How do I find my match?
March 2, 2008 7:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm a straight guy and I have several kinks which drive me wild in bed. I'd like to date a straight girl who has similar kinks which drive her wild in bed. But I don't want to get into fetish lifestyles or anything extreme (unfortunately kink owners tend to get polarized into one big group of "alternative people" who dress in rubber and go to subterranean bondage clubs every week) - I just want a regularish relationship with some special orders in the bedroom. How do I do this?

I can't find out during dating - hey what's your favorite movie, author, sexual deviation? I don't want to wait until I end up in the bedroom to find out that they're into R&B and I'm into Death Metal, so to speak. And I know I could join a club - let's say an S&M club - but I did that once (well, I went to the orientation meeting) but I got the impression that it was more of a place for couples to do their thing in front of other people (and that ain't my thing). The members were also of a significantly different age group and it just didn't seem a viable place to meet a potential partner. Finally, yes I know there's a bunch of sites online relating to kinks, but... are attractive girls in the personals of BDSM sites for real? I'm guessing not so much. Also, a lot of personals on BDSM sites come over as a bit extreme - there are people looking for Masters, Mistresses, 24/7 BDSM lifestyles etc - and I'm not looking for that. I don't want to dress in black and own custom equipment and essentially take it all too seriously (not that there's anything wrong with that!) - I just want a regular go for hikes/ dinner/ vacation together relationship with some particular flavors thrown in in the bedroom.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

A lot of the personals on those BDSM sites are full of shit. It's not that the attractive girls don't exist — they do, although some individual ads are obviously fake. And it's not that the 24/7-no-limits-no-safewords crowd don't exist. They do — there just aren't really that many of them.

Look — lots of people like to think about a 24/7 BDSM relationship... for about fifteen minutes, until they've come, and then they like to get up and wash off and put on their regular clothes and go back to their regular life. A good proportion of those ads are describing fantasies the author would never really want to act out. They go online to act out those fantasies because there's no reality check.

My suggestion:

1) You're not going to find what you want in the online kink scene. Precisely because there's no reality check and thousands of bullshit artists, it's exactly the wrong place to look for a serious relationship.

2) If you don't mind trying a few groups before you find the right one, you might give the in-person kink scene a shot again, with the understanding that many people there are no kinkier than you. What you want, it sounds like, is a "munch" — a regular face-to-face meetup over lunch or coffee. Most of them flatly forbid "scene" clothes or "scene" behavior, so the exhibitionism is dialed way down, and the conversation's as likely to be about basketball or mystery novels or whatever as it is to be about kink.

Now, it's like any other social club — some munches are full of dysfunctional assholes, others have nice people all over the place, and most fall somewhere in between. So you do have to shop around a bit, but it can be worth it.

3) Online dating sites that aren't explicitly kinky are a good way to weed out dates if you decide you just can't stand the kink scene period. OkCupid, four or five years ago, was great for this — don't know if that's still the case, but I'm sure there'll be a site somewhere that's just as good. Spend most of your profile discussing your ideal hike/dinner/vacation, and stick in a sentence at the end mentioning — in as much detail as you care to specify — what you like to do in bed. Girls who don't like it won't respond, girls who do will, and it's all just anonymous enough to keep things civilized.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:16 AM on March 2, 2008

Find someone who likes going on hikes/dinner/vacations together. Go out on dates with them. While on these dates, flirt, flirt, flirt, with a bit of emphasis on whatever your kinks are. Example: you're out to dinner, she returns from the table and jostles the table a bit and say "Are you being bad again?" if your kinks happens to go in that direction. Obviously this is a rough example, but you get the drift. The key is say this stuff when you're both having a great time and flirting, so you two can get a feel for how each other might be in bed, i.e. foreplay.

