Torture Garden (fetish club)
Torture Garden (or TG) is a fetish club in London, UK. The club started in 1990 and is now Europe's largest fetish club, featuring monthly at the Mass Club in the converted St. Matthews Church, Brixton. It features dance floors, musical acts, performance art, fashion shows, and an S&M 'dungeon'.
Initially threatened with closure by the police, it is now described as "legendary" and "a capital institution" by Time Out magazine. It has also been described as "a combination of a fetish, S/M, body art, Modern Primitives, straight, gay, performance art, body ritual, fashion, techno/industrial/atmospheric music, multimedia, and cyberspace club".
The co-founder of TG described the experience as "like entering a scene from a movie", and said that "we are basically about the celebration of sexuality and fantasy in a safe environment". A lack of intimidating or threatening behaviour is characteristic of the club, in contrast to most nightclubs. One journalist reported the "welcoming, liberating, anything-goes atmosphere".
An academic study of blood rituals noted that "The concept of Torture Garden may initially be difficult to accept, as it encompasses the most extreme manifestations of body piercing, mutilation, and ritual uses of blood in Western culture" and that the Torture Garden manifesto "clearly demonstrates the anomalous nature of fetish clubs".
TG has hosted club nights in several other cities and countries, including Edinburgh Russia, Greece and Japan, and it also runs a Fetish fashion label. TG ran a live stage show as the centrepiece of the Erotica exhibition at Olympia in 2004, and hosted a night at the Barbican Centre art gallery to coincide with the “Seduced” exhibition.
There is a strict dresscode: "Fantasy Fetish, SM, Body Art, Drag, Rubber, Leather, PVC goes, but no cotton t-shirts, street wear, or regular club wear". This has been summarised as "if what you’re wearing wouldn’t get you stared at in the street, don’t bother even queueing up to get in".
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