Peer LAM Learn – new kink workshop & interview with Cosmic

What is Peer LAM Learn? Who should try it, what is involved and how do you get tickets? We talk to Cosmic, London’s nominal King of the Kink community and founder of LAM (the London Alternative Market) to find out what the brand new Peer LAM Learning is event is all about


shibari rope suspension with hoop and red rope with person suspended sideways to promote LAM peer learning

What is Peer LAM Learn?

Peer LAM learning is a new educational event run on the Friday before LAM between Feb – December each year.  It’s an opportunity to learn from other kinksters and combines a peer rope format with kink classes in a separate part of the venue. 

What is LAM?

LAM is the London Alternative Market which has been running since 2006 and offers a shopping, education and social opportunity for kink+ adults in the first Sunday of the month. 

Demonstration of spanking with a paddle, from LAM archives to promote Peer LAM learning

Who is Peer LAM Learn for?

PLL is for anyone who wants to learn or share regardless of how long you have been actively kinky – we all have a capacity to learn and develop.  While we will always have a kink101 session for newbies and to help people orientate we also aim to offer sessions on everything from spanking to needle play.  We want to include as many kinks as possible and because of the format for the second workshops, people get to choose what they want to see presented. 

Several people in lingerie from LAM archives to promote Peer LAM learning

Who is presenting at Peer LAM Learn and what will they be talking about?

The first sessions of the evening are by invitation where we are hoping to engage some of the awesome experienced people in the community to share their knowledge and skills.  We have the support of The Kink Shrink who will be adding to the content along with experienced players and professional Dominants, switches and submissives.

The second sessions of the evening are offered by attendees and as such could cover any subject that people want to attend.  This ensures that people get to learn what they want to learn as well as having scheduled options.

Rope bondage at LAM for Peer LAM learning

There are also the rope areas supervised by Opalfruit which will offer a progressive learning environment, as well as space for skill exchanges between more experienced riggers.  It will be one of the first events to offer multiple rope rooms equipped with suspensions cubes and ample floor matting to ensure there is space to practise.  The main room is 55ft by 33ft making it one of the largest spaces since JustRope in the early naughties.  I am looking forward to seeing what grows out of this.

Where is the event and how do I get there?

The event is at the Wilditch centre in Battersea on Culvert Road, which is just off Battersea Park Road.  It’s a short walk from the nearest bus stop or 10 minutes from Battersea Power Station tube or Battersea Park and Queenstown Road tubes.  It’s also a short bus ride from Clapham Junction.

Is the event disability accessible and suitable for neurodiverse people?

The venue is 100% accessible with a reliable modern lift between floors or a reasonable number of stairs to the first floor.  As a community space, it benefits from great clear signage and we will add to that with additional LAM signage to be as clear as possible.  It’s also an intentional strategy to place the event inside a space that is primarily used for community support and education, so it provides a learning atmosphere rather than a social space. 

As always, we want the opportunity to learn to be as accessible as possible and recognise that   barriers to learning are not always obvious.  We want to provide as clear a framework as possible and will try our best to accommodate any additional needs.

Two people kneel on leashes in leather and rubber, from LAM photo archive

Is it PowerPoint talks or will I be able to make and do things at Peer LAM Learn?

That very much depends on the speaker and what they have prepared.  Some people work well in that format, while others excel when using flip charts or few visual aids.  We will always leave the option open to the speaker to decide, so one session might be PowerPoint based while others more of a demonstration and anything from a discussion through to a follow-along.  We recognise that the best educators teach with the tools they are most comfortable with and that give the most engaging lessons.

Is Peer LAM Learn a one-off event or part of a series?

The plan is for this to be a regular event on the Friday before LAM with different guest speakers covering a broad schedule of kink subjects.  Kink 101 will always feature but the speakers will rotate to ensure it reflects the chorus of the core kink+ syllabus and the diversity of people’s application of kink in their lives.

What time does everything happen?

Doors open 7pm with the first session scheduled for 7:30pm-9pm, then a break before the second session at 9:30 – 11pm.  Before and during the break, guests are encouraged to offer or vote for the second workshops to ensure they get to see what they want to see.

The rope room opens from 7pm with structured teaching starting at 7:30pm.

You are welcome to swap between the sessions as space allows but please appreciate you can’t be late for a class, once the door is closed or capacity is reached we can’t disturb the class with late arrivals. 

If there food and alcohol and a smoking area?

There is no food and drink served at the venue as education is the focus.  Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink into the venue but we ask people to be mindful that alcohol and learning are rarely conducive to each other and consent is very much like a cup of tea rather than a glass of wine or bottle of beer.

Smoking is only permitted outside of the venue, which will be supervised by the crew during breaks.

What sort of crowd is it?

We hope it will attract kink+ adults who want to engage in ongoing learning.  Outside of that criteria, we hope it’s as diverse as adult education can be.  I personally have learned something from every workshop I have attended and sometimes that means learning one skill from multiple people and building a consensus that I am comfortable with.

So long as people want to engage with learning, they are welcome and because of the unconventional format of the second sessions, guests can literally participate and share what they want to see taught. 

