Playful met with the KitKat founder and underground kink legend Simon Thaur in Berlin to get to know how it all started and how he developed an appetite for different fantasies.
By: Amanda Sandström Beijer
Photos: Gili Shani
We meet at the club on a Sunday evening. KitKat is about to close but the music is still on and the guests are dancing, talking and enjoying the evening in their fetish costumes and masks.
Simon Thaur grew up in a small town, which, according to himself, is “the most beautiful little town in Austria”, and came to Berlin in the ’70s.
”As a young guy, I wanted to become a professional drummer, creating a jazz-rock-band. I tried my luck first in Vienna and some other places, but things didn’t work out as they should have, so I felt a bit lost and started to travel around after a while. This resulted in extensive traveling for fourteen years – which is completely different from the life that I’m living now.”
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Today Simon stays mostly in Berlin, where he has a house with a garden, constantly involved with the club that he started together with Kirsten Krüger.
”Without all I went through in the early years I wouldn’t be here, since all the ideas of creating KitKat and my projects started coming out of my mind during that time. Well, I was always a bit freaky.”
Simon Thaur had no interest in creating a club in the beginning, it all happened more by chance and made its way through his sexual fantasies. He attracted people with similar interests from the beginning, no matter if he travelled in India or rented an apartment in Berlin. The first seed to what would later become Kitkat was a community of only ten people.
”In the beginning of the 90’s I wanted to publish my astrology books and told myself that I need to land somewhere in Europe to focus on that project. I first went to Munich but felt that it wasn’t really my kind of city. Actually I was very naive as to how to organise my new reality after 14 years of traveling. That’s where I met Kirsten, my girlfriend. We did a lot of crazy things, conquering the public with naked outfits and having sex in public. I had many different sexual preferences and as you may realize they always trigger you to look for a new kick to fullfill you. After one and a half years in Munich we decided to move to Berlin since Berlin always has been considered the best place to be in Europe.
”In the early nineties after opening the borders to the east many things changed: techno appeared as well as the first fetish clubs. I remember very well the first public BDSM-cafe.
Nobody did really live out a sexual session. People were just standing around and showing off their fetish clothes with their partner in a dog leash or such.”
”In our naivety we thought we were allowed to do whatever we wanted to and I opened sessions that included fists. We were very authentic in our own way and went there to do our sessions and asserted these ideas. People starred at us and we created rumours. Lots of people also liked it and they congratulated us to our courage.”
”We started to find out how far we could go with our free behaviour and Kirsten never wore anything but pantyhose. I remember that we went to ’Far out, there was this disco where they discussed if they should allow us in or not. Two men were against it because they were afraid that we might provoke trouble, but three women took off their t-shirts in solidarity with us. They were very impressed with how Kirsten handled all the potentially troubling situations with her charisma. Nobody ever dared to touch her, in fact the more she showed the more respect and admiration she got.”
Simon started seeing a chance to create these kinds of happenings as parties in one of the first techno places in the city, but only Tuesdays were available.
”We just had to declare Tuesday a cult day.”
KitKat – not an instant success
With so many ideas Simon wanted to create something bigger and better. He came to a final point when he told himself that by 33 he wanted to have realised something big.
”If you have all these genius ideas and they are stuck in your mind they don’t do anything for anyone. In the beginning, KitKat wasn’t very successful. The seventh party we held had only 25 people and it was one week before my 34th birthday, so it was already one year longer
then what I had set my mind to. I thought it wasn’t really what I wanted it to be, but during that last week something changed.”
”There was a lesbian party that wanted to change their Wednesdays to Tuesdays which made us trade days. I invited everybody for free to our party that Wednesday, even people I met on the street. The party got completely full and had a very good quality, People were there for
the right reason.”
Simon wanted to keep this quality and so forced himself not to think about the shorter perspective, meaning moneymaking, but to keep on focusing on the quality.
”People started talking about this place where you can go and have sex in public and from that moment something changed and it fitted the vision I had from the beginning of what I wanted to create.”
