looking garment.‘ Shock or disgust is rare. ‘lt's more interest. and curiosity. I've not seen that kind of reaction for a long time.’

Still. fetish fashion however innocuous it seems is essentially an emblem for finding pleasure in pain and suffering. That's an idea that still arouses discomfort in many; but Murray is not keen to make the connection.

‘I can think of far greater causes of repression and domination over people than an outfit.’ she exclaims. ‘It's all conceptual - and if it isn't. then it's not

pvc as well.’


of such London clubs as Submission and Torture Garden. ’This time it’s masks, feathers, furs, period corsetry and all that sort of stuff; but on every occasion it’s rubber, leather and

The club element of a serious strong music policy is also there, with DJ Severin and Glasgow’s Pussypower playing on this occasion. The extra touch come Valentine’s Day is a full-on fetish performance cabaret,

held downstairs in Eden’s intimate cocktail lounge. And bizarre it certainly is.

A pony-boy and pony-girl will be giving a demonstration of what they get up to at their pony club - where they horse around and like to be ridden. A classic striptease performer will

disrobe in the best can-can tradition. And the Antoinette Quartet will eat cake in the most interesting manner, in full 17th century attire. Only those who have made a special effort can taste these delights. Not only is there vetting to get into the club itself, but a further obstacle to get into this inner sanctum. ’We don’t want a bunch of lads going just to perv,’ explains Phillips, ’50 downstairs, there’s a very strict dress 3 code.’ Strict in both senses, no doubt.

part of the S&M game.’ She is impatient with the hypocrisy of a society saturated with sexual imagery that still draws boundary lines around certain areas. ‘I don't think society as a whole realises how much it fetishizes. Stockings and suspenders are fetishized items. but they’re accepted ones.’

The open-mindedness of the fetish

scene. Murray argues. challenges accepted notions of beauty and desirability. Experimentation and

acceptance are paramount; and if the mainstream cashes in. then all the better.

'lf people can accept other peopl .37}

sexuality and sexual politics. and the “a. they express their sexuality if people don’t have to hide in the shadows that can only be a good thing. The more barriers get broken down. the better '

So. if Valentine's hearts and flowers seem a little stale this year. or if clubbing in combats and trainers is getting you down. why (not) restrict yourself?

EU. Baby is at Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London NW1. Murray And Vern can be found at www.murrayandvern.com

Violate (0909 4644112).

Sin is at Eden, Plcardy Place, Edinburgh on Mon 14 Feb; contact slnner.20000virginnet.co.uk for tickets and info. Love Boutique is at Alaska, Glasgow on Sat 12 Feb. For dates at other clubs, call Filth (0131 467 2551) and

7 Feb 2000 THE ll8T105