Our new sister website, The Fetishistas Directory, will have its official international launch on May 29 in Berlin, at the opening event of this year’s German Fetish Ball Weekend.
We have linked up with Xklusiv, the weekend’s organiser, to co-host the new GFB Kinky Cocktails party. It will kick off 2019’s festivities at a new rooftop bar, 260 Grad — so called because its roof terrace offers an impressive 260-degree view across the city.
Doors will open for Kinky Cocktails at 20:00, and admission to the event is free. There is no formal dresscode, but there will be some photography and filming, so fetish wear and other photogenic styles are of course welcome!
In addition, the first 250 guests to arrive will receive an exclusive Fetishistas Directory gift specially created to commemorate the launch.
The entrance to 260 Grad is on Mercedes Platz, a vibrant new development stretching from the Mercedes Arena down to the East Side Gallery on the banks of the Spree.
Close to Warschauer Strasse and the famous Matrix venue, and just across the river from the regular Ball and Fair venues, Mercedes Platz boasts new shops, bars, restaurants and hotels that should be well worth exploring.
Joining me as part of the official Fetishistas team at Kinky Cocktails and other GFB events will be longtime Fetishistas contributor and Directory researcher Heidi Patterson (aka Miss Fuzzy Bunny), and our Swedish video crew of Nikdesign, Peter Monochrome and Kari Berg.
We promise there’ll be no speechifying or PowerPoint presentations! We just want everyone to join us in this cool new venue to help celebrate the official start of the GFB Weekend and the official international launch of The Fetishistas Directory.
The gallery at the bottom on the left gives an idea what to expect if you’re planning to join us for the Kinky Cocktails Directory launch at new venue 260 Grad.
The weather should be agreeably warm in Berlin at the end of May, so we’re expecting to make full use of the open air roof terrace with its views over the river and beyond. We hope to see lots of you there!
Our desire to provide a listings service actually goes back almost to the launch of the original Fetishistas online magazine site in 2007.
For about 18 months, the original site did include fetish events listings, but the friend who provided them unfortunately had to give up the research work when his circumstances unexpectedly changed.
However, I promised myself that if the opportunity came to revamp the original site, I would make events listings part of the editorial offer again.
In 2014, that chance arrived. I wanted to relaunch on the WordPress platform, so my web developer and I started looking at listings add-on packages that were WordPress compatible.
Discovering that the add-ons then available were not that impressive, we decided a better solution seemed to be offered by a then brand-new standalone Directory theme.
A major advantage was that, while it was suitable for events listings, it was also designed to accommodate most other types of business listings too.
This gave us the opportunity not only to relaunch The Fetishistas magazine on WordPress, but also to develop a WordPress Directory site to follow in its wake.
Furthermore, we decided the new Directory would launch with listings not just for events but also for latex clothing — the latter being another key area of interest for our audience.
The Fetishistas v.2 — the site that you’re looking at now — was successfully launched in November 2014 after about nine months of development.
At that point, we figured we’d need about another six months to launch The Fetishistas Directory, taking us to a projected go-live date of May 2015.
The story of why it took four years longer than we anticipated is one that I shall probably tell one day — but perhaps not for a while yet.
An unexpected benefit of refusing to be defeated by the technical challenges we encountered during development is that we’ve actually ended up with a much bigger and better product than the one we expected to launch four years ago.
Consequently, what we’ll be celebrating in Berlin on May 29 is the arrival of a free global resource offering no less than 540 pages of listings covering the fetish events scene and latex clothing industry.
Start to browse its content, and the first thing I hope you’ll notice is the emphasis on good design. Great visuals are a far more prominent part of The Fetishistas Directory than they are in most other fetish listing products.
For us, it had to be that way. Having relaunching TheFetishistas.com with the state-of-the-art design its WordPress theme enabled, it was really important to us that the Directory sister site would maintain similar design standards.
