When I first entered the world of BDSM, I was overwhelmed by everything. There were so many people to see, "houses" to discover, and implements to try out. Would I be a "primal" (I later found out I was)? Would I be a "rope bunny?" Perhaps I would just be someone who's into electro play.

In a scene, the possibilities are endless. However, there are a number of things that I wish I’d known when I first got into the BDSM scene. It's tempting to jump right into kink, but here are five things you should do first.

Find a Brunch in Your City

If you’re interested in the scene but a little apprehensive or have no idea how where to begin your foray into BDSM, a munch is a perfect place to meet people in a safe, public environment. In one of my previous articles, The Dungeon and the Bookshop, I’d mentioned how I’d met a famous mistress in the Detroit area. However, my journey is far from typical and even a little risky. A munch is a meet-up usually set in a restaurant or coffee house, hence the term "munch," that allows you to meet new people in a completely vanilla setting; no flogger attached.

Get a FetLife Account

I can’t praise Fetlife enough. Fetlife is basically the Facebook of the kink world. Not only does it allow you to browse an array of groups catering to any kink you may have, it’s also an awesome place to connect with the people you’ll meet at munches and dungeon parties. Sometimes it can help you determine if the partner you want to play with is a wise choice. You’ll be surprised at how many red flags pop out in profiles. Remember, safety first. Always meet up in a public place as you get to know someone.

Find a Mentor

OK, so maybe it’s a bit early for a full on apprenticeship. However, it can’t hurt to maybe strike up a conversation with the top dog Mistress or Master. The person hosting the party or munch is the one you’ll want to speak to. They can show you the ropes (no pun intended), and at least get you started on your journey to discovering what’s right for you.

Do Things That Will Get You Invited to Other Parties

It’s really important at this stage of your journey that you connect with people. When I met Mistress D, one of the first things I did was help her set up for play parties and then clean up afterwards. By helping them do things that other people would rather not do, I was invited back again and again. Small acts of kindness can go a long way.

Listen Closely and Learn

There are a lot of amazing individuals in BDSM. Don’t rush into anything with anyone. Fall back in conversations and watch how everyone reacts to each other as well as to the leader of the group. For your own protection, read as much as possible. This may be new to you, but don’t get so emotionally caught up that you leave your critical thinking skills at the door.

Follow your gut and keep your eyes and ears open. I hope these tips help you out. These were all things that I’ve learned over the years through experience. I hope that by offering you some guidance that you can take this road with a little more confidence. Enjoy yourselves and, as always, be safe.