This July saw the 7th annual Recon Fetish Week in London. Having been to all of them, since the first one in 2010, it’s interesting to see how the weekend has evolved to be a full week of kinky craziness, and even recently branching out to non-sexual events, such as a film screening and an art display.
My first event was the Best in Show pup play event on Wednesday evening. Held in the club Fire, this was the first time pup play was featured so prominently on the agenda. The main programme of the event was a pup play contest in multiple parts, awarding medals in five categories. All parts of the competition were professionally organised, and went smoothly, but it was evident that many people had not expected a drawn-out, real competition. Also, the lack of any dark room was somewhat noticeable, but then again, life is about improvisation, so I had my fun with a rubbered pup in a suitably dark corner, away from curious eyes.
Thursday featured the ever-present Sportswear Cruising party once again at the Hoist. This has become a fixture on the Thursday programme, and Hoist was again full of hot and sweaty sportsmen. Deviating from my usual plan to wear my Spider-Man suit (Recon explicitly allows this in their written dress code!), I borrowed an American football kit from a friend and went as football pig.
Friday was the oddest evening of the week. Previously, Friday had always featured a general fetish party with a mellow theme, such as the BLF Party, the Black Party or the Into The Tank party, uniting everyone. This year, Recon had made the surprising choice of putting the Skinhead party on Friday evening (and by mistake, having conflicting information about dress code in their publicity). This was held in the back section of Union, and proved to be somewhat small, also without a dedicated darkroom. Also, the Hoist had a roleplay-intensive private event on the evening so there were no close-by options. Putting a niche event such as Skinhead on Friday evening is a dubious choice, and the Skinhead event should be moved back to its normal place as a daytime bar event.
Also on Friday was the Fetish Dinner, at the Counter at Vauxhall. I don’t know anything about food, and I don’t pretend to, as the event is more about socialising than food. My burger was great though.
Saturday was the much-anticipated Full Fetish at the Coronet, for the last time since the venue will be closed soon. Everything was functional in the party, which is no small feat, so kudos to Recon for that.
Sunday featured the standard double-event of the Rubber Party and Deconstruction. The Rubber Party was once again at the Union, although this time with rather demotivated staff, serving customers as slowly as possible and showing little enthusiasm for the event. In contrast, the security people were the funniest and energetic I’ve seen in a long while.
Overall, Recon’s Fetish Week has established itself as the European go-to event competing with other major events such as the Easter or Folsom Europe in Berlin. It will be seen what the venue for Full Fetish will be next year. With a few schedule adjustments, Recon has an amazing concept in its hands.