Thurs, 28 May 1998

      Morning everyone (3a.m. PST that is). Man have I got a lot in store for you this time: an event for us coming up Real Soon, another article from England, news about possible club spaces, news about events, great things to report and discussions of cutting edge topics. I must say (as usual) that this couldn't be done with out all of you. In fact, I am still daily being blown away by the sheer number of people who want to contribute in a variety of ways. Some of you write, some of you are out there doing footwork & field work, some of you are making waves, and just about every letter I get is so incredibly positive that it rocks me in my socks.
      I also want to extend a special thanks to those of you who write in with more serious issues and questions. This is e-journalism, and if it is going to take a little digging and discussing to get good answers, well then let me provide the palate for any of you to paint your concepts upon. Not only am I not ruffled by poignant questions about the things we do as a community and where we are going, I am in fact overjoyed to have you write me about issues that other Newsbitmaps are afraid to confront. In this issue we have two articles prompted by readers who wrote in which bring to the forefront some things we need to think about as a community.
      I have also been happily surprised by the number of sign-ups INIQUITY NEWS has received, from places all over the U.S. All of these people had Iniquity News forwarded to them and liked what they read. Now and always, INIQUITY NEWS will be public domain -- forward it, pass it around, cut and paste it, etc, so long as no money is received for this Newsbitmap or parts of it (i.e. please do not paste any portions of this inside a pay-site). If you know someone somewhere who you think would like to be on the e-mail list, by all means zap 'em a copy. :)
      For those of you new to INIQUITY NEWS, I.N. is a newsbitmap (as opposed to a news paper) that focuses strictly on items, articles, issues and events that all center around the theme of Good S&M and Fetish Fashion. Anywhere, any subject where the two items of S&M and Fetish Fashion overlap, Iniquity News wants to know about it. Anyone can contribute, and in fact Iniquity News comes out on an irregular basis when I have enough stuff to make an issue. The only item that's "iffy" at this point is any kind of pic (pix, picture, scan, image). Feel free to send stuff here, but I will not be including it in issues of INIQUITY NEWS itself; instead I will mention that a pic is available upon request in the Newsbitmap. For example, I wrote about The Tower in Santa Cruz last issue, and reserved the scan of the flyer for those who requested it. Iniquity is also kind of a group and kind of a concept. The name Iniquity (as in "Den of") is being reserved for parties as well in the San Francisco Bay Area, and possibly even a permanent club. It's also a kind of forum for ideas around our core "theme" presented in a journalistic fashion, rather than another BBS. People write to me, I put it all together and then send it out to you. OK, enough about what this/we are/is (say that 3 times fast). Welcome to Iniquity.

We got a lot of stuff in this ol' Newsbitmap, so lets get goin.....


Good Ideas, Good News...

      Several of you have written regarding the idea of archiving stuff written about in Iniquity. A website is under construction as we speak, where previous issues of Iniquity News will be stored for reference. The URL will appear here when the site is finished. It will be publicly accessible.
      Tons of you wrote back with your suggestions and ideas about Club versus Dungeon. Seems we have a little of every persuasion amongst our readership. Some said a dance floor is essential, an equal number said they could care less about it. Some think a dungeon party would be great, others lean more towards a "dungeony" club where play is emphasized to a background of good scene music. The really good news is we already have a few people who have come forward to say that they have dungeon furniture that can be broken down and transported. We have a few St. Andrews Crosses, a few play benches, and a bondage table. Lets not stop there! If you have transportable furniture and want to help out, let me know ASAP. You never know when someone will be in town and someone else will be out, and it's good to have back-ups, aye? (No, I am not Canadian; gorgeous country though). ;-) Ideally it would be nice to have 10 or more pieces of play furniture wherever we land, and we're not at that total yet.
      As far as which venue type we will land at in the near future, it's still up in the air. I am investigating a few possibilities, and several other readers wrote back to say they're doing the same. If you know of a venue which we could take over / convert / rent, etc, please also let me know ASAP. Ultimately we will want an atmosphere with a Strict Fetish Dress Code and Good S&M areas, possibly with a dance floor. As several readers pointed out, this is what makes multi-level venues so appealing. Know any?


In The Mean Time...Lets Party!!!