The visual emphasis is very obvious once you being exploring The Fetishistas Directory’s Home, About and Info pages. All make use of top quality images from some of the scene’s best-known photographers.
If you want to check out our gallery of photographic contributors, visit the Info
page (accessible from the top navigation bar) and click 06: Photo Credits to see just who has provided hot shots for our editorial pages.
Visuals are important in the listings pages too, with each including a Google Maps/Street View display and offering the option for listed businesses to add whole galleries of pictures and video content.
The Directory also offers very powerful search features that enable you to find a listing by a full or part-title, descriptive keywords, location, type of event or type of latex business.
With events listings, which are of course continually time-sensitive, searches will return not just upcoming events in the database, but also current events (those taking place on the actual date of your search) and any past events that are also on the system.
Event organisers have widely varying approaches to announcing their dates, which is why ‘past event’ listings can be useful or even essential.
For example, when monthly event organisers only publicise their next date, listings for past events can help to show the pattern (if any) their events are following.
Also, not all organisers of big annual fetish events are yet in the habit of announcing next year’s dates a full year ahead.
There are annual event hosts who still only manage to provide six months notice or less or of their next annual gatherings. In such situations, being able to check details of the previous event can be extremely helpful.
When you start to look at our launch edition listings, you’ll probably realise that there’s scope for much greater detail than these basic listings provide.
That’s because the info in the launch listings is free ‘starter content’, more or less equivalent to what can be uploaded via our lowest-priced subscription, the Plus package.
While the Directory is completely free to access for visitors wishing to search for information, the future upkeep of the website will depend on business owners subscribing in order to have direct control of their listing content.
The monthly subscription costs range from £4 to £8 for three different levels of content, created to suit a range of budgets and differing degrees of detail presentation.
It’s no idle boast that these monthly subscriptions are cheaper than Netflix. Furthermore, a whole year of our cheapest Plus package, at an annual cost of £48, is cheaper than one month in our cheapest Fetishistas magazine site ad slots!
For that £48 a year in the Directory, you get up to 15 individual listings pages and the facility to endlessly update the content of any given page. You also get a gallery allowance of five images which can be updated as and when you wish.
For most businesses, we think the mid-priced subscription, the Pro package at £6 per month, will offer the best combination of cost and content allowance.
For those with the most complex needs, such as organisers of big, multi-day annual events or latex businesses with multiple divisions or ranges, we have created the Premium package, allowing almost unlimited content to be uploaded for £8 a month.
With prices this low, there must be a catch — right? Well, the only ‘catch’ — if you can call it that — is that businesses have to upload their own content. Just like millions of businesses do already on social media every day.
The difference with The Fetishistas Directory is that you are putting your listings on a dedicated site whose content specifically serves the global fetish and BDSM communities.
We are not going to be harvesting your personal data. Nor will we be employing opaquely censorious algorithms of the type currently making it harder by the day for fetish industry people to keep their audiences informed about their activities.
We will soon be writing to all fetish businesses listed in the Directory inviting them to claim their listings, and thereby avail themselves of the content control that our subscription packages offer.
In the meantime, if you run a latex business or event that is not listed, let us know! You can use the Add Listing button at the top right corner of every Directory page; this will take you through the procedure necessary to get yourself into the Directory.
Businesses looking at subscribing and visitors searching for listed info will find lots more detailed guidance in the FAQs which can be accessed via the Info page (link in the navigation bar above each listing).
In the meantime, to give you a taste of what’s on offer from The Fetishistas Directory, check out the gallery below on the right, to view a selection of screen shots from the site’s general and listing pages.
Last but not least, just a reminder that, like The Fetishistas magazine site, The Fetishistas Directory is fully responsive, ie both mobile- and tablet-friendly.
This does of course mean that the way the content is displayed will depend on the device you’re viewing it on. Consequently the relative proportions of images and text you see may well differ from how things appear in our screen shots, which were taken on a large desktop screen.
But you all knew that already, right?
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