If you two seem to be hititng off well and seem to headed in sexual direction, then just bring it up. If she's repulsed and thinks you're a freak, you two probably aren't going to do well. Basically just ask for what you want or need.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:24 AM on March 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

The point of going to one these clubs or gatherings isn't necessarily to find your girl at them. Through meeting people and socializing, you're more likely to make new friends who know someone you should meet. It may seem counter-intuitive to go to something like this and spend time hanging out with couples or people you have no interest in sexually, but if you look at it as a networking opportunity and proceed with an open mind, you may be surprised how quickly you wind up being fixed up with someone you really like.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 8:36 AM on March 2, 2008

I'm a pervert of the bdsm variety, I've spent plenty of time on the relevant personals sites, and I have lots of experience with BDSM organizations. Several possibly helpful points here:

1. It's true that "a lot of personals on BDSM sites... are people looking for Masters, Mistresses, 24/7 BDSM lifestyles etc." However, you can find the other type there as well. I've run across a pretty wide range, myself. For the record, the three main kinky personals sites are, and requires a paid membership to do much of anything and if I had to bet money, I'd say it offers you the best chance of success. They have a large number of listings and cater to the widest range of tastes. Plus, the fact that you're willing to pay for a membership tells potential matches that you're (a) serious and (b) not broke. You may also want to try It's much sleazier, but it could yield results and it does favor the less extreme kink crowd.

2. I don't want to dress in black and own custom equipment and essentially take it all too seriously - I just want a regular go for hikes/ dinner/ vacation together relationship

The good news is that even the relationships involving custom equipment and leather clothing are, in reality, 90% 'regular, go for hikes, dinner, and vacation together' type deals. I know people who are so kinky, it'd take three or four paragraphs just to explain the basics of their sexual dynamics, but they still spend most of their time doing the ordinary couple/family stuff. I think that if you find someone with whom you're compatible (sexually and otherwise), there's an excellent chance that it'll turn into a real relationship.

3. an S&M club... I got the impression that it was more of a place for couples to do their thing in front of other people

I'm guessing that by "club" you mean a local BDSM organization that holds "munches" (what we here on metafilter would call a "meet-up") and "play parties" (which is the "do their thing in front of other people" part of the program). Some groups do emphasize the latter, but not so much because they all get off on doing it with an audience (though that's certainly a factor for some), but rather because a lot of them are severely limited in what they can do at home. They don't have the larger pieces of equipment (like a St. Andrew's Cross) or they can't make noise lest it wake the kids.

I know you didn't get a very favorable impression of the group. I don't want to take up space talking about my own experiences, so I'm just going to ask that you believe me when I say I know what you're talking about. These groups take a bunch of people who don't necessarily have anything in common except their sexual preferences (and sometimes not even that) and put them in a room together. Then some 'tard gets up and gives a speech about how 'We're all one big family' and blah blah blah. It's bullshit. There may be no ties at all among the various participants. Some probably even hate each others guts. I wouldn't blame you at all if you didn't want to pursue this avenue.

BUT... If you hang around the group for a bit, they'll get to know you and your kinks. This leads to a sort of gossip-driven form of networking. "Oh, Anon? Yeah, he doesn't play in public and he's only into X, Y, and Z." So potential matches will hear about you and you can hear about them.

In my experience, there are usually some key people in the group, the ones who know and are known by everyone. They go to a lot of events, chat with a lot of different people on line, and know everyones' names. These are the people you want in your network.

4. ...are attractive girls in the personals of BDSM sites for real?

Some of them are. You learn pretty quickly to differentiate the spam from the humans. Also, I should point out the obvious: attractive women only go for attractive men.

5. If your fetishes have names (and I'm betting they do), try googling those terms along with the words "forum" or "message board" or "community." Also, search for a list of Yahoo adult groups and search the list for your kinks.*

*"Yahoo Groups" are email lists with additional features accessible through the web (a message archive, calendar, space for uploaded files, etc.) dedicated to specific topics. If you go to the regular Yahoo Group search engine and look for, say, "bondage," you'll get few if any results. However, there are actually plenty of bondage groups there; Yahoo just hides them from the search engine. To find these groups, you have to get one of the aforementioned lists of adult groups.

