Marcus T - Fetish Photographer : My First Time At A Fetish Club
Marcus T is a club night photographer who is on the press list for most of the fetish nights in London, including Torture Garden. Originally attracted to the aesthetic of the fetish scene, he found himself experimenting with fetish clubbing alongside his partner and now considers scene players as his closest friends.
“It was Torture Garden specifically that I first wanted to go to. When I was about 16 I saw a feature in Bizarre Magazine and from the photos, I really thought it was something I'd like to try one day.
In 2005, I was dating a girl who was quite kinky. I saw an advert for Torture Garden somewhere and the memory of the magazine spread came back to me and I was intrigued all over again. I asked my girlfriend and she was up for it, so we went on a shopping trip to buy some outfits.
I wanted to make an effort for my first time and really involve myself in the full experience, so we both bought latex outfits. I opted for a simple, plain black pair of latex jeans and a vest that I accessorised with a studded belt and wrist cuffs.
We arrived at about 11pm and within 5 minutes I knew that this was something that I wanted to do again. The people at Torture Garden were, and still are, the nicest people I've ever met anywhere, on any scene. It's like walking around in a fashion show. They're friendly, extrovert, flamboyant, look amazing and the atmosphere surrounding you is flirtatious but completely respectful.
The club is known for its stairs and unfortunately my girlfriend struggled getting up and down them in her boots and ended up twisting her ankle, so we had to cut our night short and leave at about 1am. I knew I had found something that I was going to revisit again and again so I'd have plenty of time to make up for it.
At the time I was photographing at mainstream clubs in London, so I got in touch with Torture Garden about documenting their night. They liked my work, so I was able to come back to the next event solo as a photographer and I've been going ever since with my camera in tow.
You may expect fetish clubs to be really sleazy, but the irony is that the mainstream scene is worse. There are a couple of sleaze balls around, but in a mainstream club there are so many. All of the women I've taken over the years have received genuine compliments and everyone is really nice.
I can say that in the five years I've been attending Torture Garden, I have never taken a first timer along who didn't have fun, almost without fail they've said it's been one of the best nights they've ever had.
People expect the fetish scene to play up to the mainstream image of being really extreme, but it's fairly non invasive and non extreme most of the time. It's a club where there's something for everyone: Music all night, fashion shoes, performances, a couple's room and a dungeon. Everyone's socialising and it's a really good, all encompassing experience. By trying everything the club has to offer, you could choose to experiment with other aspects. For instance, if you like the dungeon you might want to seek out fetish events more based around that theme.
Whether you turn up on mass with a group or go alone, you will make new friends if you take the plunge and talk to other people. It's an honour and a privilege to be a photographer for Torture Garden and to call so many people in the fetish scene as friends. These days I wouldn't have a social life without the fetish scene. Once I delved beneath the surface everything else seemed so boring, so it has really enhanced my life. If you're open minded, up for dressing up and love having a good time, it's the place to go. If you're not, then don't come!”