Former international Ms Leather, author and performance artist Mollena Williams is visiting Sweden on her whirlwind tour of Europe. We were lucky enough to have her on the Wotever Stockholm stage as part of the Stockholm Fetish Weekend where she had an incendiary effect on our senses, Here’s what happened…
Stockholm on a Saturday night can be a pretty miserable place. If the roving gangs of tanked up Swedish boys with their perfect hair and over inflated sense of entitlement doesn’t wind you up then the girl siting opposite you on the metro with streaky orange legs who is alternately crying and vomiting into a dangerously soggy McDonalds bag is guaranteed to. Fast-forward, if you will, through your arduous traipse through Stockholm’s hetero party district to a little Bar called Bonden Bar where a bunch of degenerate queers and perverts are getting saturday night just right.
While the theme of the night is ‘Slap and Tickle’ it could have been just as aptly named ‘My First Slap and Tickle’- perhaps warming up for the fetish after-party Deckadance- the topic of discussion centres around our first encounters with the world of kink. Mollena Williams, the main guest for tonight is relatively unknown amongst tonights attendees, most of whom seem more interested in parading around the bar in increasingly daring fetish gear and sizing each other up for later. However, as soon as she takes the stage the room becomes quiet. An orderly and perfectly silent semi-circle, that glimmers and shines with metal studs and highly polished latex has formed around a low stage where Mollena holds them in her thrall. Tearing my eyes away from Mollena for a few seconds I am amazed by the awestruck expressions on the faces of the audience- it is a very strange tableau- a room full of perverts carrying handcuffs and riding crops sitting around like kindergarten kids at story time.
Mollena tells us a story about one of her first encounters with submission and it is the kind of scene we are all sitting there hoping to have later on that night; a scene where time stops, where the world ceases to exist, where afterwards we can’t even remember half the things that were said but you know they were good because there’s a feeling inside you half way between floating and exploding. With the subtle power of a brilliant performance Mollena had seduced us before we even knew we were being seduced. As she described the act of kneeling my heart started to beat faster, and when she literally knelt on the stage in front of the whole room and just looked at us silently for what felt like forever but at no point became awkward my heart disintegrated into a million pieces. It was sexy, it was really sexy, and it was real and raw and so intense.
It takes a powerful person to get down on your knees in front of a room full of strangers holding instruments of pain and torture and tell them about kissing someone’s boots. Even more powerful than that is to infuse the telling with emotion, romance and anticipation. Very rarely is a performer able to utilise silence so effectively, to say so much without speaking, to draw us all in just with the power of her presence. Someone once told me that they knew a guy who once had a scene so intense that he didn’t play again for three years because that’s how long it took to process everything that happened. I thought about that after Mollena’s performance, she was probably on stage for less than fifteen minutes but her presence was so rich and intense that I know that I will still be mulling over her words for years to come, and even better; I was so seduced by the lingering sensations of such a memorable performance that I didn’t even notice the drunk people passed out around me on the train home.
Maxwell Zachs is a queer freelance writer and musician based in Stockholm.
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