      The magic club of our dreams hasn't manifested yet, but we are still going to play. While other clubs deteriorate (i.e. they drop "fetish attire" altogether and start using words like "exotic dress" while letting in anyone in anything; they drop the S&M pretense and admit that they are merely Goth-Industrial clubs, etc.), we are pushing for a higher level of club altogether. It will happen, it is happening even as we speak -- we are watching the parts come together by a community effort, and the passion, the desire for this club is very REAL. A little patience is good, but lets not get so relaxed about it that we expect it to manifest on its own. With all of us keeping our ears open for the pieces that we need and sending the info here, the club WILL become a reality.
      In the mean time, I personally need to get out and play amongst you at least once a month. As it was organized last time, the Power Exchange excursion left a little to be desired. Since no other venue is as ready for us to meet on such short notice, this next gathering will once again be at the Power Exchange Main Station, albeit with a few changes for the better. The usual items still apply (although the date is not ironed down yet):

The Date: Saturday June 6th OR Saturday June 13th (most likely the 6th -- you will be notified) The Location: The Power Exchange Main Station, at 86 Otis Street, one block west of Van Ness & Mission in San Francisco. Note that Van Ness also looks like it is called "12th" at that intersection. The Cost: Women are FREE, Men with an S&M play partner are only $5. Yes, $5, which is half the normal price. Single Men are $10 which is still half-price. The Deal: You MUST come in Fetish Attire to get the half-price admission. You MUST use our password at the door, which will be "INIQUITY" this time. Only those men who BOTH show up in Fetish Attire AND use the password get in for half price. WOMEN: It probably doesn't need to be said if you're on this list, but please come in Fetish Attire even though you get in for free anyhow -- it'll be to your advantage to be in this habit later on...... ;-)

The Cool Changes For The Better: It's called the King Arthur Room, and it's located upstairs on the entrance level. After you pay your fee, etc, go into the cage room and make a right turn. Walk through the strobe lit acid-flashback hallway. Immediately after the hallway on your left will be a door into a room with a set of thrones and a banquet table. This will be the central meeting point for INIQUITY. From here we can run off to the juice bar, the dungeon, etc, but we will have a central place to see each other. At 11pm, we'll make a much more concerted effort to meet each other (as compared to last time); anyone who wants to meet others like yourself should come up to The King Arthur Room if you are elsewhere in the Power Exchange at that time (11pm).

      A few notes on the King Arthur Room: Mike Powers says we are welcome to meet there and take it over by our presence, but we are not allowed to rope off the room (nor is anyone else). Players get priority over people standing around, so if we want to "take-over" that room we should do scenes in there. There is plenty of room for people to stand/sit around and watch without interfering. Another "group" of people likes to meet in that room as well -- they are informal and do not appear to dress like we do. They have no priority over us. If we can get people there at 9pm (basically at opening), we can fill/take-over the room. However, we cannot keep them out if they wish to come in. For now, we can at least be satisfied that theirs is a group of S&M players. We will stand apart from them by our attire (and maybe influence them....). Mike called them "Power Exchange Regulars," as in people who have been coming to PE for over 2 years. Nonetheless, he doesn't want either of our groups pushing the other around. Remember, those who do scenes in the room have priority, but anyone can come inside and watch.
      Also remember that the Dungeon entrance is IMMEDIATELY to the left and down the stairs as soon as you walk through the doors at 86 Otis Street. Thus if you want to hit the dungeon right away after you pay your entrance fee, turn around and you'll see the stairs going down to the dungeon. If you continue into the room with the cages and the flashback hallway, you need to turn around and go back to get to the dungeon.
      This should hopefully help solve a few major problems we had last time: people not finding the dungeon where most of us were by midnight, and all of us having a central place to meet and see each other. If you see someone who is well dressed in Fetish Attire, walk up to them and ask the one-word question, "Iniquity?" If they smile and say yes, you've found one of us. If they look at you blankly like they expect you to sell them insurance next, they're probably not from "our gang." Heck, if they're dressed well, tell 'em about us.
      Don't forget that the Power Exchange has a juice bar, a pool table, and a smoking room. The music is mostly a sexy dance mix, but different rooms have different music playing.
      I'll send out a quick reminder with the ironed-down date, but put June 6th (yes, a week and a half from now) on your calendar now for an evening of meeting like-minded Fetish Fashion Freaks AND an evening of Solid S&M -- a combination no other club that night can offer you. ;-)


