Those events, which ran roughly twice a year from 2002 until 2011, were fully-produced parties featuring stage shows. But Erothiko felt the current mood in the Portuguese capital was ripe for an event with an intimate environment and strict dresscode which would be more conducive to play.
Thus the second Fetish Obsession this April was held in the sub-basement of an office tower, below two levels of shops. There’d be no bothering the neighbours here!
The feel was a throwback to parties of the past, with music heavily leaning towards industrial rhythms and electro beats and a black-clad crowd eager to take advantage of one of Lisbon’s few fetish events to show off their closets’ finest kink-wear.
Also reminiscent of the past was the dense fog of smoke. It seemed that the smoking rate was nearly 100 percent and the deep basement didn’t allow for much circulation.
Though there was no stage show, the night featured some headline attendees. Visiting from the USA —
Although Louva made an early exit, Jean stayed for nearly the entire night and took on the role of hostess, introducing herself to many partygoers and maybe inspiring a few budding mistresses with her handling — or perhaps mishandling — of Slave Jeffrey, who appeared to take his rough treatment with a sly smile.
The club stayed comfortably full deep into the night but was never overcrowded, and in some ways had the feel of a reunion, as fetish scene friends from around Portugal had a chance to reconnect.
Among those in the crowd, I spotted such renowned local talents as fetish model Louise L’Amour and the Lisbon-based photographer known as TheBlackSheep, as well as a former Lisboan Isis Bathory, now a resident of Paris.
While the play action was light and mostly limited to the shadowy corners of the club, Erothiko clearly succeeded in his primary objective. Said objective being, in his words, “to create a time and place for people to meet and for the scene to evolve here in Portugal”.
Lisbon is an excellent city to visit for its history, its late-night culture and its good value. So perhaps next time something such as Fetish Obsession appears on the city’s fetish calendar, it just might be worth making a trip.