Humphrey > Culture and
Scene Queen: SM Discoveries
The public monthly meeting of SM Gays, which doubles as a
rolling programme of bright and breezy introductions to different aspects
of consensual S&M. This month it is Corporal Punishment, with whips,
paddles, straps and canes a-plenty. Coming up later this summer are
Rubber, and Tits and Nips. You can take part in a safe demo, or just
When and where is it?
The third Thursday of every month at
the Hoist in Vauxhall. With its gritty railway arches location and strict
SM leather dress code, the Hoist is off-limits to many of us most of the
time, but SM Discoveries has no dress code. It is only �4 to get in.
Is it worth getting there early?
Doors open at 8:30, and
it�s all over at midnight. It�s worth snagging an early place in the
queues for the most popular demos. At last month�s Skin Sensations night,
the Violet Wand was popular (something to do with static electricity), and
the guy doing the Hot and Cold treatment never stopped all night. It
involved a blindfold, an ice-cube, a paraffin-wax candle and no
What�s it like?
Much more informal and friendly than you
might think, and although the atmosphere is sexually charged, it is not
all about sex. As you go in, a chirpy greeter offers you a name sticker
and almost asks �Have you ever been to a Hoist before?� There are half a
dozen little stalls around the club, with SM Gays stalwarts pitching their
wares. A coffee morning with cocks. I loved the �Organic S&M� stall
last month, a twinkly chap tenderly sweeping a spiky holly leaf across
your arms or your belly. On the other hand, it is the Hoist, and the
streaming porn is heavy duty.
How busy is it?
It depends on the theme, and the place is
quite small, but this week Corporal Punishment should bring them all out
on a school night. There are the regulars in leather and rubber, office
guys who have popped in straight from work, and student types mooching
about in tracky bottoms. It�s a perverse and quite sexy combination.
By some standards the whole thing is bad
behaviour. But once the demos have closed down and the lightweights and
newcomers have scattered for their last tube, a hard-core few can grab
half an hour of mischief before the unforgiving overhead lights are
snapped on at midnight.
Claim to fame?
When they are not spanking and tit-tweaking
willing Londoners, SM Gays is also now undertaking a major research
project on the UK�s leather SM community since 1945. You could go down in
SM Discoveries, third Thursday monthly at The Hoist, Arch 47c South
Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London SW8. Vauxhall tube/BR.