That's all I can think of right now. If I had to bet money, I'd say that the personals sites are a better bet than the organizations, but really it depends on where you live, what exactly you're looking for, and various other factors. And, of course, your best bet is to use them both.
posted by Clay201 at 9:18 AM on March 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Maybe you can approach this differently and instead of trying to figure out where to find women who share or are open to your kinks, you figure out a way to talk about what you want early in the dating. Date women you are attracted to and get along with, and figure out a non-scary or funny way to bring up your kinks. Speaking as a girl, I think it is easier for us to say what we want, hint at it, joke about it etc. because more guys seem to be open to whatever in bed. I think that women feel nervous about certain kinks because they don't know you and don't know if they can trust you. Given that, make sure in the first date(s) that you establish trust so that when you bring up your kinks it won't be so scary. You might also want to present the kinks as stuff you'd like to explore with the right person instead of coming off as a seasoned pro. She might feel excited at the prospect of fulfilling a long-held fantasy.

Since you are posting here anonymously, tell us your kinks and maybe we can give you an idea of how to say what you want to say, and maybe give you an unofficial survey response as to how scary your kinks are to the average female mefite.
posted by kenzi23 at 9:25 AM on March 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

You're not going to find what you want in the online kink scene. Precisely because there's no reality check and thousands of bullshit artists... If you don't mind trying a few groups before you find the right one, you might give the in-person kink scene a shot again

Actually, a lot of the same people who are involved in the "in person kink scene" also advertise on the personals site. When I go through the or listings for my state, I see lots of people I know from munches and events. I promise, there are plenty of real people in those ads. Hell, I'm one of them. However, whether you will "find what you want" in these personals is a separate question, which I addressed to the best of my ability above.

However, the term "online kink scene" might have a somewhat different meaning to some people. Rather than referring to ads placed on personals sites, you could also use it to refer to chat rooms and message boards and even certain quadrants of SecondLife where people play out their kinky fantasies. If that's what you have in mind, I would agree that those venues aren't going to help Anon find what he's looking for.
posted by Clay201 at 9:31 AM on March 2, 2008

Posting anonymously, and yet still not actually saying what these kinks are? To the bedpost for your punishment, worm.

Anyway, I just go through life assuming everyone is as kinky as I am and that they're all game and would make reasonably good playmates. Unless you're into something very very odd, and from your description of being more casual than the BDSM scene, I bet you're not (...yet) you needn't be so shy about it. When the time for sexy flirting comes, just start peppering your repartee with the sort of language that turns you on. While she may be saying "Oh your hands are so strong, come here and hold me tight," go ahead and hit back with a "I want your nails polished red and tearing at my throat, God it would make me so hard to gasp for air while you laugh at my weakness" or whatEVER it is you're into.

Alternately, just mention at some point as early on as you have the nerve for, that you're always hoping to find a girl who can keep up with your voracious appetites insert-eyebrow-waggling-insinuation-of-depravity-here, and see if that turns the conversation warmer or colder. I know I'd want to hear more. Sexy more. Plan ahead by making yourself an eloquent and intriguing erotic speaker.

Hang out in the most "alternative" places possible. Get used to being more "out" as a kinky individual. Don't knock people for looking like "they take it seriously." They're the ones that just might blow your fucking mind. You never know. Kink in my experience, is only additive, so don't you go being closed-minded about what you could get into.

You probably should also allow for the possibility that you'll find a partner with willingness to explore or reveal her kinks for perhaps the first time, so don't be too intent on finding a girl with kink cred already. You're looking for a relationship, so personality matters more than kink, right? Oh God internet, it still does, I hope?!?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:01 AM on March 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

I find, though it has annoying interface and is basically crap, has a really wide range of people on it, its free to sign up for the shiz version too.
posted by Neonshock at 10:06 AM on March 2, 2008

People aren't as different from each other as you think they are. And fetishes are not distinct from personalities.

Get involved with someone you have general chemistry with, and you will be surprised how often your interests are reciprocated, either because she shares them, or simply because she comes to see them as a natural part of her relationship with you.
posted by bingo at 10:51 AM on March 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Part of the disjunction here might be a rural or suburban to urban problem—cities is where these things are "normal." The folks who I knew back in Ann Arbor who were into this were almost all regularly going to events in Detroit. And there are regular events in just about every metropolitan area—if that's where you are, well, suck it up, chump, and go meet some people. On some level, it's like going to an anime con, where 95% of folks are relatively normal hobbyists, and then there's the five percent of weirdos who make the other folks look bad.

"Unless you're into something very very odd, and from your description of being more casual than the BDSM scene, I bet you're not (...yet) you needn't be so shy about it."

