James Drury, a fetish society photographer, cultural explorer and adventure seeker, has been publishing his pocket-sized guide to the fetish scene — Fetish Map London — since 2001.
In 2008, Fetish Map London grew to encompass a global reach in what it lists, as well as where it is now presently sold. Drury’s media company, PictureRama, also began publishing Burlesque Map London that same year.
In a world where we find what we need almost exclusively on the net, Drury’s tangible maps are a rare and indispensable item — something one holds in their hands to get a long, lascivious look into the world. We spoke to Drury about how (and why) he continues publishing this very specific, odd little item the world seems to certainly need.
YNOT: What exactly can one find in your map?
James Drury: Fetish Map London features over 200 lifestyle choices in every edition. Mistresses, models, bondage, dungeons, leather, rubber, whips, swinging, spanking, foot fetish, erotica… Plus we open the doors to fetish clubs, shopping, BDSM services, erotic entertainment, socializing, events, munches and other kinky stuff.
It’s twenty-four pages of kinky fun and excess in each edition, with contact details, location finders and street maps.
Across the span of more than a decade of publishing the map, what are the most significant changes you have seen on “the scene”?
Most interestingly for us is that we have observed the “motion” of the fetish businesses. By this, I mean both people and places, and with that the continuity of the people and the fluidity of location and venues.
With people, we have come to learn that some of us are born kinky, and some of those people are very much consumers. For lots of people, if we discover the scene at a young age, we grow with it, move with it, develop friends within it and find partners, perhaps permanent ones.
In regard to business, we have seen the dispersal of business listees in our publication move around town firstly, then more recently towards the edges of town. Furthermore, with venues and events, there has been a trend for events to dive beneath the radar and use private venues and venues located around and outside our city, where coach transport sometimes becomes part of the excursion and event experience. Official venues are hard to find for club promoters, so clubs are forced to use an ever-dwindling list of receptive locations to host their events.
Have you ever had your abilities questioned by a mainstream client? Like, since you also create kinky content…
I have worked in publishing, photography and graphic design for nearly all my career. I have vanilla clients and business identities separate from the kink side of my activities. Luckily, most of my vanilla clients are creative-type businesses, so if they have discovered my “dark” side, it has tended to be a point of fascination, rather than a concern to them.
What were the unique business challenges — good and bad — when you began to spread Fetish Map London across a more global spectrum?
When Fetish Map London appeared in the capital, its distribution covered mainly London. Now in its second decade, Fetish Map London has reached fetishists worldwide, making it a leader of all fetish guides.
As news of it spreads the world, it informs international visitors to our kinky city how to make the most of their sojourn to London.
This works both ways, of course. Our readers in the UK love to travel also, and we continue to expand to inform them of the main events where they can enter scenes in other major cities across mainland Europe and the world. Fetish Map London has featured advertising from businesses in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Sweden and the US for a number of years also.
In the case of Burlesque Map London, it has been promoting the main European Burlesque festivals for a number of years.
What are your plans for the future for PictureRama and Fetish Map?
There are so many. In essence, we aim to continue to help, assist, guide, lead and promote decadent exploration and adventure, taking things to new levels.
The enduring formula that defines us needs to be spread, we feel. This means that we intend to develop and are constantly working on producing Fetish Maps of other key cities and regions around the world.
What do you think makes the map so successful?
The success of Fetish Map London is largely due to the multitude of information that the team gathers personally, producing the most all-encompassing, informative and indispensable guide for all fetish necessities and desires, as well as a decadent lifestyle — shopping, clubbing, socializing, services, munches, markets, events and venues — all in a convenient pocket size.
Find Fetish Map London on Twitter at @FetishMapLondon.
— Fetish Map London (@FetishMapLondon) September 26, 2018