Sneak Peak: Off the Record with Rudo Mashongamhende

Explore London, Scarlet Style! Led by Rudo Mashongamhende, our all-new weekend events programme invites you to join us for a Scarlet tour of London. Open to all Scarlet Ladies everywhere, these fun and fabulous socials are offered completely free for members: you will only need to pay for any venue entry fee and drinks. From picnics and pub trips to exhibitions and late-night clubs or bars, Off the Record weekend socials make space for you to continue the conversations from 23 Paul Street or start new ones. Relax, chill out, and be inspired in the company of your Scarlet sisters. Discover new places and new sides to yourself that you had forgotten were there: find answers to the questions you never dared ask; push your boundaries or just have some fun: whatever happens off the record, stays off the record! Get ready to experience the best of sex-positive London with our group of likeminded Scarlet explorers.

We caught up with our FIERCE Social Architect Rudo to tell us why the Off the Record events are so special.

Hi Rudo, please tell us a bit about yourself

I am a born and bred Londoner who loves the vibrancy and hidden secrets of the city. I grew up in North West London, and now I live in South East, but my heart will always belong to the other side of the river. From talking to friends, many of whom grew up outside of the city, I realise how much of my personality has been shaped by this metropolis. I definitely do not believe London is the centre of the world, but it has its own beauty and eccentricity to which no other capital can compare.

Fashion retail was my career up until recently, right now I am in uncharted territory, trying to take better care of myself. Depression takes up a great deal of my time and energy, but it’s not the only thing that defines me, albeit truly believing that is the tricky part! I identify as bisexual, I love London Underground and I want more tattoos.

How did you get to doing this role?

I have been a member of Scarlet Ladies for almost two years, I originally heard about it through Meet Up. I fondly remember attending an event long before 23 Paul St became Scarlet HQ, with Jannette and Sarah being so bubbly and welcoming. I made my own flogger that night – it was so much fun, and more importantly, completely unique to other events available at the time, and still to this day. I then went to the house warming party at 23 Paul St, that’s where I learnt about the #ITalkSex campaign, and my friend suggested I become a part of. I applied, was chosen and proudly (still) became an #ITalkSex ambassador. I was given a membership for a month as a thank you, loved the events, and became a paid member the following month, and up to this day.

What I immediately recognised was the community of incredible women that Scarlet Ladies attracts.

Diverse and all so interesting, I had found a new tribe. The role I’m taking on is based on something that I, and other members wanted from the start, connection outside of Tuesday night events. I naturally organised a social calendar for members last year, selfishly because I wanted to see more of the wonderful ladies! So in truth I have been in this role for quite some time, only now it’s official, which means much more can be accomplished.

In your own words tell us about the Off the Records

For me Off The Records is the true foundation of Scarlet Ladies, bringing likeminded women together to learn and laugh with one another. We are from all walks of life, which means our collective knowledge is astonishingly powerful. It keeps the conversation and community going outside of Scarlet HQ, and most importantly, it allows members to thrive in a space which is safe, welcoming and non judgmental. Every voice is equal, every member appreciated, and every journey is valid.

What makes the OFF The Record so special?

Off The Records is special because of the members who populate the events. It exists to serve the members’ needs, not the other way. I have many ideas for activities, but I will consistently encourage thoughts from members, to tailor events around what interests them. Despite these events being outside of 23 Paul St, they are still based on the ethos of Scarlet Ladies because they  are part of the membership scheme. I also believe that because I myself am a member, I am personally invested in feeling secure, having fun and self development.

Tell us how you select activities for Off the Records?

London as I mentioned earlier is a city in which you can never be bored! Selecting events is difficult, simply because there is a plethora to choose from. My first thought is always inclusivity, I don’t want to find something too niche (unless there has been a consensus on it) nor do I want it to seem that I haven’t really bothered either. I think about what happens after the activity, how easy the transport is to and from the location, and whether the venue is space in which members will feel comfortable.

Tell us about the 1st Off the Record and why you chose this?

The first Off The Record will be a pub social. It’s in venue I have been to before which has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and even nicer on a sunny day. It’s important that I point out that even though it will be in pub, I don’t want anyone to think they have to consume alcohol. Pubs are convenient because they literally are public houses. They also have a food menu, with vegetarian and vegan options. It will be the day of PRIDE – planned for the evening for those who want to see the parade, but will be away from the crowds for those who aren’t keen on them. For those who are game, there is a clubbing option as well which is aimed at queer women. It’s a night I have attended previously and danced a lot at! If your birthday is in July (mine is that week), you get in for free!

Can you give us a sneak peak into what to expect from Off the Records

In regards to future events they will include – theatre, silent disco, kink night, afternoon tea, cabaret and many more.

In 3 words tell us why you should not miss out on Off the Records

Varied. Friendly. Fun.

How can you attend an Off the Record

Off the Records are exclusively for members only. Simply apply to be a member [Link Here]. To maintain a safe space all of our applications are reviewed. You will receive your approval via email within 5 working days. Membership starts from £8.33 p/m.  Apply here

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