London’s Holloway Road is Fetish Central – home to a collection of pervy businesses and very much the place to visit when you’re in town and in the mood for some kinky shopping. A short stroll from Highbury & Islington tube station brings you to the World’s biggest and best bondage equipment store. OK, OK, so Mr S in San Francisco just might challenge that and there’s also a big gay store in Paris – but let’s not quibble – I guarantee that you’ll be very impressed by Fettered Pleasures.
Over the years, I’ve bought a whip hand-made by Victor Tella (the best), assorted bondage gear by Fetters (the best), electrical apparatus by Erostek (the best) and restraints by Mr S Leather (er… the best). Fettered Pleasures is not for people who want cheap plastic novelties – that’s what sex shops are for. However, if you want a pleasant environment, expert service and the best BDSM products available, this is where to come.
While it’s all as pervy as hell, there is absolutely no sleaze at Fettered Pleasures. That tacky sex shop feeling is totally absent. While chatting to the boss, Andy Sheridan, it dawned on me that most of the customers wandering around were couples. No porno. No mucky magazines or DVDs. No dirty old men at all. (All right, all right.)
The place keeps growing and recently launched some interesting new web sites, which made a convenient excuse to visit. How did this BDSM superstore get going? Andy started out as Manager at Regulation, just down the road, before setting up his own business with his partner, Michael, back in 2000. Says Andy, “Fettered Pleasures was originally a little shop near Kings Cross station with only £7,000 worth of stock!.” Since then, they have grown and grown and grown. Looking around the spacious showroom (over 2,500 square feet), I guessed that you can add a nought to that figure today.
“We have always tried to sell only the best. Also, we make a point of targeting a very wide audience. A lot of BDSM shops concentrate on the gay market. We don’t. We sell a lot to straight couples, women and fetish fashion shoppers.” As we speak, a straight couple walk in and wander over to the beautiful corsets, by Puimond of Los Angeles. “We also bring in women’s fashion from Catherine Coatney, of San Francisco and that’s very popular. You can get some great rubber just next door at House of Harlot and also at Showgirls, a few yards up the road.”
Andy also sells hand made shoes by Natacha Marro. These are superb and only for connoisseurs. You don’t know whether to wear them or lick them. (I recommend both.) However – and call me a pervert if you will – my favourite fascination is with the display after display of SM equipment in leather and steel and glass and perspex… and so on.
There are items to insert, things to attach, gadgets to torture and tease and plenty of stuff the function of which it’s rather fun to guess. Some of the larger leather and steel furniture looks perfect for the well-heeled perv with a really serious dungeon. (Must get that lottery ticket.) It’s all such cool stuff. Even the rubber gloves are black.
But what of those new web sites, which provided my excuse to visit? “We have had to launch a separate site just for electrics. Electropleasures.com features over two hundred and twenty items – and every one of them is in stock, so there’s no waiting. We think it must be the largest range of electro toys anywhere.” The site goes into how to use them, so it’s a resource. not just a sales vehicle – very important with electrics.
Fettered Pleasures’ other new site, vibropleasures.com, deals with vibrators. Bendy vibrators, bendy probe vibrators (which I recommend) clitoral vibrators, anal vibrators, strap-on vibrators, rabbit vibrators, waterproof vibrators (fun at bathtime, anyone?) lube for vibrators – well, you get the message. “Most of our customers for vibrators are women and a lot of them just wanted a dedicated site – so that’s what we did!”
More of these specialist sites are planned, so keep a lookout on the main site at fetteredpleasures.com. Meantime, take a walk up Holloway Road and spend some time at Fettered Pleasures. There’s nowhere else like it.