What happened when London’s biggest fetish night teamed up with its swankiest orgy? One curious writer put on her cat mask and found out ‘If you bit her nipple, she’d orgasm instantly.’ The naked man grins at me and nods towards his wife, who’s lying beneath him clad in a fishnet bodystocking. Her breasts are bare, and so bounteous I bet they taste of coconut.
The woman wails like Mariah Carey as her husband thrusts himself between her legs (not the first penis she’s enjoyed tonight). I kneel next to them on soaked bed sheets, wondering if the wetness is spilt bubbly or bodily fluids. It’s an opportune moment to reflect on how we got here: me, a curious cat, and the rest of the Torture Kittens crowd, who at 3am are happily noshing on each other’s bits. As I shuffle towards a drier spot I narrowly avoid kicking a woman who’s on all fours, head nodding as she sucks a guy’s balls.
Of course, all this is par for the course at an event like Torture Kittens, a fetish-flavoured swingers’ ball held deep in the Somerset countryside. The venue is a plush Georgian mansion called Sparkford Hall. Usually used for weddings and conferences, tonight it’s hosting over a hundred sexually liberated Londoners.
I’m one of them. Or, at least, I’m attempting to get on board. I’ve been to fetish clubs in London before: heck, everyone from NW1 to SE10 seems to have dabbled in S&M these days. This feels different, though. For a start, it’s a two-hour journey from my Finsbury Park flat. There’s no hopping in an Uber home if I get freaked out, or fed up, or something horrible in my eye.
But taking erotic corporal punishment out of the capital is precisely the point of Torture Kittens. The event is designed so that hedonistic Londoners can escape – geographically and psychologically – and indulge their BDSM fantasies while bumping uglies with beautiful strangers.
The event is new, co-produced by elite orgy crew Killing Kittens and Torture Garden, London’s largest fetish club. KK was founded by Emma Sayle, a friend of Kate Middleton’s, and is already established as where London’s wealthy and well-formed people get together to shag. Now fetish culture is coming into vogue in London, largely thanks to Torture Garden. Indeed, a visit to one of TG’s London club nights is considered a rite of passage for those wishing to nudge their sexual rating up a notch from ‘vanilla’ to at least ‘raspberry ripple’.
So what, I wondered, was this mewling crossbreed of high-class kink and latex-clad debauchery going to be like?
Backtrack to several hours earlier. My mate and I are fully geared-up in our best pussy posse attire, boarding a train at Paddington. After a short, stare-filled trip we arrive at the house to be greeted by three model-beautiful hostesses, all wearing the kind of lingerie you’d have to sell a kidney to afford, and have a few other internal organs removed to fit into. Torture Kittens vets everyone who applies for tickets to ensure only ‘attractive and exciting’ people attend – and no lone men. Phones and cameras are banned, and masks preserve anonymity and lessen embarrassment. I’m heartened to see the 170 assembled stunners included some curvier bodies, while no one has a face like a slapped arse (although one guy has a slapped arse in his face).
‘We thought it’d be all rich gits the first time we came to a Killing Kittens party, but it’s actually a mixed crowd,’ says a guy wearing black Latex cycling shorts, with a lifelike (if not life-sized) tattoo of a giant veiny schlong poking out from the crotch and down his left thigh. His arms are covered in photorealistic pictures of spread vaginas and pin-ups performing fellatio. ‘I wear my sex drive on my sleeve!’ he laughs. ‘The fucking starts around midnight,’ he continues. ‘Lots of blokes take Viagra so they last for hours.’
Since he’s a Kittens regular, I ask him what’s different about this hook-up with Torture Garden. ‘You’d never normally see that,’ he replies, pointing at a man in an executioner’s hood leading a woman wearing a blindfold and ball gag around on a chain. ‘There’s a dungeon in the basement, burlesque performers, and the music’s darker. You can expect one of the most liberated parties in the UK. Although as a nation we’ve got nothing on how hardcore Berlin is. I went to a club there called Berghain where people with poo fetishes brought along their turds in Tupperware.’
‘I saw a show in Berlin involving nine strippers each putting a grape in their pussies and asking me to suck them out,’ chimes in a chap dressed as Satan, who says he’s a lawyer. Did he eat them? ‘Yeah. I like grapes.’ A tipsy guy grabs my arm, exclaiming, ‘You must taste my wife’s cunt. It’s delicious!’ He sloshes about £6.50 of his £7 glass of prosecco on the carpet and on me. Now damp (though not in that way), I take my leave and head downstairs (also not in that way).
The dungeon smells like a ghost train and contains a few couples getting busy around a gynaecological examination chair. A dude straps a girl to a bondage cross before spanking her with a wooden ruler. It’s quite quiet, though. ‘There’s a rough 25:75 split between TG and KK types here, so the fetish furniture’s kinda underused,’ muses a man sporting a horse’s head and jodhpurs containing an aubergine-sized crotch bulge. ‘But plenty’s happening in the bedrooms.’
He and his enormous willy aren’t wrong. Upstairs, it doesn’t smell of fun fairs. It smells strongly of hot, wet fun.
Five couples are sprawled across a bed, the floor and each other, variously sucking, licking and pumping one another’s parts. Another ten folk look on appreciatively, touching themselves, soundtracked by a noise like a tank of octopuses being attacked with a plunger. I spare a thought for the people who will have to clean this place tomorrow. ‘We don surgical gloves and dispose of used johnnies the next day,’ a hostess named Jordie tells me. ‘Cleaning teams deal with the duvets.’ I suspect it will take more than some Shake ’n’ Vac to put the freshness back.
A smiling woman wearing a crystal-encrusted eye patch beckons me over. ‘I’m Vic,’ she says. ‘Excuse the pirate look; I’ve just had optical surgery. I can only give my husband Trey a blowjob from certain angles to avoid putting pressure on my eyelid!’ Speaking of pressure, I explain that I’m open-minded but tonight I won’t be open-legged. This is absolutely fine. Nobody shuns or hassles me. I feel totally at ease watching Trey enjoy his BJ. It’s not only arousing, but also fascinating; you rarely get to see other humans interact this way outside pornography. As it happens, I stick to voyeurism all evening. The atmosphere is both safe and sexy, but I feel most confident looking rather than touching.
Trey says that most of the women are bisexual, or happy to get fappy with other ladies, while guy-on-guy action is more rare. ‘I love seeing Vic with other men,’ he adds, ‘and we both get off on it when they climax over her.’ An argument we overhear going on outside suggests that not all couples cope so well with inviting strangers into their sex lives. ‘Communication is key,’ Trey says, ‘and too much booze is a bad idea. People’s fantasies are often far more simplistic than the reality.’
He’s right. Torture Kittens exists within a bubble; it transports you away from the day-to-day for an immersive night of explicit play, and while that’s exactly what makes it so intoxicating, I can easily see how people could go further than they intended in the heat of the moment – which could either prove liberating or devastating.
The next day I head back to London feeling exhausted, but with no regrets to sweat. There’s one clear way to ensure you return to the Big Smoke wearing a big smirk: maintain an honest conversation with the person you’ll always be going home with. Yourself.