With the internet it is easy to get involved in local communities all over the world. Fetlife.com is about the only site I recommend for finding communities. It isn’t really designed to be a dating site; it is a social networking site, the Facebook of BDSM. Although many still use it as a dating site. Fetlife definitely has its issues and could always use some improvement. But it has been the best place in my personal opinion for networking in the kink community. All these people you come across doing everything imaginable. You may think some is hot, some is not and other things you see you ask yourself WTF! Welcome to the kink world, it can be a strange, fun and scary place.
So here are some quick tips for dipping your toes in the water…
- Use a pic of yourself not anyone else. If you are not able to be out and open about your lifestyle that is ok. Use some cute meme or something like that. Anything that won’t be construed as a picture representing you. Most all of us in the kink community understand that you can’t always use a picture of yourself. But it is never ok to use a picture of someone in a manner that people will believe is a representation of yourself.
- Fill out your profile. Granted like any other social website, many people won’t read the profile, they’ll just see the profile pic and write all kinds of ignorant to intelligent things to you. But the ones worth talking to will read it.
- Attend education classes and events to learn about the lifestyle. Don’t assume that since you read 50 shades of grey you understand the nuance to the lifestyle. Other than exposing the BDSM lifestyle to a more mainstream public view. That book has little to nothing to really do with the lifestyle. There are many organizations who provide educational classes, workshops and events all over the world. If you did join Fetlife, you can find many of these organizations through the events tab at the top of the website.
- Attend munches or social events to meet people. Get out and active in the kink community and you’ll have friends flowing before you know it. Yes, this can be scary and nerve wracking. Especially for someone who tends to be shy and introverted. It is also possible you won’t quite feel like you fit in at first. But keep going and trying, people will begin to open up when they start to realize your wanting to become part of the lifestyle. Not just another passer by stopping in to look at the kinky people.
- There is only one true way to practice the BDSM lifestyle, your way! So take the advice and education you get and adapt it to fit you in a personal meaningful way. However, pay close attention to the safety precautions of certain play aspects. Doing anything in an unsafe manner in which could cause serious harm to another is never ever ok. And never assume you know everything…. I’ve been in this lifestyle 20ish years and I am still learning new things all the time. Humility, it will go a long way to aiding you on your personal journey.
- You may be living a kink lifestyle but common sense still applies here like it does everywhere else. There is a real life world with work, kids, family, etc. that we all have deal with. How you work kink to fit into the world is the personal journey you’re on.
- Communication, learn how to! It is one of the most important concepts to the lifestyle. It is fundamental to your personal growth and the relationships you develop. Be honest with yourself and your partner(s). It may not always be the easiest thing to do, but it is the only intelligent way to be.
I hope you find these quick tips helpful as you step into the lifestyle. Stay safe, have fun and enjoy the ride your about to get on. Because it can be a doozy at times!