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In conversation with professional dominatrix Adreena Angela about kinks and sexual expression

London’s kink scene is big, to say the least, but to a newbie, all the old and emerging kink clubs are a mystery. Being one of the biggest kink scenes in the world, London clubs attract a variety of people eager to explore their deepest desires. Even Kindred.’s deputy editor previously visited a kink club to see what actually happens at such events.

Adreena Angela, dominatrix, educator, model and co-host of One Night
Photographer: Feral Mommy

Now Kindred. speaks to Adreena Angela, a London based dominatrix, erotic performer, educator, the co-host of the women-only event One Night - one of the most renowned play/kind parties as well as the owner of Inanna Studio - London's premier contemporary play space. She has been in the kink scene for 14 years and Kindred. has asked her questions about kinks and the importance of being able to explore our sexuality in a safe environment.

How did you get into the kink scene?

Adreena: I got into the kink scene when I was 17 years old. At about 15 I discovered kink magazines and started reading about the London scene. By 17, I had attended my first fetish club - Torture Garden. I instantly felt at home and by 19 I was modelling and performing in clubs. It became a huge part of my sexual and social life.

What is it that initially drew you to visiting a kink/fetish club and this life?

A: I was 16 when I first discovered kink and started to learn about it. At the time, I think it was teenage curiosity. I was attracted to the taboo of it, the aesthetics, and the excitement. I first attended a fetish club at 17 and that's when I really become involved in the community. I loved how I felt like I could be myself, and how warm, welcoming and open the people I met were.

Being in a kink space as a woman felt so much safer and less sexually charged or aggressive than in conventional bars and nightclubs. It was liberating to be able to be myself.

Why are such events so important?

A: We tend to be quite repressed when it comes to talking or acting on our sexuality. As a dominatrix, I meet so many people who repress their sexuality and feel guilt and shame around it. It's so important to be able to express your sexuality and to have a safe space to explore it.

As a woman, without sex parties, I don't think I would have been able to explore myself in a way that felt safe and nurturing. I always say I feel less sexually vulnerable in fetish clubs than I ever have in mainstream bars!

I feel like particularly with events like One Night we are building a community around kink so that people have a support network and social group rather than it solely being about the nights themselves. Parties like Thorn mean that otherwise marginalised or excluded groups (i.e. people of colour) have access to a part of themselves that might be harder within their cultural groups than it is for, say, white women.

Our sexuality and sexual health extend beyond what we do in the bedroom and it's so important to have a space to communicate that aspect of who you are, with other like-minded people.

Kink clubs definitely seem to be extending beyond being a night out and into being a social movement.

What is your favourite, and least favourite,  thing about the scene?

A: My favourite thing about the scene is how community-minded it is, how open people are with each other and mindful of each other's boundaries, needs etc. I love how it's created a dialogue around people's need for safe spaces and a community around kink rather than it just being about sex or parties.

Trying to think of negatives, as I'm sure they must exist. I guess it can be a bit cliquey within various factions. Some of the older crowd are quite exclusionary of newer members, seeing them as 'tourists'. I’ve never liked that. I think all scenes need fresh blood, and this month's novice may end up being next year's trailblazer.

Adreena Angela, dominatrix, educator, model and co-host of One Night
Photographer: Feral Mommy

How did people close to you react when they first found out what you do?

A: I guess no one actively wants to hear their sister/daughter/friend etc. is a sex worker or kinky. It can sometimes be difficult to explain the intricacies of what you do or why. From the outside, people invariably have the wrong idea about what it involves and what you do.

I was actually having this exact chat with my mum over dinner recently. I was explaining that you never really 'choose' to be kinky if that’s your sexuality, nor is there a catalyst - it's part of who you are, and you can either choose to embrace it or not.

All of my friends are kinky folk, so I've never had issues there, and I'm lucky with how accepting my family is. When my mum first found out, I think she was a bit taken back and mostly confused. But we talk about it a lot now, and ultimately she's proud of what I've achieved.

What are your tips for someone who's new to the scene?

A: Socials are a great resource for getting to know others before an event and learning about the community you're entering. It's SO important that you familiarise yourself with the rules and etiquette of a party - these are there to protect you and others and are the pillar stone of kink clubs.

Remember: Going to a kink club doesn't mean you need to play and have sex. There is no pressure ever to do anything other than to have fun and socialise.