Damascus and I have been meeting lots of kinky people lately, going to munches and discussion groups and events that are geared with kinksters in mind. None of these events have actually featured any real kinky activity, just conversation and friendly chatting. We went to a munch, a sale of BDSM equipment, a discussion group, and a geeky movie marathon night at a BDSM dungeon themed Bed and Breakfast. We have met many friendly people, all seemingly comfortable and willing to talk about their kinks and interests (except for the newbies, like ourselves, which often look shy and more reserved, hanging back to listen). Going to these things is not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, and while I get nervous every time, I am starting to meet people I like and it is becoming more comfortable with each event. I am learning so much about myself as I learn about others. Mostly I learn things that I am not interested in doing or experiencing in the BDSM world and taking note of why. I still can't really articulately verbalize the interests I *do* have (which I would like to make an effort to attempt soon) but using process of elimination to rule things out (for now at least) seems like a good starting point. I have also learned to keep an open mind and not rule things out entirely, because tastes and interests seem to change and expand as one has new experiences.
So many of the people we have met are very hardcore about their kinks. People living 24/7 as doms and subs, very extreme pain and activities. It feels a little voyeuristic and is also somewhat intimidating. But I try to remember that these are the folks who are most experienced and they seem to have a confidence in what they do, and thus are likely the most outspoken. I feel like some of the things I like: a little spanking, interest in light bondage, and a little dirty talk are terribly vanilla in comparison. It makes me wonder what it means to be kinky. I try not to dwell on it too much, though. I am learning , thinking, and exploring this side of me so much, and I am fine with going slowly and thoughtfully. And I try not to feel too intimidated, because it seems silly to feel like an outsider in a group of outsiders. The important thing is that I feel like my sexual wants are a little out of the ordinary in a variety of ways and I feel a kinship with other kinky people. Also, being in a room that has chains hanging from the ceiling and a wall hung full of floggers and paddles makes me all sorts of squirmy, even if I don't know what I want to do with those things yet.
I am hoping, weather permitting, to attend another kinky munch tomorrow in a farther away place (but one where I may know even more people already). And Friday, if a space opens up (fingers crossed) Damascus and I may be attending our first play party, at the Bed & Breakfast. I really hope a space opens up for us and the owner lets us in. This would be our first time in a kinky environment where there is some actual play going on, which is both terrifying and exquisitely exciting to me.