Finding a Play Partner
This post is part of a series that begins with BDSM Encounters – A Framework.
Perhaps you are on this site to learn new skills with your intended play partner. If so, great! This part is done already!
But perhaps you are looking for a partner, or if you have one, you both are interested in “opening” your relationship and exploring with others, too.
The good news is that this world does exist in real life!
If you have only ever seen this world through movies or TV, it is not what you think it will be. It is not filled with compassionless, icy Doms or Dominatrixes that care nothing for their unfortunate victims. Yes, you will come across ill-disposed people from time to time, just like you will in any other community (this is why Vetting is so important!), but mostly it is filled with curious, passionate people that love to explore and have that indefinable something that gives them the courage to do so.
We like to say that it is filled with sex nerds and adventurers!
Generic Online Tools
General dating apps and sites might work, but it can be difficult figuring out if someone you are interested in might be into kink. More and more, people are just being up front with it, but that can be risky, so many include code phrases in their profiles.
These code phrases will change over time but some that are common right now are:
- Reference to movies or books that feature BDSM
- The Secretary
- 9 1/2 Weeks
- The Duke of Burgundy
- Gor (or the author John Norman)
- Using the word “macrame” in a suggestive way
- …or just clearly using a kink or rope bondage term,
- “I’m a kinky fucker” is a pretty good clue…
- shibari, kinbaku, etc.
- Sometimes the use of terms from the Poly or polymerous world can indicate an openness to kink:
- Ethical Non-Monogamy
Start Online, But Move to Real Life
If you love rope and want to find other people who love rope, go where those people are!
Many people find much more success using sites dedicated to kink or alternative lifestyles (as opposed to wading through hundreds of profiles on an otherwise vanilla site, looking for the rare kinky profile).
As discussed in Finding Your Local Scene, FetLife.com can be a useful resource for meeting potential partners. It is not set up as a dating tool, although some do try to use it that way. It’s intended purpose is better. We believe that if you are looking to form a real relationship, it is best to move things from virtual space to real-life space as quickly as you can. Staying online will only get you so far. Here is where FetLife can be helpful. Its primary goal is to connect people with the real-life community, helping you find local groups of real people that share your interests. Sign up for free, then go to the Events Page.
Be Realistic. We are Still Part of the Real World, for Better and for Worse
- There are people who hear about our world and try to join it because they think they can get easy sex or they are predators hoping for easy prey.
- For both Tops and Bottoms: Check references and don’t accept a person’s word without the corroboration of someone you trust, preferably more than one person.
- Bottoms: There are dangerous Tops, people who play outside their ability, who don’t respect boundaries, are careless, or may even be predators.
- Tops: There are also dangerous Bottoms, people who are not honest about their abilities or what they want and can thus contribute to getting one or both of you physically and emotionally hurt. This can violate your consent. It could also hurt your reputation.
- Use all the “keep me safe” skills you have learned as part of a wired world: