Finding a Kinky Partner - Part III

by Tamar Kay
Copyright © Tamar Kay.

This is the third in my series of articles on finding a kinky partner. In this one I'll talk about where to look for a partner, and how. As always, please bear in mind that this article is the result of my own experience and might not be applicable to you. Please read all information about relationships with a critical eye. Only you can decide what works for you.

Last month I asked you to think in depth about the person you're looking for to get a better idea of what that person might be like and what you might offer them. This time I'll explore ways to meet that potential partner.

When you're searching for something, you should try to increase the odds of finding it. Sounds pretty simple, eh? So, when you're searching for a partner, seek ways to contact the broadest possible spectrum of compatible people.

In short, you should look everywhere.

Events

Being physically present at an event increases the odds of coming across a potential partner. Meeting someone in the flesh is always the best way to screen potential partners because you get more information from them than you would, say, over the phone.

If you decide to use this avenue, try to attend as many events as you can. RCDC and other groups put on regular events. Ask around. You may also want to join the NLA -- the National Leather Association, which now has local events and yearly conventions.

Personals Ads

Placing and answering ads may also be a way of hooking up with like-minded individuals. Remember that not everyone who might be compatible with you is involved in the organized scene. Some people don't like crowds. If you're one of them, you may find this a better avenue than attending events.

Local ads make it easier to meet potential matches, whereas national ads let you search among a greater range of people. Much depends on the publication in which you place your ad. If you have access to the Internet, you can place an ad for free on alt.bondage.personals. Since access is both free and world-wide, not everyone posting there is serious, but many are.

Personals ads are effective for some people, less so for others. Keep in mind that while the odds may favor women looking for men, anyone can stand out with a good ad.

Should you lie, or maybe fudge the truth a little? Someone once told me, "everyone lies in personals ads." But I assure you that this isn't true. If you want an honest partner, you have to offer the same. It's a bad idea to misrepresent yourself in a community whose watch phrase is "safe, sane, and consensual."

Honesty builds trust.

Ask Your Friends

You can ask the people you know in the community for help in your search. Most people in the community are pleased to help. Some are closet matchmakers who would be only too happy to have an invitation to be involved with your search. And if someone in the community recommends a potential partner to you, that personal reference is an added safety bonus.

But never take anyone else's word on the safety of an unknown partner. You have to judge for yourself, which brings us to...

Safety

I recommend reading the chapter, "Finding Partners," in Jay Wiseman's SM101. He covers a good number of safety tips. If you are a woman, be especially careful: don't give out your home phone or address to an unknown contact and don't meet in private unless a trusted friend knows where you are and will check on you.

Safety first! People do get hurt, and you don't want to be one of them. I can't begin to cover good safety practice here, so I again recommend picking up a good reference. Ask around. (SM101 is available at Spartacus or by mail through JT Toys, 800-755-8697.) Don't compromise on your safety. Safety is no joke when you're letting someone you don't know tie you up. Be safe starting with the first time. You may not get a second chance.

Getting The Word Out

Try writing a personals ad for yourself. Start out writing whatever comes to you, and edit later. You may want to scale it down for a newspaper. Ask friends to review it for you. There's nothing wrong with a second set of eyes, no matter how practiced you are. (I have my articles reviewed before I send them to RCDC -- Thanks, Simon!)

Approaching Someone in Person

People in the scene are rarely offended when approached directly, provided you are direct, don't apply pressure, and gracefully take "no" for an answer. If there's someone you're interested in, then consider approaching them directly. It's not that different from other social situations -- simply walk up and politely start up a conversation.

Some Do's and Don'ts

Do be friendly and try to show your best qualities (with your clothes on, please, unless it's that kind of party.) Do treat everyone with respect and courtesy. Do be honest about what you want and know.

Don't throw yourself at someone's feet, or start ordering them around. Such activities must be negotiated ahead of time. Behavior like that is considered rude and immature.

Do get out there and start looking.

Nervous? You're in good company. But the best thing you can do is start practicing. Introduce yourself to someone you're interested in, or answer a voice mail ad. Give it a try.

Next month: Patience, Persistence, Seduction, and Compromise.

Copyright © Tamar Kay.

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