I Went to a Posh London Orgy

It was a momentous occasion for fans of PVC, complicated-looking lingerie, and public displays of penetration.

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Mar 6 2015, 12:40pm

Mistress Morrigan Hel. All photos taken before the start of the party (obviously)

This post originally appeared on VICE UK.

"This thing isn't working," says a man in a harness and PVC pants, gesturing at his dick.

I nod in sympathy. After all, having sex in front of an audience must be tough.

"It's not that. I've done three pills and a shedload of Charlie," he says. "Four Viagra and the old chap's still not playing."

It's 11 PM in a lavish Georgian townhouse in West London. It's unlikely that the other residents of this upmarket enclave, a stone's throw from Oxford Street, know that Torture Kittens is going on. The inaugural combination of Killing Kittens (a famed swinging party for the "sexual elite") and of Torture Garden (London's premier fetish blow-out) takes place here tonight. We're on a quiet lamp-lit street that boasts foreign embassies and the Royal Institute of British Architects as neighbors: the perfect Eyes Wide Shut backdrop for such an event.

Thanks to the recent exploits of Dominique Strauss-Kahn—currently in the dock in Lille for aggravated pimping—posh orgies are very much in the news. Whatever the realities of the DSK case, it's not surprising that we're all interested. There's something incredibly seductive about the idea of these kind of gatherings—beautiful socialites wearing ornate Venetian masks and meeting in expensive hotel suites or private houses to get nose-deep in mounds of gak before stripping naked and knocking boots, is the stuff of many people's fantasies.

Killing Kittens cornered the UK's classy orgy market when Emma Sayle, famously friends with Kate Middleton, set up the night in 2005. To ensure a safe, sexy place for women, rather than a perv's paradise, the following rules are firmly enforced: "Men must not approach women. Men must not talk to women (unless invited). No means no. Only the kittens can break the rules."

Oh, and everyone has to wear a mask.

The main bed

"This is the vanilla playroom," Killing Kittens' Courtney tells me and Jake, the photographer, as she shows us around the venue just before the action starts. She's worked for the company since 2014 and is in charge of the Torture Kittens parties. Like all the crew, she's posh, has a naughty laugh, and is very, very organized—grade-A fuck-fests don't come about by themselves, after all.

We're in a large stateroom framed by intricately patterned wood paneling. Soft candles burn, and there's the sweet smell of incense. The centerpiece is a huge bed covered with black satin. Soft rock plays quietly on the stereo. Hard to believe that, in a couple of hours, the kind of people who make it into Tatler's "Little Black Book" are going to be in and around each other's various orifices in this very spot.

Downstairs, the other playroom is presided over by London dominatrix Mistress Morrigan Hel, who runs the Murder Mile dungeon in east London. It's anything but vanilla. Curious-looking lumps of metal and plastic hunker down on the floor: spanking tables and a whipping frame. Morrigan shows us her torture implements, to be used later. Prosaically, they're tucked away in a supermarket bag.

"I had to pop to the shops on the way here," she explains.

This is Torture Garden's domain. David TG, the promoter, now wearing a rubber suit, straightens his mask in the mirror and then wanders around checking that everything is OK. Torture Garden has been a fixture on the London club scene for an incredible 25 years, but anyone who's under the impression that it's tamed should have been at the recent Valentine's ball, where its brand of banging EDM and high-octane banging in the couples' room was as potent as ever. Its coming together with Killing Kittens is a momentous occasion for fans of PVC, complicated-looking lingerie, and public displays of penetration.

A red staircase leads down to the small club area through a dimly lit corridor, at the end of which is a huge mirror with "We Are Watching You" graffitied on it. There are twinkly blue lights wrapped around a bar serving spirits, Prosecco, and soft drinks. A DJ plays techno while a cocktail reception lubes up the crowd.

"At about midnight, Killing Kittens switches—the lights go down and the clothes come off," one regular named Rob tells me. Certainly, it's easy to pick up on the changing mood of the night. For those uninitiated to sex parties, the biggest eye-opener is probably how what initially looks like a normal club night gradually transforms into a cornucopia of jacked, hairy-assed guys pounding girls in lingerie so intricate and expensive as to make Agent Provocateur look like something you'd pick up on the last day of a Primark clearance sale.

Two girls wander the room silently in cat and devil masks. They pause before a male-female couple and paw at the guy seductively for a second before moving on. As per the rules, girls definitely rule the roost. But Torture Kittens is nothing if not all-inclusive. Downstairs by the bar a bulky bloke in a dress slurps champagne, while a guy in a suit jacket and red leather panties, stockings, and suspenders is led around on a chain by his girlfriend. In the jacuzzi, a heavily-tattooed guy in a Sergeant Pepper's jacket maneuvers himself between two girls, his erection waving around in front of him like one of Portland Place's ambassadorial flagpoles.

You might think that there would be a clear divide between the Killing Kittens and Torture Garden aficionados, and what with some of the more outré outfits it's tempting to guess people's affiliations. But, in fact, this is harder than it first appears.

"We thought everyone here would be Killing Kittens," says Rob, as though assessing a football crowd. "But actually there's loads of TG. We're KK."

"Don't ask if people are TG or KK," says an intense guy in a studded-leather dog collar, his eyes shooting all over the place, like snooker balls after the break. "The question should be, 'Where is the music better?' Here, the DJ is pretty good."

He appears to be something of a nightlife connoisseur. Like another man in an eye-wateringly expensive transparent suit jacket and designer jeans, who's flanked by two glossy-haired aloof-eyed ladies in shimmering underwear, there is no shortage of the uber-rich international demimonde looking to board the public fuck train.

Rob and his girlfriend, Cressida, slender in red lingerie, are friendly and exactly the sort of couple you would expect to find at an event like this. Beautiful, in their early 20s, and posh, Rob has boy-band muscles while Cressida has the expensively cut blond hair of a Vogue intern who spends most of her free time hanging out with horses.

Have they been to Torture Garden?

"Not yet. We were going to go to the Valentine's ball, but Cressie wanted to stay home and watch The Notebook," says Rob. He shrugs. "Apparently an orgy just wasn't romantic enough."

But things get romantic here pretty quickly, and after midnight there is no shortage of naked people keen to get to know one another. Upstairs, six couples are fucking on the huge black bed with a crowd standing around watching, as though this were a spectator sport. Downstairs, two Asian girls in matching purple knickers take turns in attending orally to a spannered guy in designer boxer shorts with a Duncan James haircut. In Morrigan Hel's lair a fat bloke in a leather thong is pinioned to what looks like a gym horse, being spanked with a leather paddle. Two gay guys make out in a corner while a man lies prostrate on the floor, licking a girl's Louboutins.

What's surprising is how quickly one becomes accustomed to the revised mores that this event presents. Wall-to-wall boning may be disconcerting at first for newbies, but pretty soon you get used to it, and more interested in checking out the make of people's PVC pants. But that such a party exists at all in London is a major shot in the arm for the capital, where puritanical conservatism and, as in Soho, the interests of property developers have led to its gradual sanitization, placing it far behind great European hubs of decadence, like Berlin or Amsterdam.

Later on, Courtney passes me in a dark corner of the club. She shows me her riding crop. The leather tag on the end has come off: "I broke my whip spanking someone. You just can't get the toys these days!"

An occupational hazard, maybe. But judging by the success of tonight, Torture Kittens is here to stay, and it hits hard.

Follow John and Jake on Twitter.

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