BDSM What To Expect

Everyone has to start somewhere and there’s always going to be that first venture out to a BDSM club. This feature aims to give you some ideas of what to expect, how to behave and what to wear so that your first foray into this exciting world goes as smoothly as possible and you don’t get any nasty surprises.
I had my first BDSM experience at hosted by the 4 Queens in Rockville, MD.  I must admit I was a bit nervous. I’ve been going to Lifestyle parties for quite a while now but even I get nervous going doing something new. There were several reasons for me to be nervous but one big one is the slight fear of the unknown. After I walked past the bookcase that slid open I must admit it was hard to know exactly what to expect. But I’m here to give some tips to those who are new to the scene, so that beginners can go in prepared.
First things first, do your research and find out as much as you can about the club you’re going to. I was lucky Tina of 4 Queens answered all my questions.   You need to know if there’s any kind of rules on who can attend, dress codes, cost and specific house rules.  Most clubs have their own website or Facebook page and you should be able to find out plenty of information from there.  There might also be pictures of previous events to help you get an idea of the atmosphere of the club and what kind of play area they have.  Every club is different so don’t assume that if you’ve been to one, you know all the rules for the others.  Some clubs will be aimed at specific groups within the BDSM community such as gay men, women only, couples only, cross dressers etc and it is important to understand whether you’ll be welcome in these situations.  I know of small events that limit the number of single men allowed to attend so they can try to establish some sense of balance at the event.  Some clubs offer a pre-club meet and greet for those feeling a little nervous and this can be a great way to get to know people too.
So you’ve chosen your club, know what time it’s on and how to get there, now to choose what to wear!  This is my dilemma every time I go out anyway, so you’re definitely not alone if you can’t decide.  Check out the dress code of where you’re going as your starting point.  Dress codes vary massively, from ones with very strict BDSM clothing only to others where anything ‘alternative’ will do.  It’s important to stick to the code though as plenty of places won’t grant you admission if you turn up without making an effort and that’s a sure fire way to spoil your night.  A good place to start is to see if there are any themes for that event.  One of my favorite Lifestyle clubs has a different theme every month and, when advertising, they suggest a huge range of ideas for that theme so they really do make it quite easy.  Generally, though, you won’t have to go out and spend all your money on latex (unless you want to) just to get into the club.  I have to admit that, as a woman, I have it a lot easier for outfit choice than some of the guys out there, especially when most clubs state the ‘no jeans and a t-shirt’ rule.  Generally, this actually means no blue jeans and no trainers but it’s definitely worth checking out photos from previous nights to get some idea of what’s ok.  If you’re still stuck, contact the club directly and ask if what you have planned is ok.  My other tip is to make sure you feel relatively comfortable in what you’re wearing, both physically and mentally.  Give yourself time to think about an outfit and try to avoid the last minute scramble so you don’t get too stressed out about it.  If you’re not happy getting to the venue in your planned outfit then check to see if there’s somewhere you can get changed at the venue.  Lots of clubs are more than happy to let you do this as they do understand that not everyone wants to wander round the city in a latex catsuit!
And you’re in!  Maybe you’ve got friends at the club or there’s people you’ve met through munches but you might be on your own.  Do not be afraid!  People in the BDSM scene are, on the whole, friendly and welcoming, as long as you’re polite and respectful.  Sure, there are always some exceptions to this but, in my experience, people are very nice.  Have a wander around the venue and take in the sights.  Grab yourself a drink.  And relax!  Some clubs may have a mini BDSM market, others will have several different play areas.  There may be a dance floor, a sex room, a seating area.  Get to know the place and look out for notices regarding house rules.  Usually, there will be your normal security type people at the door but there should also be someone or a few people in charge of the play equipment.  These are often known as dungeon masters and they keep a discrete eye on people playing on the equipment.  They also know what the house rules are, regarding play.  If you don’t know what you’re doing with a piece of equipment or there’s a problem in the dungeon, these are the people to talk to.  Although most clubs have some specific rules regarding behavior, here is a general guide to etiquette that will stand you in good stead:
  • Establish safe words before you start to play.
  • Be polite – it seems a simple one but people often forget that the other people in the club are human beings and deserve this common courtesy.
  • If you want to watch a scene, be discrete about it. Some clubs have a viewing area, others you will have to use your common sense.  If you can do so without interrupting the scene, ask if it’s ok with the people playing.
  • Do not crowd the scene and stand too close
  • Do not join in without permission
  • Ask questions, they were ready to teach. This night was geared toward people like me and it was fun to have so many teachers telling us how things work.
  • Do not touch yourself inappropriately
  • Do not touch someone else without consent
  • I wish it wasn’t necessary to point these things out but you’d be surprised what people will do.
  • Don’t approach people just after they seem to have ended a scene. People need time to readjust to the real world and interruptions at this point are a real no no.  Good players will involve some level of mental and physical aftercare at the end of a scene and outsiders are not helpful during this.
  • If you’re feeling brave enough to play, be respectful of the equipment
  • If you want to play with someone, ask politely and don’t get upset/angry/arsey if someone declines.
  • If someone asks you to play, don’t feel obliged if you’re not interested and politely say no. If you do want to, be risk aware and play consensually.
     
Remember, you’re there to have a good time and experience something different and exciting.  You don’t have to dive in head first if you don’t want to but definitely try to enjoy yourself once you get over the nerves.  You may see and hear about some things you’d never dream of or it might all seem a little tame to you but no two clubs are the same and no two nights at the same club are identical.  Personally, it’s all about the atmosphere and being around like-minded individuals.  I like watching others playing, I love seeing what others are wearing and I like the excitement of potential play in public.  The whole night from getting ready to dragging myself home is part of the fun and I tend to look forward to my next night out much more eagerly when it’s going to be to a BDSM club.  I choose not to drink too much when I’m out for many reasons, from safety to wanting to remember the night but you know your own limits.  No one likes a drunk person misbehaving and spoiling their own fun.
Remember, be prepared and go in with an open mind and, most importantly, have fun!

You may also like...