Getting Involved with the BDSM Community

Are you looking for the BDSM community?Maybe you’ve been playing privately at home and want to find some new experiences or learn more. Maybe you’ve read some books or seen some movies and want to find “the real thing”. Or you’ve always had these thoughts and feelings and felt alone and just found out that there are others like you.Maybe you just want to find some new friends who share your kinky interests. So where do you go?

You don’t have to go vary far, the BDSM scene is all around you! But sometimes it can be difficult to find, and if you’re new to the scene it’s hard to know where to start. Here are some suggestions that have worked well for people.

Social Media for Kinksters

You should definitely consider setting up a free account on FetLife. FetLife is THE social media site for the kink community. It can be as crazy as any other social media type, but it’s where you’ll find the most information about what’s going on. Once you’re set up you can start connection to people and groups.

Munches

A munch is a public gathering of lifestyle people at a restaurant or bar. Because it’s in a public place there’s no fetish clothing and of course no play. (Don’t scare the natives!) It’s a great way to get to know people and let them get to know you, ask questions, and get information. Generally people will be talking about almost everything except the lifestyle, but don’t be afraid to tell someone that you’re new and have some questions. Everyone will be happy to talk to you, we’re a very friendly bunch!

Clubs

There are currently two BDSM/Fetish clubs in Colorado: the Denver Sanctuary, and Voodoo Leatherworks in Colorado Springs. Both are private, members only clubs. They both have orientation classes, and offer play parties, discussion groups, classes, and social events.

Discussion Groups

Discussion groups at the club usually meet once a month, and are generally two hours long. There are groups for dominants, submissives, switches, and other interests. This is another great way to meet people and learn a lot.

Classes

Classes are usually two hours long and can cover technique (flogging, spanking, etc), relationships (communication, D/s protocols, etc), Leather and BDSM history, service skills, and more.

Play Parties

Play parties are parties where you play! This is where you bring your toys and engage in your particular interest: impact play, rope bondage, fire play, and almost anything your kinky mind can imagine. A lot of people come to play parties just to socialize too.

Your first play party can be a bit overwhelming. You’re likely to see flogging, needle play, fire play, rope suspension, wax play, and other activites that might be a bit scary. Don’t worry, everyone is having a good time. Everything is consensual and negotiated. Here are some things you need to know.

  • You don’t have to play at a play party! If someone asks you if you’re interested in playing, you can tell them that you’re new to the scene and you’re just watching and learning. Or that you’re not up for a scene tonight. Or that you only play with your partner. Play when you’re ready.
  • Feel free to watch! But keep a respectable distance, two or three feet, from the scene. If you need to talk to someone, keep your voice low so it doesn’t disturb the players. And don’t interrupt a scene! If you want to talk to the players about what they were doing, wait until there scene is finished and they’re back in the social area.
  • If you see something that you’re not comfortable with, don’t watch! Look at another scene, or go to the social area for a while.
  • If you see something that you think is dangerous, find a Dungeon Monitor or other club staff and let them know. It’s probably completely okay, and if it’s not they’ll handle it.

When you feel like you’re ready to play, you need to have some skill in scene negotiations. This is a pretty complex subject, so talk to someone about it first. Club staff should be able to put you in touch with someone who can give you the basics, sit in you your first negotiations, and observe your scenes until you’re on your own.

Private Play Parties

There are a lot of private parties, usually held in someone’s home, in the community. You may get blind invitations to private parties on FetLife, especially if you’re new, young, female, and submissive. We recommend that you not attend private parties until you know more about the scene. You should also know something about the people hosting the party, and preferably go with someone you trust. Most private parties are okay, but you always need to keep your safety in mind.

Safety

Speaking of which… the public BDSM scene (which includes private clubs, just to confuse you) is the safest way to participate in the lifestyle. No place is completely safe in our community, the same as any other community. You can find predators at science fiction conventions, churches, or any other place where people congregate. But the clubs are the best way to play and socialize safety.

This another complicated issue, so talk to people, watch for classes on the subject, and be informed. Here’s an excellent article by slave namaste, International slave 2010, to get you started.

A message to S-types – what you REALLY need to know

Leather Conferences

Leather conferences are weekend events for our lifestyle. There are events all over the country and the world, every weekend of the year. We have two outstanding Leather conferences in Colorado: Thunder in the Mountains, and Colorado Leather Fest. They both feature classes on a wide variety of lifestyle subjects, and Thunder has the most amazing play parties in the world. (No we’re not bragging at all!)

MAsT

MAsT (Masters And slaves Together) is an international education and support group for the Master/slave community. If you’re in an M/s relationship, or considering one, or are just interested in learning about the M/s lifestyle, check the MAsT section on our Resources page for a chapter near you.

Am I a Top, or a Bottom? Am I a Dominant, or a Submissive?

Good question! Some people already know what their lifestyle orientation is when they get into the community. Others may have some suspicions, or may have no idea at all. Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out. You’ll hear a lot of definitions and a lot of opinions about what all these words mean. But you’ll find a definition that works for you, and that will be the right definition.

Here’s on tip that might give you some insight. Watch a scene in the dungeon… someone smacking someone’s ass with a paddle. Where do you see yourself in that picture? Swinging the paddle? You’re probably a top. Getting your ass smacked? You just might be a bottom. They both look awesome? You could be a switch.

If you like telling people what to do and controlling the scene, you’re probably a dominant. If you like following orders and not having to make the decisions, you could be a submissive. Depends on the situation and who you’re with? Congratulations, you’re a switch again!

Take your time, figure it out, and be aware that it may change over time.

In Conclusion

This is a very high-level overview of the BDSM scene. There is a lot more to it. A lot. It’s an amazing opportunity for growth and learning. Take your first step on the path, and enjoy the journey!