The previous chapter is all well and good if you’re in an existing relationship, but what about if you’re single? How do you go about meeting people who might be interested in kink – and once you have met them, how do you go about negotiating for play, and arranging to enjoy yourselves in a safe and fun way?
Of course, the obvious answer to this is that you meet people in all the ways that your normally do. Kinky people aren’t some special breed of humans that can only be found in certain places – and there are no magic words or shortcuts that will help you find someone kinky with whom to play or have a relationship. The dating game is every bit as complicated and full of heartbreak within the kink scene as it is without. If anything, in fact, it’s far more complicated.
However, there are a numb  er of ways in which you can increase the number of kinky people you’re likely to run into. I’ll go through them below – but first I want to issue a very simple warning.
Be prepared for this to be difficult. And loosen your expectations. Kinky dating isn’t like vanilla dating, and you may find yourself having to ask some very strange questions of yourself. For example, how would you feel if the person you were going out with also had a boyfriend or girlfriend? How would you deal with a situation where someone’s kinks didn’t match up with your own? It’s worth taking a minute to sit down and think about these issues before launching onto the dating scene, so that you at least have the groundwork of thought done before you even meet anyone.
Now, on with the list of different ways to meet people.

Dating Sites

Dating sites are an excellent way to meet kinky people. Not everyone who frequents them is likely to be kinky, but you’ll find that several have a high proportion of fetishists in their ranks. OKCupid in particular is rife with people with alternative interests, as is Kink Social. Why should this be the case? Well, I can only speculate, but I suspect that – as kinky folk – their needs aren’t met quite as easily as those of most vanilla people, and as such it probably takes longer to find a partner. Whatever the reason, having a profile on a few dating sites can only help you meet interesting people. If you really want to screen for kinky people, why not include a subtle allusion to your kinky self on your profile, and see who picks up on it?

BDSM and Fetish Dating Sites

Dating sites specifically for people with kinks or fetishes are few and far between. You’ll find a number that claim to cater to your specific demographic, but more often than not they require a fee, and are populated largely by bots and fake profiles. The one and only specifically fetish dating site that I’ve found is Collar Me. Although the interface is terribly out of date, the fact remains that people do actually use it to look for partners. Create yourself an honest profile and check out who can be found in your area. The chances are you’ll meet at least someone.

Specialist Social Networks

When it comes to specifically kinky social networking sites, there’s only one that really springs to mind. FetLife. Most kinky people have at the very least heard of it, and it looms large in the community. It’s in a separate category from dating sites for a reason though – although it’s possible to create a profile on FetLife, the makers have decided not to make it into a dating site. For this reason FetLife is, to be honest, one of the most difficult places to meet kinky people on the internet. You’ll find plenty of friends, advice and community, but the whole site and ethos of the community therein is against dating. However, you can use FetLife as a way of finding out about…

Fetish Events

This is the best and by far the easiest way of meeting kinky people in your area. Most towns and cities will have an event called a Munch. Some cities even have more than one – different munches have different themes and different crowds attending. Find one that suits you, send the organisers a message introducing yourself, and then go along! Easier said than done, of course, but you’ll be glad that you did. Most munches are relatively friendly, and they’re quite often low key events where people meet to eat, drink and socialise rather than to play. Indeed, you’ll probably be surprised by how ordinary your local munch looks. There is, however, no better way of meeting prospective partners than to go along and meet them in person. We’ll cover munches in more detail later on in this guide, when we come to discuss events. For the time being though, simply keep them in mind as an excellent way to make friends and contacts.

Making Friends

It’s worth discussing your newly-discovered interest in kink with your friends. Primarily this is because it’s good to have people in your life who know what’s going on, but it can also lead to good things happening. You’ll be surprised by how many people are actively interested in kink and fetish, even if they’ve shown no previous inclination towards it. And – if they happen to know that you’re kinky – they can keep an eye and an ear out for anyone who might be interested in meeting you. This is one of the reasons that it’s really worth going along to your local munch and making some friends there. The more people you know and the wider your network – the more fun you’ll have!

A Few Notes:

I’m going to round off this section with a few qualifiers – things to keep in mind as you go about your quest of meeting people and finding exciting new individuals to enjoy yourself with. The first note of caution is this: don’t go to parties expecting to meet people. A lot of newbies make this mistake – they sign up to attend an organised orgy or play party, thinking that they’ll be able to wade right into the action. I’m afraid that’s not the case – you’ll really need to get to know people in a social setting before you’ll be able to do that. That’s what munches and other more low key events are for. When it comes to picking events to attend, start out with something that is mostly social, and work upwards from there once you’ve built a few connections within the scene.
It’s also worth noting that women (particularly heterosexual women) will have a MUCH easier time when it comes to meeting people in the BDSM scene. It’s a simply fact of mathematics that there are more men in the scene than there are women – making females
very much in demand. Indeed you might find that you’re overwhelmed a little by offers of friendship, guidance and help. Do not feel in the least bit obligated to accept any of these offers – instead, take the time to find people whose company you really enjoy.
For men, on the other hand, it’s something of an uphill struggle. You may find yourself ignored, sidelined, or simply met with an unwelcome silence. It’s one of the sad realities of the scene that males are often not at all welcome, whereas females are. For this reason it might be a little bit more work for you to make friends and integrate – and a whole lot more work when it comes to convincing someone to play with you. That is, however, just the way the game is stacked. It’s no use complaining about it – all you can do is be aware of the bias and do your best not to let it get to you.

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