PLUR Productions burst onto Vancouver’s fetish and alt-sex scene a scant two months ago, but already its parties are breathing new energy into the local kink scene. Billing themselves simply as “sex positive” rather than as kink or fetish, they’ve got a fresh approach and new ideas as to just what constitutes sexy and sex positive.
Their first effort, the Mad Hatter Play Party was a public night unlike any Vancouver’s public fetish scene had experienced since the earliest days of The Bettie Page Social Club in the early 90s – and that’s not just my opinion, I heard something similar voiced by the Queen of Vancouver’s Fetish scene, and founder of the BPSC, Velvet Steele herself.
A sell out before they even opened their doors, the action was hot and heavy inside, and those who missed it missed on of the nights that will go down in legend in this town.
They followed that up with their Sleepless In Vancouver play party, a late night affair that coincided with Sin City’s Vancouver Fetish Weekend, and it’s true credit to them that they did their best to complement that weekend while not conflicting with it in anyway. Again, those in attendance offered nothing but rave reviews for the night.
Now, on the eve of their third event, Phantom of the Night, Erotic Vancouver is happy to be able to present our EV Interview with PLUR partners in vice, DJ MARKUS|Edge and Scotty Hotty. Brought together by a mutual love of kink, a good party, and respect for how they have both built primary relationships that allow play with others (Markus identifies as polyamorous, while Scotty is in an open relationship) the two rapidly knew that they had to work together to do something different and exciting. They certainly have!
The two tend to jump into to finish each other’s stories, so there are only a few points here where we’ll actually be able to identify them answering separately. Seriously!
First off what does PLUR stand for?
Peace Love Unity Respect. It is a term commonly heard at events like Shambhala and similar, non commercial music festivals where the atmosphere is about building a community versus supporting a large corporation. It is about acceptance and inclusiveness of others no matter their background, interests, gender, gender identification, role, sexual preferences, relationship type, race, ethnicity, and truly any thing else that makes us unique. It is about respecting others as individuals and their established boundaries (the foundation of our consent based culture). It is about non violent forms of communication. It is about treating everyone as equal with no one person getting special privileges over others including close friends of PLUR staff and volunteers. It is truly about community before corporation, People before profit. Finally it is about operating in an a abundant manner (see attached abundant vs scarcity mindset graphic). While PLUR is only 4 simple words, they truly echo throughout everything we do.
What does that mean to you, in terms of kink and kink events?
While PLUR is only 4 simple words, they truly echo throughout everything we do. For instance, at PLUR parties, everyone is treated with respect and fairness. Everyone. We have no VIP, no guest list and no discount for couples or other identifiable demographics as that is not fair to others. Everyone is equal no matter who they are and all have the same chance to get a ticket. Buy a ticket or volunteer/contribute in one of the 30+ volunteers roles is the only way to gain entry. There is no other way to get in. That is part of the magic and positive intention PLUR wishes to cultivate. It is about respecting people and not looking at them as simply as a revenue stream.
PLUR values also are pervasive with our staff who are all compensated fairly for their craft and even have breaks throughout the night so that they too can participate in the fun at whatever level they desire. PLUR was founded with a business model that makes sure everyone is paid fairly for their contributions. This is in contrast to many businesses in North America today that funnel 90% of the wealth to 1% of the population. PLUR is about a more even distribution of money. Be the change in the world mentality.
These PLUR philosophies help create a genuinely comfortable atmosphere that you can feel the minute you enter a PLUR event. Building on that PLUR base is the consent program which is in place at all PLUR events. Consent is a BIG deal at sex positive parties. Each guest is told before enter the play space that touching, even on a shoulder, is only permitted if the person of interest agrees (reasonable exceptions such as someone about to fall down the stairs warrants a grab of course). Touching without permission is not allowed and guests that continue to break this rule are asked to leave. No one has been asked to leave to date. Why? We genuinely believe no one is trying to harm others, but rather they are just misinformed. We explain that following this simple rule means that everyone can enjoy the event without other guests coming into their space and making them uncomfortable by inappropriately touching. When everyone feels comfortable that their personal boundaries will be respected (and protected by the volunteer Vancouver Dungeon Monitor team), guests tend to let their guard down and let loose in responsible ways with others. Sex positive is ultimately about exploring your inner sexual animal in a safe consent-based environment. We are seeing over 80% of guests participating at whatever level they are comfortable with. PLUR has recently been fortunate to work with the Consent Crusaders, a non profit group based in Vancouver, that promotes, educates and trains people on consent culture. They started working with PLUR at the Sleepless in Vancouver event in July 2014 and will be joining us again for Phantom of the Night.
Why did the two of you found the PLUR parties together? What did you want to do different from existing event?
Scotty and I both realized that sex positive events were very fragmented. There are kinky, fetish, gay, lesbian, queer, swinger and many many other separate events going on all over the city. That said, there was NO common sex positive event in Vancouver that caters to anyone and all. We decided to change that by joining forces and running inclusive sex positive events that anyone can attend. Some fetish nights are very strict about dress codes. The benefit is a sexy atmosphere where everyone is on a level playing field, however the downside is it can become kind of a fashion show where everyone is dressing to someone else’s standard of sexy. Since when did fetish wear become the standard for sexy? Plus, not all can afford to buy fetish wear as many of the established standards require items not normally found in any wardrobe (unless you are into gothic wear then you are apparently good to go). PLURProductions doesn’t put on fetish nights. We put on sex positive events. Our parties are not about our standard of sexy, but rather the guests individual preferences of sexy. You can wear a latex suit of you wish, just a pair of stilettos and nothing else or even jeans and a t-shirt if this is what YOU feel sexy in. Anything goes really and if past PLUR events say anything, dress is really all over the spectrum with no one category really sticking out…including fetish.
