by Tamara Jacobs


What happens to people when the lights are turned down? When they get to hide behind a mask at a costume party? When they have the excuse of alcohol to defend their loss of inhibition?

In the dark, we all become braver. People forget who they are, where they are and the responsibilities they have. They are invisible. Better yet, they are someone else.

This past weekend, I thought I would experience the dark world of S&M. Not because I am interested in it, or because I am interested in people who are interested in it. But because the night was proposed to me and I thought it would be a fascinating experience. My friends and I dressed up in our most dangerous outfits. We were the vixens of the night. When I arrived at the underground cave in the dangerous part of London the event was hosted in, I realised, we were the only ones in costume. Everyone else had come as their truest self. After a drink my nerves began to calm and I looked around me to see people at their freest. People who could live out their fantasises and fetishes without judgement being cast upon them. Bankers who evidently felt most comfortable in a dress and heels, school teachers, in latex and chains.

The hard core sounds of electro music came up through the floors and released every inhibition anyone in that room could have possibly felt. People tripped out on drugs, music, sex, violence and the idea of doing it all in public. It was the epitome of escapism. And while it may not have been my thing, or something that I will ever return to, it was interesting to see the extremes people will go to when told that they are safe. That their secrets are safe, that their identities are protected.

We all have fetishes, things we feel and want, things we can’t live without. The question is, how far do you have to go to get them?