I recently got this question recently in an email (quoted with permission from the author):
I have a bit of a personal question if you don’t mine me asking. I’m 25 and very tired of dating vanilla guys and I’d like to get in touch with the local kink community. I was wondering if you were involved in your community and how you first began. And do you have any advice to someone just starting or even where to begin?
My response is below (edited a tiny bit for privacy reasons), and I thought it’d be good to share it for others seeking the same advice:
I don’t mind you asking at all! I’m not sure where you’re from, but I’m probably suggest either Recon or Gear Fetish or anything similar that catches your fancy. Now, like any social network, you’ll get to talk to a lot of guys, but when it comes to actually meeting, it somehow becomes a lot more difficult–flake out factor can be high. But just keep trying, and do trust your instinct. And also meet new people in a public space first, so you can get to know them before being alone with them tied up–that would be a bad time to realize someone may be a little nutty in person.
Aside from my online presence, I’m not super active in my local community. Mostly in my case, this is because of personal privacy issues with both myself and my boyfriend (who is even more paranoid about this sort of thing than even me). We did once get a membership to a local bondage club, but we only ended up attending one actual event. This was mostly because our schedule never really lined up, and over the years, we more or less ended up acquiring the same equipment the club had, giving us less incentive to go. However, if you can find a local club near you, I’d suggest it. Many times, the clientele will skew to a bit older [Note, remember the writer said he was 25–TFG], but it won’t all be that way, and most credible clubs have very clear rules about approaching others and making sure you consent before any play happens. I suspect if you just google “bondage club” and your local area, something will come up. I wouldn’t even necessarily put “gay” in the term, because many clubs are pansexual, or have a separate gay night.
My personal story was a lucky crap shot. I was looking more for a long term relationship, and kink was not required (although I was playing on Recon on the side). Ultimately I met my BF on vanilla website (such as Okcupid, onegoodlove, match, etc.) and by pure luck, it turns out he was kinky as well. It came out early on because both of our profiles said we liked horror movies, and at the time, the movie “Hostel” was brand new. I remarked that any movie with a guy ballgagged had to be good, and he sort of figured it out right there. Over the years, our interests are very similar, although they don’t overlap completely… he’s not into the slave scene or verbal humiliation at all. Nor is he into feet, although he does indulge me with my own smelly socks and shoes (his feet as well, although they’re often not smelly, which is a bit of a bummer for me). So I do still occasionally meet guys on the side for bondage/feet photo shoots for the blog, but I don’t have sex with them, and he does know about it. I wouldn’t quite call it an open relationship, but I do get to play at times.
I hope all that helps! Best of luck to you!