Sun, 10 May 1998

     Hello Everyone. Welcome to the first issue of Iniquity News, an E-Fetish Newspaper (newsbitmap?) dedicated to keeping you informed and getting you involved in that magnificent arena where Fetish Fashion & S&M mix. It exists simply as a service to the BDSM-Fetish Fashion community because I keep the weirdest hours you can imagine which allows me time to do stuff like this. I gained my Fetish "wings" when I was living in Europe in the early 90's and have been striving to bring that vibe, that magic over here ever since I returned to the States. Iniquity News is the latest project in an attempt to create something over on this side of the Atlantic where members of our community can finally get a taste of what's going on in Europe......and trust me when I tell you I experienced the kind of clubs over there that most people dream about.
     Through Iniquity News, we will be able to relay important information, share ideas, pool resources and have our voices heard by others who similarly wish to see a complete and seamless merger of High-quality S&M and the most erotic of Fetish Fashion. I've been there, I've seen it, I lived it for several years, so I can definitely tell you it CAN happen.
     You may recognize the format of Iniquity News because it's been loosely adopted from a certain newsletter I used to write for a certain other club. Aside from that minor similarity, Iniquity News will be something quite different. It will be a source of information, an arena in which to participate, and nexus point for a variety of events, notes and items, all relating to BDSM and Fetish Fashion.
     Like a proper newspaper, Iniquity News will be divided into sections relating to (but not necessarily called): Event Reviews, Local Scene News, Editorial, Global Scene News, and Articles & Letters from You. I am also willing to allow people to advertise items here as long as they are VERY related to what this Newsbitmap is about. Every submission is screened for relevancy (no pun intended). Iniquity News is based out of San Francisco, California, U.S.A., but it is already being sent around the globe. You don't have to be a San Francisco resident to contribute your thoughts and ideas -- in fact, as you'll read later on, we already have contributions from out of the area and as far away as Europe!


