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Fetish Ball raises brows

Mills College Weekly

What would good ol’ Susan and Cyrus say if they saw the flocks of scantily clad Mills women heading for the Fetish Ball last Friday?

Although the first girls to be enrolled at the Mill’s Seminary would be intimately acquainted with the corset, they wouldn’t have dreamt of wearing one to a public function. However, many of today’s Mills women, unlike their predecessors, seem fully capable of throwing modesty out the window and flaunting their bodies. Seductive corsets were abound at the ball, along with latex, vinyl, fishnet, ductape, and even syran wrap.While risqu‚ advertisements around campus lured students to the ball with promises of a dark and kinky time, organizers of the bash, Mills’ club Mouthing Off, hoped that students didn’t misconstrue the intentions of the

event. Sophomore Lauren White, who helped plan the event, said that students should not expect to be pressured into anything at the ball. She added “We want people to feel comfortable.” Lynsey Clark, a junior who also planned the event, said that the ball is not just an excuse to get naked. People who think this are missing the point. The real objective is to be in a safe space that promotes responsibility. She said the ball was a “celebration of different sexualities.”

It’s hard to say if all of the attendees kept this in mind as they watched the erotic onstage performances that involved candle wax, chocolate sauce, and a cast iron bed. Or while the masses danced on despite an ailing sound system. Whether attendees took to heart the underlying message or not, their enthusiastic cheers showed the crowd clearly enjoyed the celebration.

Audience satisfaction was especially apparent when a rowdy group of contestants swarmed the stage for the costume competition that gave away prizes from Good Vibrations, a toy store for adults. Onlookers cheered on as girls strutted down the catwalk on a stage set up in the student union.

Later, the night turned political with a performance by a group of drag king N’sync impersonator’s, toting anti-war signs that read “overthrow your government,” and “make love not war.” Although most of the audience cheered, not all of the students loved it. Freshman Darcy Thompson said, “The Fetish Ball was the wrong forum for politics.” Thompson feels bombarded enough in her life with reminders of war. “I don’t need it when I’m there to have fun.”

Freshwoman Amy Clement, who is transferring next year, said she will miss the liberated atmosphere at Mills that was exemplified by the “naughty” ball. Emily Wagner, also a freshwoman said “It was bizarre, I think my mind is still processing it.”

This was the second time Mouthing Off has hosted the decadent event, and attendance was twice as high as the last ball. Clark said “We learned some lessons from last years planning.” White said “We had a foundation for what we needed and how much we needed of it.” Learning from previous experience the coordinators focused their energy on the more creative details of the event. This was also the first year the Fetish Ball had an official theme. Although this blasphemous theme, the seven deadly sins, might raise some brows among other communities, it seemed as if a large portion of the Mills community took the liberated spirit to heart.