In case you hadn’t noticed, swingers’ clubs have been quietly spreading across the UK in recent years. It’s still presented by the media as tacky and undesirable – but the public doesn’t seem to care about that. From Exeter to Newcastle, couples are packing out the swing clubs. These places are more or less drug-free, drinking is moderate and violence is unheard of. Local authorities, more concerned with drunken, brawling youths in our town centres, mostly leave the relaxed and discreet swingers’ clubs alone.
All the same, your local swing club can’t fill the place seven nights a week, so they need something else to bring in trade. Enter the fetish scene. If you run a fetish club, you need somewhere to meet. And your crowd of rubber-wearing, high-heeled bondage fans, transvestites and dominatrixes, however sweet and gentle they may be, do tend to freak out the average nightclub Manager. The swing club will welcome you, though, as fellow travellers in the sexual underground. Gimp masks don‘t bother people perfectly accustomed to blow jobs in the lounge bar.
At one time, swingers looked on fetishists as weird undesirables. Fetish people turned their noses up at swingers, as tacky, bourgeois, hatchback-driving, golf-playing saddos in bad clothes. Never the twain should meet. That is, until the swing clubs needed the pervs and the pervs needed the swing clubs. Even then, it might have been an awkward marriage of convenience. In fact, though, things turned out rather better than that.
Thrown into company like strangers on a train, the swingers decided that they rather fancied high heels, leather and perhaps a bit of light spanking. The fetishists started to admit that, much as they loved the esoteric pleasures of total rubber enclosure and Japanese rope bondage, truth to tell, there’s a lot to be said for a decent shag at the end of the night. The consequence is a growing trend for crossover fetish/swing parties.
And where to find them? The latest crossover event is Deviants, in Blackpool. This takes things to another level, as it’s run by the couple – Alan and Lucy – who own the venue, a local hotel. The tourist trade in Blackpool is not booming. The town looks pretty much as it did in the ’fifties, but for the hefty bouncers outside every bar and posse after posse of Northern girls in bare legs, strappy stilletos and not much else, already bladdered in the early evening, singing as they rampage from pub to club, through the wind and rain. But Alan and Lucy had a cunning plan. Why not specialise? Concentrate on a healthy and growing market. Their hotel is totally dedicated to the sexually adventurous couple.
You stay at the hotel, so no worries about getting there, getting home, traveling in your rubber dress and thigh boots, drinking and driving, etc. You can party as late as you like. If one of you wants to crash out, they can step upstairs while the other parties on. You can change outfits mid-evening if you feel like it. The place has been adapted – one front room is a dungeon, with a cage and St Andrew’s Cross. Another room is quiet, with sofas and mucky films to watch. There’s a sauna, a dance area and a murky cellar with an orgy space and a two-way mirror for voyeurs.
Deviants is on Saturday night, but we arrived on the Friday, when Dave and Heidi from Seedy and Sleazy run a club night there. Similar to their events in East London, it’s a great combination of filth and good humour. On the Saturday, we took a tram up the coast to Fleetwood, where I bought a flat cap for £7.99. Sadly, I look more like George Formby than Guy Ritchie. There’s little to recommend in Blackpool, though you might find an outfit at Heresy in Church Street and you can get a decent meal at Il Corsaro or an egg and bacon barm at Jackson’s in Market Street. That’s about it.
On Saturday evening, the hotel starts to fill up, with couples from all over the North and Midlands. Alan and Lucy are in full swing, Lucy in a House of Harlot rubber uniform dress, accessorised with a large strap-on dildo (not just for show). Dave and Heidi illustrate the violet wand and give Jane her first taste of fisting. (She loved it.) A couple I’d met in Exeter are literally playing with fire, the flaming torch close to naked skin. In the dungeon room, hot wax and rows of tiny bulldog clips decorate a victim’s back. He’s roped down to a padded bench, blissed out. In the movie room, a woman watching porn is gently brought to a shuddering orgasm by her partner – he knows exactly how she likes it.
In the cellar, we can’t quite make out who’s doing what to whom, but I reckon I count six legs, some of which are female, pointing upwards in the darkness. In the bar, Yvonne from Trip on This Clubwear holds court in her own designs. Sally gently toys with her partner’s impressive hard-on, a gleam in her eye. Alan and Lucy preside over it all, making sure that everyone feels welcome, a part of the whole, whether newcomer or experienced, participant or observer. Far into the small hours, as we crawl upstairs to bed, the party’s still cruising on.
On Sunday lunchtime, as we head for the station and the train to Euston and planet Earth, others are rising and making tea. A few hours later, home in London, I call Alan to say thanks for a great night. Have you always fancied a dirty weekend in Blackpool? Well, here’s a reason.