Event Review:
Iniquity's Experiment at the Power Exchange

     On Saturday May 9th, many of you, and myself included, headed down to the Power Exchange to see if we could pull together a more serious S&M and Fetish Fashion night on very, VERY (did I mention very?) short notice. The net result was a handful of people who had an excellent time, a handful of people who had a confusing time, and a very strong need to keep pushing for a more cohesive event.
     Since it was my first time at the Power Exchange Main Station myself (Hi, I'm Arcane by the way), I must say I was personally intrigued by the variety of themed rooms upstairs and the maze-like feel of the dungeon downstairs. As is often the case when a bunch of serious players dressed to the Fetish-nines get together in the same dungeon, myself and several others spent hours down below in what an outsider described as "the most action and simultaneous good scenes going on at one time in that dungeon that they had ever seen on an ordinary Saturday night." I know that I personally spent around 3 hours 'scening' down there. That's a lot of calories burned (and it felt like it -- I was exhausted afterwards!).
     As many of you mentioned afterwards that you wish you'd known what I look like, I was the one with a red rubber T-shirt and black rubber jeans with dark hair down to my mid back and a goatee working first on a tall blond woman and next on a petite Asian woman. We had roped off one side of the double St. Andrews Cross in the middle of the main dungeon floor. Another excellent scene happened on the opposite side of us between a Nordic giant with long blond hair and his stunning red-head slave. In fact, as said earlier, you could look in just about any direction at any time once the action got going and see something interesting to watch.
     The music was what I call a house-y, dance-y mix, very upbeat, and pretty good for the most part. One of the women I was working on said she enjoyed the music particularly because it was "sexy" as opposed to the usual goth/industrial grind which can create dubious background music for good S&M at times (sometimes it works fine, but as a continual beat, it can lack a certain "erotic continuity" if you know what I mean). Of course musical tastes are infinitely personal, so we can't expect everyone to be pleased by every kind of music. Suffice it to say it was a welcome change.
     True, as this was an ordinary business night for Power Exchange and we weren't paying for any special services -- we were just getting in for half price if we even had to pay at all -- there were quite a few GISC's walking around (GISC: Guys In Street Clothes). But as one contributor wrote back (thanks for all the feedback by the way!), "they never interfered and seemed harmless enough.....they didn't act like drunken idiots the way they usually do in other clubs." That's probably because the Power Exchange would have thrown them out on their ear if they broke any of the house rules which include being "cool," a.k.a. polite/respectful, etc. Nonetheless, I agree with those of you who suggested that IF we do a gig at the PE again (and I do mean IF -- see below), we will have to have a room to ourselves so that we can bask in each other's glow uninterrupted and undisturbed altogether.
     On that exact note, what do those of you who have been to PE think about the "Roman Feast Room"? It would be easy to rope off and it might be possible. No, it couldn't hold 200 of us, but if we could get the room for 3 or 4 hours it could be a meeting place and kind of chill out room (with loads of atmosphere) for the Iniquity crowd. On top of that, it would be a great place for D&S, i.e. slaves attending their Dom's, slaves and submissives performing on the huge table, etc. I saw a double St. Andrews Cross in there as well, and that would certainly help with "the entertainment." In short -- and this is all still speculation -- IF Mike Powers of the Power Exchange would let us use the room like that, what do you folks out there think? It wouldn't solve the problem of the GISC's everywhere else, but in that room at least we could be free of them. In might be a short-term solution while we address the long term needs of our community discussed below. Feedback requested and greatly appreciated. :-)
     Another contributor wrote, " least we were in a real S&M/fetish club instead of a Goth club vaguely posing as an s&m/fetish club (i.e. Masquerade)." True, and I think many of us agree that it was nice having all the play furniture around at our disposal. When all those scenes were going on down in the dungeon, the energy was VERY erotic.
     A few last notes on the evening: just wanted to make sure everyone knew that the dungeon entrance is to the immediate left as you come through the doors at 86 Otis Street. We thought some people might have missed the dungeon altogether because by the time you walk up the stairs, pay your fee and enter the room with the cages, you have walked right past and left behind the stairway that goes down to the dungeon. Also, we noticed that MOST of the people we recognized showed up around Midnight. Some of you mentioned that you got there at 10 or 11 pm and didn't find anyone who looked like "our group." Well, we were most definitely there (in fact according to door totals of people who used the password, we were a pretty sizable contingent!), but we didn't get in until around midnight, and we were mostly down in the dungeon (for future reference).


Future Plans

     OK. So the Power Exchange night seriously worked for some people and missed the target for others. We all know we need our own venue. Barring a return to the PE merely for the sake of getting that S&M fix amongst our well-dressed kind, we need to coordinate our efforts and resources to make that new venue happen. It goes something like this:
     There are basically two ways we can proceed down the path of creating a new club altogether. One is to find a dungeon, loaded with play stations (no, not the video game kind), which has an area that can be turned into a dance floor. The advantage of this route is that the play furniture would most likely be first class. The disadvantage of this route is that very few "dungeons" that I know of have anything that could be converted into a reasonable dance area. Of course if we collectively pursue the established dungeon path and forego the dance area (keeping all other elements), then basically we would end up with a highly stylized Fetish Dungeon Party. Dungeon parties, for those of you who haven't been, are parties where the focus is S&M, period. Of course they are social gatherings as well, but they don't tend to emphasize the Fetish dress code (something we WOULD enforce). Rather, they tend to merely 'suggest' such attire. Dungeon parties can be a hell of a lot of fun, but is this the ultimate direction we wish to go?
Feedback Por Favor. :-)
     The second option (fasten your seatbelts) would be to find a good club venue (especially one with different levels -- there's just something about different levels, as a published Fetish writer friend once put it......). Once we settled on a night, we would need Each And Every One Of You who owns a piece of dungeon furniture -- whether it's a St. Andrew's Cross, a Play Bench, a bondage table, or Whatever, to haul it on down to the club we meet at where we would set our play stations up in one of the rooms. The advantage of this route is that for what we sacrifice in the name of portability, we would gain the possibility of keeping Iniquity FLUID. We could move around (which might be fun in and of itself) until we found the perfect venue. We would gain a real dance floor with a real sound system, DJ's etc. Of course if there are any people out there with their own full DJ set up, now would be a good time to step forward.
Feedback s'il vous plait. :-)
     For the record, I already called the new Castlebar and they are not open for parties yet. Most dungeons I know of are located in the East Bay (mainly Oakland area), and I am guessing that most of you would rather that our gatherings be in San Francisco proper (True? False? Feedback, feedback, feedback -- geez, I'm starting to sound like Pete Townsend....). I also once looked into a killer 3-story ideal venue out in the Avenues (West San Francisco) with a friend, but right as we were getting ready to move on it, the owner put it up for sale.
     So it comes to this: you are out there with that knowledge of a favorite club, a connection to a dungeon owner, a friend who manages a venue, etc, etc. Step forward and be a participant in creating the club that approaches our collective dreams. Write to me with your ideas, your opinions, your favorite places, and your experience/connections to each place, even if it's merely a matter of the fact that you simply like the place. We are currently aiming for a venue available on a Saturday night. Iniquity is still a work-in-progress, and your input is what is going to catalyze mere speculation into a steaming hot reality. Even if you think your contribution is trivial, it might be a key for the rest of us.


