Thirst – where kink munch meets cabaret! I took myself solo to my first Thirst event at Tufnell in London, ready to mix, mingle and be wowed with a crowd of friendly BDSM fiends.
What is Thirst BDSM social?
This month (and December) the venue is at Tufnell, but usually it’s held at Electrowerkz in Angel. The venue was all one level, so pretty accessible, although there were no disabled-specific or gender-neutral toilets. There was a sign up, however, saying to ask for help from staff if you needed it and there was never a queue. At the entrance the pleasant and friendly security staff gave me a pat down and thorough bag search- I can’t imagine it would be a typical location to get wasted on drugs, but nonetheless good to know. They checked I had not stumbled in as a lost and easily shockable vanilla (the dress code said casual to kink, and I was in a black dress).
How much does Thirst kink social cost?
I paid £10 on the door by card (tickets are cheaper in advance) and made my way into the large disco-lit room, which was flanked by a bar (where a pink gin and tonic was a very reasonable £5, though it was all plastic cups.)
What is the venue like?
Across to the side was the stage and entrance to the large outdoor smoking area. There was a staffed coatroom which never had much of a queue and lots of tables and chairs where you could meet new friends, though the sound levels indoors were quite loud as the place filled up, and outside was a better volume level for getting to know people.
What was the vibe like at Thirst cabaret?
I joined a table with a beautiful purple-haired polyamorist, and we rapidly formed an impromptu squad as others came to join us. There were a few pre-formed friendship groups and couples coming in, though plenty of people were flying solo, as was I. For those who are a little shy, the bar staff were some truly lovely eye-candy, though I consider it poor form to try to chat up the only people there who really aren’t looking to make connections just because they are paid to have to be nice to you. There were perhaps a couple of hundred other people there of all shapes sizes and gender identities, all looking to make friends and have a fun night.
Can you play at Thirst?
I was adorned with glitter (at my request) as were the rest of the squad (rapidly named the ‘gay squad’), which was cemented by participation in the ‘gay pile’. For those of you getting excited, I should clarify that this simply involved piling our hands on top of one another on the table, like superhero cartoon characters. This is a social event, not a play event. And though I did catch a glimpse of some pieced nipples by a happy and excited young lady, which is always nice, there was no real nudity apart from by one of the performers.
Around 10pm the cabaret show started on stage, and we were graced with the vocal and performance extravaganza that is Aiden Sadler, clad in high platform boots and wonderful 80’s style electropop attire. To watch a performer who can even hold a candle to the vocals and energy of Freddie Mercury, let alone give him a run for his money, belting out Don’t Stop Me Now, and then switch with instant versatility to Kate Bush is quite a show, and well worth the £10 by itself.
There was also an audience-participation ‘Prime Minister for 45 minutes’ election, held against a PVC clad ‘Liz Truss’ and the incredible gymnastic show of the uniquely talented Danny Ash, boylesque extraordinaire, who’s show involved a lollypop and small firework in an unexpected orifice. Afterward the DJ set began, with dancing and merriment.
How to socialise at Thirst
It isn’t a play party, but a great place to mingle with fellow kink fiends, polyamorists, gender non-binary people, transwomen and burner crowd.
Though certainly a newbie-friendly event, it was mostly BDSM lifestylers.
Everyone at Thirst was pretty friendly, but if you are new, here is a three-step guide of what not to say and do:
- Asking people to dispense their kink to you so you can try it. We are not sample stations, we are people (instead, maybe say, ‘I’d like to try that out sometime’)
- Expecting someone to want to take you on to ‘train you’ in their kink as a complete novice. Please do the work yourself and return when you understand the basics. Even young Jedis have to prove they have talent before they get taken on (instead say something like ‘I’m going to go learn about that’)
- Asking people to explain their kink genesis story to you in a way that makes sense from a simplistic vanilla perspective. As though we are comic book supervillains. That it has to come from trauma or a dark place. Pathologizing BDSM is so yawn. My kink may not be your kink, and that’s fine. Leave it there. Restricting enjoyment to only replicating acts designed for conception is arguably far more disturbed. We deviated from the norm; we are deviants. We go to events for deviants, to be allowed to be ourselves without judgement. That’s the point. It’s not a zoo. (Instead, maybe say, ‘How did your journey progress?’)
