Nights such as Fist and Torture Garden used to attract kinksters in their thousands. But, with the rise of the internet and with fetish moving from the underground to the mainstream, the BDSM night club scene isn't what they used to be. But, as we explain, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.

In the long distant days of the 1960s and 1970s, there was barely a public side to the fetish scene. Club nights were organised by those who were eager to contribute to the BDSM scene or to promote their own particular predilection. Organisations such as The Firm, for example, were one of the first to fulfil the desire for fetish nights in London. But the scene, while vibrant, was not as organised as it is today.

However, the 1980s and 1990s brought about the rise of the BDSM super clubs. Nights such as Torture Garden and events organised by Skin Two magazine attracted vast amounts of publicity and attention in the mainstream media. Readers of mass-market newspapers knew exactly what was going on in the fetish scene and may even have been tempted to attend a club night themselves. However, in many ways, the days of the mass fetish club seem to have gone away, perhaps never to return. There are various reasons for the demise of the BDSM night club, but some may consider that we do not necessarily have to mourn their passing.


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Money changes everything

The early days of the BDSM scene were known for their DIY ethos, the desire for inclusion (when the scene was mainly rejected by mainstream society), and an idiosyncratic nature that attracted all sorts of perversions. Fetish clubs, particularly the big, super-clubs changed all of that. Tickets for BDSM night club nights became incredibly expensive, changing hands for at least a hundred pounds in some cases.

Added to this, the increasingly cliquey nature of mainstream fetish clubs meant that buying the correct clothing and sex toys became excessively expensive and beyond the means of most BDSM enthusiasts. Once high fashion got its claws into fetish, the cost of items that would have previously been available for low prices in sex shops became fashionable fetish-wear which cost a small fortune.

At the same time, the toys and equipment needed for BDSM play have become increasingly available in high street stores. This - along with the increase in knowledge on BDSM that spread through the internet - has brought fetish within easy reach of all. This means that more people are experiencing fetish at home instead of in a fetish club.


Staying in is the new going out

The demise of the fetish super-club is also associated with a general trend in clubbing. On the whole, people are not going out as much as they used to, and they're using technology to make staying in as comfortable as possible. The same applies to any BDSM night club. Although the expense and effort of buying tickets and dressing up may appeal to some, many fetishists are putting that hard work behind them and substituting it with their own fetish scene, behind closed doors.

This has many advantages. Firstly, the scene can be created to your own specifications without the interference of club bouncers or leering strangers (unless that appeals). Secondly, the domestic setting sometimes adds to the dynamic of BDSM. Getting your slave to clean the floor seems somewhat a waste of effort in a BDSM night club, but at home,  it's practical as well as deliciously deviant.


BDSM night club
A kinky scene from a BDSM night club.


Are you local?

London, like many capital cities, was at one time where most fetish activities took place in the United Kingdom. Of course, there was a thriving local fetish scene in other UK towns and cities, but you would not necessarily know where to find it. The rise of London as the UK fetish capital also precipitated the rise of the BDSM night club. 

One factor that has led to the rise of local, active, fetish scenes is the internet and social media. Indeed, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and specialist fetish dating sites such as, it's possible to find kinky people in every part of the country. These web tools also mean that people can organise their fetish events with ease, and you can find fetish meetings, parties and fetish clubs in most locations all over the world.


The return of the BDSM night club?

We may not mourn the loss of the fetish super-club when we reflect upon what the scene has now become. Rather than being a centralised, exclusive and expensive BDSM sub-culture (which was becoming part of the mainstream) fetish and BDSM enthusiasts have, to some extent, gone underground, with a return to the delightful seediness of the early days.

Now that thigh-high leather boots, corsets and masks are seen on an average night out in most town high streets, there's something refreshing about knocking on a door in the wrong part of town to find a hidden BDSM night club in a basement. It's also now possible to find someone who shares your particular kink wherever you are in the country. The days of the sad, lonely, fetishist have gone. Things have, though, a tendency to move full circle in the BDSM scene. Fetishists may be focused on the objects of their affections, but they desire a change as much as anyone else.

Who knows, then. We could one day see a return of the fetish super-club, perhaps on an international scale. That’s one party we would all like an invite to.

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Do you like spending the night in a BDSM night club? Do you prefer a kinky night in or a naughty night out? Let us know in the forum
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Tis true, although all i know about UK is the inside of Heathrow.  The Dallas (Texas, USA) area fetish dungeon is closed and it looks like the closure was a few years ago.  There was never any parking, never any liquor sales, unescorted males were treated like shit, and the dungeon masters were all egotistical bastards.  I got kicked out for being within 20 feet of a scene and stared too much. 

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What does the Sw&Wales regions have for Fetish club nights?!? Just tried to search and it shows all other areas nothing near to Bristol ect.....

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Should still be able to have access to clubs I'd hope?!? I'm medically phobic to have any home visitors myself....its too personal) went to club nights in Bristol which were pretty small/low key!! Hope the Wales & Sw has something?!? Good excuse to dress up if nothing Elsa)


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Oh they're still around.

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