Celebrating Two Years of Kinktastisch

Kink event promoter Hilly Leader on the joy of setting fetishes free

Words By Jonny Tiernan
Photos By Victor Hensel-Coe

Launching a kink party the month before a global pandemic should be the perfect recipe for failure, right? Well, not if you’re Hilly Leader. A vivacious purveyor of all things kink, Hilly started Kinktastisch at Insomnia in February 2020, and as a result of her sheer determination and ingenuity, the party is about to celebrate its second birthday.

Kinktastisch was born to provide a space for all fetishes, irrespective of your sexual orientation, gender, identity or lack thereof. It’s this ethos that has allowed it to strike the perfect the sweet spot between the more club-oriented sex positive events like House of Lunacy or Pornceptual, and the more hardcore parties for which Berlin is known. At Kinktastisch you can make new friends, hang out in the play area, watch performances, dance, relax at the bar – whatever tickles your fancy. Better yet? The Kinktastisch Unicorns are always on hand to make sure you’re comfortable, safe and enjoying the kink world.

We spoke to Hilly to dissect her inspirations for starting Kinktastisch, relive her highlights of the past two years, and marvel at how she carried her party through the pandemic.

Hi Hilly! Could you start by telling everyone what Kinktastisch is, and how it came to be?
Kinktastisch was created to give space for all fetishes, genders and non genders to come together, get to know each other, play, experience things and dance in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. For us fetish is not just black latex or just one sexual group, we would like all kinksters to come together and be who they are and feel good about it

Kinktastisch also supports people from the kinky community in Berlin (and other places) and gives them a place to be themselves, perform, and promote their art – whether they are performers, workshops hosts, volunteers in our Unicorn awareness team, or just have a cool idea they want to do like a ‘decorate your own paddle’ art corner.

And what about you, how did you find yourself running kink parties in the first place? 
I started doing my parties about five years ago. The goal back then was to get people to connect and talk with each other more. It felt to me that “fucking” was the only reason to talk to other people – don’t get me wrong, it is a very good reason – but it should not be the only reason to talk to someone. Besides that, I love BDSM and I love to see people having fun, so I’m very happy with what I have created so far and looking forward to creating more.

What have been some of the highlights of the past two years of parties?
I think the biggest highlight that comes to mind is the variety of people that are coming to the parties, in terms of less common fetishes like littles and pets, and I love that, would love to see more furries coming as well.

Going to a party like this for the first time can be overwhelming, but there is nothing wrong with it, it’s a very normal reaction.

You’ve been hosting Kinktastisch and other parties at Insomnia for two years now, what has it been like working with the club? 
The Insomnia team became my family. They’ve been supporting me the whole time, no matter how bad things got, like in the lockdown. We work together well, we care for each other and we always think of ways to improve the parties in the club.

How would you describe the people that have been coming to Kinktastisch?
I would say that the people who are coming to my parties are people who are into BDSM and open minded to it. Friendly people who want to experience a more free BDSM environment that accepts them for who they are, no matter how much experience in BDSM they have.

For someone that has never been to a more sex positive party before, would you recommend trying out Kinktastisch? 
Going to a party like this for the first time can be overwhelming, but there is nothing wrong with it, it’s a very normal reaction. That’s why our Unicorn team and I make sure people feel good and welcome at the party, and we are there for our guests’ needs, whether that’s to take care that they feel ok, or if someone is alone we can help them interact with other people.

It’s a big plus that the party is happening at Insomnia as the club is divided into areas like the play dungeon, dance floor, couples and groups intimate area and so on. It gives you the choice to be where you feel most comfortable at the moment. For example, if the play area is too much, you can go somewhere else, and if you’re tired of dancing you can go somewhere else and chill. I love that about the club and it helps it to have less stress in general, especially for the people who are there for the first time.

For me, fetish should be fun, crazy, funny, dramatic, so not just another dom whipping their sub show.

Are there any people who help out at the events that you would like to give a shout out to? What kind of team do you work with? 
Almost all the people who are working / volunteering with us are involved in the BDSM community here in Berlin, I could not have done this without them, whether it’s helping out as Unicorn or in our ‘try out corners’, performing or taking photos, they are a part of the Kinktastisch Family. Here are the Instagram accounts of some of them: @femme_Feline @ms_lzz_ @shivahontas @thekinkyme_ @sabbesaboteur @testtube_andlube @lady.selina.morgan @ice_cold_calista @mrhotshoe @boazaradphotography

You regularly have different performers at the night, can you tell us a bit more about them? 
I’m always looking to give the stage to anyone with kinky interesting shows and I’m always looking for new ideas. For me, fetish should be fun, crazy, funny, dramatic, so not just another dom whipping their sub show. Halloween was a great example: we had this very dramatic show where two vampire doms tied up their sub and ate her heart, and when they did the song ‘Du Bist Was Du Isst’ (you are what you eat) by Rammstein was playing. It made me laugh.

I also like to give the stage to newer performers to help them grow, and so far it’s working well. If you’re reading this and you’re a kinky performer or artist that would like to join us, then I’d like to talk to you asap!

Have there been any memorable moments of the past two years that you would like to share?
I won’t forget the moment at the first party after the lockdown, back in September. I went on stage to introduce the opening show and as I stood there I just could not believe it was happening. I tried not to cry, it was so emotional and such a wonderful feeling to be able to be with so many people again, like it should be. Since things are still not back to the way they were, I don’t take it for granted and I’m thankful that I’m able to have Kinktastisch again with amazing people around me.

The best gift I got from this surreal time is that I got to meet wonderful people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met.

You launched Kinktastisch the month before the pandemic kicked in – what has the experience of running a kink party through been like? What have the difficulties been, and have there been any surprising upsides? 
Yes, our first party happened in February 2020, with about 400 people, then Corona happened. I got a call from Dominique, the owner of Insomnia, asking me if I want to live stream Kinktastisch online. I said yes, but none of us had any idea what to do. It was a surreal night – just me, three more people and two DJ’s. We could only dance one person at the time in front of the cam. I felt like a deer caught in the headlights and I didn’t know what to do. We also took a small break from the dancing while Dominique interviewed me. It lasted four hours like this – me dancing, three other people dancing with poi, and another performer who did rope acrobatics.

As time passed, we became more professional and we could have more people dancing and doing things like bondage and son, and it became a full production. I was in charge of the Saturday streams in the club and learned a lot about producing, but the best gift I got from this surreal time is that I got to meet wonderful people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met.

And finally, do you have any other events that people can come to in the rest of 2022?
Kinktastisch happens every 3rd Saturday of the month, and I also have other BDSM related parties on a regular bases also the insomnia club such as:

Hilly’s Spielplatz,  every 1st Thursday: an intimate play party that starts with a workshop related to BDSM/sex (each time different topic). Followed by a friendly play night and my Spanking contest (@hillys.spielplatz)

The Femdom Saloon, Every 3rd Thursday: Together with Miss Lizz (@ms_lzz_) we host a Femdom play night where the Doms are women (identify as women) And the subs can be of any gender. (@femdom_saloon)

Flashback Friday, a kinky 90’s-00’s dance & play party: Every 2nd Friday (bimonthly) the next one is on the 08.04 (@kinky.flashback.friday)

At all of my parties, consent is a key rule, no harassment of any kind is tolerated and all fetishes, all genders, non-genders and all orientations are welcome!

The Kinktastisch 2nd Birthday party is happening at Insomnia on Saturday, 19th February. Keep up to date with everything Hilly is up to via Instagram.