I’ve got another Ask Me Anything for this week, and this question came from my takeover events because it’s asked in a variety of ways almost every time I do one! Curious what the #AskMeAnything is? Check out the official AMA page on my site over here. I hope you find this helpful!

Q: For people that would like to write the lifestyle convincingly, or are just interested in getting into it, can you suggest any good resources?

A: The fastest, safest, and easiest way to get into your local BDSM community is through, whether you’re wanting to just talk to Doms/subs and ask them questions for realistic depiction of the lifestyle, or if you’re wanting to get into it on your own.

While I originally stumbled into BDSM the old-fashioned way by just playing around with a boyfriend (I can tell you all about that in another AMA if you’re curious), once I wanted to get into the community and find someone, I knew I needed a place where I could meet other kinksters and explore more.

How do you get started? So, I signed up on FetLife and joined some local groups. This is how you can get connected with people in your local area, and it’s what I recommend. When you sign up on FetLife you can search groups by city name, county name, etc. to find the ones that are local to you. This is the BEST way to start, because you can start browsing through the posts and “lurk” (meaning you don’t have to post until you’re ready) and see who are the most respected / most active members in your community. When you ARE ready to dip your toes in, pick one of the more active groups and make an introduction post. The night I made my introduction post I was 2 -3 glasses of wine in, I’d read about a hundred of them, and I just wrote the truth about myself. While I played with several people because of that introductory post, my current Dom (of almost 2 years) saw it and that is how we met.

Then what? Go to “munches”. These are community hosted events out in public (or at someone’s house) and they are usually not kinky (meaning normal clothes, etc). It’s the best way to meet other kinksters in your community and talk to them outside of the club. They’re relaxed, let you get a solid idea of what your community is like (and it can tell you if this munch isn’t full of your type of people). Keep going to munches until you find a few good people that you know you can trust to ask questions and have support. Showing up AT a club isn’t going to be the best idea because most people go to clubs because they want to play, and they usually have that partner already chosen. I think what’s hard to understand (because of the way they’re described in books) is that most people are at a club because they can’t install a St. Andrew’s Cross in their apartment, or a secure hard point in their bedroom, so they are at the club because they want to play – not necessarily socialize. Now, there are events at clubs meant for Meet n’ Greets, but showing up on a random night is likely not going to work out because people already have someone with them 90% of the time. My suggestion? After you join FetLife, and go to some munches, figure out who you like, who is easy to talk to, and ask to tag along the next time THEY go to the club. Then you’ll know someone (who know others in the community) and you’ll have an “in” to talk to people, and maybe get to play!

What happens on FetLife? So. Many. Creepers. You are going to get harassed, no matter who you are. FetLife is no different than any other dating site that is full of a bunch of asshats that will send you ridiculous messages, random dick pics, etc. It’s obnoxious, yes, but you don’t have to talk to them. You are not obligated to respond to every person who messages you, and if they’re an asshole in a chat the first time you talk to them, they’re probably worse in person. When you find someone interested, talk to them. Ask them ALL THE QUESTIONS you have to make sure they’re a good fit. You should spend a good deal of time chatting/talking, and always trust your instincts. If you don’t FEEL good about someone, then something is probably setting you off. I mean, there’s no perfect choice, but that’s also why I always have a safe call. Anyone new I play with has to verify they’ve been tested in the last 6 months for STDS, send me a pic of their driver’s license, and then I give that, their name, and phone number to my BFF along with my safe call time. If I don’t call by then, my friend starts calling me, if I don’t answer – police. When you share that kind of stuff up front, the crazies avoid you because you’re not an easy target. Also, download a phone app called Kik. It’s the easiest way to “text” with people off of the FetLife website (which is not very friendly on mobile) and let’s you keep talking without giving out your phone number.

Side note, and a good topic for another AMA, are limits lists. You can have soft limits (meaning you’d be willing to carefully explore them) and hard limits (which are abso-fucking-lutely not). You should have that list ready to send to any potential play partner.

What do I do when I want to meet up? You have a few options. My #1 suggestion is to first meet at a neutral, public place like a coffee shop. This let’s you just get up and walk away if they’re giving off a weird vibe (once again, trust your instincts! They exist for a reason!). The 2nd suggestion I have is that (if you have a local club) agree to meet there on a class night, or an open-play night, so that you can talk with them and actually explore some play in a safe place that has dungeon monitors (people who will help you if things get out of hand). What I don’t want any of you to do is just show up at someone’s house, or at a hotel room, before you’ve ever met them in person. That’s how you end up on the 10 o’clock news. I know it sounds scary, but this lifestyle can attract some pretty horrible people who are NOT INTO BDSM but just looking for someone that they can lure into a place and hurt them. Be smart. Bring condoms. Have a safe call. Make sure the person you’re meeting knows you have a safe call, and always make sure you have a mode of transportation. Never let someone drive you to another location in their car, take your own. It sounds simple, but it can be hard to remember when you’re excited/nervous/full of butterflies.

What happens after? Debrief. Even if it’s the next day over the phone or over texting/Kik messages, tell them what you liked and didn’t. Be honest about whether or not you want to meet them again (you are NOT obligated to see someone again if you didn’t enjoy yourself). Adjust your limits lists if you need to, start mapping out the things you like and don’t like in the lifestyle, and then either go out with them again, or find someone new. FetLife has so many members and it may take time for you to run into the right person.

The most important thing you need to know is that just because you’re a submissive does not mean you have to do whatever someone says. If they tell you to take off your clothes and send them pictures, and you don’t want to, don’t do it. Block them. If they demand you meet them in a parking lot somewhere, and it concerns you, don’t do it. Is it hot when Doms tell us what to do? Absolutely! That’s why we like it! But there’s a HUGE difference between that happening within the boundaries of a healthy, functioning, D/s dynamic, and some asshole using D/s as an excuse to be a misogynistic, abusive, sonuvabitch. Don’t fall for the asshat routine just because you’re excited to dive into the lifestyle. There are good people out there, hold out for the good ones.

Alright, lovelies, I wrote a ton on this one and I hope this helped you! Please feel free to ask more questions in the comments here or on Facebook, and please ASK ME MORE QUESTIONS! There’s a link at the top of my blog to submit, and you can do it completely anonymously. I’m always here, ready for you to ask me anything. <3