Chains and whips excite audience at Fetish Night
Fetish event at Mohawk Place allows space for sexual expression for Buffalo kinksters
A crack of a whip ran through the air as dominatrix Sade von Masoch spanked her “hellcats.” The crowd counted up to 40; the number of spanks for Masoch’s birthday.
Last Saturday night, Buffalo’s Mohawk Place held its bi-annual Fetish Night event. The theme for the event was “mythical creatures” and “fantasy” and was hosted by Lady Zilla from the burlesque group “Hell’s Harlots” and drag queen Alice Raige of the House of Raige. It featured burlesque and drag performances, an Elektra fire LED show, exotic dancing, and sideshow performances by Arlowe Price.
The performance sets were punctuated with demonstrations by Masoch, who was dressed in a bright-green corset and a see-through white skirt — meant to emulate mother nature, according to Masoch.
“I am a pro-dominatrix which means I beat people for money,” said Masoch, who has organized this event for the last five years.
Masoch’s motivation for hosting the event comes from the “lack” of spaces in Buffalo that allow for sexual experimentation and exploration, she said.
Masoch said a nightclub called the Continental used to host events like Fetish Night earlier in the 1990s, but once those stopped happening, people in Buffalo were left without an outlet for sexual expression in the “mainstream.”
“In Buffalo, when the Continental closed, our last goth club closed, which made it — in a lot of ways — not okay to express who you are,” Masoch said.
“This night is to show people of any background that their kinks are okay and we want you to explore and enjoy them because they’re part of you, they’re part of who you are,” Masoch said.
The event also pushed boundaries within broader categories of burlesque and drag.
Burlesque performances usually entail a profusion of pearls and feathers — and there was certainly a bit of that — but a majority of the performances were more Marilyn Manson than Dita von Teese.
One of the burlesque performers danced to “Still of the Night” by Whitesnake, and poured red liquid mimicking blood on her chest. It was a far cry from the flirtatious and shy manner of a typical burlesque performer.
Drag queen Victoria Jenkins also performed at the event, dressed in various outfits including a unicorn get-up.
Jenkins was also one of the “hell cats” that Masoch spanked on stage during demonstration intervals.
For Jenkins, who is celibate, the decision to partake in an act of BDSM was more about aesthetic than sexual pleasure.
“I am into the aesthetic of [BDSM]. I watch porn for fun because it’s so interesting to me. Because it’s art and our bodies are art,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins also got tied up by shibari artist Daryle McKnight “Twist Ties,” who was at the event.
Shibari involves rope bondage and may be associated with BDSM and related sexual pleasure. McKnight said it was “100% art for [him].”
“What I do is more visual. “Beautiful rope” is what it’s called so it’s just about making it an artistic thing rather than a sexualized thing,” McKnight said.
McKnight said he had various clients ranging from people who wanted to get tied up for sexual reasons to people who got tied up just to send pictures to a deployed spouse overseas.
“Everyone has a different tolerance, like everyone can take different things — some worse, some less — so it’s challenging to work with different people all the time,” McKnight said.
Raige, one of the hosts of the event, talked about how those who are interested in “nightlife” should explore events like Fetish Night that allow safe spaces. Raige said events like these helped her find her own identity.
“There are so many different lifestyles and it really helped me figure out who I was by being exposed to all these different things,” Raige said.
Tanveen Vohra is the co-senior news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org