At Killing Kittens, women still come first.
Posh booze, beautiful people, and indulgent debauchery.
Killing Kittens fetish parties first kicked off in 2005 as a playground for London’s liberated, promiscuous, Primrose Hill set.
Armed with Sex and The City sass (and feeling satisfied from Lelo’s newly launched sex toys range), entrepreneur Emma Sayle wanted to help her friends explore their sexuality on their own terms.
Seizing the cat straight out of the bag (so to speak), Killing Kittens events were distinctive for their ‘female-first’ policies (men can’t approach women, and can only attend with female guests).
Today it’s an online goliath with 80,000 members looking for hookups in every corner of the world – and Sayle plans to capitalise on this, with a new digital plan.
“2017 will be the year of the ‘digital kitten’,” she told The Memo.
We caught up with the founder to find out what’s new, and why she’s ready for a digital revamp…
In 2017, Killing Kittens might appear much the same; events are always masked and never host more than 130 people.
“Sometimes we’ll have an oyster shucker going around,” says Sayle. “Then people tend to peel off in couples or little groups into one of our candlelit bedrooms.”
What’s more, its founding ethos of female empowerment remains solid. “I love it when we get emails from girls saying they left feeling empowered,” says Sayle.
“If you’re not judged, you feel amazing, in control … To me that’s everything, and that’s why I do it.”
One thing is different, though. Social attitudes are changing for the better: “Girls are more open about coming, there’s less of a taboo,” the entrepreneur observes.
That’s not just great for society, it’s great for business.
With more and more women open to sexual exploration, Killing Kittens has boomed, now hosting up to 20 events a month.
“We’ve tripled our turnover in the past 3 years,” says Sayle.
This is her biggest achievement so far, she explains, as well as “having 2 babies at the same time.”
For Sayle, motherhood and business are a boon: “We’re in Australia and America now and if I’m up at 3am or 5am after doing a feed, I can look at emails and I can speak to the Australian people – I don’t find it stressful.”
But after 12 years of organic growth, Sayle has found herself at the helm of a vast online empire – almost by accident.
“80% of our revenue now comes from online,” she explains. “We’ve got this big online dating community site where over 75% of our members are single, and the single girls and single guys are pretty much split 50/50.”
This year, Sayle wants to transform KK digital, with an app that helps users host their own parties across the globe.
“I want the Kitten platform to be available to everyone, no matter what city or village or you are in – I want you to be able to find other members and meet up with them.”
She’s already started to analyse KK’s vast swathes of online data to create the best tailored events, but Sayle wants to take this further.
She’s even hoping to launch her own high-tech Killing Kittens sex toy line based on what her users want and like.
“We’ve got a few ideas and stuff, but I always like to keep it simple – you don’t really see many actual penis shaped vibrators around much anymore,” she says.
Organising sex parties has never been easy. “I’ve had a lot of ‘it’s wrong’ and ‘you’re going to hell'” says Sayle. But nothing yet has stood in her way.
The pioneer is in the midst of planning her Killing Kitten’s first raise investment round – so open-minded investors better have their wallets ready.
If you needed more persuasion, it’s also worth noting KK isn’t just about sexual liberation, but female liberation of all kinds: generating donation for charities that fight female genital mutilation and domestic abuse, and that support women going through postnatal depression.
KK has always had, and a will always have; posh booze, beautiful people, and indulgent debauchery.
But we can’t wait for the rise of the ‘Digital Kitten’.
She’s going to dominate the world. Me-ow.
Kitty Knowles is a Senior Features Writer at The Memo. Kitty previously worked as an online journalist for GQ. She can be found tweeting @KittyGKnowles.