Going to your first kink event can be pretty intimidating, but what if you’re planning on going alone? Potentially even more nail-biting. You may have been thinking about it for some time, and conjuring up all sorts of scenarios in your mind – best-case and worst – but it’s highly likely that your first time will surprise you whatever you’ve considered. Hopefully in the best way possible!
We’ve been there, so here are our top tips for making the most of your first time, especially if you’re flying solo.
Start with a social (or a class)
There are so many different kink events on offer now, from intimate parties to ones that house hundreds of scantily-clad bodies under one roof. The first step is deciding which kind of event you want to go to, but once you’ve done that try signing up for a social or a class run by the organisers you align with before attempting a full-on play party.
Socials and classes are a great way to meet like-minded people, often people who are in the same boat as you, and you may even get to learn a new skill.
Adjust your expectations
It’s absolutely normal to let your imagination run wild thinking about all the things that might happen at the event, especially your first play party. It’s even more normal to get lost in the daydreams of what you want to happen: meeting a sexy stranger (or three) and living out your wildest fantasies…
While daydreaming is absolutely not something I would discourage, it is better to manage your expectations and go in with an open-mind. Set the bar low for your first event: if you go with the intention of scoping it out and aim to make at least one connection, rather than heaping a pile of expectations onto the night, you are much more likely to enjoy it and appreciate it for what it is. It’s also a much more realistic and sustainable way to approach kink events in general.
Plus… when your expectations start low, the only way is up. If anything exciting does happen, it will be a happy surprise.
Connect online first
Many events have community spaces set up for their guests. It might be a Discord server, or a Whatsapp group that is made just for the people attending a specific event.
Large virtual groups can be a little overwhelming if they’re overly active, but it’s a good opportunity to ask for advice for newbies, or connect with other people who will be arriving alone. The odds are that you’ll realise you are not the only one feeling shy or going solo. For a lot of people that’s already a massive relief.
It’s also perfectly fine to connect outside of the group if there are people you’d like to chat to one on one. Just ask before you slide into their DMs.
Get there early
If you’re able to, and you’re nervous, get to the event early. Arriving before the rush will give you a chance to get familiar with the space and identify staff members so you can ask any questions you have.
Most events will make sure their staff are easy to spot. Often – especially at socials, or early on at events – it is a part of their job to welcome guests. Have a chat with one of them if you can. It’s also worth asking about the layout of the party as some of the larger ones often take place at venues that are a little maze-like. Knowing where the different playrooms, the dance floor, or any chill-out areas are and familiarising yourself with them is a great way to get settled in the space.
At smaller events, you might be able to grab yourself a drink and make yourself at home. Getting there ahead of the crowd means you are likely to be able to spot other people that come in alone, too, which could be a great way to make a new connection.
Embrace your independence
No matter how nervous you are, or convinced you’re the only person that will be there alone you won’t be. You’re definitely not alone in being alone.
When you walk in, you might see a room full of people who are already looking pretty comfortable but people are very good at faking it till they make it. Most kink communities are super welcoming to people who are on their own: people all remember how nerve-wracking their first event was and are generally keen to make others feel included. It’s almost guaranteed that a good proportion of the groups you see will include someone who arrived alone. Scan the room, choose a friendly face, and introduce yourself.
And a good way to reframe arriving alone is that you can embrace your independence and take in control of your evening. You can arrive when you want to, leave when you want to, and make your own choices about who you feel like chatting to.
And, once you’re there, however nervous you might feel, it’s time to fake it till you make it. Kink events are generally very welcoming places, and you don’t need permission to say hi. Most people are very used to meeting newcomers and will be more than happy to chat and welcome you in.
While it might be tempting to have a few pre-drinks to loosen yourself up, it’s a better idea to stay sober(ish) if you can. Alcohol can impact heavily on people’s ability to give and receive consent and you’ll feel way better waking up in the morning and remembering everything that happened.
Leave when you’re ready to
And finally, while it might be tempting to stay on until the bitter end, sometimes calling it a night earlier rather than later can be a good thing at your first kink event. Don’t feel bad if you want to leave before last orders.
Hopefully you’ll get home with a much better understanding of the future potential and be excited for your next opportunity to explore. Plus, if you’ve made a new friend, or pushed yourself out of your comfort zone in some way, then that absolutely counts as a success. You’ll be much more ready to jump in with both feet if that’s something you decide you want.
Photos by Aur_oora during our December 2021 End of Year Jam.