As John Donne said, "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."
Surrounding Myself with Kinksters Made Me Finally Accept My Kinks
While that applies to your favorite hobbies like knitting, video games, or raising an army of potted succulents, it also applies to your kinks too. As I found out, being surrounded by people who find your idea of hot sex to be "disgusting" doesn't make you feel particularly warm and fuzzy - and gets in the way of accepting your own sexual interests.
However, when I found myself surrounded by people who accepted and loved my interests (whether yours happens to be at an in-person community or in an online kink community like The Cage), I found it much, much easier to love those things about myself. I didn't feel like such a "freak" anymore; I felt like I just had unique interests - a viewpoint that I share to this day.
And hey - sex should be unique to every person!
Finding My Kink Community
I found the kink community early in life - and to this day, I'm thankful that I did. Having kinks and "non-standard" sexual interests can feel awfully alienating.
Prior to finding the kink community, most conversations about "sex" focused around people wanting to get "pounded" by men they found hot. I was a lot more interested in making my love interests kneel and beg for the privilege of even getting to touch me. After enough incidents like that, I just started to feel like the odd-one-out - constantly. I, honestly, regularly felt like something was "wrong" with me - and started to excuse myself out of conversations when attraction and sexuality became the discussion topic.
It wasn't until I started getting involved in my local kink community that I really started to feel like my odd interests were "okay".
Don't get me wrong: my first few BDSM meetings were absolutely terrifying. I had no idea what to expect, and when I did get there, I felt extremely out-of-place. Everyone else seemed to know one another, and I was this weirdo who was much younger and had zero experience. I honestly think I went home after those first couple of events and cried. After feeling like the BDSM community might hold the answer to what I needed, it was rough to feel so much like an outlier - even at the one place I was "supposed" to fit in.
I kept at it, though. After a few meetings, I started learning people's names - and people started engaging me in conversation. I started learning the relationships - and I could figure out the various personalities of some of the people involved.
At some point, I remember remarking how much better my comfort level had gotten there over time, and one of the board members apologized for the rough start. He noted that kink tends to be a "private" endeavor where most people want to avoid being outed, so most groups may not warm up to you until you've shown dedication through attending a few meetings.
He noted that they get a lot of people who attend one meeting, assume it's a giant orgy, have zero interest in the actual community, and are never see again. While it didn't make my rough start any less rough, it at least gave me context - and I understand where the group was coming from.
In the end, getting involved in my kink community was all worth its weight in gold. When this new group of people started to have conversations about the types of dynamics I had been fantasizing about, it felt freeing. Instead of feeling like I was the weirdo who didn't match anyone else, I was surrounded by people who thought in the same way I did!
Instead of light conversations about what celebrity I found hottest, there were discussions about power exchange relationships, how to do kinky activities, and discussions about different kinks. It wasn't just acceptance; it was a giant how-to guide.
They didn't just accept me; they wanted me to actively do the thing I'd thought was "weird" and "freaky"!
To this day, a group of kinksters is still my happy place. I will still find myself in the happiest, buzzed-up energy when I'm at kink events. With my introverted nature, I generally bow out of most of the generic, small talk that happens, but once deep conversation starts happening, I'm the most animated introvert you've ever seen. (And yes, small talk definitely still happens at kink events!)
I Found My Partners There Too
The more I think about my introduction to the community, the more I realize how vital its existence was in finding partners.
Before my current partner, I dated someone for five years - and we met at an in-person BDSM class. During subsequent classes, we ended up chatting a bit, and those casual chats turned into a mutual interest that sparked a relationship. We ended up splitting up because of future family planning differences, but he's still one of my best friends to this day.
After him, I ended up enjoying quite a few casual dates from that same kink community. I'd find someone, we'd hit it off, and we'd date for awhile. None of those partnerships lasted, but I learned a whole lot about myself during that period, and I can confidently say that it's made me a better kinkster and partner to have experienced it.
Plus, I met one of my current partners in an online kink community just like The Cage. He said he initially felt comfortable chatting with me because I had an active, filled-out profile, and those initial chats have now led to a committed, 7-year-long relationship.
So, while the kink community was vital in helping me accept myself, my interests, and who I was, it also was just as amazing at helping me find others who wanted to take that journey with me. I didn't join kink communities to treat them as a meat market for dating - but in the process of attempting to be the best Domme I could be, people who were perfect fit found their way to me.
...and the Education!
My local kink community wasn't just vital in helping me accept myself for who I am; it was also really important for learning how to safely do the things I wanted to do. It's not like "how to spank someone and not rupture the kidneys" was part of the barely-there sex education I received in school. So many things about kink are really unique to kink - and most of us don't have any idea on how to do them safely.
But the kink community ended up being my place to learn all of those things. Once, after I carelessly looped some rope around my bottom's wrists that tightened up during the scene, another kinkster poked in with me afterwards and offered to teach me a quick and safe tie that would prevent over-tightening in the future.
When I was starting to learn how to use a flogger, the local sadist offered to mentor me - and teach me how to use all of those complicated spanking tools, how to prepare scene pacing, and how to make impact play extremely satisfying to my bottom. He even taught me how to look for minor skin changes to judge how a bottom's body is physically taking the play. (To this day, I still credit him for having made the biggest difference in my impact play scenes).
As I became more confident, that same kinky social group became my doorway to new kinks and better education. The group would carpool together to a local, bigger group that offered regional presenters on more advanced topics. That same group had negotiated discounts to kink conventions which meant we got to spend an entire weekend learning about everything kinky.
I watched scenes I never would have thought I would witness - like bloodletting or needle play. I learned how to do kinks and scenes I'd never seen before - like wax play, interrogation play, and more. I found even more kinks that I wanted to try for myself, and that small list of kinks that turned me on only got bigger and bigger as I was introduced to things I just hadn't even realized were options.
It really just opened up a whole new doorway to a world of kink. Back when I was starting, I was worried about how "disgusting" I was for wanting my partner to wear a collar and beg. Seeing the entire world of kink - in all of its unique activities and interests, really put my own interests in perspective. At the same time, it provided new kinks and skills for my own toolbox to help me get even more out of my own scenes. It was a win-win all around.
How to Find Other Kinksters
I, personally, found my home at in-person kink communities. Even for this little introverted heart, there's something about the physical energy of being surrounded by groups of people who respect sex-positivity and accept kinks that does something amazing for me.
That being said, finding an in-person, physical group of people isn't a good fit for everyone. Whether you're located somewhere without an active kink scene, unable to leave the house for any reason, or just plain prefer to keep your actions entirely anonymous, online kink communities might be a much better fit for you.
With sites like The Cage, you don't need to travel, head outside, worry about exposure, or leave the house - just log onto their site online where you'll be met with discussion forums, member profiles, audio clips, educational articles, kinky erotica, and more!
Think of it like a social media community - but specifically built for kinksters!
The Cage also offers a lot of education (a bit like Kinkly!) for kinky people. With a constantly-updated list of the newest kink podcasts to hit the web, magazine education articles, and active forums to ask your questions from other kinksters, The Cage lets you find a community of like-minded people - and grow as a kinkster while you do it.
Plus, they have an active Personals section - so maybe your future partner happens to be an internet browsing day away for you too. That's how I met my current partner. Isn't it weird how the world works like that?
Community is Key
However you choose to do it, getting involved in your community might be the missing piece you've been looking for. I know, when I was starting, it was for me. I never could have imagined being as kinky as I am today - or as accepting as I am of myself and my interests. Plus, I never would have met any of my partners if I wasn't active online and offline in kink communities.
I can't tell you what's right for you - because only you can. But if you're struggling to feel comfortable with your kinks or feel okay with your own interests, I know getting involved in my local kink community worked for me. It might work for you too.
Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.