All in all? A great event, mixing mellow socialising with a spectacular cabaret, and chance to have a boogie. Would go again.
😊GUESTS ARE APPROACHABLE – THE VIBE IS SUPER-FRIENDLY WITH LOTS OF NEW PEOPLE AND established BDSM lifestylers
😊ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE – a real mix of looks, body types and ages, quite a few cuties of all gender identities
😐 SWINGING FRIENDLY (PROVISION, ATTITUDES) – It’s not a play event, and though there were probably some people in the crowd who happily swing, it was more BDSM/polyamory/gay crowd
😊KINK FRIENDLY – lots of kinksters, though not a play event. more of a relaxed social with opportunity to easily move around, mix and mingle, in the way one can do at LAM (london Alternative Market)
😊 TRANS-INCLUSIVE – did not have gender neutral bathrooms, but either bathroom would have been fine for anyone, with plenty of private cubicles. several CD and Trans women were in attendance
😊 BODY SHAPE INCLUSIVE – a celebration of body diversity, with people of all shapes, sizes and gender identities dressed up and having a great time
😊AGE INCLUSIVE – age range was from about 20 to 70’s with most people in their late 20s or early 30s
😊 RACIALLY INCLUSIVE – a very multicultural event, though about 80% were ‘white presenting/passing’ there were many different nationalities there and as with most kink events, everyone can talk to everyone and we are more bonded by our identity as kinksters than any other feature
😊 COUPLES – YES, SOME PEOPLE ATTENDED AS COUPLes or friendship groups. There is no differential pricing for this
😊 SINGLE WOMEN – YES. THERE WERE plenty of single women in the venue, as well as feeling perfectly safe to attend as a single woman
😊 SINGLE GUYS – LOTS OF SINGLE GUYS WERE AT THE VENUE. THE GENDER RATIO SEEMED PRETTY BALANCED. single guys pay the same as anyone else. Intense cruising would not be expected, though flirting and chatting are fine
😊AFFORDABLE AND VALUE FOR MONEY- entry starts at £6 if bought in advance or £10 on the door, and with drinks at £5 it makes for an affordable evening, especially with the cabaret show, as it would generally cost a lot more to see something of such quality, even by itself. The evening runs from 8.30pm to 2am, so it’s as little as £1 per hour
😊 SAFE – with security on the door searching people and a staffed cloakroom, you can be assured the venue is quite safe. The host and staff were also in circulation, and it was not so overcrowded that it ever felt unsafe. the venue is secure so people won’t just be wandering in, and even the smoking area had high walls surrounding it.
😊 SPACIOUS – plenty of room to mix, mingle and dance and always seats available. no queues for the toilets or cloakroom, minimal queueing for the bar
😊 WELL EQUIPPED – good lighting and sound system with stage, bar, plenty of toilets, tables and chairs, heated comfortably. no dungeon equipment as not a play event
😊DIFFERENTIAL GENDER PRICING- NO
😊 DIFFERENTIAL COUPLES PRICING- NO
😊ROCK UP LAST MINUTE WITH A FRIEND? absolutely! not a vetted event, no membership required, though tickets are cheaper if bought in advance
😊EASY TO GET A MEMBERSHIP? NONE REQUIRED
😊TRANSPORT- the location is right by tufnell station on the northern line, and their usual vanue is a few minutes walk from Angel station, also on the Northern line, which has a little parking around on the side streets
😊DISABLED ACCESS? THOUGH I did not note any wheechair users at this event, the venue was step-free and they clearly thought about and tried to acommodate those with mobility issues
*Photos are taken according to the rules of the event
*This review is written from personal experience of 1 event and unicornhunting.blog is in no way affiliated to the event, venue or it’s organisers
*This review was written without financial incentive or payment
Want to go to Thirst? Click here for info on the next one in December or check out Thirst on Fetlife