Sunday 11th April 2004
S0 BEAT IT
MASOCHISTS PUNISHED: Snooker hall bans fetish fans after orgy at fancy dress party
By David Taylor
A KINKY sex club has been shut down after the venue owners discovered its 'fancy-dress parties' were a front for orgies. Fetish club Nightshade had been staged at a snooker hall for a year before the owners realised the rubber and leather-clad party-goers were not into fancy dress but sado-masochism.
Most clubbers wore rubber or leather with many inspired by the skin-tight latex suits worn by whip-wielding Halle Berry in her forthcoming Catwoman film.
But in reality, they were lovers of sexual pain and punishment.
Party organisers Nightshade claim no one had sex but Mail investigators witnessed a catalogue of perversion at the club.
At one party, our investigators witnessed middle-aged men being 'crucified' on 7ft crosses and whipped.
Others enjoyed being thrashed with old-fashioned carpet beaters. The depravity also included:
One half-naked party-goer being groped by several others as he lay in a coffin.
A woman strapped to a wooden cross and whipped before engaging in a sexual act with a man.
A naked clubber having candlewax dripped on to his bottom before being 'punished' for allowing it to drip.
Owners of Marcos leisure and snooker club in Grove Street, Edinburgh, confirmed last night they had booted out Nightshade.
Bosses at the venue, run by former world-class snooker player Bert DeMarco, said they were unaware of Nightshade's sexual element.
A spokesman said: 'We had already decided that they would not be allowed to operate in Marcos after the last event.
'We'd thought it was a fancy dress type event but we had some concerns.
'We have told Nightshade they won't be allowed to hold the event there again.'
The organisers of Nightshade declined to comment.
More than 6000 Scots regularly attend SM orgies although promoters attempt to make them sound respectable.
There are six regular SM clubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. They are Violate, Mystyx and Deviate in Glasgow, while Edinburgh has Stunners, Gotham and Nightshade. There are also several underground events advertised only by word of mouth.
Not all encourage sex and some are dance clubs with fetishwear dress codes. One source at Nightshade said: 'It is really taking off and there are more and more people coming.
'Most of them aren't exactly film stars in terms of looks but that isn't the point.'
Many clubs across Scotland have shared members and organisation but the people behind them do not require individual licences. Several have been given spots in well-established pubs and clubs. There are several fetish websites and fans also use magazines such as Skin Two and Latextra which has a special feature this month on pony play, in which participants pretend to be carthorses.
There are fetish and SM-friendly shops, including Hellfire and Violate, in Glasgow, and Leather and Lace, in Edinburgh. Some dance clubs which attract clubbers in their 20s and 30s are also taking on an SM element.
A spokeswoman for Skin Two said: 'There is an element of public sexual activity to most clubs.'
BDSM Clubs protect themselves and their members by staying "members only" but on occasion the media manage to infiltrate and cause problems. This could be because someone, who is later found to be a member of the press, was recommended by a member or brought along as a guest without actually being very well known to the person who recommended them, or it could be because the club, in an effort to bring in the money, has allowed membership to be obtained at the door on the night without enforcing their usual vetting process.
Mike, of Sweet Torments, commenting on the above press report said :
With Sweet Torments we do believe that it is the clientele makes a club successful and gives it the atmosphere and approach that appeals to a similar grouping of people.
Therefore we make great efforts to ensure that all our clientele are compatible in interests, outlook and approach.
If we do get enquiries from people we have not personally witnessed as being scene orientated, we do take careful steps to authenticate their backgrounds in various ways.
Unfortunately "S T" 's first year has not been without disruption, which has delayed things a bit, but as "ST" becomes more successful and established and the clientele grows beyond our circle of personal vetting, tighter procedures which we already have in place, are being initiated.
We are concerned that people may be recommending others who are unknown but to our knowledge this has not actually happened to us. We do ask follow up questions and ask who is recommending who and in the past such applicants have never followed up their enquiries!!
An individual, just recommending someone, would not automatically gain them entry.
Regarding the press, it is quite interesting how the press slant is slowly changing.
I believe that the scene is where the gay scene was 20 years ago on the verge of coming out and certainly activities and fashions are far more overt and even becoming quite acceptable in modern society, especially youth culture.
The press reportage is changing from being totally condemning to much more matter of fact - they probably realise that a large part of their readership are probably quite into the scene!!
Certainly the Sunday Mail article while maintaining a slight whiff of salaciousness to entice readers, appears to be much more of a how to make contacts, where to go article than being condemning!!
All venue owners will say that they didn't know what was going on, but of course they do!!
For them, it is quiet hassle free income. They are only afraid of potential reaction, but this is already lessening as the scene becomes more accepted.