This is a good point too—I can't say that I've had a tremendous amount of partners, but from my experience and conversations with others, nearly EVERYONE has some kink, mostly mild. So if a chick is generally sex-positive (and why are you dating her if she's not?), you can bring it up, and most'll at least try it, especially if it's just a bit of tie-me-up-tie-me-down. And, at least in my experience, most'll enjoy it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:57 AM on March 2, 2008

I think if you find a girl who is positive and open about sex in general, it's a lot more likely that's she's going to be good, giving, and game when it comes down to your personal kinks. Even if she doesn't have the specific non-PIV sexual activities enscribed as an essential part of her personality, if she likes banging you, she's going to like X-ing you. I agree with presenting kinks as something you'd love to do with her, not something you need all the time and are obsessed with and own a huge porn collection of and have performed with a variety of intimidating ex-girlfriends.

I myself don't wear tshirts listing all the things I do that they don't teach you about in Health Class, but I probably advertise it subtly; the blue humor, the sometimes-somewhat-slutty clothing, the love of explicit media. Just look for clues.
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:39 PM on March 2, 2008

Ambrosia Voyeur, bingo, and Juliet Banana have it. People are kinkier than you think, and even when they're not they still love to play pretend. Unless your kinks are really out there, I have a hard time imagining any woman who wouldn't be open to different things in the bedroom so long as they were made to feel special and appreciated outside of the bedroom.

Kinda unrelated, but still good advice I read in The Guide to Getting It On: think of foreplay as everything that happens since the last time you had sex. going on hikes, having dinner, and traveling can all be incredibly loving, sensual, and sexy activities too.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:48 PM on March 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

In my experience, I've not found your assertion "unfortunately kink owners tend to get polarized into one big group of "alternative people" who dress in rubber and go to subterranean bondage clubs every week" to be true.

Under the big tent o' Kink you find myriad interests, from 50's household/Domestic Discipline (so that's why the Beaver's Mom wore pearls why she vacuumed!) to full-Latex fetishes to more-or-less ordinary folks who have one or two certain things that really turn them on, but no so much so that they'd want to consider it "lifestyle".

Locating that special someone to share very specific kinks require more work that finding someone with whom to to do the old "tie-me-up-tie-me-down", spanking, etc.. My Grandfather used to say, "if you want to catch fish, you gotta get your hook wet"; if you want to find that special someone to share your specific kinks with, I'd recommend the following:

1 - get involved in the online communities, i.e.,,, All three are free to join, but alt and bondage require a paid membership to e-mail others. Find the chat rooms for the people in your geographic location and just hang out and chat; take time to get to know the people. There also may be specific chat rooms for your particular kink.

Yes, there are an abundance of the more "extreme" players there (i.e., 24/7, Masters, Mistresses, submissives, slaves, 24/7, blahblahblah) but the reality is - most of the time - those folks are just like you, i.e., they're looking for a relationship with some kink built in, but they're following the protocol of the "lifestyle". Scratch the surface, and you'll find these people are nowhere near as extreme as you think.

The seriously extreme folks tend to be doing it rather than sitting in front of a computer typing about it.

Yes, the online communities are full of silliness, stupidity, drama, and imaginary people. You'll have to set your Bullshit Detector to "Stun", but there are real people there, too, and those people know other real people.

2 - get involved in the local BDSM groups. Munches are better for getting to know people than play parties. People tend to wear their personae at play parties.

3 - remember that real relationships are about growth. She likes R&B and you like Death Metal? Maybe, if everything else in the relationship is working well, both of your interests will eventually broaden to encompass ideas about sexuality that were previously considered "weird".

4 - don't do it on the first date, but once you begin dancing around the issue of sex, find subtle ways to drop at least vague hints about your interests into the conversation ("I saw an article in Men's Health the other day...") and watch for the reaction.

5 - most of all, be patient.

