In 1999, I started going to a monthly fetish night at a local nightclub… and did some serious S&M… Stand & Model. In 2000 I turned 25, graduated, took a job, and moved to a new state… and my whole dating/sex life (such as it was) was put completely on-hold for almost 2 years, during which I went to work, then came home to hermit-like seclusion.
Finally I got the idea to search the internet (this new-fangled thing we just got in 2002) to see about kinky/fetish activities/clubs in my region. I really was part of that group that came in on the hinge between pre-internet and post. In 2002, some of the groups/clubs had a website… but most were still relying on Yahoo listserves (email lists) to communicate. So it was a far cry from the true pre-internet days when you had to have the balls to walk cold into some seedy club w/ a name like “The Glory Hole”… But it was also a far cry from the day of blogs, twitter, FetLife, and Recon, where one can amass tons of data w/o ever setting foot in an actual club or party.
So I managed to identify three groups in my area to check out: Lynx, CAPEX, and TAAG. I believe I started w/ Lynx. This was a simple "munch group," and thus seemed like the most non-threatening – a group of kinky people meeting once a month in a public restaurant for dinner. Right about the same time I went to the Gateway group sponsored by CAPEX. This was a small, talking-only meeting (at a church, of all places) specifically for younger people entering the lifestyle. It was (and still is) an excellent program! I can still remember the first meeting I went to. The topic was setting up a “safe call” before you meet-up w/ a stranger for a play-date. Good safety tip. I was also recommended to read “SM 101” by Jay Wiseman. Which I did.
I quickly graduated from CAPEX’s Gateway to CAPEX itself. I really enjoyed this group. The people were very friendly and welcoming. I learned a lot from the first presentation I went to (which, conveniently, was “Entering the Community” – yea, serendipity), and I attended my first actual kink party… where there was a 101 class on fire-play, which I tried-out and found it, not terribly erotic, but pretty neat.
Both Lynx and CAPEX are still going strong 10 years later, while TAAG is now defunct. This is unsurprising, b/c I found this group to very unwelcoming. I went to a couple of TAAG events in 02-03, but they were a very stand-off-ish crowd. CAPEX was all about bringing people in, educating them, and giving them forums to network… TAAG was all, “We don’t know you.”
Meanwhile, at CAPEX, I was diving in w/ both feet. I soon started volunteering to help w/ set-up and tear-down or bring food… And my eagerness to jump-in (and lack of modesty) led to me being asked to be a demo-bottom just a month or two after my very first play party. CAPEX had always had trouble finding male demo-bottoms. It’s a “pansexual” group, but it’s always been dominated by older, het-male-top/female-bottoms. Naturally this limited my opportunities to find the 20-something female-dom I was searching for… but I also very quickly found that I didn’t mind bottoming to men, provided that they were safe, competent, and I liked their energy. I’ve never been at all homophobic. (Of course it probably helped that one of my long-time best friends is gay… but then I had suspected he was gay even before he realized it about himself, and it never bothered me.) I also learned early that BDSM could be erotic and sensual w/o being “sexual,” and so I’ve actually bottomed to more men than women over the years…
I also landed a few invites to private parties. Volunteering and demo-bottoming led to some quick networking. I was invited to my first Fantasm to come down and demo-bottom for one of the presenters. Sure! That was my first kink-con (and if you don’t remember Fantasm… lets just say “seedy” doesn't touch it; forget the dungeon – you could sit in your hotel room and play “guess that stain”)… and I managed to play a couple of scenes in the dungeon (one spanking, one wax).
One other thing that helped my reputation early on was that I entered the community very humble. I knew nothing, I didn’t pretend to know anything, and I asked lots of questions. One downside of the internet I’ve already seen is a lot of inexperienced newbies coming in w/ arrogance and superiority b/c they saw it, read it, or “did it” online. Seriously? I may be old-fashioned, but I don’t see any substitute for going to clubs, cons, and events… watching, asking, and participating. (And also, get off my lawn you damn kids!)
Truth is, there’s no substitute for direct experience and interaction… and I still trust print media over anything digital. If somebody actually invested in publishing a book then it’s probably going to be higher quality and better veted than some crap some shmuk posted online. (Which also means you shouldn’t trust anything you’re reading in this blog. I’m actually an eleven year old girl named Margaret.)
In 2004, I helped to form a bi-monthly interrogation play group. That really launched my reputation as a heavy bottom. The first session they broke me by sticking needles in the webbing between my toes. When that wasn’t enough for session two, they pushed needles through my cheeks into my gums. I think session three ended w/ a taser to my balls. (It’s been a few years since I played quite THAT heavy… but I’m still a pretty tough pain-puppy.)
Two other very important things happened in 2004: I bought a motorcycle, and I met the beautiful girl who would soon become my Owner. (That’s chronological order; not necessarily order of importance.) After being a stray in the scene for almost two and a half years, I found my perfect match.
- Beautiful girl
- Close to my age
- Dominant (although she switches – NOT w/ me)
- Tom-boy tough w/o being “butch”
- Tall for a girl
- Sexually aggressive (Okay, I did kiss her first… but after that, let’s just say she quickly took things in hand!)
- Smart, curious, and physically fit
We met in November, started dating in December, she collared me in February, and moved in by March.
And we lived happily ever after… or: To be continued…