pardon the flames.....

     Apparently there are some new rumors going around (dang those things get started quick, don't they?) that I was Fired from Mass-Charade. For the record, I quit, I made my quitting VERY well known, and I explained my reasons in detail (that e-mail available upon request). These rumors of my being "fired" began circulating several weeks later in an obvious attempt to make the guilty 3 of Mass-Charade (Damon, Amy, Horus) seem innocent.
     Case-in-point: if the guilty 3 are so innocent, then why did Two More Key Employees Of Mass-Charade Just Quit Last Week????
Can you say, "not going down with a sinking ship"?
'Nuff said.


Across The Atlantic........

"Where we are today? At the Gate!" by Master Cain from London

      "London's underground fetish scene is a continually changing beast. We here in Britain feel that we are a little ahead of the game as the Fetish Community has been around for longer than most. Watch for these trends on your part of the planet. As the scene expands and more Fetish clubs open up the pure essence gets distilled. Clubs takes over where private parties used to be the melting pot and meeting place for the "Perverati."
     There where two schools of thought eight or nine years ago. The first was that one had to pay their fetish dues to become one of the circle who got to know about and possibly attend a fetish club. At that time fetish clubs were more like private parties where most everyone knew each other. New blood would be introduced at a trickle and as that started to increase some clubs became more closed to outsiders. One would have to fill in a questionnaire and be proposed and seconded to gain access. This first school of thought felt that this was how it should be.
     The newer members however, found that although the scene was what they were looking for, they, who had not been doing these parties for years, found that the clubs were not "clubby" enough for them. They felt that a lot more new blood should be introduced and went out to wave the fetish flag. With more advertising and only that one should obey the dress code, the numbers rose and rose. The new order grew until we now have 1,500 to 2,000 monthly Fetish Clubs! These clubs are high energy and very dressy and great to be at, but in them you find Perverati wandering around wondering where the other like minded Perverati are in the throng. (Ed. -- sound familiar?) This brings us to The Gate...

The Gate
     Master Keith some three years ago opened The Gate. Using his extensive little black book and his ability to spot a perv at 100 paces he started The Gate which has become a benchmark for "Fetish" clubs. Last weeks was no exception. The cream of the London scene turn up on a regular basis and at the same time their seems to be the right amount of new blood coming in which prevents the event from getting bland. Approximately 300 attend one of the 'Secret' locations that The Gate uses and the door policy is "If you're not on the list you're not coming in." It isn't that difficult to get on the list but you have to seek out those who will get you put on it, or you have to be spotted by those in-the-know and invited.
     Their tends to be no dancing except for that at the end of a well placed whip. The low lighting and friendly atmosphere make all feel at home. Their are plenty of nooks and crannies to be private in although the Dungeon area is remarkably well lit and busy. Voyeurs are difficult to find unlike the larger "Gliterati" clubs where there is a normal time delay of about 30 seconds between each swing of a flogger as you wait for people to get out of your way. The Beautiful, the Brazen, and the Ugly are all at these "Gliterati" clubs and every one seems happy to see all of them."
(Editor's note -- even in the Gliterati clubs, a STRICT dress code is maintained; absolutely NO street clothes. This makes for a much happier and cohesive aura for the evening, as even the Voyeurs are 'participating' by way of their attire.)
     "It's these growing years where the scene expands almost exponentially which you may yet have to go through before you regain the distilled essence that is The Gate."

