Friday, May 15, 2015

Sparkle Hard and The Flying Dutchman, 24th April

Sparkle Hard is a sex-positive inclusive kinky dance party and one of its ‘rules’ is not to gossip about what goes on at Sparkle Harder. So I won’t. In fact, going to Sparkle Hard doesn’t have to be about the sex side of things at all (although if you’re into that I’m sure you would enjoy that aspect). Otherwise, it is all about going to an intimate party where everyone there has the same ideas about what made a fun night out – dressing up and being silly, chatting to lots of friendly people and dancing about to some good (most of the time) music without any attitude.

The whole thing is run by volunteers which means they have a strict entry policy – you have to get there between 9 and 10 so the door staff have plenty of time to enjoy the party themselves. While this went against the grain as someone who tends to go out later rather than earlier, because everyone has to comply, it means the place is pretty full from the get-go, and people are up and dancing that much sooner. Plus, it only finished at 3 so you want to make the most of it. The theme was sort of space/futuristic and people really made the effort, whether with bought costumes or ones cobbled together (like mine was somewhat) with what they could find. The Fabulous of Unicorns were in full attendance (they get everywhere), and, thanks to my costume (I thought of myself as a unicorn robot – megaglow stick for a horn and tin foil all over the place) I got to be an honorary member for the night!

There’s not just dancing and general socialising, they put on a bit of a show for you as well with two acts on upstairs and some glitter wrestling later on in the night. How to win – remove your opponents pants! So funny! Then, while I was upstairs dancing, someone brought out what I thought was a massive fake party popper but was intended to be a giant bottle for a game of spin the bottle. This kind of sums up the night for me – an injection of a silly, juvenile game, played with openness and a willingness to experiment.

As the night wore on more people descended the stairs to do whatever it was they wanted to do down there, with whoever it was they wanted to do it with.

It was held this time in the Flying Dutchman, a venue which is known for hosting and housing alternative nights such as these, or Bound for example – a night all about shibari. It’s not the easiest place to get to, in deepest, darkest Camberwell but it is a cool space. It’s basically a pub with two levels big enough for dancing and any other shenanigans you may want to put on. I can see myself returning in future and in fact I am there soon enough for Wonderland!

I really had a lovely time at Sparkle Hard – it was full of friendly, fabulous folk and you can tell the people that run it put a lot of effort into making it the type of event they want. There are certain rules, or should I say, etiquette to adhere to – there’s no letting any old riff raff off the street in, for example, which ensures everyone who is there has the same safe, consensual, no-attitude, welcoming state of mind. This is the little sister to Kinky Salon, and based on this event, I can't wait to see what they do on a bigger scale. 

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.