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Revolution (2004)

The event that kickstarted the BDSM scene in Italy

When – 2004

Where – Milan

Key features – A different hour-long kinky stage production each month

At the turn of the century, BDSM in Italy was undergoing a truly revolutionary phase. Up to then the only reliable source of information about these practices was the magazines published by Edizioni Moderne, whose editor had been repeating since the Eighties a narrow and unchanging vision of cautious balance between porn and philosophy. The few kinksters who dared to meet other enthusiasts had to rely on the muddled tool of poste restante, or try their luck by attending the infrequent parties organized by the publisher – that due to the lack of information looked more like chaste meetings between people somewhat anxious about the whole thing. Then the Internet happened.

All of a sudden, countless Italians came into contact with a world they had only dreamt of before, much richer and more complex than they could imagine. Inspired by what had been achieved abroad, the first online communities allowed people to exchange information and fantasies about the thousands of practices nobody had ever mentioned before, to search for play partners and to set up munches where you could easily meet new likeminded friends.

Also, online shops finally made it possible to gain those instruments and clothing that until then could only be obtained through international travel and crazy expenses. In fact, a completely Italian specialized online shop had sprung up too, and it had quickly become staple for local kinksters. The only still missing detail were those big erotic parties that had long been an institution abroad. That’s why the shop in question decided to create one – and they called me to direct the performances featured in the event, about which you can read here.

Revolution was the perfect expression of those pioneering times. Thanks to the novelty of online marketing, it assembled many participants from all over the country, and having a sponsor allowed for a – very small, actually – budget I could use to create nice themed shows introducing live BDSM activities of unprecedented intensity. Thanks to the gracious help of countless friends, the party was an overnight success that attracted even foreign guests… and television, breaking the national media taboo toward kink and bringing about the first report about such a gathering, shown below. 

Then, right at the apex of our glory, the shop owners inexplicably stopped caring about their business. Hounded by hundreds of furious customers they let the party decline too, forcing me and most collaborators to bail off. Revolution limped on for a little while still, then it disappeared along with the online shop. However, the outlook for BDSM in Italy had changed forever.

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