Developed an appetite for different fantasies
It’s hard to think of Simon Thaur as someone who hasn’t always been sexually liberated, at the same time, the wildest fishes swim in the calmest waters and according to Simon himself he used to be pretty shy.
”When I was 18 I was very shy, but I often met woman that said I awakened something within them. I remember by 21 I spent one week together with a woman who was the girlfriend of some kind of mafia boss from Yugoslavia and she wanted me to ejaculate in her face but i was so shy and instead I ejaculated on her throat.”
Simon started to develop an appetite for various fantasies and got inspired by different forums.
”Porn always inspired me and even before I created my own porn company, I was always very interested in the technical part of it and how it worked. It’s also this psychological part of it. It needs to be balanced with the right energy and a caring, responsible attitude in order to work out for the satisfaction of all.”
Simon emphasizes that the ’70s was marked by a new feministic era where porn was questioned a lot since much of it totally lacked the feminine aspect.
”Later on, the society started to accept these kinds of kinky ideas like KitKat and the experiments in different movies. Suddenly people wanted to be involved in the films that just a couple of years earlier could not recruit any film teams, due to the kinky angle.”
”The problem is that women often get judged when they do this, and if they open up for something even crazier they fear that their family and friends will be judgmental and negative, maybe even the whole society. This is something I can see even today at the club. For example, sometimes when a person is alone they make a session and act all free, and then when the friends arrive they run around again with their ’I’m innocent’-protection behaviour.”
He means that the judgment creates some kind of prison for people, where they can’t relax and feel empowered by their true self.
”If you have all these biological elements to use, a lot of people who enjoy the kinky way around, still need somebody who they can trust. For example, everybody might have a ’raping fantasy’, men as well as woman, or whatever, but a woman may need someone who holds her a little bit strongly so that she can fall into the fantasy, but if it’s too strong it’s over because then it gets real. There are these psychological elements of the role play, and it needs to be done correctly and responsibly in the right way.”
Missed 19 KitKat nights since 1994
Simon has been a perfectionist when it comes to sustaining these elements in his films and music videos, as well as in the club. He can immediately feel when a mood is off and what the reason is. Maybe this is due to him only missing 19 nights at KitKat since the club opened up in 1994.
”I wouldn’t know where else to go, I wouldn’t like to go somewhere else, because it’s only music then and not as multidimensional as what we have in KitKat”.
Simon says that even though the club has been around for so many years and some people say that it used to be better before or whatever, that’s not true. The club has always been the same, just in different locations. Although he means that he can have another perspective on it today than he did in the beginning.
”In the 90’s I was always aware of my role in the club as a club owner, and that if I did something I was always being watched. It’s not that I didn’t want to do a show myself, but more that I was aware of it from an outer perspective as well. But I have always been quite funny and open so people haven’t really been afraid of asking me or inviting me into their sessions.”
Simon doesn’t drink alcohol or do any drugs, but he drinks some kind of vitamin water that he buys at the petrol station close to his home.
”I’ve never been into drugs really, but after we created KitKat I became more straight edge because I wanted to keep up the super vision since I have a lot of responsibility. But the other part of it is that I don’t need these enhancements - if the party is good it’s already good and if the party is bad I don’t need drugs to believe it’s something that it’s not.”
In 2000 Simon got bored with the club and even wanted to close it down. He had then started to work with porn and found a new thing that interested him sexually. The alternative porn film label innovative-productions was created together with Kirsten Krüger in 1999.
”I made 28 movies before I made them official and the films I produced were very niched and pretty alternative. Just like KitKat Club is not part of the whole techno scene, my films were not part of the commercial porn scene either. I was definitely an outsider.”
In the beginning, Simon only made films together with people he already knew.
”I started out working with very close friends and after the first productions they wanted to do it again, but in the porn business it’s not always the same people but it’s the same action. I turned it around. Just like in a relationship; the first night must not be the best night, it more so develops after a while. So, during the years we filmed, we overcame pretty much every border.”
