Dear Dan: How does one get into the gay BDSM bottoming and leather scene?
— Seeking Answers Concerning Kink
Dear SACK: One shows up, SACK. “Eighty percent of success is just showing up,” someone or other once said. The adage applies to romantic/sexual success as well as professional success, SACK, but showing up easily accounts for 90 percent of success in the BDSM/leather/fetish scene. (Being a decent human being accounts for the other 110 percent*.) Because if you aren’t showing up in kink spaces — online or IRL — your fellow kinksters won’t be able to find or bind you. But you don’t have to take my word for it…
“The leather scene is a diverse place with tons of outlets and avenues, depending on how you navigate your life and learn,” said Amp from Watts the Safeword (wattsthesafeword.com), a kink and sex-ed website and YouTube channel. “When I was first getting started, I found a local leather contingent that held monthly bar nights and discussion groups that taught classes for kinksters at any level. It provided an easy way into the community, and it helped me meet new people, make new friends and find trustworthy play partners. If you’re a tad shy and work better online, these contingents have Facebook groups or FetLife pages you can join. And YouTube has a channel for everyone in the kink spectrum from gay to straight to trans to nonbinary and beyond!”
“Recon.com is a great option for gay men,” said Metal from the gay male bondage website MetalbondNYC.com. “It’s a site where you can create a profile, window-shop for a play buddy, and ‘check his references.’ Even better, if you can, go to a public event like IML, MAL or CLAW, or to a play party like the New York Bondage Club, where you can participate in a monitored space with other people around, or just watch the action. Don’t forget the motto ‘safe, sane and consensual,’ and be sure to have a safe word! And if you do want to explore bondage, take precautions. Never get tied up in your own home by someone you don’t know. If you go to his or her place, always tell a trusted friend where you are going. And when hooking up online, never use Craigslist.”
“Be cautious,” said Ruff of Ruff’s Stuff blog. “There are people out there who view ‘kink newbies’ as prey. Anytime anyone — top or bottom — wants to rush into a power-exchange scene, that’s a red flag. Always get to know a person first. A good-quality connection with any potential playmate is achieved only through communication. If they are not interested in doing the legwork, they’re not the right person for you.”
* Math is hard.
Dear Dan: I’m a mid-20s, above-average-looking gay dude into spanking guys. The weird thing is, the only guys I can find to spank are straight. It’s not that they’re closeted — most of them go on to have girlfriends, and that’s when we stop — and they make it clear they don’t want anything sexual to happen. No complaints on my end! But why don’t they want a woman spanking them?
— Seriously Perplexed And Needing Knowledge
Dear SPANK: How do you know their new girlfriends don’t start spanking them when you stop? And how do you know they aren’t closing their eyes and imaging that you’re a woman when you’re spanking them? And how do you know they’re not bi — at least where spankings are concerned? (Also: There are tons of gay guys out there into spanking, SPANK. So if you aren’t finding any, I can only conclude that you aren’t looking.)
Send questions to email@example.com, follow @fakedansavage on Twitter and visit ITMFA.org.