"Some London Definitions:

(Thank You to Master Cain for this insightful contribution regarding the evolution of the London Scene)


(but still on this continent).....

The Tower -- Santa Cruz, California May 29th
     For anyone who has ever visited Santa Cruz, you'll notice the peaceful atmosphere, the plethora of coffeehouses and health food stores, the endless miles of beaches, and the COMPLETE LACK of a Fetish Scene.         Until Now.
     Located at the Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Avenue, The Tower is a brand new Fetish-Gothic Dungeon & Dance club in a city that needs a club like this so badly it can only be called medicine. Although I have not personally visited The Tower yet, I have interviewed a few people who have a similar set of aesthetics to myself and they said The Tower was a pretty good time.
     Almost everyone was dressed-up, and the S&M furniture in the back room saw some healthy use. I would encourage readers in the Way South Bay/San Jose/Santa Cruz area to check it out. I can at least say for certain that the "proprietrix" of The Tower, Madame Elisandrya, is most sincere about her S&M. If you do attend, feel free to write back with your opinions of it at a later date.

For more info on The Tower, read on:

(Ed.-- I was also sent a jpeg of the flyer for this upcoming event that I'll gladly forward to anyone who wants it.)


A plug from someone I think we all respect.....

From Tim Woodward, owner of SKIN TWO:

"Please tell the world about the SKIN TWO Information Line at 1 900 868 5900.

            Best wishes,


(Ed. -- of course there's a charge being a 900 # and all that, but hey, it's still SKIN TWO and a hell of a lot more interesting than Psychic Friends Network.)


Only an hour by plane.......

     In Las Vegas on May 29th, the Tropicana will host DRESSED TO THRILL. Dressed To Thrill is a two day event that focuses exclusively around Fetish Fashion. There is no express accommodation made for S&M whatsoever, so those in search of a formal "play room" will be disappointed. Although I have never been personally, I have numerous reports of the S&M activity being relegated to an abundance of private hotel rooms.
     Previously held in the glorious and terribly exciting Long Beach, California, where exquisite views of oil processing plants greet the eye from every hotel balcony, the purveyors of DTT finally wizened-up and moved their event to a town who's name alone will draw tourists, namely the endlessly exciting Las Vegas. Past year's reports indicate a sincere disappointment in the lack of any catering to the S&M crowd, but equally discuss the thoroughly enjoyable high-fetish-fashion crowd. The DTT agenda includes a banquet, a fashion show, and a small variety of other events.
     If you go, expect the cream of the crop of American Fetish Fashion. Leave your ropes and whips in your hotel room, and hey, if it gets boring you can always go see any number of spectacular Las Vegas shows. How can you loose?

(Ed. -- If anyone does in fact attend this year's DTT in Las Vegas, I would LOVE to have a review !!!)


Round up

     Well, there you go. That completes the first issue of Iniquity News. In case you were wondering, Iniquity News comes out when there's enough stuff to make an issue, so send stuff in. No pictures please, unless you are sending it to be forwarded upon request (like The Tower flyer). Observations from your part of the world, feedback on important issues, or whatever else suits your fancy -- send it in. Feel free to forward Iniquity News to any of your Perv/Fetish/BDSM friends anywhere in the world. We love to hear what's happening in exotic places!

     In Shakespeare's day they invented words as they needed them. Heinlein re-invented this art with the word Grok. So lets keep the trend alive, shall we?

                Towards the realization of our collective dreams,

                -- Arcane




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