I have seen the term "transformation" used in many contexts when writing about kink, fetish or sexuality generally.
One that public players will be very familiar with is dramatic effect that is produced by the use of costume at a club like our Nimhneach. As the night develops, we admire and wonder as more people appear in the door dressed as anything from near naked sci-fi figures to elaborate (and very warm) large animals. Amazingly delicate icing sculptures of outfits mingle with big raucous bosomy corsetted burlesques.
The adults we shared a pint with at the meet 'n' greet emerge from the green room in pigtails and pinnafores, lollipops in mouth and only missing their bundles of schoolbooks.
These are transformations we are all very familiar with. We Ooh and Aah, we ask how it was created, we secretly look for ideas to copy.
But last night, at our January club night, I was struck by a lesser commented on, but actually more dramatic, transformation. It was 2.30. We were standing by the door, near the cloakroom. We saw people around us grabbing quick good night kisses and hugs, making promises to meet up again next month, or running back for a forgotten bag. They were strangers.
Who were they, these invaders? They looked like any bus queue. I don't know them. What are they doing in our club?
Then I started making connections. The girl in the warm coat and the thick wool scarf had been an iridescent concoction of white and silver ten minutes earlier. The bloke with the practical pullover and confident breezy manner had been little else but skin, tattoos and submission earlier in the night. This transformation has far less wow factor, but is actually more interesting because it is the proof that we are all in the real world.
Walking out of the stage door and into the street is an actor's ascension into the real world. Butterflies to caterpillars, a transformation indeed.