The Fetish Fashion Gods:
Europerve Amsterdam

      As you are reading this, one of the Fetish Fashion World's biggest events is about to go down: The EUROPERVE in Amsterdam this weekend. Picture several LARGE rooms filled with the most exquisitely dressed perverts you can imagine. Now add any number of bizarre and provocative shows, adding the obligatory fashion show of DeMask's latest line up of their trademark rubber clothing. Throw in some playrooms, a fetish art exhibit, and two dance floors. Now.....(muahaahahahah!) add just that tiniest touch of the extreme permissiveness that the mysterious city of Amsterdam is so well know for. Need I say more?
      This is the Europerve, an International event that draws the Perverted (a term of endearment) from all over Europe....and I do mean ALL over Europe. Having been 3 times, I have met people from just about any country you can name over there. Americans are less often seen, but their presence is noted as well -- no, I was not the token American. It's a WILD night, and day as well.....and next morning too. The Europerve has pre-parties, the main party, after parties, and of course the after-after parties, and when you aren't at any of these, you can always visit any number of Amsterdam's notorious spots, from the gloriously depraved red-light district (yes, with real red lights everywhere), to over 200 "coffeeshops" that sell a lot more than coffee, to such refined venues as Rembrandt's house or the museum where you can see his famous "Nightwatch."
      Hopefully one of you out there will be reading this upon your return from Amsterdam & the Europerve. We would LOVE to have a review of the event as seen through your eyes. :-)


Closer To Home:
The Tower, DTT

      Friday night, the 29th also sees the 2nd occurrence of a Vampire & Fetish/S&M club in the quaint little seaside town of Santa Cruz, California. We had good enough reports from the opening night such that I'll probably be making the drive myself! Having been a Santa Cruz resident for many years, I can tell you that this town NEEDS a club like The Tower. So if you live anywhere in the area, head on down to The Blue Lagoon on Pacific Ave, just south of The Catalyst this Friday night and show your support!
      They are having a contest for Best Fetish Attire (amongst other things), so do it up. Reports say that almost everyone is dressed up in some fashion or another (i.e. little or no street clothes!). There is an S&M play space, and you can bet your scenes will be appreciated. The proprietrix, Madame E, is about as sincere in her S&M as you can get. :-)

      A little further away, over in Lost Wages, er, I mean Las Vegas, the Dressed To Thrill Fetish Fashion Ball will begin this Friday. Running through the weekend at the Tropicana Hotel, DTT is a Fetish Fashion convention, dinner, show, and party. The S&M happens primarily in the hotel rooms as they do not have an express "play area." But if you want to take in a huge number of fetish-clad bodies, this will be the place to be. Besides, even if you get bored at DTT, you can be one of the many to liven-up Las Vegas traipsing around the Casinos in your fetish clothes. ;-)
      We already have a few readers who will be sending us a review of the event, but feel free to send one as well if you go.


The Fetish Ball in Los Angeles

     June 13th. Saturday. A four-story venue with a play area, three dance floors, shows throughout the night, multiple bars and much more. A crowd of deliciously dressed Pervs. Strict Fetish Dress Code plus.
      This will be the setting of this year's Los Angeles Fetish Ball at the Variety Arts Center in Downtown L.A. The name of the evening is WORSHIP. Admission is $30 advanced, $35 at the door. Advanced tickets are available at Stormy Leather in San Francisco.
      The Variety Arts Center is located at 940 South Figueroa Street @ Olympic. For more info, visit or call 213-644-1811.
     I might see you there.......