Simon means that there is so much stuff that is quite demanding, and that it takes practice to achieve a good result.
”It’s a mix of psychological and technical knowledge. My porn works from the psychological side, and I was able to convince anybody to do anything – but of course I never came on to them from a bad intention.”
Alternative medicine and astrology
In 2008 a person from Simon’s production company died of cancer and as a consequence of this tragic experience he started getting a deep interest for alternative medicine.
”I found a complete new world. I also created a new astrology system, well, more kind of astro-medicine”
”Astrology is definitely more than a belief. I found that the planets and the stars influence your endocrine system. I am very interested in explaining how such a planet is able to influence your hormone glands. You can see the horoscope as a hormonal matrix.”
”Today I have already written more than 3000 pages on this, but some
parts are still missing before I’m satisfied and will release it. With this system the other astrology systems will be outcompeted.”
Being completely involved in these kinds of alternative scientific studies two years ago, he started creating experimental pornographic music videos for his own songs which he created in his studio under the title "Nude Poetry” and won the first prize at the Berlin music video awards, for the "Trashiest Video”.
During the pandemic Simon also started doing porn again.
”I want to create a mix with my old style of porn, and my new format for my music videos. I want to play with historical times which can’t be realized within a normal film setting if you don´t have tons of money. I therefor work a lot in my own green room.
”I don’t want to repeat myself, so I got inspired by fantasies and even started creating new worlds. On Wednesday and Thursday next week I will film a mix between Madmax and Medieval times where the actress is a fool with horns and wears a bell hanging from her pussy while walking in the streets trying to convince people to give her money. But these kinds of ideas don’t exist within proper porn movies, so I see a gap in the market where I can make my own imprint on that field again, without it being compared to my old stuff.”
Fed up with porn
Simon Thaur hasn’t actually been interested in porn after his last film in 2007.
”I was completely pissed off with porn. I didn’t find new witty people for the last two years. Well I found women, but I couldn’t find any good men. I always created very funny stories and needed people who could improvise the appropriate dialogues. And at the same time it all must work down there.”
”And at the same time other companies started to blackmail my actresses and told them that if they did a movie with Thaur they couldn’t work with them.”
In some of his old films there has been a theme including body fluids. A pretty niched theme when he created it in the 90’s.
”Back then a lot of people in the film stores were afraid of what was seen as ’too much’ in the direction BDSM. In Germany it wasn’t allowed to show a spanking scene when the woman was in bondage because it might have been against her will, and therefore shops and video stores didn’t dare to release movies with such content. That brought me to consider other niches.
Simon explains that it’s one of his real psychological skills to make people feel comfortable during sets. This could for example be a scene where some of the actors could feel ashamed.
”It was a lot of dark humor in the films and I took the piss out of every stereotype. You don’t know if you want to wank or laugh watching my movies. It must be crazy otherwise it bores me. And as for the other stuff, it doesn’t need me, because all that already exists.”
KitKat Club: A landmark of a liberated Berlin
KitKat has been a big landmark for Berlin where famous people like Kate Moss and Robert Pattinson enjoy entering when they’re in the city. For Simon the city is special as well.
”There is no other place in the world that is that tolerant, full of young people and without boundaries. Berlin is this basic freedom town of the world. Already in the ’70s you could find that characteristic. I spent some years in London and Italy, but it was just boring in comparison to Berlin. And KitKat club is part of this whole image of course.”
”It’s the basic place that leaves you free to be able to do all these things. In the past I made 15 porn movies in the streets where people had dildos in their ass while talking to people passing by, even policemen. This could only be possible in Berlin. This city gives me a lot of possibilities.”
Who is Simon Thaur?
Simon Thaur is together with Kirsten Kruger one of the Founders of KitKat Club in Berlin, one of the worlds most famous sex clubs. Simon Thaur is also a film producer, focusing on adult movies.