N.B: This blog post was inspired by an email from the Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s. If you haven’t listened to their podcast yet please do so, you can also check out the website for great resources and links on how to listen or follow on social media.
We’ve come to another subject about which I’m fairly passionate. Which is probably obvious from the fact I help host a podcast about the social and interpersonal side of kink. Myself and Bakji have probably lost count of how many times we’ve recommended people go to their local munch, or rope group or find their way to a Fetish event.
While I understand joining the local community isn’t for everyone, it is definitely the beginning of something amazing for many people, and for that reason if you are even a tiny bit curious about your local scene, I urge you to give it a try. It honestly could be the best thing you ever do.
While it isn’t perfect, thankfully Fetlife is actually quite wonderful for finding your local community. By clicking ‘Events’ on the Fetlife menu, you can select ‘Events Near Me’ and ‘Events Friends Have RSVP’s To’. Provided you have selected your actual location as your Fetlife location you will be given a lovely list of local events.
One of the reasons I initially decided to go to local kink social is because I was starting over in life. It had been 10 years since I’d been single, I’d had two disastrous encounters with individuals from Fetlife, and I really wanted more out of my fresh beginning. I decided that what I needed was friends. Yes, a partner would be wonderful, but what I was initially seeking was friendship and the chance to learn about kink in general and kink on a personal level.
I was very lucky that at my very first social event, which was a lock-in at our local sex shop I met a selection of folks. This led to many wonderful interactions with a variety of awesome people, many friendships were formed, and I am pleased to say some still remain to this day. Most wonderfully of all through that group of friend,s I met Bakji.
There are so many wonderful things and lovely people I wouldn’t have in my life if I hadn’t decided to find my local community.
Some of the common questions I see or get asked about the local kink/rope community, that are perhaps preventing people from going are:
- Can we go as a monogamous couple? Is there really any point if you’re not looking for a partner? – Absolutely. Munches are brilliant for connecting with like-minded people, learning about new things and generally feeling free to be yourself. Yes, it is a good place to go to make a connection that might turn to more than platonic friendship, but it isn’t the be all and end all of the function of a munch.
- I haven’t got anyone to tie or tie me can I still go to the local rope event? – Unless otherwise stated (as it might be for workshops), then yes, you can certainly go along without a rope bottom to tie, or without a rope top to tie you. Often group organisers can facilitate bringing people together to discuss potentially tying together, but there’s actually a lot you can learn by tying yourself. Alongside learning rope skills you can also socialise and meet new people.
- My age/body type/gender identity/physical abilities/specific kink might mean I won’t be welcome. – Hell No! Sadly I’m sure there some shitty communities, but most and I hope it is the vast majority are really inclusive. And yes this counts for rope too. With a little bit of understanding and the desire to work together, almost anyone can have an awesome rope experience. I say almost because I’m sure there some factors that mean someone can’t do rope play but overall most of us can.
- I want to go to a Fetish event but I don’t own the right kind of outfit. – Yes, you do. Honestly, most people will have something in their wardrobe that they can fashion into a suitable outfit for a Fetish event. It is not the terrifying ordeal it seems like it might be. We actually did a whole podcast episode on this very subject as we felt so passionately about it not holding people back.
- I want to go to a munch but I’m shy/anxious/socially awkward. –Then you will fit right in. Don’t for one-minute kid yourself that everyone in the kink community is super confident with their shit together. The truth is we are just regular, everyday folk and we all come with our own insecurities, personal issues and idiocies. You know what though? That makes us a really interesting bunch and a fairly understanding bunch too. If you are particularly worried then get in touch with the event organiser beforehand and they can meet you at the door and be sure to introduce you to some people, so you aren’t left to your own devices.
Many people find the kink community and never leave, I personally don’t get to as many munches as I’d like to, but I get to far more Fetish events. Some people spend a good chunk of time in the community until they meet a partner and then they might not feel they need the local community any more. Other people might flit it and out, as and when for as long as they have an interest in kink. All of these approaches are valid.
It’s definitely okay to know that the local scene isn’t for you. If you have a kinky partner and you enjoy doing your own thing at home, that’s absolutely a valid way to kink. If you’ve ever been curious about your local community though and have constantly talked yourself out of going, stop, right now and give it a go. If it’s rubbish, you need never return. If it’s awesome though, you might just have the best time of your life.
ProudToBeKinky has many episodes about getting social within the kink scene, one in particular though is our 1st birthday episode.