Confronting Our Biases #1:
Goth Vs. Fetish

      As one reader wrote me, there is a question about how the Goth scene and the Fetish Fashion scene fit together. Like many styles of fashion and clubs that revolve around them, there are the purists, the semi-purists, the liberals, and the clueless. The Fetish Scene, The Goth Scene, and even the Industrial Scene are no exception.
      Take a look for example at the Goth vs. the Industrial scene: In a HUGE number of cities, these two scenes have been pushed together. Each group more or less tolerates the other, and the term "Goth/Industrial" has become an archetype. Yet give the Goths a chance to meet at a purely Gothic club and they will flock like bats. Likewise, give the Industrial purists a chance to dance and stomp their hearts away to a pure Industrial mix (of which there are in fact quite few) all night long and they will offer endless sweaty smiles. In Los Angeles for example, one of the original promoters of Kontrol Factory, a rare and excellent Pure Industrial Music Dance Club, went out of his way to make it clear that Goth and Industrial are not the same thing. It wasn't so much that he excluded anyone from his club, but rather he had fun with the whole idea, such as an "Industrial vs. Goth Bowling Tournament." (Ed. -- KF wants to know if anyone knows an outstanding pure Industrial DJ in the San Fran area; if so write me). The Industrial purists want their magnificent aggression, the Goths want their velvet realities. Who's right? Neither of course because they CAN mix; Both because they have a right to be amongst like minded individuals. In the Fetish Scene, we have a similar disparity. Over in London a few years ago, I was standing next to a friend who was dressed head to toe in rubber. I was wearing a mixture of basically Fetish elements with the "goth tidbit" of a velvet shirt. Dressed as such, I had never been turned away from any "Strict Fetish Dress Code" event anywhere, ever. That night's event was the infamous Torture Garden, probably the only FETISH club I know of that so warmly welcomes the Gothic community of London. Now understand that the Goths who showed up for TG were not your "Adams Family/mourning" Goths; these were the most exquisite and elegant vampiresque, velvet & lace Goths you had ever seen. They had incorporated numerous, well-tailored fetish elements in their attire -- collars, leather, PVC, corsets, and even some amazing home-made items of clothing. To my eyes they were a delicious melange of style, elegance, and pervery. I saw them as a bizarre and beautiful addition to the evenings event at Torture Garden.
      However, my friend standing right next to me in her rubber multi-colored catsuit saw it quite differently. "Why do THEY have to come here? Don't they have their own clubs?".....and she was not the only one who made comments like that. Thankfully the comments were the limit and there have never been any "incidents" that I know of at TG regarding "Goths" at a "Fetish" event. Nonetheless, my friend's comment sums up the point: How much should one style mix with another? Does one style run the risk of dilution into mediocrity if constantly mixed with another? Or should a kind of Style Evolution occur where both styles benefit from exposure to the other? Unfortunately, my experience says that it can go either way.
      The presence of the Goths at the Torture Garden was as seamless as it could get and still be very accurately called a Fetish Club. Given an even more Strict Fetish Dress Code Event, only the most Fetish-incorporated Goths might be allowed in. However, that said, over the years I have seen many a Fetish Fashion Freak weave a few more Gothic elements into their attire, and vice-versa. At the TG it worked; over here on the other hand we have a case history of a very failed experiment.
      When I first involved myself in that other club (Mass-Charade), I was excited to be building a Fetish Club on top of a Goth/Industrial foundation. Musically I like all of it. Stylistically, Mass-Charade was meant to be a copy of Torture Garden, where Fetish was primary, and Goth was incorporated. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way, as the Goth/Industrial crowd became the mainstay of Mass-Charade, and as much as I like Industrial music, the usual attire of that demographic group doesn't fit in a Fetish Club (i.e. black jeans & t-shirts). As I (before I left the core) confronted the issue of how to get more Fetish and less non-fetish, I met with a kind of typical American pro-Goth/Industrial response: Mass-Charade was a Goth/Industrial Music club and so those people had to be catered to. Needless to say my attempts to create a sort of Torture Garden U.S. rapidly failed after that.
      Nonetheless, there IS GOOD NEWS. As a kind of result from the GOTHIC and FETISH purist scenes mixing over the last several years, even at the most Strict Dress Code Clubs it is now pretty common to see a change. What used to say "Strict Fetish Dress -- Rubber, PVC, Leather" now usually says, "Strict Fetish Dress -- Rubber, PVC, Leather, Lace, Velvet, Lingerie." More and more we see the newer, extended description added after "Strict Fetish Dress." It seems the Goths have made their statement and genuinely contributed to Fetish Fashion. Likewise in any number of Goth clubs you will undoubtedly spot numerous Fetish elements scattered throughout the crowd nowadays.
      The biases will remain, and the purists will always find a way to improve a club. It seems however, that as long as it's tastefully done, the semi-purists rule the day, mixing just a bit of the best elements of other styles. The liberals who want any style to walk freely in any club too often seem just a hair this side of the clueless, and so I expect we will always have clubs that cater to particular tastes, being run by the purists or the semi-purists. When the stylistically liberal folks start running clubs, they are usually more interested in making money and less concerned about catering to a community of people; inevitably these end up as mixed up, often mainstream clubs. And when clueless people run clubs.....yuck. Rather not think about it. ;-)
      Personally I find the modern definition of "Strict Fetish Dress Code -- Rubber, Leather, PVC, Velvet, Lace, Lingerie" to be perfectly admirable. At Mass-Charade I pushed hard to add the terms "Fetish Glam" and "Fetish Drag" to the list as I believe TV's to be a kind of perfectly evolved Fetish, although not necessarily S&M oriented. For the SKIN TWO Rubber Ball, they WILL make street clothes people stand on the street and not let them in. As one SKIN TWO employee put it, "the person has to at least make an effort to look sexy in an unusual manner beyond ordinary club clothes." I find that to put it pretty well for a massive scale, non-S&M Fetish event. People who go to all the trouble to look outstanding and stunning in their best erotic and perverse finery do not want to look at people in street clothes, including Industrial attire (i.e. black jeans and black t-shirts); they want to look at people who dress as excellently as they do. Perhaps the reason we have seen a slight but pleasant mix of the Strict Fetish and Strict Gothic styles is that many Goths take their appearance and desire to be amongst similarly well-dressed people as seriously as the Fetishists do, albeit in their own unique manner.


YES, there's more!!
Click here to go to Part II of Iniquity Newsletter #2


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