What safety measures are in place?

Each session has a runner who is tasked with ensuring a healthy learning environment and to support the speaker if needed.  The event is also supervised by experienced members of the LAM crew with decades of experience in managing kink events.  We also have kink-friendly SIA door staff although they are unlikely to be needed.

Understandably, to book such a venue we have had to provide ample risk assessments and proof of insurance but overall feel that providing an educational space is less likely to have issues than a nightclub based event.

Can I get naked and do kink play there?

You can do rope play in the rope rooms but we would advise loose and comfortable clothing rather or underwear rather than being naked.

Some of the educational sessions might have practical elements but broadly speaking if you’re looking for casual play this is not the event for you.  It’s for people who want to come along and learn in more of a “practice lab” environment rather than a play club.  There is no dungeon and outside of the specific needs of some of the workshops, there will be no kit on site.

What sort of equipment is there?

There will be background music in the rope rooms along with suspension cubes and floor matting.  The bathrooms are on the ground floor, along with a coat rail (although we advise people to keep their belongings with them).

There is no dungeon to play with as the focus of the event.  We hope to have a secure wifi , details will be posted on the reception desk.

shibari rope suspension with hoop and red rope with person suspended sideways to promote LAM peer learning

I’m 18. Can  I come?

Yes, 18 is a great age to learn about kink, our sessions are not open to under 18’s and we appreciate people waiting rather than jeopardising the event.

Can I bring my kids and dog?

Sorry no under 18’s and assistance animals only allowed in the venue. 

What should I wear to Peer LAM Learn?

You should wear something you are comfortable learning in.  To each of us that means something different and to some that might mean latex or leather, but to most it’s likely to be jeans and a t-shirt.

hand made flogger chains

Is there socialising opportunity or is it all workshops?

The main focus is on education but as always there are brief opportunities to socialise between sessions and often in the smoking area.   However, we don’t discourage people exploring those shared interests further, just maybe not behind the bike sheds.  We will be using our social contact / interest wristbands to help people express their interest in expanding their social network, but learning is the priority. 

Are there stalls with things to buy and an afterparty like the real LAM?

There will be no stalls unless relevant to the workshop, so you can literally leave your cards at home until LAM on the following Sunday.  There is no planned after-party but there are a few local bars with late licenses and a lot of social options around the power station, just nothing organised by the crew.

Fishnet stockings and ankle cuffs

I read a wild story online about ‘that guy from LAM’ and now I have cognitive dissonance. Should I be concerned?

I don’t think anyone need worry about being kidnapped that weekend, my schedule is already rather full.  I can only encourage people to look for the facts and the reality is I run a successful and enjoyable event for those who engage with a kink+ attitude.  I don’t expect people to be my friend or to even like me to attend an event in the same way I don’t have to like the supermarket owner.  I believe kink is actually best approached with some level of caution, although hyperbolic claims with no facts don’t exactly help people.

Yes I am a colourful character and somewhat larger than life but I don’t do an easy or small job. Even through times of bullying and abuse I have still delivered on my promise to give opportunities to people to engage with kink.

shibari rope tie from behind. Peer LAM learning

What are the rules for the Peer LAM Learn?

The full policies and procedures of the event are available online

Is there somewhere online I can meet friends before the event to go with?

We would encourage people to use the FL group / FB groups or Telegram LAM chat if they want to coordinate with friends prior to the event.

I need a personal assistant due to my disability. Do they have to pay too?

If the sole purpose of the assistant is to assist then they are allowed in as a free supporting guest.  If they are also learning from the content we ask them to respect that and also have a ticket.

two women in masks bound at the hands with shibari rope

Will I be able to join in or will I feel silly at PLL?

One of the great aspects of learning environments is that they are, by nature, shared experiences and thus inclusive.  Age, size, extrovert/introvert should never be barriers to learning and everyone should feel able to engage.

Is this a commercial event or a not-for-profit event?

When LAM started non-profit organizations were not an option so in order to record our voice officially we needed to be a limited company.  However, events like this and our retreats are not run for profit and aim to break even at best.  Any profits usually get reinvested into more educational resources and supporting access to kink.

two women play wrestling in a cage

Where would be a good place to stay and make a weekend of it?

There are local hotel options but it’s also very accessible from the Northern line extension so staying anywhere from North to South London is feasible, catering to a range of budgets and easy to get to LAM for the Sunday

If I come to this workshop, will I know everything there is to know about BDSM and be a master?

If you feel one evening of workshops is enough to declare yourself a Master / Mistress, there is not likely to be much we can say to stop you, Dunning-Kruger, but it’s certainly not what we promise.  The event is an opportunity for you to learn from others about specific topics offered as 90 minute workshops.

For some it will be new content while for others it simply reconfirms things they knew but that’s the nature of personal development.

I’m a total newbie. Is Peer LAM Learning a good starter event or is it for really experienced people?

