Many, many years ago, I was a young and enthusiastic 18-year-old about to embark on her first visit to the BDSM scene. I was both nervous and excited, what was it like, and what would I see?
I want to say here that it's very YMMV.: some clubs are fairly friendly and not a lot goes on, some seem more like an all-out free-for-all, and still others are something in between. The club I attended was a lot more of the former, and nothing at all of the latter.
When I arrived, the first thing I saw wasn't an abundance of latexwear, beating and sex. Instead, all I saw was a couple of people in eveningwear, taking care of reception duties. It didn't feel like I'd turned up to a BDSM club, it felt more like I'd turned up to a kinky hotel!
There was a 50p charge to hang your coat up and tickets were £10 each. There was also a £3 ticket available if you just wanted to visit the market, but then you'd have to leave by 7pm, ahead of the evening party. The market was almost like any other market except that, instead of selling cakes and pastries, they were selling erotic media and bamboo canes.
I can never forget some of the things I saw at that market. They weren't scary at all, if anything, they were beautifully erotic. There were sterling silver earrings shaped like handcuffs and tiny tassle earrings made to resemble floggers. There were also bracelets and necklaces with a screw closure instead of clasps. "Day collars", I was told.
The transition from day to night was almost seamless. The host walked around and announced that the market was closing, and that anyone with without a party ticket would need to buy one or they would need to leave. I already had a party ticket clutched in my hand, so I continued to sip my drink.
As the party warmed up, an older man approached me. He had his grey hair pulled back in a ponytail and he started to chat to me. I found him somewhat arrogant and I think he preyed on me, knowing that I was new to the community. We talked a bit about roles and he asked what I identified as. Not knowing what to say, I told him that I was a Switch.
"Which do you think I am?" he asked me.
Observing his leather chaps, I offered up "sub?". He scoffed, picked up his drink and walked off. Perhaps not, then?
As the evening progressed, the attire that people wore became a little more oriented to their fetish. People I'd seen during the day were now wearing corsets, collars and adult diapers. Men wore heels, wigs and make-up and others wore masquerade masks. I was told that it was okay to notice, but you mustn't stare or judge. Remember, everyone has a kink!
Once it was open, I dared to go and explore the dungeon. There were two dungeons, and really, neither was that different from the last. The DMs, or the Dungeon Masters, were very friendly and explained fully what was going on. One Dominant even offered me my first spanking, but feeling flustered and somewhat overwhelmed, I ducked out. There was a lot of furniture in the room that I didn't understand and wasn't sure how it was used, but as I observed in the public dungeon, I began to learn.
Some of the things you see in dungeons may shock or horrify you. I have seen people pierced with needles, I have seen people flogged until they bleed and I have seen men have easel clips pulled quickly from their nutsack. You need to remember that all of these scenes, no matter how horrific they may seem, they are all consensual. They are what both parties want and have agreed to do.
A lot of clubs also have quite a few rules and it's definitely worth checking rhwm out before you even attend. Some clubs allow sex and swinging, some only allow touching and some (like the one I attended) allow no sexual contact at all. Also, if you don't follow the dress code and turn up wearing sneakers or jeans instead, then you'll most likely be turned away. Most clubs operate a smart black dress code, minimum.
There are some steadfast rules, for example, it's fine to talk to other people, but you mustn't touch them without their permission. If you're told that you need to speak some someone's Dominant before they will speak to you, respect it, as that is part of them and a part of their dynamic.
There are also some seemingly strange rules as well, for example, that only a Dungeon Master can stop a BDSM scene if they feel it is unsafe. It is also rude to interrupt or participate in anyone else's scene without their permission as doing so could ruin the headspace for them. BDSM clubs are not a kinky free-for-all, there is quite an etiquette expected between attendees.
Some people will push boundaries. There are some people who regard Switches as submissives who simply don't know their place and others will insist that anyone who is not experienced or a Dominant address them as Mistress or Sir. You don't have to call anyone Mistress or Sir if you don't want to, and if they are being that arrogant then it is quite fine to simply walk away. You should use someone's chosen name to refer to them or to address them, but you don't have to submit to their demands otherwise (unless you want to, of course!). Unfortunately, although there are many great people, not everyone in the community is such a savoury character and so you do need to develop a bit of a tough skin.
Over the years, I have stopped attending the club that I used to frequent. I can assure you that it has nothing to do with the hosts or the people and everything to do with costs, choice and preference. A lot of our at-home sessions, admittedly, end in sex, and the hour-long commute on a Sunday after the club can really put a dampener on things. The music we prefer is choral rather than techno and we prefer a more sensual session rather than lots of flogging and caning. We also found that fitting in at these events quite often requires you to attend all of the other events, and so we chose to no longer to attend. Although these clubs are a wonderful chance to socialise and network and may even be a great opening for your kinky well-being, they aren't the be-all and end-all of your perverted self existing. If you go and enjoy yourself, great, but you can also have plenty of fun at home.
That's it from me for this post! Have you ever been to a BDSM club? What was your first visit like for you? Why not give this post a like, share your thoughts in the comments or click here for more kinky posts!
Until next time!
Stay safe & have fun,
Disclaimer: Products mentioned in this post have been honestly and independently reviewed on behalf of Lovehoney. All of my reviews take into consideration the ease of use for a person with disabilties, who are the target audience of Kinky With A Twist. Please be aware that I may receive a small commission on any products you buy through my links. You will not be charged any extra for any purchases you make as a result of my reviews.