Nimhneach is a fetish or BDSM club night held in Dublin on the first Saturday of almost every month. The club boasts an age range from 18-80, and attracts men and women from all walks of life – although careers aren’t on the night’s conversation list. Instead leather, whips, dominance and submission are the focus of the evening.
The name Nimhneach comes from the Irish word for ‘painful’ or ‘sore’ and, according to some of its attendees, that sums up the experience of the night pretty well. Erotic author, Evie Hunter, states on her website that “the scene pushed both my erotic and ouchie buttons” and adds that for her first experience,
“If it wasn’t for the metal cage in the middle of the dance floor, it might have been a perfectly normal evening.”
After moving on from its run in The Academy, Nimhneach’s new venue is The Hub in the middle of Temple Bar, located right under the noses of unsuspecting Dubliners and tourists alike. The club is in the venue’s basement, but one attendee says the atmosphere doesn’t reflect the tucked away location.
“What genuinely surprised me the most my first time was how lovely everyone was…I actually get harassed in regular clubs a lot, but here it was far more open.”
Like many clubs, Nimhneach has a strict dresscode policy of ‘No effort, no entry’, but in the case of Nimhneach that doesn’t mean put on a nice shirt or dress. Its website sums up the dresscode pretty simply –
“Look in the mirror and ask yourself this, “Could I walk into most bars in town and get served wearing this without looking seriously out of place?”. If no, you’ll probably pass!”.
Nimhneach sends out a strong sexually charged vibe – outfits are revealing and provocative, and play between people such as spanking and rope play is encouraged. Because of this there are also strict guidelines for both physical safety and to remove anyone who is deemed to be harassing anyone else. Nimhneach’s organiser says that staff called ‘dungeon monitors’ patrol the floor constantly, overlooking play to make sure that its safe, and making sure that everyone is behaved and comfortable. Rules are strictly enforced, and include:
“Not touching people without consent or interfering in a ‘scene’ (where people are involved in BDSM play) without being invited”.
However, the organiser says that for people who don’t want to dive into the deep end of the scene events called Munches are held in Dublin every second Saturday and third Tuesday of the month. At these attendees dress in what is called Vanilla (non-fetish) clothing, and newbies can be eased into the scene in a non-fetish environment.