When I began my adventure into the Fetish scene in the mid 80’s the idea of a Fetish party was the celebration and the coming together of individuals, couples & groups of a like mind who had a fetish for something not normally associated with day to day life.
These days the meaning of fetish can also include such things as burlesque and believe it or not, nakedness which could be defined as exhibitionism but is it really a fetish.
If you’ve never been to a fetish party before you may wish to have a jolly good think about what it’s going to cost and what you’re going to get out of it. The best example I can use is my recent experience at Wasteland (8th November 2008) and according to Penthouse Magazine “Probably the wildest Party on Earth" and the International TV program 'Sexcetera' called it the "Super Bowl of fetish. By showing an exciting and adventurous lifestyle, people are drawn twice a year from all over the world to meet and share the same ideas and convictions.”
Ok so it sounds wonderfully wild and decadent and you would hope that you would meet and see a plethora of beings who have made a real effort with their outfits to portray at the very least a part of their fetish and what it means to them.
The party kicked off at 10pm and as is normal in Europe most people tend to arrive between 11pm and 1am hence the long queues to park the car. Car I hear you ask? Amsterdam once known as the city of sleaze is cleaning up its act and doesn’t grant licences (this is what I’m told) to Fetish or any other parties that are lets say that little bit different. In fact there aren’t many venues that wish to be associated with the Fetish scene in this once open-minded city. Hence the necessity of a 20 minute journey to Zaandam to the west of Amsterdam. The alternatives are a coach leaving every 30 minutes from nearby Central Station in Amsterdam (10Euros return) or a taxi (approx 40Euros each way) and then there’s the price of the ticket of 45Euros each.
I have to say that in some ways Wasteland will appeal to some factions of the fetish fraternity but I hasten to add that it won’t appeal to the purists. For once there was a medical room and the main stage featured some interesting and diverse performers.
It should be noted that whilst the organisers of Wasteland do a fantastic job in organising the party I wouldn’t describe it as being a Fetish party. Yes it’s wild and it’s spectacular but it’s the people who attend who make a party truly great and when 50% (probably more) do not make an effort with their costumes I sometimes question the fetish label. I got sick and tired of seeing the same old boring costumes of cheap nasty leather or something that you couldn’t classify as being anywhere near the definition of what is a Fetish. Don’t get me wrong though there were a few people who did make the effort but as they were so few in number I wonder if any of them will make a return trip to a party that was once a real celebration of what is a Fetish Party.