Q: I’m an older woman (just north of 50) and, after years of being celibate, I have found myself interested in BDSM. I tried for a very long time to convince myself that I didn’t want a single shred of kink in my life, and very nearly succeeded. Circumstances in my life also made it difficult to focus on anything like a relationship, never mind one that would involve kink. I don’t want a Story of O relationship, and I don’t want to rush into too much, too soon. I want to meet other kinky people, make friends, and find someone who can show me the ropes, so to speak. –Kink Curious 

A: I’m so glad that you’ve written to remind us that kink is not exclusively a young person’s game, nor is coming out into whatever sexuality is really your core or deep desire. There are kinky friends to be made everywhere, although not all of them may be the same kind of kinky you are. Still, people you don’t necessarily play compatibly with can be great new friends, so let’s find them! 

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Over the past 20 years, the BDSM community has blossomed, so there may be organizations in your city or region. The National Leather Association keeps track of many of these groups. Fetlife.com is another resource for finding out about local gatherings. (Fetlife.com is not necessarily the place I’d recommend for finding partners, but using it as a search tool may bear fruit.) In particular, seek out an event called a “munch.” These are non-play-party events that are low-pressure and generally held in restaurants, so they’ll feel pretty safe to even a very shy newbie. If you don’t find a local organization you can participate in, you can travel to one of the larger events that combine education with social and play opportunities. Visit lovely New England for the Fetish Fair Fleamarket, or look into the bicoastal events by Dark Odyssey. 

New Fall Issue d217c

There are loads of books about BDSM and kink, and one volume in particular is tailor-made for the kinkster emerging from her chrysalis: Playing Well With Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities by Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams. This is the field guide that will get you out of your armchair and into the world, where your frisky future play partners are waiting to meet you. It’s about time you met some new pals and got what you wanted!

Got a sex or relationship question you need answered? Submit it here!

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Carol Queen is a staff sexologist at Good Vibrations

This article originally appeared in the October/November print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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