Friday, 18 November 2011
Belgium might not have been the obvious destination for our next trip on our European Fetish Tour, but our adventure-seeking minds didn't need much convincing.
Our hotel was not city central but easy enough to drive anywhere. Once ready to start exploring, off we went searching for the venue.
It took us a little while to find it, as this gigantic market didn't seem the right place to hold a fetish festival. James and I were finally directed to an underground old cellar adjacent to the indoor market.
Built of brick arches, this low ceiling cellar was spacious and very unusual. In reflection, a perfect venue for an unorthodox event.
We started our tour wondering what this festival had to offer. Was it similar to all the others? Did they present fetish differently in Belgium? Would we find new fetishes? What about the entertainment? The food?
Most of the exhibitors seemed to come from France, Holland and Germany; most of them were new faces to us, with only a couple of them previously met in Germany. And not forgetting the only British exhibitor: Latex 101...! We find them everywhere...! Good for the British fetish spirit...!
We came across Etienne with his atypical beds that reminded me of the James Bond films and those special hidden gadgets that take you by surprise! A king size bed that transforms into a mini dungeon. In the words of Etienne: "That way you can still show your bedroom to friends and keep your secret hidden away and then when the time comes, you are ready to play...!"
Admittedly, an attractive bed for those who like leather. A charming couple demonstrating the assets are willing to be photographed whilst being tied up, whipped and enjoying a kinky adventure in this boudoir.
As we walk around, despite being a cellar, it is spacious and grand, none of the claustrophobic feel I had worried about. Not only the festival offers a wide variety of products, such as art, jewellery, gadgets and your expected fetish favourites, but the food and the entertainment is also worthy.
A feast for the eyes, the human horses, pulling a cage, trotted around the festival with great style and posture.
On stage, a rope bondage act the public could enjoy; the type of show that has now become synonym to fetish festivals...!
We continued with our tour, and finally met our host, Jurgen Boedt, creator and manager of Boutique Minuit in Brussels, a fetish fashion boutique, and one of the finest in the fetish milieu. Also, the creator of 'Secret' magazine, the well established and reputable fetish magazine. With remarkable hospitality, Jurgen welcomed us and explained that the organisers approached him for his help with this event. Jurgen has been part of the fetish scene for over 20 years and not only is he professional, knowledgeable and a passionate about his work, which he describes as a pleasure and not so much a job, he is very willing to give us as much information as we need about the fetish scene in Belgium. His lovely wife and daughter are part of the fashion show organised for the party that night.
Around the corner, we were delighted to meet Tanya who runs a Parisian based fetish business about pet girls 'Les Anges Dechues'. As she shares her story with us, it is obvious that Tanya would like her interest to get more exposure. A submissive who enjoys pet play and fashion, she feels like Paris is not the best place for her fetish to be shown in public, so being part of this festival reveals to be very important to her.
The two days were packed with chats, discoveries, demonstrations and not to forget, very enjoyable Italian food at the festival, one that I would recommend unquestionably, and believe me food has not been my best experience at other events! But this one got it right...! And the interest from the visitors proved it...!
Unsure of what this festival was going to bring, we ended the two days with a positive feel, encouraged by the many businesses we met, some more fetish than others but nonetheless worth visiting.
A calm atmosphere, a friendly feel to the exhibition that culminated in a party 'The Night of Fetish & BDSM', well attended and as always, a worthwhile fashion show presented by Boutique Minuit, and a crowd full of energy that danced, drank and 'kinkied' the night and early morning away...!!
Keep an eye for the next one and make sure you make the most of your weekend by visiting this beautiful European city and tasting its fabulous mussels and chips and chocolate... More than worth a visit...!!
Take a look at the map - www.fetishmap.co.uk