So… I found kink after reading 50 Shades of Grey, now what?

The chance of finding a young, handsome, dominant billionaire with a helicopter and a fleet of Audis probably isn’t realistic.  I know… I’m sorry. Most likely, if that person did exist (with a distinct lack of childhood abuse and trauma), he or she is already taken, possibly by more than one partner. There are a number of things that you should not expect in the first 6 months (possibly even the first 6 years or maybe even EVER)  of a BDSM relationship.

Do not expect a contract. Yes, there are people in BDSM who negotiate a 24/7 dominant/submissive or master/slave relationship complete with contracts. This is not for beginners. As a beginner, if you are faced with one, it should send up red flags like crazy.  Nothing speaks predator like a service contract with someone you’ve barely met. If you want the rush of a contract- if it does something for you, make it one that dissolves after 48 hours or after a week of service.  Let it be fun and exciting, but short lived. Exit strategies are important, and believe it or not, the parties involved in contracts are involved in writing the contract. It is not just a matter of laying out the rules and having someone else follow them.

Do not expect that the only safe way to play is in the back room or basement of someone’s house. In fact, this is probably the most  unsafe way to play. I started out single, only playing in public. I knew that I could arrive, no one knew where I lived, I could send a text to let a friend know where I was, I could play as much or as little as I wanted to,  I could leave when I wanted to, and I would send a text to let my friend know when I got home. Don’t play with someone you have no references for and have never met before in a place where they can lock you up and no one would know about it. If you are a top, don’t expect someone to just agree to meet at your house for a play date if you have never met them before and can’t offer them the safety of a public environment.

Stalking under any circumstance is not acceptable. Getting references is not stalking. Getting references is absolutely acceptable and encouraged.

Trips to the hardware store really do have new meaning for a kinkster. I used to work at one, and I remember more than one occasion where people needed advice on how to make something that had a purpose they didn’t want to discuss. The orange box really is “My Favorite Toy Store”.

Don’t expect expensive gifts. We come from all walks of life, and we like our toys. Floggers, whips, cuffs, corsets, heels, boots, kilts, paddles, canes, electrical toys, knives, stocks, bondage frames, ropes, suspension equipment, pony gear, puppy gear… events… it all costs money, and kinksters are always comparing toy bags and putting something new on the shopping list.

Yes, you absolutely can find a relationship (or many) that will last a lifetime in the BDSM / Kink/ Fetish universe. As with vanilla relationships, jumping in without being aware of the risks can be devastating. I have friends in the scene that have spanned being single, getting married, my marriage failing, and my current relationship that is still going strong after seven years (and yes, he’s kinky too). You can also meet people who will become family to you. As in the vanilla world, you can also meet some folks that you wish you hadn’t. That’s what makes a horse race.

Hi,  I'm Lucy! I tend to love the essay- a lot. I also love story telling and just sharing my experiences as I see them- usually with a bit of snark and humor in the mix.  I've been active in the VA, MD, DC BDSM scene for about 15 years, as a bottom, a top, a switch, a submissive and a lot of weird stuff in between, I am also a masochist as well as a sadist.  I am a graysexual and can relate to the ACE perspective as well. You can find me on Fetlife as LucyMarshall, feel free to drop me a line!