Inside the fetish club where Joburgers live out their kinkiest fantasies

If BDSM is your thing, the staff of Fetish Haven SA will oblige

08 December 2019 - 00:00 By shaun smillie
Prophet, a longstanding member of the BDSM lifestyle, poses with a mask found in Fetish Haven SA.
Prophet, a longstanding member of the BDSM lifestyle, poses with a mask found in Fetish Haven SA.
Image: Alon Skuy

In between a safety footwear company and a curtain factory in the industrial heart of Wynberg is a place where you can get cheap breast enlargements. And if big breasts aren't your thing, you can have a scrotum enlargement.

A 30-minute treatment will get you a set of dangling clangers that will be the envy of every stud bull. But in a day those breasts will have shed those accumulated cup sizes and the nut sack will have shrunk back to normal. You see, these enlargements are just props in a kinky world of fetishes.

Tucked away in Wynberg is Fetish Haven SA, which bills itself as the only fully-equipped private fetish, BDSM and kink venue in Johannesburg.

Here the world is divided into "vanillas" - people who practise plain, conventional sex - and "non-vanillas", those who embrace a lifestyle of kink, BDSM or fetishism.

Those non-vanillas come to Fetish Haven SA to play in a number of themed rooms. There's the prison and interrogation room, a transformation parlour and the Perverse Medical Klinik. 

Propped up against the wall in the Klinik are two saline infusion drips - the secret behind those enlargements. The drip delivers a saline solution to the breasts, scrotum, vagina or any other desired part of the body the patient wants to temporarily enlarge for a day.

For a certain set of people these liquid enlargements are a thing - the internet is full of images of saline-infused body parts (the solution is eventually absorbed into the body).

Next to the drips there's a glass medical display cabinet that would leave a "vanilla" slack jawed and crossing their legs. There are a number of surgical-looking instruments and urethral sounds - thin rods that are slid down the penis for sexual pleasure. Laid out are clamps waiting to be used on nipples or vaginas. Next to the urethral sounds is a male chastity belt.

Prophet's job is to fulfil fantasies that turn people on.
Prophet's job is to fulfil fantasies that turn people on.
Image: Alon Skuy

"Sometimes these chastity belts are worn for months," says Prophet, who works in the industry. "It shows submission and commitment to a dominatrix. It means he can't get turned on if he sees a hot chick."

Prophet is an old hand in the lifestyle. He has his own clients and it's his job to fulfil fantasies that turn people on. "A woman's husband will drop her off and he'll be happy about it because when he picks her up again she'll want sex."

Prophet doesn't have sex with his clients but his craft does mean that he's always on the lookout for new ways to pleasure people.

"I'll walk into a hardware shop, see something and wonder whether I could put a dildo on it," he laughs.

These practices may be considered to be on the fringes of sexual behaviour but increasingly the owner of Fetish Haven SA, Mistress Cleo, is seeing a new set of high-flying clients.

"I get CEOs who want to be humiliated," says Mistress Cleo, who obliges by demanding full submission.

Mistress Cleo, owner and curator of Fetish Haven SA.
Mistress Cleo, owner and curator of Fetish Haven SA.
Image: Alon Skuy

Humiliation can range from being spanked to scat play, which involves defecation. One of the rooms has a portable toilet.

"People think that BDSM is only about beatings and pain. It's also about feeling sensual," says Mistress Cleo. "You see, there's something missing in our modern-day relationships and I think that it's seduction."

It's been lost, she adds, to the demands of children, cooking dinner and the distractions of streaming TV.

Mistress Cleo has owned Fetish Haven SA for three years and has been squeezing herself into black tight PVC dominatrix costumes for 21 years.

On occasion, she opens up her venue to swingers, but, she says, they're a very different crowd compared with BDSM lovers.

"All the swingers want to do is drink and pomp," she says. "We've had BDSM parties where the takings at the bar were just R300. They prefer to drink water."

But within the BDSM community there are the outliers - those in search of extreme pain.

Prophet helps out where he can. When he lays his hands on you, you know about it, those in the industry say. The story is that.

But there are places where Prophet won't go.

Once he was approached by someone who wanted their ribs broken. He refused.

"Look, you always respect someone's kink," he says. "But so far, we haven't put anyone in rehab, not yet."

Once Prophet was approached by someone who wanted their ribs broken. He refused.

There are times when Mistress Cleo does notice an increase in the numbers of customers coming through the door of her venue. This usually has to do with a 50 Shades of Grey kind of movie on circuit. Some come just once, a few return and become regulars.

"You know," remarks Prophet, "we all have a fetish."

Finding what that fetish is, for some, will be the start of a journey that will end with a person embracing whatever it is that turns them on and when they do that, a world of sexual pleasure opens up.