A Cult Classic for Rubber Perves
That one girl in attendance metamorphised into the latex-hooded scene face that is now Synth (pictured left).
I remember us both excitedly wishing there was a regular night where fetishists could just meet up and share our passion: And not just for the classic single guy perve. For when I recall that night I realised how old-school it was, being to all intense and perversities, a munch with everyone dressed up in black.
Here I am standing in the centre of Shillibeers in another part of North London. The memory of that cold night ebbs away as the full carnival of time whirling around me into the future flash of a fetish event called Rubber Cult: Synth's latex-only night she co-runs with self-styled Queen of London Clubs, Kim Rub.
Haute couture fashions, fetish art-related designs and bespoke bizarre costumery have changed everything. What we have now is far wilder, far more colourful and exuberantly ostentatious yet surprisingly accessible.
For those looking to party you'll find it's a manageably big night. The place is rammerdammerdingdonged with friendly rubberised faces, yet there is space to chat, observe and predictably, perve. For those looking to avoid club clichés, yes, you'll always get a small mix of pretentious prannies and persistent pricks who don't even have the decency to have full-blown Asperger's. But this is forgiveable as Rubber is a magic adult sex cloth, it does weird things to us all. In any event it always makes for a brilliant story over breakfast.
And this isn't just any event.
Rubber Cult is not a overly-pumping club night nor a mumbling munch, it's a stylish supermunch. Because added to the freeflow of fetish fervour buzzing loudly around the hall, there is free champagne, a fashion show, performance art featuring the beautifullly bonkers Marnie Scarlet, live drawing and best costume competitions, various pieces of quality play equipment and a vac-bed area – hosted by a delightful Cheshire Cat of Rubber Cultist in the form of Lola Latex – at one end of a vast set of open-plan stair-joined bar rooms. These expansive areas provide extra deviant digressive activity and give the whole place a sense of micro-expo, with fetish industry movers, makers and shakers wriggling, squeezing and creaking their rubberiness up and around these secretly salacious spaces.
Fresh in from Amsterdam the talented designer exhibited a cool cross-section of his out-there Islamic and Victoriana influenced styles. Frankly it could have been longer, but then there is something to be said in leaving the audience wanting more.
Can I be so all-praisingly gushing?
Well the only real off-note for me was the lack of changing privacy, and an open-plan mezzanine for people spending on costumes, tickets and coming across London is odd, as not everyone lives nearby nor can afford taxis or hotels to attend ready-dressed-up.
Okay, so you could always use the toilets (?) But perhaps this is an opportunity here to implement some extra latex touchy walls as dressing screens, especially for the ladies, as hey, there are some real perverts hanging about. They could even be emblazoned with the Rubber Cult logo and could even be used by people looking to change outfits during the night.
But further over on the plus side is Shillibeers itself, as the staff (bar and door) are fet-friendly and easy to talk to – they were all really up for it, unlike some other pee-taking venue workers. Plus all the early growing pains of the 'night' as event have settled into a more polished format – no small feat for a largely intimate event like Rubber Cult (RC): promoters Kim Rub and Synth faithfully put the effort in and their passion shows. Special mention here should go to Synth who I thought hosted the latex cabaret like a natural compère for kink craziness.
As the scene continues to grow and become ever more colourful and creative, with other similar nights springing up, I sincerely hope RC retains it's uniquely courtly supermunch, theatrical soirée qualities and continues to cater for the hardcore haute couturists, purists and fetish tourists... while including those who are simply looking to swap stories and outfit ideas, have a few drinks and celebrate our sweet lives in the swish stuff. With Synth's continuing adventures and Kim Rub's vigilience working in full tandem, it's exciting for all us dedicated enthusiasts to imagine that remarkably RC's best is still yet to come.
Rubber Cult returns Saturday September 26th 2015 from 8pm to 2am. Tickets £25