In our experience, lots of people have some degree of interest in some kind of kink —the giving or receiving of bondage, physical pain, role-play, dress-ups, dominance and/or submission; the list is pretty much endless. Socially we’ve shifted a bit in the last few years; a best-selling book and a feature film portraying an unsavoury version of BDSM, has at least stimulated conversation, and some of the myths surrounding a kink lifestyle have been challenged by those who live it. It’s also been several years since paraphilia—’unusual sexual fixations’ were redefined for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Ed.5 (DSM-5). Psychiatrically, fetishes are only considered a problem if someone is hurt in the process. The taboos are dropping and people are feeling the freedom to explore. People are starting to accept that BDSM is not abuse (and if it is, it’s not BDSM). They’re beginning to come to comprehend there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with wanting to be tied up, or getting your arse spanked; there’s nothing ‘ill’ about wanting to tie someone up or spank an arse.
With this new level of acceptance come curious new players, so we’ve put together some ideas of where new adventurers can start their kink social life.
Depending on your feels towards this whole phenomenon, you have a several choices:
Facebook: Yes, there are kink-friendly, sex-positive groups on there, and you can find them with a pretty basic search. But are you able to associate your profile with these groups? And as we all know, Facebook also has some odd Community Standards.
Twitter: No censorship. No need for real names. And definitely NSFW. If you follow the right people, Twitter can be a wealth of information, without the distractions and drama of Facebook.
FetLife: Basically a Facebook for kinksters, but not as user-friendly. FetLife is another great tool for helping unlock the kink world if you can deal with navigating it. If you stay on your kinky path, having a FetLife profile is more than likely in your future. It remains to be the best way for kinksters to connect. Feel free to add OurKink.
Dating Sites: One of the tricky things with Dating Sites is navigating your way through the ‘fakes’… Which is why we totally support Adult Match Maker as our Dating Site of preference. Not only are they sex-positive and super supportive of the kink community, AMM has profile verification, so there is much less chance of stumbling across people just there to bullshit you around. It’s run by people who know their stuff, and are always open to listening to user feedback.
Munches are social gatherings for kinksters in non-kink environments. Groups meet for lunches and dinners and offer an opportunity to meet like-minded people in a public, purely social situation. It’s always a good idea to get in touch with the event organiser prior to the event, to introduce yourself and to connect. This will ensure you ‘know’ at least one person when you attend the event and Munch organisers will generally be available to introduce newcomers around. Keep an eye on the Our Kink calendar as Munch events are being added soon.
Workshops and Skillshares
These are not only a great way to pick up some new skills, but also a brilliant way to connect with others. Once you start looking, you will find a bunch of people offering an array of classes, although it can be quite overwhelming when you’re unsure of your own level of commitment. As a starting place you can search for sessions like ‘Kink 101’, ‘Kink For Beginners’, or ‘Introduction to BDSM’. Generally, these types of classes are aimed at the curious or those who are unsure about their area of interest. As such, you should be able to get a good idea of whether this is something you’d like to continue after one of these sessions. As a newcomer to this scene, it’s always recommended to sign up for classes with an established educational group or trusted kink educator. For the beautiful people of Melbourne, check out the listings in our Education Section, and see what some of our wonderful connections have on offer. And don’t forget, there is more being added all the time! Overseas peeps, make Google your friend!
Public BDSM/Kink Events
Most people are generally nervous about their first public kink event, particularly if they’re turning up alone. Will it be confronting? Will I fit in? What happens if it’s all too much? Get as much information as you can prior to the event to know what you’re getting into: Is sex allowed, and how does the venue define ‘sex’? Does it have a nightclub vibe or is it more like a private party? How many people usually attend? Look into the dress code and do your due diligence. As with Munches, it’s a great idea to get in touch with the event organiser prior to the event, and let them know you are a first-timer. It is also important to questions and raise your concerns so that the organisers can give some sort of idea of what to expect. Some kink and BDSM nights actually have mandatory introductory sessions for newcomers to be well-acquainted with the expected etiquette and rules in particular, not only pertaining to kink, but to that individual club. Furthermore, some clubs will invite newcomers on an Introductory Tour.
Do keep a look out for these as you can gather a lot of information in a condensed time at these events. Most major cities celebrate the kink/BDSM community with Festivals, and your best way of finding out the when and the where is to via the good old internet. As mentioned earlier, Fetlife and even Facebook groups are good for staying informed, and rest assured Our Kink is here to keep you in the loop. Right now, Melbourne is gearing up for Australia’s biggest kink festival, OzKinkFest – a 10-day extravaganza of munches, exhibitions, workshops, events and a one-day Fetish Expo comprising market stalls from over 40 vendors, a fashion parade, performances and demonstrations.
This is always an incredible event for new kinksters and old, an absolute spectacular and an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best BDSM and kink presenters.
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