Discreet shipping icon   Discreet shipping warranty icon   1 year warranty Secure payment icon   Secure payment

BDSM Community – How To Get Involved



The more broadly-known path to BDSM is couples-based. I.e. my boyfriend wanted to spank me, so we did that. Then we tried tickling with feathers. Then we tried bondage cuffs. So… we’re kinky!

But let’s talk about another path into BDSM.

A person goes to a play party or kink workshop. They see people laughing, crying–yelping even!

The trust between the people in the scene is palpable. The top/Dominant gets close to their bottom/sub.

They whisper, “Is this pressure good?” They touch their skin to check the temperature. Or they crack a little joke, just to see if their partner is still “with them.” If the bottom has slipped into subspace, the top notices and adjusts accordingly.

This was my path into BDSM. It didn’t come from a desire to spice-up a romantic partnership. It came from the desire to play with groups of people. The desire to build judgement-free relationships that could go to the raw space of ritualistic catharsis.

And what I found was an international community ready to take me in, arms wide open.

If you want to get involved with the BDSM community, welcome! And here’s how to get started:

1. Make yourself a FetLife profile.

Muggles guffaw at FetLife, and for a good reason. Folks who approach this social media platform as a dating website will typically be disappointed. But those who are looking to stay up to date on kink events and network with other folks in the scene, have just entered a candyland of possibility.

Want to know the trick to getting the most out of FetLife? Join groups! Find groups specific to your areas of interest. And look for groups specific to areas where you frequent or live. Browse through the events, which by default will be sorted by your location. Read, read, read! The amount of opinions and information out there will give you a glimpse into the vastness of “the Lifestyle.”

2. Start attending munches…and maybe sloshes

Munches are events where kinky folks meet and socialize with one another. Little to no alcohol will be at this event.

No BDSM play happens at munches, but this is a great place to vet a potential play partner or negotiate a scene. Typically, they’re in public, so this can be a safer and more comfortable way to meet new people.

Go with an open mind and the desire to make friends, not just land your ideal play partner. Sloshes are like munches, but with alcohol. They often take place at bars. I don’t like alcohol-centric events for negotiating scenes or vetting potential partners, but they can be great fun for socializing.

3. Locate the dungeon

Locate the dungeon and/or sex-positive education center nearest you. If you live in a smaller town, ask around! You might be surprised at the existence of an underground kink culture.

But please keep your wits about you. Just as in the vanilla world, there are predators in the kink world as well. Sometimes these are the people teaching the workshops, or running the dungeons.

More about this in the next step. Even if you decide to not become a purveyor of your local dungeon, it’s good to know it’s there, who’s in the scene, and any history they’ve become known for.

4. Vet new partners!

Whether you meet someone online or in person, be sure to vet them. To do so, ask them for three references in the scene. Contact each of these people, explain that you’re considering playing with their friend, and ask if they recommend them as a safe person. This is a reason it’s good to be involved with a trustworthy group in your area.

One reference that I contacted was shocked that she was named as a reference for my potential play partner. “I mean, he knows his stuff, but don’t get caught alone in a room with him.” That little reality check was enough to quell my sub-frenzy and make the choice that was right for me. (If you guessed that I didn’t end up playing with this person, you guessed correctly.)

5. Make people on your side of the slash

Well, the “slash” thing is specific to people who are into power exchange: D/s. So, if you’re on the D side of the slash, you’ll want to make friends with other Dominants, or D-types. And if you’re on the s side of the slash, you want to make friends with other submissives, or s-types.

But the same idea goes for folks who aren’t into formal power exchange. If you’re a bottom, make friends with other bottoms. If you’re a top, make friends with other tops. If you’re a switch (like yours truly) do your best to cause a ruckus everywhere you go.

Friends in the scene will help you make sense of the things you’re learning. They can help you plan a future scene or do a post mortem processing of one that has passed. Friends can help you stay safe(r) and get so much more fulfilment out of your participation in the community.

6. Research BDSM conferences

These events can range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand people in attendance. Even if you don’t decide to go to one, it’s good to know what’s out there. Some of these conferences are very focused, like on leather or power exchange. Others bring kinksters together from a huge range of interests: Ponies. Pups. Littles. Leather folk. Medical play. Latex enthusiasts.

The experience of being surrounded by so many kinky folks and activities under one roof is truly unforgettable. And if you’ve never had your boots blacked, this is the place to do it! (It’s also my default when I’m feeling awkward. You just sit in the boot blacking chair and look like a boss while somebody does their magic on your boots. Be sure to tip!)

7. Make education a habit

There are some great books out there. But YouTube channels and podcasts make ongoing BDSM education even easier! I found my top 5 favorites in this article. But once you catch the fever, you’re likely to see it everywhere you go. The grocery store. The library. The dentist’s office. Take note of the inspiration that pops up. Run your ideas by kinky friends and enjoy the sordid conversations that ensue.

8. Play parties, play parties, play parties

I cannot recommend play parties highly enough. In fact, I’ve never played one-on-one with a new partner. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city where we have multiple venues that have alcohol-free parties which are actively monitored by DMs. Another privilege I enjoy is access to parties that are not sex-focused.

Note to new folks: read the party description carefully! Some parties will be sex-centric, others won’t. And if you get invited to private play parties, ask if there will be Dungeon Monitors or other volunteers keeping an eye on things. If not, make sure you’re going with friends you trust, who will check in with you during the night.

Also, different people have different policies about alcohol. Consider how well it does/doesn’t impact your play and your ability to make decisions that you’ll be happy with in the morning.

9. Volunteer!

This has been my best solution for social anxiety. Instead of being worried about going to a party without a partner, you can be welcomed onto the crew as a volunteer. You may need to attend volunteer orientations and trainings. Either way, you’ll have a job to do, so hoorah!

This is a great way to take the focus off your own nervousness and focus more on helping other people feel welcome. You’ll also learn a lot about handling dungeon equipment, and how to set up scenes. And of course, meet the most selfless, hardworking, and friendly people in the community.

I cannot recommend getting involved with the BDSM community highly enough. If you’re single, poly, or mono AF, the Scene can provide incredible support. And when those unexpected feelings come up–and trust, they will–you’ll have someone other than your partner (or scandalized vanilla bestie) to process with. Wherever you are in the world, you can find or create a place to call home within the folds of kinky community.

What are you waiting for?

Related products


Leather folded paddle
Leather Folded Paddle

Paddles allows you to stay close to your sweeties so can you hear their voice and pay attention to their breath while you explore sensations and intensities. Whether tied to the bedpost or ...


Leg Spreader Restraints Black Leather
Adjustable Leg Spreader Bar with Leather Cuffs

Have you ever watched the film Secretary? If so, you know the spreader bar lends itself to many wonderful possibilities. If not, stop right now and watch that movie! This steel spreader bar ...


H Style Leather Flogger
Leather Flogger H Style

First of all, you need the right music for flogging. ‘WAP’, ‘Rebel Rebel’, and all expressions of death metal come highly recommended. The thickness of the leather is graded at an unintimi...


Leather Wrist Cuffs (Padded) Black
Leather Wrist Cuffs (Padded)

Sturdy, comfortable, and easy to use. These wrist cuffs are made in the UK from high-quality leather and luxuriously padded for a happy bondage bunny! They adjust with a buckle to fit most ...


Sign up for emails

10's of thousands of subscribers can't be wrong, get access to exclusive content, special offers, and news. By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy. We will not share or sell your personal information.