This week we’re marking the recent release of The Big Book of Submission, in which you can find our own C. Margery Kempe’s story The Rhino. And, while I’m always happy to celebrate the success of fellow writers, I find myself struggling to figure out what to say about kink. Honestly, I feel I have as much knowledge about the BDSM lifestyle as I do about, say, spark plugs. Or urban planning. But seriously, what’s a little lack of knowledge to stop me from gabbing about this topic? I’m a writer, after all. It’s what I do. So I decided to take the bull by the horns – or, in this case, take the butt by the plug – conduct a bit of research, and share my findings with fellow readers. Certainly I can’t be the only kink novice out there, and no doubt there are many who wish to add naughty to their nookie. So come along, students. Class is now in session.
For the kink philistine who wants to whip herself (heyo!) into shape, it’s best to begin at the beginning and start munching. Turns out, a “munch” in the BDSM world is the place to kick off one’s adventure. It’s an informal or casual social gathering for folks involved in the scene. Munches are the appetizer on the BDSM menu. It’s not so much an educational get together as it is a place to meet like-minded others. However, from what I’ve learned, there are plenty of novices who attend munches in order to familiarze themselves with how the BDSM scene works. If you’re planning to go, be aware of proper etiquette so you don’t wind up getting yourself spanked before you actually want to be. (!) For example, don’t ask someone at a munch what he does for a living, where he works, or any other personal questions that would out him to the outside world. Many people need to keep their kink under wraps from the rest of their lives, so probing into what one does aside from BDSM will win you no fans.
A munch may be directed toward a specific group (just for subs, for example), or might be focused on a topic such as the proper way to dominate. So, OK. You’ve decided you want to attend a munch. Where, oh where do you find one near you? Fetlife to the rescue.
Fetlife is the social network site for the kink-lovin’ populace. They boast a membership of over three million devotees (yowza!) and label themselves as “the BDSM and fetish community by kinksters for kinksters.” There are forums, event listings, advice, photos, and overall general resources for those who want to get their flog on.
In addition to Fetlife, there are bloggers a’plenty who will happily spank you with good advice, such as Jay Wiseman, The Pervocracy, submissiveguide.com, and Bemused Enlightenment, just to name a few.
When I think of BDSM gatherings, my mind inevitably conjures up images from the masquerade/bondage party scene in Eyes Wide Shut. It seems like something I could get into, especially if the people were as good looking in reality as they are in the film! (Uh-huh, I like to dream) Such parties apparently actually exist if one knows where to find them. Robin Reinach, author of the novel Broken Open, undertook a boatload of research in sussing out the kink scene in NYC, and she discovered that there are indeed Eyes Wide Shut parties around, some even held in swanky hotels.
Other elements of BDSM hold less appeal in my book, including fire play (ouch!), participating in a “slave market,” or electro torture. Still, perhaps what’s most appealing about BDSM devotees is how non-judgmental they seem to be. It’s an all-inclusive, anything-consensual-goes kind of atmosphere which, when it comes to sex, is something to be thankful for.
So there you have it. BDSM 101, for the unintiated. Get out your vinyl suit and join the fun. Oh, and for more fun, don’t forget to follow us at Lady Smut. If you don’t, we might have to spank you. 🙂