Fetish party: Champagne or dark dungeons?

Author: Kitteh
Interviews | Stories

When they hear the word “fetish party”, most people, especially non-kinky people, think of swingers clubs, group sex and dark back dungeons. Kinksters know: a fetish event is anything but grubby. This is where the scene gathers. It’s about seeing and being seen, showing our most beautiful kinky sides, making connections, and having fun. A night filled with a very special kind of excitement.

Christian from Munich has been organizing the SubRosaDictum (SRD) for 14 years. It is one of the most popular and largest fetish events in southern Germany. He knows what’s important.

As an organizer, how would you explain a fetish party?

Christian: It’s a big playground for adults.

How much does a fetish event actually have to do with BDSM and sex?

Christian: It’s a stage that is set. Therefore, it always has as much to do with it as the actors want it to. Ultimately, you can only set up a backdrop and bring the right people to the right place at the right time. What happens there is the decision of the protagonists.

So it varies from event to event?

Christian: Extremely. It can vary greatly depending on the energy you have at the moment, how people are feeling, and what they’re in the mood for. Each event is to be seen on its own. As an organizer, you can influence a lot by choosing a great location, designing it, providing facilities, and of course, inviting the right audience. But ultimately, what happens is up to the guests.

Photo: Heinrich von Schimmer

Fetish parties in transition – new concepts and old traditions

Have fetish parties changed in recent years? If so, how and why?

Christian: Yes, it has changed a lot. But not everywhere. It varies from city to city and country to country. I think a lot has changed in Munich, in terms of the type and style. But of course there are also fetish events where everything is still very traditional.

The BDSM and fetish scene used to be incredibly conspiratorial. They were small circles and their parties. Not a public thing where everyone could go. Today, fetish parties are real happenings! Lots of people come together from all kinds of places. Many events have become more glamorous and want to have a certain style. A lot has changed visually and of course the size.

But on the other hand, the other smaller fetish events still exist just the same. There are still intimate, very close-knit parties. So, we have two streams: One is the internationalization of events. The other is parties from within the scene for a small circle.

Why have the parties become bigger? Has interest in fetish and BDSM grown?

Christian: Today, there’s more play with image. In the media, art, film, and music. Fetish aesthetics are part of pop culture and have perhaps become somewhat more normal because of it. But ultimately, I notice that for most people, it’s still a huge hurdle to take that step and attend a party.

Photo: Heinrich von Schimmer

SubRosaDictum is known as an extravagant party with class and flair. How did you get this image?What sets you apart from other parties?

Christian: First of all, I want to say: We don’t judge different formats and fetish events. There’s something for every taste, and taste is famously subjective. Some people like other events, and some people like SubRosaDictum. You can’t say one or the other is better.

The Subrosa is of course the way I or we like it. And I just like a certain look that is a bit more feminine and not so hard.There’s always a concept and a story behind our parties. It’s not just a fetish event for us. For us, it’s a lifestyle, which I think is great. And I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t passionate about it.

Photo: Heinrich von Schimmer

Dark dungeon or champagne fountains? What is important at a fetish event?

Christian: The guests. It all depends on the guests.You can have the most brilliant party in a dark, secluded cellar where the beer is warm. Because the people are cool. And you can have the worst party in a high-class location with champagne fountains. It really depends on the guests. That’s what makes it. The right mix of people and the respect that’s there.The story around it is a beautiful thing. Creating a fantasy only works if someone lets you do it with them.

Where do your ideas come from and how does the planning work?

Christian: It often starts with situations or scenarios that I like. Or I already have a name and want to make a party for it. That was the case with Enzian Fatal. I thought the name was cool and thought I needed a mountain hut by the lake. But it can also be that you see a funny location and ask yourself: what can you do with it?

It only takes one moment of inspiration. We once had a party in a very well-known location in Munich, the Aquarius. Unfortunately, it no longer exists. It was a three-story water tank that stood in the middle of an aquarium. In the 70s, there was a disco here. Fish swam around on the outside, and you could look into this aquarium through the portholes. When we found the location, it was already totally run down. But all that metal, those portholes, and that shaft with three floors reminded us of a reactor. We turned it into a story, and thus, a party called “The Fetish Reactor” was born.

What should one look for in a location?

Christian: You have to be honest with the people who own the location. It’s very important to play with open cards and say what you’re doing there. We always do that. I want it to be a great experience, also for the person renting out the location.

Photo: Heinrich von Schimmer

And what about the choice of music?

Christian: The music is the most difficult thing! Normally people go to a party because they want to listen to a certain type of music. Here, they go to a party because they want to live out a certain fetish and meet a like-minded audience. The taste in music is very broad. It’s very difficult and always a compromise solution. You have to find the lowest common denominator and that’s what we try to do. You need good DJs who go with the crowd.

What do you wish for your visitors?

Christian: That they get to know people with whom they can live out their fantasies. That’s what events are for. We offer a safe environment to find like-minded people in real life. It’s about having fun and experiencing fantasies.

Despite the principle “Don’t drink and kink”, alcohol is also served at Subrosadictum. How do you feel about alcohol at a fetish event?

Christian: For me, it’s not contradictory. Of course you shouldn’t do many things under the influence of alcohol. But people who are drunk are more interested in dancing and partying and less interested in playing. I understand the principle, of course. At the end of the day, all guests are grown up enough and have to know for themselves where to stop. I can’t dictate that to anyone.

I only know one thing: If we see that something is about to go wrong or too far, we intervene. A fetish event is a very safe space. When we step in, it’s done very discreetly, without anyone losing face. But we will never allow anything to happen. We keep an eye on that. We have enough discreet security that you only see when they are needed. Additionally, the community takes incredibly good care of each other. It works.

Photo: Heinrich von Schimmer

In your opinion, what are the no-gos at a fetish party?

Christian: First of all, things that are obvious: It’s an event for adults, so no one under 18. A no-go for me is taking your everyday life with you. Imagine you’re at a really great fetish event. Everyone is dressed up and extravagant… and then chatting about the latest lawnmowers and child-rearing. That doesn’t fit! You’re in a Wonderworld, that’s not the right place for everyday life.

Another big no-go is not making an effort. I always admire how people immerse themselves in a role and let loose. That’s why we don’t like letting people in wearing, for example, a shirt and black pants. You’re not playing the game, and that detracts from the scene. Apart from that, people in evening wear usually end up feeling uncomfortable and not belonging. Somehow, they take on an observer position, don’t want to stand out. But as an observer, you experience nothing.

Photo: Heinrich von Schimmer

Your target group is kinksters. But what advice would you give to newcomers who want to attend their first fetish event?

Christian: Don’t spend tons of money on an outfit, but be creative first. There are countless possibilities. I would also recommend going to a larger event where there are simply more people and a certain anonymity. It’s simply easier to be one among many.

Furthermore, one must not commit to anything but can first observe the whole thing. If someone asks, “So, why are you here? What are you into?” it’s okay to say you’re just checking things out. No one has to stick a label on their forehead right away. It’s also nice not to go alone but with someone else. Otherwise, just be open, don’t judge, and observe the whole thing.

The latest dates are always available at subrosadictum.de. If you’ve become interested in being there yourself, it’s best to subscribe to the newsletter. Because from experience, the coveted tickets are always quickly sold out. Christian is looking forward to seeing you there, and maybe you’ll even meet a match from Deviance.

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