A Stranger In A Strange Land - Attending Kink Or Swinger Events For The First Time

Hello, I'm Jay, a sex- and kink-positive fellow from Nova Scotia. Today I'd like to talk about attending naughty events for the first time. Let's say you've decided that you are interested in kink, swinging, or partner swapping. You've done some research, maybe joined a local Facebook group full other other happy, shiny, naughty-minded folks. There is an event coming up where like-minded people will be gathering. You want to go and maybe you sent in your RSVP to the event. This is exciting, it's your first chance to explore in a crowd of other people like yourself! It's going to be hot, it's going to be sexy, you're going to meet so many cool new people!

But then perhaps a scary new realization dawns on you. Do you know what it's going to be like there - will there be people making wild love to each other on all the furniture or will it be mostly casual chatting? Do you know the etiquette for this group? What should you wear - the assless leather pants, a suit, or jeans with a nice shirt? Should you bring a date or hope to connect with someone there? How do you approach people you want to connect with on a more intimate level? Most importantly, will there be food there?
So much to consider!

That last query about food aside (I apologize for writing this while I was hungry, dear reader), these are all important questions many first-time event attendees have. I had many of those same questions the first (and second) time I went to public gatherings of fellow naughty folks and it can be intimidating. So here are some hard-won pieces of wisdom from me to you.

Talk to the organizer

The first and best advice I can give anyone about to attend their first event - whether it is a kink party, sex club, munch (a public social gathering), swinger event, or partner swap - is to contact the organizer and ask them questions. Often times event organizers are busy folks who are renting a space, sending out invitations, arranging for food, making sure spare toys or safety items are on hand, and so on. This can lead to invitations going out which read like the following: "We booked the hotel suite again. See you all in room 403 on the 19th of April!" Which tells us very little. And maybe the organizer is just so accustomed to the usual crowd of regulars showing up it didn't occur to them to provide more information and give newcomers more to go on.

So feel free to reach out to the organizers or, if they are elusive, anyone else you know of who is going. Try to get a sense of where the event is, what the dress code is (you don't want to show up in a corset and heels when everyone else is in t-shirts and jeans), how many people will be there, is it okay to bring a "plus one" with you?

This is also a good opportunity to get a sense of what sort of activities are planned. Some of these events might be more social in nature, a chance for like-minded people to sit, chat over drinks, share tips on how to clean their sex toys, exchange stories about past parties, and so on. Maybe there won't be any naughtiness, no spanking or wife swapping, happening at all. Or maybe people will be showing up in collars with butt-plugs designed to look like animal tails and sex will happen on every empty surface in the room! The point is you won't know until you ask. So ask before you show up to get a sense of what you're walking into.
People will be doing what!?!?

Some questions I like to ask of my hosts include: What is the dress code? Should I bring a date? Should I bring anything else - drinks, condoms, an alternate outfit? Will there be kink play at this event? Will sex be happening at this event? What time will the event wrap up - is it overnight or will everyone be out by midnight? In cases where the party is overnight, who do I talk to about reserving a room? Is there a cover charge or suggested donation to help pay for the space? If I have questions or a problem during the evening, who should I talk to?

Getting the answers to the above questions should paint a much clearer image of what you are walking into. To assist in this fact-finding process, a lot of venues offer orientation sessions - short classes which explain what an event has to offer, some ground rules, and these sessions can answer a lot of your questions. An organizer may also be able to pair you up with a more experienced member of the group, someone who can act as a friend or mentor through the first party or event you attend. This way you can follow your mentor's lead and get introduced to people through a well-known community member rather than trying to introduce yourself to people on your own, which can be daunting in a new crowd.
Having someone introduce you around avoids that lost in a crowd feeling

Not all, but many social groups have Facebook pages, websites, or private forums. See if you can join these ahead of time and post messages saying you are about to attend your first event. People will be more likely to approach you and welcome you, and maybe even offer tips to getting acclimatized if you can introduce yourself on-line ahead of time.

Talk to your partner

Assuming you are going to one of these events with a date, I highly recommend talking to your partner/spouse/sex-buddy well in advance before attending the event. Share the information you got about the event so you are both on the same page about what to expect, especially if this is their first event too with this group. However, if they have attended one of these events before, ask them for advice and to be your guide.

Perhaps most importantly, talk to your partner about what they hope to get out of attending this event and what they do not want to have happen. Get a sense for what their ideal situation is and what they wish to avoid. If you are thinking you're going to attend this event, have a few drinks and enjoy conversations with a few new people while your partner has fantasies about being tied up and spanked in a room full of strangers, well then you two have something to discuss! On the other hand if you're hoping to go and meet another couple to hook up with and your partner is more inclined to just meet-n-greet folks with the idea of maybe connecting with them again later, once again you two need to be on the same page. Half-way through your first event is not the time to learn the two of you have different expectations of how the night will go.
He and Jessie are going to have a difficult conversation after this.

I highly recommend setting your sights low on the first outing. If there is a debate between you and your partner about how involved the two of you should be at the event, go with whichever plan is the more conservative. This first outing is about getting a sense of the environment, meeting like-minded people, gaining an idea of whether this sort of event is for you. Assuming you both like the event and the people there, you can plan to be more adventuerous the second time.

Look, ask, wait for permission

Attending a first event can be an exciting experience. There are often people happily welcoming newcomers. At private events there may be folks walking around in various states of undress. Perhaps someone is getting massaged on the couch and perhaps you can hear spanking happening in the next room. It's a lot to take in! Here are people who have similar naughty interests and they are probably greeting you with hugs and flirty comments. Chances are you want to kiss this person, grab that person's ass, get in on the group sex scene getting underway on the couch!

