One of the most feared activities of a novice is getting up the nerve to meet other people face to face. Yet this is one of the first things that I and many others recommend for those wishing to get into BDSM. I encourage people to learn all they want behind the comfort of a computer screen but to really taste things as they are, they need to get out and experience it. Talking to other people can not only dispel the fantasies that may have been built in the novices minds but help fortify what they believed all along; they are kinky.
This is a necessary first step for you when you want to do more than read about BDSM. I know the exact moment I reached the point of no return. I knew I'd be leaving the online realm altogether and engage in real experiences. I had an online Dominant at the time and I was really good at asking a lot of questions. I had a blog (no longer around) that I used to figure out what I might like and dislike, what drew me to things and how I felt about finding a Dominant. The night that my online Dominant said that he could no longer help me with my questions, that I needed to get out into the community and really experience kink for myself was a huge turning point. I took it as a new task, a challenge not to be ignored and started searching for groups local to me.
Thankfully I found a few. I joined the message boards, introduced myself and set a date with destiny. I was terrified to meet these strangers for which we had a common bond. What would they think of me, how would they act, what was I getting into? Would I recognize anyone? None of these things stopped me cold. I needed answers and the only community was left for me to get those answers.
Walking into the restaurant that first time was scary. Approaching them and seeing all the smiling faces was wonderful. It put me at ease and when I started talking I just couldn't stop. It was like coming home. I had found my friends.
MEETING THE LOCALS
Will you have the same experience? Probably not. Each community has a different feel to it. You may need to try several different groups to find one that meets your needs. There are all sorts of different groups in this country. Some are play focused, others are social groups complete with drinking socials and parties, others are intellectual and hold a lot of discussions and topic themed munches. There is something for everyone. I'm sure that there is some group out there meant just for you.
When getting ready to take that leap of faith, it's okay to be scared. See if you can meet a leader for coffee before the day of the munch. It could help you calm your nerves when you realize that they are normal people and it definitely will help you the day of the event when you enter the place and there is a familiar face.
There are some very valid reasons why people aren't comfortable meeting locals. What if they know someone or see others in the restaurant that will 'connect' you with the group you are sitting with? If you still want to get out and meet people in a group setting, consider traveling a distance for your group activity. I've heard of people traveling upwards of 4 hours to a meeting to be as anonymous as possible.
This scenario just might be easier on new people entering the scene for the first time. You've made a weekend of it and traveled a distance to go to a group. You won't have a chance to recognize anyone, you can choose to not return and the anonymity value is very high.
The most important thing is to get out there.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
There will likely be no play if that is what you are wondering. First and foremost the meeting is often times in a public place like a restaurant and you will be expected to mind your manners as if you are out with friends for dinner. There will be lots of conversation, from mundane to outlandish. Sometimes you'll talk fetish and kink topics and sometimes it will be about weather or kids or work. It really doesn't matter.
No one will be dressed all in leather and the people wearing collars will likely have a public acceptable one. You will not be expected to serve or be served at these meetings. You are just a bunch of people getting together much like any other group that meets for social communion. Sure, you could be invited to a party afterward, but I'd recommend you decline the first time out; you don't want to overload your novice brain.
IN THE END
Ultimately it's your decision if you want to move further in your learning and experience level. This is THE next step. Take the leap and meet some real people in a nonthreatening atmosphere. What could it harm?
Questions to Ponder
- How long did it take you to get out into the local community and meet people? How did your first visits go?
- What would you say to someone that is hesitant to go to a meeting?
- Why is it emphasized that people get out and meet others?
Further Reading Online