Walking into The Dolphin Tavern this past Wednesday, I realized it had been a long time since I have been there. A lot of good changes have been made to the venue.
To touch upon the controversy surrounding a high amount of people being drugged at The Dolphin, I will say this. The Dolphin did have a large percentage of these incidents, but they are not the only clube where this happens. No venue is immune from rape culture/crappy people, but the staff at The Dolphin have clearly made changes to combat nonconsensual club drugging.
The bar has been moved against the wall rather than being placed in the middle of the space with all sides open. This not only optimizes space, but leaves less room for shenanigans. The community water is gone and the bartenders were as attentive as always. I applaud The Dolphin staff for doing what their part in creating a safer space.
Soft Leather is a techno/fetish night. I have never been to an event quite like this before, but I had a few expectations. What I was not expecting was how insane Wassup Gina is as a DJ. I have a few female DJ’s who are hold close to my heart and Wassup Gina is on my list now. I was expecting Genitorturers type music (which I personally always found a bit cheesy) but naah. The music was hard hitting and high end techno. Big ups to Sweat Daddy too. Both DJ’s did not skip a beat with the energy they were bringing.
The night started off unusually slow but Philly usually starts partying late. I left a little after midnight when it was getting crowded. The weather has been dreary and this was a party for a niche group, so I think that was a factor to a slow start. That did not stop the DJ’s from playing bangers, and the few people who were on the dance floor were tearing it up.
Even when the club did start filling up, the crowd remained considerate of other people and their space. The event had a disclaimer about respecting one another, and disclaimers like this that get posted on event pages are an easy way to promulgate the type of party you want. Soft Leather did a great job in facilitating a consensual and open minded party. While I have had some pretty lamentable experiences with crowds at certain parties at The Dolphin before, Soft Leather was a breath of fresh air and I hope this party comes back to Philly soon.
Photo Credit: Molly Ace
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