“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” is the musical refrain coursing through my brain as Rubberdude lifts me aloft in a Patrick Swayzesque Dirty Dancing styley. The time: early afternoon on Monday 21st April on Easter weekend 18th – 22nd April 2014. The place: the swimming pool area of the Hotel Bredeney which once again is the host venue for the fantabulous Fetish Evolution weekend in Essen Germany.
However I don’t suppose Mr Swayze and Ms Jennifer Grey ever donned custom constructed latex hoods by Dayne Henderson, the designer that Lady Gaga went googoo over. Last year, Dayne furnished the Lady herself and her dancing entourage with a series of custom designed hoods, masks and head pieces for her Artpop Ball world tour which hit the UK in October.
Unlike Rubberdude though, Swayze didn’t have to contend with slippery-when-wet latex, a squealing-with-intrepidation-terror-and-delight SpikeyO and the preposterously powerful current machine which threatens to sweep us off our feet at every juncture. All this and the laminated spikes of Rubberdude’s hood are not waterproof, so I’ll forgive him for his unintentional dunking of yours truly beneath the waves once or twice. Obviously expensive latex takes precedent over a mortal girlfriend’s ability to breathe… Drowning in an inflatable alien hood, even if it is the Fetish Evolution weekend, is not what I plan to have on my obituary. And kudos to the photographer on the sidelines, Rachel May /@dirtydollbaby, who captures the scene so perfectly, in between my bouts of choking as chlorinated water fills my hood.
So, where was I? Oh yeah, back to having had the time of our lives…
Fetish Evolution weekend is a 4 day non stop party of our favourite F words – food, fun, frolicking and, guess what, fetish.
One of Stelios’ Easyorange fleet wings us from London to Dusseldorf stupidly early on the day Christ was crucified 2014. We consider our Lord’s pain and passion as we sit in the hotel bar of the Bredeney at 10.00 hours guzzling the finest Germanic alcoholic beverages known to humanity (well, we are on our holidays!). From our window pew we watch with teenage hysteria as the Fantastic Rubber van pulls up outside in the hotel carpark. The phrase “rubbernecking” is so appropriate here as we crane our necks, desperate for a glimpse of arguably the best rubber in the world! The wondrous sight of this iconic van never fails to inspire me with awe and wonder on a par with that of Mary Magdalene when she discovered the crucified Jesus’ empty tomb.
The next thing I know I am dancing like a feline loon in my Fantastic Rubber “big boob” catsuit, kitty hood by Gumique and inflatable puddytat tail from Slinkyskin as the wine flows at the Good Friday evening’s Models and Makers. I forget I’m wearing an inflatable kitty tail as I plonk down on a stool just a little too hard. The stopper which is supposed to keep intact the gas of my tail is projected to the other end of the room where a rubber colleague (sissy maid in total enclosure) by some miracle, retrieves it and returns it to me. Bang goes another of this kitty’s nine lives…
Off in the hazy distance, Lydia Vengeance’s satanically erotic strip show at the Models and Makers lives up to Lydia-expectations as she seductively peels back black kimono to reveal vintage style brassiere and girdle set. Soon the bra peels off too as I lose consciousness…
Apart from the Nuit Bizarre Dinner and Party and the Fetish Evolution Ball, all other events including socialising and perving are confined to base, the Hotel Bredeney. For two days the hotel is host to the HighGloss Fashion Art and ARTBizarre EXPO. The HighGloss Fashion Art exhibitors feature a massive range of world class designers of all things fetish. This year latex designers are to be found oozing from the rubberwork. They include Dudea, Bondinage, Fantastic Rubber, Fetico, Fetish Fantaisies, Yummy Gummy, Kinky Latex, Latex 101, Rubberluv, Inner Sanctum, Vengeance/Latex Nemesis, Tres Bonjour, Slickchic, Savage Wear and Favor.