PLUR noticed that at most sex positive events, the number of people enganging with each other and playing is often under 20%. To address this PLUR has deployed volunteer Cupids to help match guests with others who share similar interests. It starts off with Cupids helping each guest complete a play card which lists their “scene name”, their role (Dom, sub switch, Top, bottom etc.), their sexual orientation (SLGBTQ+), what they are looking for (watch, learn, play) and then finally the types of things that they are interested in (rope, flogging, kissing, hugging, grinding, sex, massage, violet wants etc.). The completed play cards are then attached to each guest’s hat or outfit where later Cupids can use to aid them in matching people effectively. If a Cupid sees a Top who would like suspend someone, and then later spots a bottom who wishes to be suspended, an introduction is made. The Cupid will tell inform both that it is no obligation and consent must be reached by both parties to proceed. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. If not, the Cupids will continue to try and match. This formula has yield in 80% of guests participating at some level versus the 10-20% typically seen at other events. PLUR has been exploring the possibility of developing an app that aids the matching process for you as they foresee larger 300+ guests events in 2015. The more people, the more possible matches, but the harder they will be to find unless we take advantage of technology. PLUR is very forward thinking and have many creative plans in store for the community as the events grow and the economics work to introduce them.
To add another level of safety, PLUR has a free, results while you wait, government run STI clinic onsite at the event staffed with nurses. Feedback from nurses has been overwhelmingly positive in that they see record number of guests taking advantage of the service. This is a very encouraging sign and a testament to the responsible and safe culture of the sex positive movement.
What drew the two of you to work together?
Before PLUR started earlier this year, Scotty worked at several large promotional companies in the city. He put together many events on Granville and Richards streets as well as big events at BC Place. Over this time, he acquired a lot of friends and followers in the, fetish, LGBTQ, poly, and swinger communities. Unfortunately the big name promotion companies cater to a more conservative demographic, so things didn’t always mesh with his sex positive philosophy. He was looking for new opportunities and got into his element when he started promoting Kink events. His first event was at an after hours club earlier this year and was quite the success.
Before PLUR Markus freshly moved from Calgary to Vancouver in January 2014 and like he was in Calgary, quickly established himself in the Vancouver BDSM community as the go to DJ for play parties. Markus knows that one of his strengths is all about the right music. He has a unique style and preference for EDM (Electronic Dance Music) that compliments BDSM play to a tee that he has been developing over the years. Markus used to run well known vanilla night club events in Calgary and while he did play at a lot of smaller kinky play parties, he could never get the kinky EDM scene going there.
In the wee hours of the night on a Sunday morning on March 16th, Markus met Scotty at what he later learned was his first kinky event and was very impressed. They instantly got along like long lost brothers and quickly became friends. At 6:30am that same night (err morning) back at Scotty’s place in his hot tub, the idea, which would lead to the best sex positive events this city has ever experienced, was born. The primary emphasis established at the break of dawn that day was about PLUR values and putting people before profit and community before corporations.
Markus and Scotty each have totally different skill sets that they have discovered mesh extremely well together with very little overlap. It was like they were meant to work together.
What are some of your future plans? The ones you’re ready to share, of course.
PLUR is about more than just sex positive play parties on the weekends. We are looking at all sorts of events from camping, to boat cruises, to flash raves, to meet and mingle and more. In the short term we are looking at introducing a new type of weekday meet and mingle event that is similar to a munch, but with a few key twists that makes it more engaging and enriching for newbies, while honouring and even building the existing community further. More on this in the coming months, but we will say this, if you are a local artisan making anything kinky for sale (from furniture to floggers, to whips, to canes to rope etc.), we would love to hear from you as we are looking to add you to our meet and mingle events.
With the demand of the Mad Hatter parties, PLUR is looking at either doing back to back events at 8×6 (Friday or Saturday night option for guests), or finding a larger venue to handle the large crowds. PLUR values also means respecting the law which is why they are in touch with Vancouver Police Services and the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB). Rest assured that you will not be literally caught with your pants down committing an offence if the police walk into one of their events no matter where it is and what time, even when naked and engaged in sexual activity. PLUR believes that people want and need a more sex positive culture and the best way to enact change is by leading by example while respecting the law. This does mean unfortunately that some events may have to compromise certain aspects of an event such as DJs, hours, and liquor, but in these situation, creative alternatives are legally implemented where possible. Often where there is a will, there is a legal way once you get under the covers of the many laws that indirectly govern sex positive events.
Our next event is Phantom of the Night on August 30th. It is a masquerade style party with many of the elements the community have grown to love about PLUR events including our now infamous cupids.
After that we are looking at doing the next Mad Hatter installment called Mad Hatter Does Alice tentatively set for September 27th.
Beyond these two events, PLUR is considering how they respectfully participate in Halloween and NYE celebrations without stomping on existing established parties. Perhaps another 2am to 7am party is in order.
Markus: Deep House, Deep Techno and minimal
Scotty: Electro and Hard Core Techno
Favourite music to fuck to?
Markus: Deep House, Deep Techno and minimal
Scotty: Deep house, deep edm.
Best kink experience?
Markus: Hands down my relationship with my sub Tutu_Nymph. It has been a very kinky and spiritual journey for the past 3 years.
Scotty: When I was first introduced to gangbangs and I was selected to be the receiver! True amazing time! Others would be ass play and flogging.
There you have it! Expect to be hearing plenty more about PLUR and their events in the future—better yet, check out Phantom of the Night and be able to tell others just what they’ve been missing out on!