A lady clad in latex and chains swans through the crowd, clutching an enormous crystal-encrusted, double-ended sex toy.
Guests converse casually clutching glasses of high-end vodka. Really, more parties should be like this.
This particular party is the launch of Madame Pink. Don’t ask what it is, because nobody can tell with any degree of certainty. One man leans in and says in a conspiring whisper: ‘It’s about, like, massive orgies. Really high-end sex parties.’ Another points to a poster and says it’s actually a party to launch the fancy vodka brand we’ve all been drinking. A third doesn’t even know what it’s all about – they’re just here for the canapés. Gossip. Speculation. Intrigue.
Sarah Burge certainly knows a thing or two about flair and mystery. Dubbed the ‘real-life Barbie’, the woman has allegedly spent over half a million pounds on plastic surgery. To be fair, it’s paid off: the woman is 50. She looks 26. But, far from retreating into traditional pastimes of cat-breeding and Sudoku, she has reinvented her night-time self as a classy ‘filthstress’ and hostess of glamorous, high-profile swinger parties.
If the launch party is anything to go by, Madame Pink will have nothing to do with sleazy bald men and desperate menopausal women. The guests gathered at luxe nouveau-Russian establishment Divo are young, beautiful hipsters. Rich. Cool. The kind of people everyone wants to have sex with. A girl pops up out of nowhere and hisses: ‘The Prince of Abu Dhabi is here!’ Not impossible, but all the more surreal.
A few hours into the soirée, once the guests have had the chance to warm up, the ambient music cuts off, and two fabulous ladies treat a crowd of googly-eyed fellas and giggling ladies to a brief burlesque number in the middle of the chandelier-lit room. Okay, it was no Dita – but it was certainly saucier than your average night on the town. The mood lightens somewhat, and soon some girl is fellating the aforementioned diamond dildo for a camera.
Madame Pink’s next soiree will take place in Italy. For €1,000 you can spend an all-inclusive weekend on the Riviera, waited upon, serviced and entertained. The dress code is, appropriately, toga. Will it be a weekend for tanned supermodels and Greek demi-gods? Or two days of confused stock-brokers and shy legal secretaries eyeing each other uncomfortably?
These are enlightened times. Top shelf fodder in the newsagent’s is no longer wrapped in brown paper, and former TV shockers like Sexcetera now seem so tame they’re practically day-time viewing. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of sexy fun, and the Real Life Barbie certainly exalts the benefits of plastic (particularly with a bit of kink). Her point is that it’s all a bit of fun. Though, while that may be true, it may be worth waiting for word-of-mouth reviews of whether Ms Burge can wield a crop as well as she can a pair of curling tongs.
Madame Pink’s soiree was at:
12 Waterloo Place