Before you do any of that, keep in mind one of the most important rules of any event, whether it's a kink party, swingers dance, or sex club: look, but don't touch.
Pretend everyone you meet is wearing this

It may seem weird in a way. Here you are, surrounded by sexy people doing sexy things. It's hot, it's interesting. People are flirting with you and you feel like you've finally found your tribe! That's great, but the golden rule of these events is still: look, but don't touch. What I mean by that is, while most people are okay with shaking hands or maybe a hug, don't touch anyone in any way without asking them first. Then wait for a positive answer before proceeding. It doesn't matter if it's a hug, a kiss, a smack on the ass, a friendly boob grope. It doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman. Always, always ask before touching someone and always wait for their positive response before acting. Jumping the gun and touching someone, especially in a sexual manner, without their stated consent is likely to get you a stern talking to and you may be asked to leave. Kinky folks and swingers, while they are distinctly separate groups, all tend to take this sort of thing seriously.

While it may seem like I am lingering on this point, I feel it is important. Even if you have asked for consent to do one thing, don't assume you also have permission to do more things later. For example, if you meet someone and get permission to make out with them, don't assume that this means the two of you can proceed toward having sex. If they agreed to a make-out session, that is all you should plan to do. If you want to advance toward a new activity, then that is another conversation. Each time you want to escalate your activities, with anyone at the event, ask at each level before proceeding.

It may seem odd, at first, to look around and see people in skimpy outfits doing naughty things to each other and consider these folks are quite strict about getting consent before any touching or other sexy activity takes place. However, one of the reasons they feel they can cut loose and be naughty is they feel safe and secure in the knowledge nothing is going to happen without their expressed permission. It's a safe environment for them and if you charge in head first without getting agreement ahead of time, you're going to burst their safe bubble and make them not want to play anymore.

On a related note, don't assume because someone else is engaged in touching, or a more naughty activity, that it means you can too. If you see two people kissing or groping, they may be long-term partners, they may have already had conversations about what they want to do at this event. The bottom line is, regardless of what they are doing, you still need to ask a person before you do something with them.
Even at this point you should still ask first


Arrive prepared

For a lot of events you may find yourself wanting to attend, you might not need to do any preparation. You can toss on your outfit for the evening, go there, meet some nice people, have a coffee, and go home. Other events are a bit more intense and may involve naughty activities. You might end up covered in massage oil, or want to have sex at the event, or you might have pleasantly painful things done to you. For parties where you think there is a chance you're going to be engaged in naughty activities, I recommend packing a small bag.
Always be prepared!

Why a bag? Well, depending on what type of event you are attending you may want a change of clothes, you may want lingerie, you may want to bring some favourite toys, perhaps a change of shoes. If the party is one where people can engage in sex play you may want condoms, lubrication, wet wipes for clean-up, and tissues. For overnight stays don't forget to take a toothbrush. Take into consideration the things you might want to do and then assume whatever it is is going to be messier than usual. If there is a chance someone is going to orgasm, cry, bleed, or get lube on you then you're probably going to at least want tissues and a change of clothing.

Oh, and snacks, don't forget to pack snacks. No one is at their best when they are hungry and you may need to restore your energy levels. Take a bottle of water too; it's best to stay hydrated.

Is it a dry town?

Some kink and swinger events, most in my experience, allow people to drink. Some will allow people to smoke pot these days too, where it is legal. However, not all events allow alcohol and other substances which will help you take off the edge. Be sure to ask the organizer if it is okay for you to indulge in these pastimes if you are inclined. Some events ask participants do not drink (or smoke) to avoid liability issues or, in the case of sex or kink venues, in an effort to make sure everyone is consenting to activities with a clear and sober mind.

On a related note, if the venue does allow you to have some drinks and/or puffs, be sure not to overdo it. Attending an event for the first time can be hard on the nerves. It's new, there are new people doing new activities and it's natural to feel anxious. However, while one drink (or puff) can take off the edge, a few more can cause people to get sloppy. The last thing you want is to accidentally smack someone in the face with a flogger because you were tipsy or discover you're having trouble performing in the bedroom because you're intoxicated.
This does not end well for you

In short, at events which allow drinking, go ahead and have one. But be sure to stay well within your limits so that you have a clear head, can make good choices, and don't accidentally cause any performance issues.

Second thoughts, misfires, and bloopers

Last, but not least, let's say you attend an event. You find a fellow sexy person to experiment with. They are into you, you're into them, you have similar interests. It looks like things are about to get very exciting for you! Maybe everything will go according to plan, but the Fates have a sense of humour.

Perhaps you're nervous and have trouble performing, or maybe the other person backs out at the last minute for some reason, or maybe you're having second thoughts. Plans often get derailed at parties and clubs. Whenever strangers come together and try to, well, come together, there is opportunity for both fireworks and fizzles. If you attend enough parties, you will get to see your fair share of both.

When a scene stops unexpectedly, or fizzles, try to keep a sense of humour and perspective about it. A potential play partner who can handle an embarrassing or disappointing moment with grace is one who will likely get invited back to try again. Someone who loses their cool or acts overly disappointed will probably be avoided in the future. Remember everyone has bad moments, everyone has second thoughts, not everyone performs well in front of strangers. When these things happen, try to laugh it off and switch back to socializing. There will be more opportunities to be naughty at the next event.
Who cares if you can't get it up if you end up in a blanket fort?

Om the subject of social graces, it doesn't hurt to that the event organizers, or other people who helped make your event pleasant, for their hard work. It will go a long way toward them setting up more events in the future and making sure you are invited.