One way of finding your local scene is to google “bdsm” along with the name of the nearest big city. If that doesn't work, try “leather” along with the name of the city. Or “munch” with the city name. This should hopefully return something, depending on where in the world you are; I wouldn't count on finding anything if you live in Tehran or Saudi Arabia. You could even ask in forums if anyone knows anything about a scene in your city. Keep in mind that small towns generally don't have any bdsm events; you'll have to travel to a larger city.
Don't go in saying things like “where are all the parties at?” If people like you, they'll invite you in due time. They have to get to know you first. It's okay to ask about public parties though. It's generally considered rude to talk about private parties, unless everyone within earshot has been invited.
My biggest obstacle was making progress against my shyness (can’t say I’ve overcome it though.) Just walking into the first munch was a nerve-wracking experience……….but well worth it. (on the way to my first munch, I was screaming the Oscar Meyer Weiner song in my car, to try to calm my nerves.) Before going to the munch though, I looked at the munch's website and e-mailed with some basic questions, like what people normally wore to these things. The person I ended up talking with was very friendly and understanding, and even asked to meet for coffee before I went to a munch, so that I’d at least know one person there.
Speaking of what to wear- munches are usually pretty informal, and most people don't wear much (if any) fetish wear. Jeans and a nice top are fine. It's not a formal occasion. Basic black with blue jeans is a safe bet. If you're in doubt, ask someone first. Be clean.
Once I started getting into the conversations, people were naturally curious about me, and asked questions. It was uncomfortable, but expected. This is one place where being yourself is really important. If I’d taken the clichéd approach of “I’m submissive, so I’ll do whatever you’re into; I have no interests of my own”, well, that’s just plain boring. And very fake. We’ve all got interests and fantasies, and it’s important to be open about them if we expect to live them. None of us are mind readers, whether dominant or submissive. Just because someone is a dominant woman, that doesn’t mean we’re compatible, so it's important to be honest about our interests and expectations.
I’m honest about not being into protocol, ritual, structure, etc. These things are pretty popular among some dominants…..but I knew that if I pretended to be into them, not only would I feel like a hypocrite, but I wouldn’t be happy in the relationship either. Online, it’s common to see weak, obsequious, sniveling little twits who think that agreeing with everything impresses dommes. Invariably, there are a handful of online dommes who will go for this type. Being that way in the face-to-face world won’t get you far, though. Doormats attract abusers. Coming across as too eager to please often reeks of desperation. If you have a life, if you’re confident and strong, these are qualities that many dommes find interesting. We are all equals until we agree to some form of power exchange, and I treat everyone as such.
One thing I continually keep in my head is that I’m deserving of respect. Many subs forget this. They think it’s their “place” to be treated badly or to be unfulfilled, since it’s supposedly all about the domme’s desires. Bullshit. An unhappy sub won’t stay around long; our desires are equally important. I make it clear that I feel that way early on when there’s someone I’m interested in. If she agrees that equality and d/s don’t have to be mutually exclusive, that’s a good sign. This can even show up in little things. For example, if a domme repeatedly cuts me off in conversation, why should I tolerate that? It’s rude, and I deserve better.
Seeing dommes as actual people (and expecting the same from them) is a must. We’ve all got faults and weaknesses. In a loving relationship, I expect to be accepted as I am. Of course, I give the same. If someone loves you, they accept you. This is important to keep in mind. If a domme tried to turn me into something I’m not, then that’s a way of saying “you’re not good enough for me, and I want you to be someone else.”
I also realized that finding someone shouldn’t be my only reason for getting into the scene. I’ve made lots of friends there, and continue to have lots of great times with them………not to mention casual play with friends. If I’d ignored (or been cold to) everyone who didn’t seem “useful” to me, I wouldn't have many friends.
About the same time that I got into the local scene, I started looking into forums online. What I found shocked me. There were so many people, domme and sub alike, who had totally unrealistic, overly idealistic expectations. All “real subs” are expected to be into TPE, do all the housework, and do all sorts of things they don’t want to do. That might work online, but being miserable in a flesh-and-blood relationship just isn’t a way I want to live. A lot of people, mainly online, take a “more is better” approach to submission. Isn’t personal satisfaction more important than playing subbier-than-thou? Submission should cause joy, not agony. We’ve all got our own particular style of submission; it took a lot of introspection and experimentation to find my way. It'll probably take the same for you to find yours.
Here’s the analogy I often use: When I give a woman a single rose, I expect some sort of gratitude……..not some big showy display, just a genuine show of appreciation. If she said “That’s it?? Where are the other eleven?”, then she’s not someone I want in my life. This is how I view submission. If she doesn't appreciate me (or vice versa) it won't last. I don’t have to sacrifice my whole life in order to be submissive. We each give what we give, regardless of chosen position, and it’s important that our gifts (and our selves) be appreciated.
So overall, I try to keep all these things in mind. Keeping that attitude affects my actions, and everything else sort of falls into place. It can be hard to have the confidence to say “this is who I am, and if you don’t like it, then move on.” But if I didn’t do that, I’d be going from one lousy relationship to another. If someone doesn’t accept what I give, too bad.
There is an element of luck as well; even if someone does everything perfectly, there’s no guarantee they’ll meet somebody compatible. But if you don't try, you may miss out.
Text taken from Fetish law forum (now closed), Article written by roo roo, all permissions granted.