Not sure where to start? Local instructor Megan put together a guide to the different types of events, how to have a good time at an event, what to wear, and common event rules.

Event Types

If money is an issue, many events have scholarships or will allow you to go to event in exchange for a certain number of volunteer hours.

Classes

Classes are a great place to learn kink as well as meet people. Classes aren’t for play, but you’re welcome to network and mingle. If you’re new, a class is a great place to start.
What to Wear: Casual, or close fitting clothing (leggings, sports bra etc.)
Cost: $20 - $100

Munches

A Munch is a social event for kinky people, typically at a restaurant or bar. Munches are networking events: people go to meet other kinky people and ask questions. Like classes, munches are good events for new people.
What to Wear: Street clothes (nothing overtly kinky)
Cost: Usually free or cost of drinks

Rope Jams

Rope jams are for practicing rope in a casual environment. Rope jams are a peer learning environment, so asking questions is encouraged. Play is usually not permitted.
What to Wear: Casual, or close fitting clothing (leggings, sports bra etc.) Bring your own rope if you have some.
Cost: Free - $20

Tastings

A tasting is a small scene or demonstration of a kind of kink play. For example, you might have an experienced top letting people from the audience try having wax dripped on them, giving them a little bit of information on how it’s done, safety and where to get started. The great thing about this kind of event is you can experience a wide variety of kinks and ask questions and try things in a low pressure environment.
Cost: $15 - $40

Kink Conventions

Kink conventions typically have several days of classes and play parties. They’re a great way to fully immerse yourself in a kinky environment.
What to wear: Some events allow leather and fetish gear inside the venue, others require vanilla attire.
Cost: $100 - $500

Play parties

Play parties are for kink play. Each event has its own rules, but it’s common to see things like bondage, flogging, rope suspension, sex, and other BDSM activities. Bring your own partner or have a few friends if you want to play.
What to Wear: Dress to impress. Leather, button down shirts, cocktail dresses, and lingerie are all good.
Cost: $20 - $50

Play parties have their own etiquette:

  • Don’t talk to people who are playing. Approach after they are packing up their play bag if you want to chat.
  • Stay at least 6 feet back from other people's scenes whenever possible: there are many toys which will hit you on the back swing if you stand too close.
  • “Red” or “safeword” are generally accepted as the house safeword at most venues. Saying a safeword more than once is likely to result in a dungeon monitor intervening.
  • If you don’t like something you see, walk away. If you’re concerned about safety, talk to a host or dungeon monitor.
  • If you aren’t a dungeon monitor, don’t intervene in a scene.

How to Have a Good Time

Most kink events are friendly and welcoming of new people, but it’s important to behave appropriately for the space you’re in.

Consent

Kinky people take consent seriously. Respect everyone’s consent:

  • Ask before touching anyone or their belongings.
  • If someone says no, don’t ask again or ask why they said no.
  • Never “out” anyone. If you see someone from the kink world in a vanilla space just nod or act like you’ve never met them.

You should expect other people to respect your consent:

  • If someone makes you uncomfortable, talk to event organizer.
  • Remember there is no certification to be a kink teacher, event organizer or venue. Quality will vary and some are even dangerous.

How to make friends

Start by making friends, not hitting on people. If you make friends, play partners will follow. You’ll probably need to go to a few events before you find anyone who wants to play with you.

Tips for making friends:

  • Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself or ask questions.
  • Pro tip: make friends with everyone, not just people you want to play with.
  • It’s fine to ask someone about a scene they performed earlier.
  • Just like in the real world, you’ll make more friends if you're friendly and respectful.

What to Wear

Don’t wear clothing that attracts attention outside of the kink space (for example don't wear a full latex bodysuit to a munch). You will find it attracts the wrong kind of attention.

Inside kink spaces there are generally one of three dress codes:

  • “Vanilla”: In the context of clothing "Vanilla" means something you can wear to Target without getting strange looks. Jeans, t-shirts etc.
  • “Kink Casual”: think things like leggings and sports bra. Maybe a shirt with a naughty logo.
  • “Dress to impress”: button down shirts, cocktail dresses, leather, latex or lingerie are all good. Something you might wear to a club is probably a safe bet for a BDSM play party.

If you're not sure what to wear, black jeans and black tops never go out of style. Also wear cute underwear: you can always strip down in a pinch.

Common Event Rules

Every event is different—make sure to read the event rules or talk to a staff person if you’re new. These rules are pretty common, however:

Consent

Consent is mandatory at all times:

  • “No” is a complete sentence.
  • Ask before touching people or their things.
  • “Safeword” is almost always the house safeword.

Obey the event staff

Even if you don’t agree with their policies, arguing with staff or dungeon monitors will get you kicked out and possibly banned.

Prohibited play

Most venues ban certain types of play:

  • Potential biohazards (scat, watersports, possibly blood play)
  • Fire hazards (fire play, candles, etc.)
  • Guns (real or simulated)
  • Race play
  • Solo masturbation

Kink and intoxication don’t mix

Most venues don’t allow alcohol or drugs on the premises, and don’t allow intoxicated people to attend.

Don’t annoy the neighbors

Don’t wear clothing that attracts attention outside of the kink space (for example don’t wear a full latex bodysuit to a munch). In the context of clothing “vanilla” means something you can wear to Target without getting strange looks.

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