Vancouver
2 min

Finding play partners

A pub in the hand is worth six trips to the disco

One of the questions I get asked most often can be paraphrased as: “How does one go about finding a play partner?”

I’m in luck when I’m asked that because I really do have some good answers. And now you will, too.

Go where the leatherfolks go. It sounds simple, but it means planning ahead to attend readings, events, and play parties. Wear something you feel good in, and get out there and smile at people.

A pub in the hand is worth six trips to the disco.

In a dance club, it’s pretty loud. Unless your ass in chaps is really your (only) best feature, meet potential BDSM-loving dates where you can have actual conversations. A picnic? A bowling alley? Leather night at the pub? Someone’s living room? Excellent!

Don’t try to be the one-stop erotic shopper. You’ll do better making friends than you will be searching for your One True Pervert. It’s just good math.

Look, if you put in a zingy personal ad and date a new person every week, at the end of a year you’ll have met 52 strangers, and your mind’s eye will have blurred the memory into a montage of bistro tablecloths. If you make some new kinky friends, they’ll introduce you to all their kinky friends. You’ll get the inside tips, like Mary digs butches who’ll shine her boots, or that Bill likes his boyfriends to smoke stogies. But place the personal ad too. You never know.

If you have internet access, get into social groups online-either e-mail lists or bulletin boards. But before you join up, promise yourself that you are starting real-life social connections, not just finding something to do at your desk at work. And you have to promise not to call yourself something like Mistress Goddess Who Owns The Universe, or Piggy Bottom Hole 4UrBigSchlong. Okay? You’re looking for real life connection, so go real life.

And speaking of cyber-community-if you can play locally, do. Otherwise you risk the long-distance dating thing, aka going broke on phone bills while yearning, yearning, yearning.

Volunteer in order to get yours. This is my favourite. It works. You’ll find yourself giggling with a cute dyke over hanging the banners before the party, or helping steady the ladder for that guy with the great ass. If you do coat check, you’ll have a conversation with every pervert at the party, and as a bonus you get to watch them shed their trench coats. And-here’s the best part-when you’re working an event, even the shy people feel comfortable talking to you.

The most important stuff? Be friendly. Speak up. Say Hullo. Ask questions. Answer questions. Help someone out. Join in. Take a chance.