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Intro to Joining the BDSM Community

I entered the BDSM community late. That is to say, I joined up in my mid-thirties, much later than the average kinkster. I was certain that this put me at a disadvantage, that I seemed stupid to my peers and that the amount of “catch-up” that I had to play would take forever. Two things helped though. For one, I learned that I was not the only one who had a sexual awakening and entered the community way past their, so-called, prime. Many people discover what their fetishes truly are and join the world of kink later in life, some even as late as retirement. The second thing was that I had a solid support group who took me under their wings and guided me. As a result, I like to carry that tradition on and help new people when I can and that's why I felt an intro to joining the BDSM community post was in order.

I find that the main things new peoplebrand new peopleneed to know comes down to how, what and why. How do you join the community, what do you do once you're in and why do you have to do things a certain way? So that's what we're going to go over.

If you want to join your local kink community, the first thing you need to do is find them. Once upon a time this involved scouring the back pages of fetish magazines and newsletters and learning to watch for secret signs and codes. Fortunately, now we have the internet and finding the BDSM scene in your area is just a click away. There are a number of sites where you can search for and connect with others in your area who are serious and organized. Some websites are more effective. Some are safer. Some are free and some are not. The pros and cons vary. Just investigate each of them carefully and find out which one works best for you. (Most people use Fetlife.com, though it should be said that it's less secure than other sites. Best method there is to refrain from face shots and giving too much identifying personal information on your profile page or in messages with people you don't know. Paid sites are usually safer as they tend to attract less people who aren't as serious.)

The next step is to attend a munch. Munches are public meetings, usually in restaurants or bars where community reps and new people get to hang out, safely, incognito and get to know each other. They are vanilla, meaning you leave the kink clothes and toys at home and keep the freaky talk low enough that you aren't overheard. They are usually very friendly atmospheres and a good way to network and learn. It does bare mentioning that they are not meat markets. So if you think you're just going to show up, offer your desires and get laid, you'll be super disappointed (and potentially asked to leave, depending on your behavior). Making friends at munches can help you get invited to private events and lead you down the road to becoming genuinely involved.

Before and after the munch, one thing you have to do is study and learn. The BDSM and kink community is inundated with rules, etiquette and protocol. For example, one of the first things I had to learn is not to offer people my hand to shake. Some people have “no-touch” policies in place, meaning that they can only make physical contact with others with permission from their partner or partners. I still forget sometimes, since the vanilla world's rules are completely the opposite and switching back and forth is tricky. Other guidelines include making sure that you address people properly under certain situations, or sometimes, not all. At the grocery store you may have to ignore good friends, to pretend like they're strangers, so as not to out them to their family or co-workers. It's tough, but necessary. None of that even begins to scratch the surface of the kinds of rules that you have to abide by once you start to become intimate with someone.

But then, that's another post.

Entering the kink world is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. But, if you choose to pursue it, it will stick with you as a special memory, like your first few weeks of college. Always try to stay ahead of the game, to investigate and learn about any situation or scenario before you get into it and keep trying to become more well-versed in BDSM as you explore. It's one school that you never fully graduate from. And always be safe.

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