If you’re a newbie please attend the kink 101 session first so you can appreciate the core values of the event and core information, which we feel everyone should know and be guided by.  Some workshops will be clearly for more advanced / experienced people but we will always try to keep a balance that caters for all.  At the end of the day, not everyone is into spanking and not everyone enjoys needles. We aim to curate the evening to give it the broadest possible appeal. 

I’ve been doing BDSM for years. Am I going to learn anything new at Peer LAM Learning?

Even experienced players learn new information by listening to others.  It’s rare that I leave a workshop without learning at least one thing, and as such I would say you get out of things what you want.  Sometimes that’s just a confirmation that you have been doing things well all along, but sometimes best practice does change and a refresh helps avoid an avoidable mistake. 

How many people will be at Peer LAM Learning?

The event is limited to 250 people with workshops limited to 40-70 people, depending upon the room.  We appreciate that space to learn is important and we don’t want people to feel too crowded.

Is there seating for everyone?

Depending on attendees, there are seats for most in each room but also ample floor space those who who are comfortable sitting.  As the event develops we will also aim to work with the venue to meet our needs as they become clearer.

Is there enough space to attend all the workshops I want to at Peer LAM Learn?

Workshops will be on a first-come basis and we will always aim to match the room with the popularity to maximize the opportunity.  You are unlikely to need to queue as we will aim to have each room open as the doors open but might even repeat a session at 9:30 if it’s over subscribed.

If we find that booking becomes necessary after the first event we will make that happen for future events.

What is the vibe of the building itself like?

The building is a functional community centre; it’s bright and well lit with a white interior.  The entrance opens into a lobby area where the reception desk will be along with informational pop-ups and sign-up / voting flip charts for the 9:30 workshops.

The rope rooms are accessed off this hub or the lift / stairs to the first floor larger workshop rooms or remain downstairs for the smaller meeting room. 

Do I need to bring cash to Peer LAM Learn?

There is nothing to buy at the event so please be self-sufficient for food and drink and responsible for our own waste.  After all, we have a media-confirmed reputation for leaving venues spotless. 

Can I pay on the door or do I need an advance ticket?

The event is tickets in advance to ensure people are fully aware of the nature of the event and the subject matter that will be and could be taught.

Can I come help out as a volunteer instead?

We have some volunteer positions to work at the event which allow at least 50% of the time to be an attendee and some money towards your time and travel.  If you’re interested contact us via social media.

We also pay the speakers, including £50 for anyone who presents a 9:30pm session so if you have something to share that can also be a way of earning.  Just get in touch with a proposal for a session. 

Is this a vetted event, or can I just show up with a bunch of friends? 

It’s not a vetted event, LAM always keeps its events open to everyone and welcomes anyone who can respect the space and opportunity it provides.  If your friends want to learn kink they are more than welcome. 

Do I need to stay for the whole of Peer LAM Learn?

You can dip in for just one workshop or stay for the whole event, it’s entirely up to you. 

I have to keep my phone on in case of an emergency call

We ask you to be mindful of the intrusion that phones can be and only use them in the lobby area or outside the venue.  If a speaker does not wish for someone to re-enter the session if they take a call they will be clear about that at the start of the session. 

Is Peer LAM Learn trans and non-binary friendly?

Yes, as with all education it is as open to everyone as it can be.  We are also always open to feedback and suggestions on better options, but that is built into the design of the event.  We can literally schedule what people want to share and will recruit speakers to match what people want to see.

What is the ethnic mix of Peer LAM Learning likely to be?

That’s difficult to predict in advance of the first event but we hope it will be as diverse as possible, because most people want to learn and a new event has no established following.

What is the age of the crowd?

We don’t know yet but one of the things that’s always made us happy at LAM is seeing guests mix between the ages of 18 and 80, often through the shared experience of workshops.  We hope the median age is skewed by continuing to have a broad range of attendees.

Peer LAM learning cartoon

Is this a good place to meet a dom/sub or professional?

Only if you’re interested in Dom/subs with a passion for education, and then please respect the fact they are there to learn. 

I like 6 inch heels. What’s the floor like?

The venue is modern and level so heels safe.

Can I promote my own event?

Get in touch via the LAM website and we can have a chat.

Is there anyone who would not be welcome?

We would rather people don’t attend if they can’t be kink+ and open to learning / sharing.  It’s not easy running events so we would rather those intent on disrupting things simply stayed at home.

Are the workshops being filmed or live streamed on the Internet?

The workshops are in-person only and will not feature in the LAM archive.  If you miss them there is no recap unless we schedule it again. 

I work as an MP- is there a way I can protect my identity?

You are welcome to come in a non-disruptive disguise if you wish but as the event is education focused and No photography your privacy should not be impacted.  

How do I prepare myself for the event and seem cool?

Bring what you need to be comfortable for an evening of learning, things to take notes if that’s important to you along with any food or drink you need, remembering that learning is more tiring than you remember.  As for people thinking you’re cool, that’s all about engaging with the experience either through showing thanks and appreciation for the speakers or by offering to share / teach something. 

There is also the simple fact that by attending you are showing others you’re serious about your personal development and that’s just the coolest of all things. 

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