| December 12, 2011 | 3:40pm
Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.
A review of Fetish Factory's "Seasons Beatings" Holiday Fetish Party at Bluster Bar in Hollywood Saturday.
Around the middle of the evening, Christmas tunes filled the air, and two female Fetish Factory performers strutted onto Bluster Bar's stage. With Christmas gift boxes covering their heads -- people here love their masks -- they nailed some synchronized dance moves. Eventually that Christmas tune melted into a techno ditty, and then two more ladies came unto the stage and the four of them threw candy canes and stockings into the crowd. Yes, the Fetish Factory threw gifts at people. It's a loyal crowd, so they deserve it.
According to an amiable married
couple who has attended these events for over a decade, these fetish parties existed even
before Fetish Factory began selling the latex and bondage gear in 1995. Thus, entering the Seasons Beatings part, the last monthly party
of 2011, is entering a fully
This night was immediately different from the last fetish party I attended, a deserted affair that the Fetish Factory wasn't a part of. Here, the people have grown up together. That can be shown by ages, which ranged from 21 into the 60s. The parties are impressive, so first-timers are bound to get hooked. No one looked out of place. Everyone blended in with their crazy fetish clothes*, and their attitudes. The fetish community enjoys being labeled as glam fetish, one which focuses on fashion.
A good chunk of other fetish clubs across the states are "clothing optional" -- and that doesn't mean you go naked. It means you don't have to wear fetish wear. But you must at a Fetish Factory party -- brilliant business move -- and someone's always at the door to enforce. This night they turned away a musician who wore a regular suit. Women do have it easier. No one is ever allowed to wear jeans, but you can wear a giant bunny costume, as proved by the guy on the dance floor. (Furries are a fetish.) A burly man wore a Santa Claus jacket and a red tutu bottom. A giant candy cane (the curved end) hung out of a man's tight leather kilt. The nipples were out, the leashes were around necks, there were see-through bodysuits, Christmas and camouflage slut wear in abundance.
It's a glam fetish community because the FF parties are not solely S&M (not solely for sadists and masochists). It's a playful place. The sooner you can tell the difference between playful and erotic, the better. Then once you can do that, blur the lines again.
A stranger might tap your ass when you're not looking, but that can happen anywhere. Folks will hook up anywhere if hormones are high and if liquor is present. So what makes a fetish party unique? My friend, an ultrasound tech who I had first met at a FF party, carried a small paddle that fit into his back pocket Saturday. When you know people, when you have made friends, you get a buddy-buddy paddle or whip whack every so often. A brother whipped another brother's stomach.
Bluster Bar in Hollywood had an interesting layout: Right when you moseyed through the front door, the spanking and whipping area was in your face. The bar stretched the back wall on the left -- this area was on the right. The dance floor was on the other side of the woman getting spanked on the table. The couches that surrounded her were full of people. People stood around the square area and watched. There was also a back room similar in nature. Some fetishists did nothing but stand around and gawk. Or they danced -- the music selection was all goth and industrial and phenomenal.
Things are just in your face. And it's fun to be in the middle of all of it. What was close to the eyes on the dance floor? Enormous, bare breasts with taped nipples. People did what they wanted: A man put on his black smooth porcelain-esque mask and then went by the name "The Machine." The tall circular cage, which comfortably fits two (but can handle three) and moves from party to party, constantly got filled. The party carried itself. Did the AC get turned off? It was hot, the credit card machine went down -- no one was lying on the floor waiting to be stomped on. But the important thing is you can do that and not be hauled away by the police. The important thing is no forces of evil has yet to ever derail a party. Not yet.
*Some are very normal looking.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.