What to expect at a Kinky Salon London party

Kinky Salon London is a fun, creative, “arty sexy party” run by volunteers who aim to make the space as accessible and safe as possible for the whole community to enjoy. We understand that the run-up to anyone’s first time at KSL can feel somewhat daunting, so we’ve written a few notes below describing what you can expect.KSL attendees

Two months before the event

Sign up on our mailing list and about two months before the event you'll receive a mailout with the party name / theme and an on-sale date for tickets. If you're on a low income (eg long term unemployed) we have cheaper low income tickets. Or you can volunteer at the event and get a big discount. Remember that in advance of buying your ticket you'll need to be sure you have at least one PAL arranged. If you're a newbie you might want to book a place at our free consent, communication and flirtation workshop, which a lot of guests find helpful.

One month before the event

Excitement is hotting up and now's a good time to start thinking about your ridiculous costume. Check out our Costume Planning Dos and Dont's for a ton of tips. Remember, it needn't be expensive - some of the best outfits have been made out of bits of paper and balloons or bodypaint! We provide a list of dressup inspirations on the event page, our Pinterest board and sometimes on social media. So follow us on Twitter, on our Facebook page and also on our secret Facebook group (make friends with Kay S London and send her a message requesting to join.)

Week running up to the party

In the week before the event we send a mailshot with the venue address and a reminder of the dressup theme, code of conduct, PAL system and so on. We tell guests via our social media channels that the mailing has gone out. Now's a good time to read over our guides How To Make The Most of KSL and How To Be A Playroom Sweetheart.

Getting checked in

We ask that all guests arrive within a one hour timeframe which is announced in the email mentioned above. Usually this is between 7pm and 8pm, meaning the energy of the party happens the same way for everyone. Don't be late - our door team won't stand outside all night waiting.

IMG_20140412_141342As you arrive at the venue you’ll see our lovely door team who will check your electronic or paper tickets in by scanning them. If you’re not yet dressed up in costume, the door team will check that you have a costume with you. (You're welcome to get changed inside and we ask that you avoid any nudity out on the street!) If your PAL is not with you we’ll ask you to wait at this stage until they arrive.

Once you and your PAL(s) are scanned in and ready to enter the venue, you’ll be grouped up with some other guests and one of our team will read you all the code of conduct. Everyone is read this at every single Kinky Salon around the world, whether they have been once or twenty times before. It may take as much as ten minutes so please be patient. We believe it helps keep KSL a super-friendly space when everyone is reminded what our community is about.

Arriving into the venue

Inside the door you’ll meet greeters who will show you around the venue. If you're attending the consent workshop, let our greeters know so they can guide you into the workshop space. If not then, after familiarising yourself with the space, you’ll probably want to put your stuff in the cloakroom, maybe finish off some bits of your costume and perhaps get a drink. Note that the toilets are all gender-neutral so any guest can use any toilet, and we have a wheelchair-accessible cubicle too.

The first hour or so gives you a chance to acclimatise, play ice breaker games, hang out in our themed areas and meet other community members! Everyone is here to meet new people so if you’re a bit shy, don’t hesitate to ask our hosts (wearing the red sparkly armbands) to introduce you to other guests! If you want a drink, remember to get it before 9pm when the bar closes for the cabaret.

There’s a photography point to document all your amazing costumes. You're able to decide whether you wish for the photo to be shown only on our secret gallery or on our site and social media. If you’re a bit more of an exhibitionist there’s also a videobooth, which gets edited into a short music video and uploaded to our YouTube channel.

The cabaret

kinkysalonlondon2Once everyone is comfortable (usually about 9pm) we ask everyone to take a seat in the main room and the show begins, signalling the beginning of the cabaret. The bar closes for the duration of the cabaret so make sure you get your drink ahead of time. We invite everyone to recite the silly, light-hearted Kinky Salon Pledge of Allegiance before bringing on stage our compere - often a star name from the London cabaret scene - who introduces various members of the community doing their acts. Expect 30 haphazard minutes of anything from music to comedy to burlesque. At the end of the cabaret we invite everyone to get back on their feet and introduce themselves to other guests.

The rest of the night

Once the cabaret is finished, the party starts in earnest. The DJs play tunes all night - mostly fun, silly pop music and some lighter dance stuff - and later in the night you might find some performances to watch on the dance floor.

IMG_20131207_170726Walking around the venue you’ll find all sorts of activities that can include games, crafts, chill-out areas, the photo and video booths, walk-about performances and the bar area all for you to explore. Lots of our guests spend the night in these areas without ever getting involved in anything kinky, and that’s perfectly great.

You’ll find several themed zones - such as a cinema room or a treehouse -  where guests chat or make out. There is a BDSM area where you can get involved in bondage or impact play, if you so desire. We’ll often have experienced hosts for this area who can advise you or do demonstrations.

You’ll also find the main playroom, which is a thoughtfully-lit, cosy area featuring lots of real beds with soft mattresses, clean sheets, bottles of water and plenty of condoms, dental dams, gloves and lube. We provide some cubby holes for your clothes. Please be careful where your clothes might end up as we don’t want to block the gangways for our wheelchair-using guests.

If you see anything going on that breaks our code of conduct, feel free to say so to the guest concerned, or to get one of our team (wearing a red armband) for their help.

Bringing things to a close

IMG_20131207_163823The event ends at 2am. You’ll know when it’s time to go as usually our team will run around wearing silly masks and sometimes playing very cheesy music on the sound system to scare you away! By this point you’ll usually find that our team is already starting to clear up the sets and decor, and if you’re interested in volunteering we are always open to people who can help us pack up and get home quickly. If not then we ask that you get your stuff from the cloakroom and go home quickly and quietly...you can book in advance (via the Eventbrite ticket link sent in your email) a special shuttle service to a main station that should help you beat any taxi queues.

On your way home feel free to say hi to us via Twitter as we love reading your messages!

Did you know?

  • The Kinky Salon concept originally comes from San Francisco
    London was the first city outside of the USA to have a Kinky Salon.
  • In March 2015, Kinky Salon London was five years old and will have hosted over 30 parties and socials
  • The global network of Kinky Salon parties spans over a dozen cities as varied as Austin, Texas; Copenhagen, Denmark; New Orleans, Louisiana and Berlin, Germany.
  • Learn more about Kinky Salon USA’s founder Polly and read her memoir on her site