Good luck.
posted by BartonFink at 1:09 PM on March 2, 2008

Well, a bunch of others said it first and better, but I'll agree with the masses here that you can find what you seek online or through BDSM groups. Most of us are pretty regular and boring most of the time. The BDSM events are virtually the only time we can break out the black leather and chains, so of course you're going to see a plethora of it there. Right now I'm wearing a t-shirt and jeans. My SO is downstairs watching a NASCAR race. Later, he is going to grill salmon. I might do some laundry. Yes, this is our incredibly exciting kinky life. Yet we met online, and I'm the dominant and he's the submissive. I guarantee that no one in the rest of our lives suspects anything about our kinks. We could have met at a wine tasting, but we met on

I really haven't dated much outside my kink, but he has, and he'd be the first to tell you not to waste your time beating around the bush, as it were. If you like someone enough to sleep with her, talk to her about your kinks. I understand that some are more awkward to discuss than others, but it must be done, for your sake and hers. Even if she's not into it per se, it may be something she's at least neutral on, and you can have some kind of quid pro quo arrangement. Certainly it's preferable to have someone who's enthusiastic and eager about your kink, but since the majority of most relationships is spent out of bed, I think it's more important to find someone with whom you can compatibly share that time, and who's GGG in bed. (If you're not familiar with Dan Savage, run, don't walk, to his column and podcast. He's answered your question at least 100 times already.)
posted by desjardins at 2:29 PM on March 2, 2008

I understand Anon's position entirely; I too am into what I would call Taco Bell kink (it is to real kink what Taco Bell is to Carmelita's, or Taqueria El Maguey).

In my case it's more body-part fetishism (I'm a boob man, but that's the only one of mine you can really get a read on while the other person's dressed). What an informative thread; thanks all.

> Also, I should point out the obvious: attractive women only go for attractive men.

Well, this depends on attractive. My SO, whom I've known for 10 years, but only been in a relationship with for 1, gets hit on every 30 seconds or so; while she has some baby weight she hasn't yet lost, you'd have to call her attractive.

I've got a decent face, I think, but am otherwise not in all that great shape at all (I'm 235 where I should be about 200 at 6'1.5"), but she seems attacted to me just fine. :-)
posted by baylink at 3:09 PM on March 2, 2008

One thing I forgot...

Your local BDSM groups probably each have their own (usually Yahoo based) email list. Even if you don't actually show up to any of the group's events, subscribe to the list and scope out the members from a safe distance. If you spot someone with whom you think you'd get along, send an introductory email and provide them with your IM ID. Try to initiate a dialog. This person doesn't have to be potential dating material. S/he might just play the role of friend/confidant/contact or provide a sort of gateway through which you can get to know the rest of the community.

Also, if you're able to get past some of your reticence, you can post an introduction to the list. Don't make it sound too much like a personals ad; the group members will resent it if they feel you're only there to score tail. However, you should be able to mention your kinks and relationship preferences. Like most online communities, it's often a good idea to hang back and lurk a bit before posting, to get a feel for the local customs.
posted by Clay201 at 4:36 PM on March 2, 2008

I don't know if there are other dating sites that do this, but OkCupid scores you on a number of personality traits based on your answers to questions, and "kink" is one of those traits. I've ended up matched with some really great, really kinky, really vanilla-looking dates because of it.
posted by moonlet at 5:25 PM on March 2, 2008

Getting the right kind of kink into your life in the right amount is the same balancing act as getting enough, e.g., climbing, or sailing, or whatever. I don't see it mentioned up-thread so I'll suggest craigslist casual encounters or misc. romance as a place worth checking. It has worked well for me though I've read possibly ten thousand headers, maybe three hundred entire posts, sent reply email to twenty, had six responses and wound up with three long-term play partners of many years' standing. I'm male, BTW, and my partners are of both genders.

If your kink is highly specific you're likely to do better on a kink-specific web site than looking around randomly. This fetish roadmap may also be worth examining, if only to see what Katharine Gates' belief about the gender distribution was in 2002.

Disagreeing with several comments up-thread, in many facets of BDSM and D/s people's appearance is less important than their ability to let the dogs out. Any number of middling-looking males have wound up (in my circles) with absolutely stunning partners because they were able to create hot tableaux. Even so, never mind that. You may find as I have that partners who don't meet ad-agency standards of beauty become wholly lovely when a scene becomes delightful, and that delight carries through to the rest of the time you spend together.
posted by jet_silver at 9:14 PM on March 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

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