it so that your posterior was exposed, all the better for a light spanking. The other was an X-frame that you were strapped into while the "punisher" spanked you with hand, or with cane. I didn't get trussed up myself, but my friend had a whale of a time on it. I was given a couple of cheeky whacks with the cane afterwards. It was up to you how man-handled you wanted to be and how much sting you wanted to feel - your bare cheeks could be exposed or you could insist on remaining fully clothed. Naturally bare cheeks added to the thrill of it.
Downstairs there was a band playing gypsy swing, although they also made an appearance upstairs for a while. And the music which took you through to the end of the evening was 50s rock n roll.
It was definitely something a little different, especially with the animal element. There were a few naked people, as is customary at these things, and though it probably wasn't the most debauched party in the world, it did make you feel a little 'Eyes Wide Shut'. Everyone made an effort, and masks being mandatory gave the party an air of mystery and I daresay relieved people of their inhibitions somewhat. For a little decadence in your life, head to one of these.