Forgive me for randomness of thoughts and typos today, I'm waging a war with a sinus infection. Not fun.
One of the things I love about being involved in BDSM in our area is that we have cultivated a fantastic group of friends locally that we otherwise never would have met. People with wicked senses of humor who can look at a kitchen store utensil selection with the same twisted eye that I can.
I also love that this group of people is one of the most welcoming and helpful bunch you'll ever hope to meet. I remember when I was a newbie, and went to one of my first play parties. I was asking a Dom about his floggers, and he started showing me different ones and explaining them to me. Within five minutes, I was literally surrounded by about a half-dozen Doms, all showing off their floggers and explaining them. It was sweet and funny all at the same time. And no, not a single one of them propositioned me.
Another Dom friend of mine helped me learn how to use a singletail, gave me several lessons with it. He also introduced me to fire cupping, something I am now addicted to because it really helps my fibro pain. (This is also an ancient Chinese medical practice.)
I'm also frequently asked by people, "How do I find a Dom?"
Frankly, you first need to make friends. Sometimes, people end up in "sub frenzy," so desperate to have that D/s relationship that they check their brains at the door and get themselves into trouble. It's far better to cultivate a wide group of diverse friends in the lifestyle FIRST. Because honestly? It's like any other relationship. If you can't be friends with someone first, anything deeper, especially a BDSM relationship, just isn't possible. And in this case, not only is it not possible, it's potentially dangerous.
I know it's scary to go to your first Munch or play party, but believe me, everyone felt that way their first time. Find whoever is in charge, tell then you're new and nervous, and they will be more than happy to either show you around and introduce you, or they will help you meet people who can give you that attention. No, not every group is a good fit for every person, but the people who fit in best are those who go in with no expectations and aren't "on the hunt" for someone to play with. The people who invariably fit in best are those who come in with open minds, honesty, and the ability to rein in their libido and act like an adult without bringing drama into the group.
Honestly, I really find I prefer my kinky friends now. I can totally be myself around them, and they accept me for who I am the same way I accept them for who they are. There's no need to have some "big secret" hanging over my head that I have to worry about if it'll offend them or not. Conversations can take any direction and, with maybe the exception of politics and religion, there's little chance of someone getting offended. Not to say that all conversations are kink-related. On the contrary, it's not unusual to be standing at a play party, with people playing all around, with the most mundane of conversations going on.
Yes, it's definitely not what a lot of people would expect. LOL
So if you've been "scared" to get out in the local crowd and meet people, don't be. They were where you now are. And if you just go in with an open mind and a willingness to learn, chances are you could make some life-long friends.
(Tymber Dalton is a bestselling author and BDSM lifestyle switch. You can find more about her, including her latest releases, at www.tymberdalton.com )