For me the main attraction of the ARTBizarre EXPO is the sculpturalist Surrealerotik – Manfred Holz – with his collection of erotic ceramics. Ever wanted an erotically charged chess set? He’s the man to consult. And his collection of latex inspired fetish fantasies fashioned in ceramic hits my rubber buttons with titles such as – Commander, Femdom, Domenique, Fetishdoll, Lady Cat, Black Sister, Rubber Queen, Straitjacket and Pony Lady…
My hangover cured by the hair of the dog (aka more latex wearing), a stroll around the Expo, a few more jars in the “Authentic Germanic bar” tucked away in the nether regions of the Hotel Bredeney and we are ready for the Saturday 19th April event, the Nuit Bizarre Dinner and party, set at Victor’s in Bochum. The venue lends itself to a great social event but is slightly challenged as a club night since the dancefloor is incorporated into the main bar area. With no dedicated dance area we are in a main thoroughfare and so we find ourselves sticking to everyone else’s latex as we try to boogie on down to the groovy beats. Anyway, Rubberdude is full of frustration as we are treated to a mouth watering chocolate fountain, the centrepiece of the Nuit Bizarre Dinner. The reason for his frustration: the Dayne Henderson hood he is wearing has only a small straw hole for a mouth. Much too tiny to squeeze though a chocolate coated strawberry. Oh dear what a shame.
Later, back at the Bredeney, we carry on the party afterhours with an impromptu get together. We are furnished with a crate of the best Germanic beer known to Christendom courtesy of one of the key organisers of the SubRosaDictum party (watch this space…) Then lo and behold, I end up getting tipsily naughty with Rubberdude in the toilets of the hotel Bredeney. But all passion is assassinated as in my eagerness I catch my lady’s below-stairs-region in my crotch zip. Ouch! A pain all dedicated rubberists will be familiar with and sympathise over!
Rubberdude gets his own back in the chocolate fountain stakes on the evening of Easter Sunday at the Fetish Evolution main Ball held at the mysterious and opulent Delta club. Entering the Delta is more akin to taking a tentative step into Pan’s Labyrinth with its dark fantasies and mythical monsters made flesh. The Delta is a masterpiece, much more than a club with its spectacular caverns and dungeons, the perfect diorama to demonic and diabolic tendancies. Tonight I’m the one wearing restrictively gobbed headgear. I sport a very fetching Geisha hood with rosebud mouth and straw hole designed by Olympia Latex. The cruelty of the VIP area: mocking me with a smorgasbord of culinary delights including that beastly chocolate fountain again. Damn and drat!
Denied molten cocoa beans I am resigned to “dolly dancing” along to hardcore industrial music with my evil Geisha twin Miss Olympia in the bowels of the club, then spinning some moves on the dancefloor with the guy on the latex scene with the biggest fun-drive, Wilco.
A little more lurve success with Rubberdude is had at the Ball on the red leatherette wipe clean sofas in the play hall. No agonisingly zipped intimates tonight thank you. All progressing well… until my bright idea to give ma Rubberdude a little bit of an oral treat is scuppered when I remember that I am wearing the Geisha hood with a mouth hole so teensy it is only useful for sucking on the straw of an ubiquitous gin&tonic or a sherbet fountain (who remembers those…? Probably the same folk who remember Spangles…). All I can fit through the straw hole is the tip of my tongue so I work extra hard until the ultimate conclusion is reached! Amazing what can be achieved with a little perversity and persistence…
Job done and it’s back to the Delta main stage to listen to the witty chemistry and banter between comperes fetish icon Jean Bardot and her partner in crime Paul Nathan of “I hate Children” children’s show fame. Jean sports a niftily neat monochrome hued tunic which she is modelling for Fetish Fantaisies and Paul is in full sardonic fettle. Ant and Dec never looked or sounded this good!
The Delta dreamscape continues on stage with a fetish fashion show of world class proportions. Tramping the catwalk are Fetish Fantaisies showcasing a latex wedding dress, although personally I do prefer the angular geometric lines of the tunic they made for Ms Bardot. Also stomping along the runway are Savage Wear, Your Shape, Morgaine la Chatte, Cyberesque presenting their new collection “Arcana Imperii”, Inner Sanctum and Vengeance. For me though, it was Bondinage who steal the show with their Metropolis inspired rubber latex cyborg designs complete with metallic rivets and studs and fully formed dome shaped breast plates. All in all, a mind blowing show showcasing some of the best fetish that Europe and the world has to offer.
So perhaps you may wonder who on earth were that group of flagged out kinksters at the Hotel Bredeney fetish brunch on Monday 21st April? Sweating profusely in their animal fleece onesies, dark sunglasses shielding their caked-on eye makeup from the previous 3 nights’ partying, sculling as much fruit juice and black coffees as their broken bodies will allow them, staring off into hungovered oblivion one minute and crying tears of hilarity as they recount some weekend jape-memoir the next. Dunno who they were but I very much hope to see them again next year for more food, fun, frolicking and, guess what, fetish at Fetish Evolution Easter weekend 2015.