International multi award winning burlesque and sideshow performer Lou Safire has been performing around the world since 2008 and was voted in the top 50 burlesque performers in the world and top 10 In the UK in 2015 and 2016. Not one to shy away from the heat, Lou's fire performances and lust for the darker side of vaudeville brings a unique take on traditional freak show stunts with a fetish twist.
Recon: How did you get your first taste for fetish?
By accident really. I had always known there was a much greater something out there that would suit me but never really knew what it was. I was a late starter I guess, grew up in a small town with a once a month gay night, where the older queens would go and I was one of the youngest there. Then I moved away and eventually ended up in Manchester when I was 19 I think. Down canal street one night with some friends and Matt (Skully) was up visiting me. We tried this bar/club I hadn't been in before, it was Legends, that unfortunately isn't there anymore. We had a great night, so over the next couple of weeks went in more and became good friends with some of the bar staff and then Alert was on one night and the rest is history as it were.
What can people expect to see when you perform?
What they expect and what they get are two very different things. I have been told I'm "A fierce dragbear'! I have a powerhouse style of performance and cover a variety of aspects, form Drag Queen to classic burlesque, side show to fetish. People see my look as a 'fat hairy guy in drag makeup and think 'what the fuck is this shit?' Then I perform and show them not to judge a book by its cover, I guess. Normally I aim to have at least one straight cis man go away questioning his sexuality and the rest of the audience feeling that they can do this, it's not just for people with the media's standard of body that can entertain you as a cabaret performer. I'm a big believer in body positivity.
What have been some of your highlights in the past 10 years of performing?
Tough one! Last year I had a great time performing at the Fetish Week London Members' Party, where I was allowed to create a new act with a bathtub. That act has evolved and is being done at fetish events and cabaret shows across the UK now. But I would have to say two years ago I was invited to perform in Las Vegas at the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Which is the Mecca of the Burlesque world. Doing that gave me back the love for burlesque that I was losing and gave me the opportunity to meet the living legends of Burlesque and thank them for fighting for us to be able to do what we do today in the sex industry.
You have a great repertoire of different acts, many with a fetish twist. What do you think it is about fetish and cabaret that works well together?
For many people Fetish of any kind is still a taboo subject. So, when I get to perform a 'kinkier' act at a classic burlesque show where the audience are there to see pretty girls with feather fans and I get to come on the stage and fuck shit up! But I think it just works; I mean who doesn't love rubber or leather? It adds a more sexual appeal to a different side of the audience member.
What do you like to see when it comes to a cabaret act, or fetish performance?
For me it's all about the attitude and the personality that comes through from the performer, be it a classic showgirl or a performer shooting carrots out of there arse. There is nothing more unappealing or soul destroying than watching someone who is dead behind the eyes trying to control an audience. And that's what performance is about, controlling the audience to keep that captivated and focused on you.
You have been to a fair few Recon events, what ones are you looking forward to this year?
Fetish Week I'm looking forward to and keeping my diary as clear as I can so I can get to as many of the nights as I can. Also, the cabaret nights I'm going to try and come to as and when I can to see other fetish performers I haven't seen before or friends I have. This show is also a family show for me with Smashlyn Monroe who is my Sisterchild and big part of the Haus of Safire.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to tell our members?
Mines a Gin and Tonic, with a poppers chaser. Thanks!
Lou will next be performing at the Recon Fetish Cabaret on Wednesday 27th March at the RVT. For full details click on the link below