Finding Your Tribe

A friend recently asked me where she could find like-minded queer friendly black kinksters in the Bay Area. Good question! I am black, but my particular preference is for straight, older, white men. Lately I’ve been involved less in kink and more in straight up fucking, so I don’t really move in poly/kink/queer/of color circles. My relationship with my husband, and my sexuality are ever evolving, and we’ve been talking about engaging in fewer random hookups, and instead looking more for a regular boyfriend, which has not been forthcoming through the channels we’ve used so far (OK Cupid, FetLife, Tinder). The question forced me to step out of my comfort zone and dig deeper – I found websites and events that I’d never heard of/been to before, with communities of people that may be more simpatico with the kind of lifestyle I’m looking to create. I learned that there’s a lot of real life *research* I need to do, and friends –  I will do it! I’ll share what I’ve learned about meeting alternative folks online and in real life so far…

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Wicked Grounds Kink Cafe & Boutique is located at 289 8th St in San Francisco, and bills itself as “San Francisco’s first and only kink cafe and boutique. We have a full cafe in San Francisco (see our full menu here!), and host a wide variety of BDSM and related events, including workshops, classes, social gatherings, and munches.” They have a full calendar of events, and in keeping with my commitment to personally researching these new-to-me kink establishments, I plan to attend The Slutty Book Club on September 4th. I’ll report back!

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The San Francisco chapter of Kinky Salon‘s greeting on its homepage says it all: ‘You just found the keys to the magic kingdom. Behind this door you can unlock community, creative expression, and sexual liberation, becoming part of a movement to change our culture’s unhealthy attitude towards sexuality. We are queer friendly, body positive, accessible and inclusive. Creativity is the focus of the events, and sex is just one way to express yourself at a Kinky Salon. We see the liberation of sexuality as a means of personal transformation, and personal transformation as a means of cultural transformation. When you connect the dots, Kinky Salon is really about making the world a better place, one pervert at a time.’ I am super bummed I am going to be out of town for next month’s Pussy Fest, but I will keep my eye on their events calendar for the October party. Looks like fun!

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Bawdy Storytelling is a storytelling series held in San Francisco (and LA, Seattle & Chicago) where regular people get on stage and tell stories about their extraordinary sex lives. It attracts a wide range of kinksters, and the venues are often filled to capacity. Lots of pervy candy to choose from! Dixie, the founder of the event, created a great ice breaker called Bang-O – its basically Kinky Bingo, with questions like “Have you ever been bukkaked?” or “Have you fucked someone and not known their name?” You go around and ask other audience members the questions and fill in the names as you go. It’s a great way to meet people, and if you’ve got even an ounce of game, you can get a number (or two).  At the end of the show, Dixie collects all the Bang-O cards and chooses two people to win prizes – at one show, a young, nerdy-looking black man won and went up on stage to collect his prize bag. No big deal, right? Right – until I read an SF Gate article that named him the king of the East Bay Poly Scene. WHAT. So yes, go to Bawdy – you never who you might meet. (Pro tip: Splurge and buy the VIP tickets – you get prime seating, free drink tickets, plus a gift bag filled with insanely nice Lelo vibrators!! Definitely worth the extra $20 or so.)

Ok – somehow, when I read that article, I was so blown away that William was the king of the poly scene that I totally overlooked what they were promoting – Kotango! I just signed up, so I haven’t had a lot of time to explore, but it looks like it has the potential to be an interesting site of like minded people from all over the country.

Enchanted Gardens – my longterm FB Nigel and I have been going to swinger parties off and on for the past four years. We’ve been to great ones, mediocre ones, and an absolutely awful one – I’d rank Enchanted Gardens among the best we’ve been to. Held in a private residence in the East Bay, this was the most ethnically and sexually diverse swing party I’d ever been to. Both of the links I included require you to be a member of FetLife or Swing Life Style (I will discuss these sites in other posts), so sign up, send an email to find out the details and get your life at one of Gaia’s events!

Craigslist – the very thought of finding a date on CL sends shivers down some people’s spines, but it is a huge, FREE platform that attracts all types of people.  Craigslist can be a great resource for finding fuck buddies, but I know it can also be a cesspool of picture collectors, flakes, and just general weirdos. When I placed ads on CL, I was very specific in what I was looking for – I met my long term fuckbuddy Nigel, the best Dom I ever had, and my amazing husband all through Craigslist personals! Approach Craigslist with the same healthy optimism and skepticism you would with any dating site, and you’ll do just fine. With all of these real life and online dating sources, I’d recommend entering into the fray with a open mind and an arsenal of safety precautions, including but not limited to…

Regardless of where you meet a potential lover, it is important to protect yourself from stalkers. Seriously – it is so easy to find out EVERYTHING about you in about .5 seconds (believe me – I’ve done it). It’s best to be safe,  and Google Voice allows you to give out your phone number without actually giving out your phone number – you choose an area code & number from their list (sorry SF – all the 415 numbers are taken), and it rings through to your regular phone! Google Voice revolutionized my ability to date – I was able to receive and make calls, exchange texts, communicate freely without ever revealing my real phone number. It is totally free, totally easy – you should totally get it!

One last thing I recommend, is to pick an easy first date.  It’s incredibly important when deciding where to go on the first date that it be somewhere public, casual, and easy to leave if needed – my personal favorite first date is to meet in a local park and take my dog for a walk. It is much easier for me to be candid outdoors than in a crowded cafe with coffee drinkers’ unsuspecting ears overhearing how I like to swallow. Part of choosing an easy (read: easily escapable) first date is that you don’t really know who you might be agreeing to go out with, until you spend time with them in real life. The other part of it is keeping things low pressure in case the chemistry isn’t there, because you don’t want to be stuck with them for a five course meal.  Something like an uncrowded coffee shop, or a happy hour drink, or a walk in a park, are the perfect settings for this. (My local favorites: Ruby’s Cafe, Hotsy Totsy, Cesar Chavez Park.)

I am so glad my friend asked me the question – I love finding new ways to meet people. Let me know if you have any tips or resources you are particularly fond of. I’d love to hear from you!