Modern Londoners wanting to get a taste of Cynthia Payne-partying may want to try The F Club, an absolutely 100 per cent legal (we can’t stress that enough) calendar of private parties where ‘attractive, liberated adults can enjoy each others’ company, and, if desired, explore and enjoy sensual and sexual experiences’. Feel free to dress as a judge… with suspenders, obviously. Membership £5 per month or £50 per year for frequent F-ers.
Ess and Emm
Address on booking (07771 898776/ www.essandemm.com).
This isn’t in London, but for capital-dwellers seeking a genuinely dirty weekend away it’s not to be missed. Located in sleepy Leamington Spa, a quick train trip from Euston, this is touted as the UK’s finest purpose-built bed, breakfast and dungeon facility. There are two suites for overnighters, featuring rotating wheels, bondage benches, wet rooms, strap cages, a St Andrew’s Cross (an X-shaped restraint structure) and various other S&M and fetish devices. It certainly beats a Corby trouser press.
Arches 47B & 47C South Lambeth Rd, London, SW8 1RH
Touted somewhat enigmatically to those not involved in the scene as ‘Europe’s premier dress-code bar’, The Hoist is a London bolthole for gay men into leather, uniforms, rubber, industrial and the skinhead look. You also have to wear boots.
Fairchild Street, London, EC2A 3NS
There are incarnations of this famous gay sauna chain in Waterloo, Limehouse, Streatham and Vauxhall, but the biggest and busiest remains the branch in Shoreditch. Open from noon to 9am, it boasts the expected indoor pool, steam room and saunas – but also a twenty-man Jacuzzi, a giant 'fun shower', cinema and video rooms. And, if all that makes you peckish, a snack bar.
256 & 260 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DD
Don’t expect quite the same level of nudity (or debauchery) as Chariots, but for heterosexual hedonists Club Aquarium provides an opportunity to strip down to swimsuits. The club boasts a pool and a jacuzzi, and the music policy ranges from ‘70s and ‘80s nights to super-camp, hen party favourite Adonis cabaret.
These intimate themed events are for sophisticated swingers ready to strip off and swap in style. Expect around 30 couples and the occasional single girl. Venues vary, but they are always reliably sumptuous (this isn’t the kind of thing that really works in a room above a pub).
These friendly, sexy soirées feature an international crowd and a relaxed dress code. It’s invitation only (check the website for details), and events take place in only the most high-end venues – penthouses, country houses and stately homes. They aim to provide an environment where people can have mature conversations about their sexual fantasies that they may not be able to in their regular social groups – so be prepared to share your deepest sex secrets.
Our Place 4 Fun
Promising to be particularly welcoming and friendly to newcomers, the organisers of this swingers’ club also pledge that it’s not a gang-bang, and nobody is paid to be there. The purpose-built venue features a specialised grope area, glory holes, a harem bed, video screens and much more. You have to be a member to attend and certain nights are restricted to couples or single females. The secret venue is 20 mins by tube from Leicester Square, or ten mins by rail from King’s Cross.
Club S.O.P, 37 Wharfdale Rd, London, N1 9SD
This gay night for ‘watersports enthusiasts’ isn't aimed at fans of windsurfing or water polo. Club night SOP is definitely a place for pissing – there’s no dress code (blokes can wear anything from suits or jeans to Speedos), and beginners are welcome, just be ready to get soaked.
Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QF ((7758 1000/ www.wlondon.co.uk).
You wouldn’t normally expect to find sexy and chic on Leicester Square, but this new hotel offers a rather different mini-bar which, in addition to the usual bottles of vodka and packets of M&Ms, contains a Tenga Egg sex toy for him and mini vibrator for her.
51-53 Southwark St, SE1 1TE (7403 4001/ www.xxl-london.com).
This nightclub nestled in the arches near London Bridge is the biggest bear club in the UK. It’s also one of the friendliest specialist venues you’ll visit – with up to 2,000 large and furry gents enjoying the pounding sound-system and each other’s company.
Last Tuesday Society
Overseen by Viktor Wynd (of Little Shop of Horrors fame), the Last Tuesday Society runs – along with seances, lectures and literary discussions – an irregular series of debauched balls. Make sure you don your finest outfit – as their website bluntly states: ‘Please do not come if you are ugly or ill-dressed.’