It’s just possible that some of the people having fun at this year’s London Fetish weekend weren’t even born when the first one took place. OK, actually, I think the 1998 festivities were in November, so technically those of you who weren’t quite born then are not quite old enough to join us this time.
But certainly, a few of you would still have been in nappies (and, yeah, I expect some of the attendees might even show up in nappies this time around: no full-tilt fetish event is complete without an adult baby or two.) There’s a long and complicated history behind this kinky carnival, and I’m not about to go into any of the disputed elements of the story right now but, as far as I recall, the whole thing started coming together even further back, in late 1992. There was the Skin Two Rubber Ball, the first really big, mainstream-friendly fetish event, and the first SM Pride march around the same time. SM Pride soon extended from just a protest procession to an afternoon of workshops, followed by a party, with the Ball never quite officially linked but never officially distanced, either. By 98, the original focus of SM Pride (begun after the Spanner trial) had been a little diluted, yet the Ball was going from strength to strength, despite the fact that it was traditionally held on a Monday night – as were many fetish events in the 90s. SO the decison was taken to make an official weekend of the whole business, with film screenings (Preaching To The Perverted had come out the year before), a dinner, an official market and then the ball.
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There have been many different permutations on the theme ever since, but this year, for the first time in ages, I’m taking the bookstall to the LAM LFW special to see what happens. If you’re anywhere near Earls’ Court on Saturday, come on down and say hello. And if you’re very very good – or very very naughty – I might share some more of my reminiscings with you…