What's it like to volunteer at a local kink event? Fetish.com writer Caitlin gets up close and personal with a veritable smorgasbord of fetishes in her local community.
 

I’m privileged enough to know the organisers of one particular local kink event, which has given me some insight into what putting something like this together is like. Of course, all kink events are different and have different challenges and goals. For example, consensual beatings are illegal in my city, but this event gets around that by calling it 'improvisational theatre'. It's held in public, in a large community centre.
 

Inside a kink event

There are vendors, a littles’ space, and registration in the lobby, an aftercare room full of comfy couches and a newbie room where demos of everything from stapling to electro and fire play happen. The ballroom hosts the main dungeon, boasting numerous St. Andrew’s Crosses and hardpoints for rope rigging. First aid and the DJ are set up here, alongside a room with multiple hard points for rope suspension and another room known as the mat room, where people engage in wrestling and the like.

There is no complete nudity (genitals and anuses need to be covered) and no penetrative play allowed, but attendees still seem to have a great time and often wear interesting outfits, from chainmail bikinis to adult-sized baby onesies that are especially created for bondage, with arms similar to those of a straight jacket.
 

Organising a kink event

A lot of time and effort goes into a kink event of this kind. I have been a host and gave tours to new folks for the first shift of three. There were five other host volunteers, as well as greeters, dungeon monitors to make sure no one was engaging in dangerous play or anything against the rules, people demoing in the newbie room and main dungeon, and senior staff - not to mention the people that help with setup and breakdown.

Being able to make sure nothing goes wrong from a health and safety standpoint, and having to make sure nothing non-consensual is going on in a very crowded space is not easy - especially when that space is loud and full of people hitting, scratching, electrocuting, and setting one another on fire among other activities.


Foot worship at a Fetish Club
Volunteering some kinky fun!
 

During the kink event

I'm shy about public play, so a ‘beginner friendly’ event is definitely helpful for becoming more comfortable. It was interesting seeing people’s outfits, from lolita maid bunnies and kitties with ears that have bells and a butt plug tail to those wearing see-through pleated skirts and chainmail bikini tops and those in head to foot latex.

It’s interesting to witness different fetish subcultures happening in front of you, from the doms smoking cigars outside to the littles having a tea party and colouring. It's also great to be able to experiment with some things - getting zapped with a violet wand or having a flaming torch glide across your forearm.

The great thing about public events like this is that as long as you’re not intruding on people’s play space, you can just stand and watch what they’re up to. But being in a sexual space doesn't give you a pass to touch people or say sexual things if you don’t have express permission or know the person.
 

A fetish learning experience

One thing made me somewhat uncomfortable during the night: people I didn't know trying to approach me for play. I've talked to a few people about this, and the consensus is that it’s better to try and form bonds with people before trying to play; although the space is inherently sexual, that doesn't mean people want to interact sexually with people they don’t already know.

There's clearly potential for meeting someone at an event and engaging in play with them that same night, but you shouldn't necessarily just approach someone with that expectation. This can be hard for people new to an event or scene that don’t know many people there and/or don't have a partner with them. I've encountered this sort of mentality in other sexual spaces, like when I worked in adult retail.

Since sexuality is so repressed for most people, it can be really exciting to be in a space where they feel like they can express their sexual self and can go a little overboard in the process. This is a side effect of living in a sex-oppressed society, and understandable, but also really uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of.
 

Expressing your sexuality

Ultimately, it’s events like this that allow people to express themselves and explore their sexuality in a safe and supportive environment, and I’m glad to be a part of this one - and will continue to be, as an educator and as a volunteer. Witnessing people exploring their sexuality and kinks in a welcoming environment is not something you get to be a part of every day, and I’d definitely recommend it if that’s something you have access to.

 

Caitlin is a writer, sex educator, consultant, and product reviewer who focuses primarily on issues of sex toy and accessory safety, pleasure, sexuality, gender, and more.


Has this inspired you to volunteer at a kink event? Take a look at what's going on near you on Fetish.com.

 

BDSM Forum | Fetish.com

Images by Christophe Robert and JoeInQueens and Stacey Jones via Flickr with CC BY 2.0 licence

 


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BigPolly

Posted

9 hours ago, eyemblacksheep said:

But, I think it's more important when volunteering to look at what you can give, rather than what you can get out.

I've seen too many more interested in their own profiles or what they can gain and it never, ever, ends well.

I agree with this to a point however for me whereas I already had Domme experience (back when I was a Domme) & therefore could put that to good use, it allowed me to gain a different range of experience....I guess it was a case of ‘you get out what you put in.’

I definitely agree with the ‘self all round gain’ though. The amount of times I see on here ‘I’m a sub & I want someone who will do this, this & this to me’!? Obviously wants & needs are up for discussion but as a sub I could never imagine deciding/stating what my own punishments etc will be. Personally, as much as I have a voice & happy to be in charge of my own role I feel that’s not my place to decide & can’t imagine any Dom(me) accepting outright  statements.....anyway I’m going off topic now 😬

Anyway for those that like the idea of volunteering, just as much fun can be gained (if not more) from simply attending events as a guest. 

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eyemblacksheep

Posted

There's been a few interesting comments here - and while everyone is a bit different I'm going to explain why I do what I do.

 

DJing - I've got 15 years experience.  So, I have a skill that can be used.  And my knowledge of music spans wider than what is needed for the crowd.

It's something I can offer.

 

In terms of the munch - we took over one of the regions longest running munches; so it was almost to give up our time to keep it going.  But, also our knowledge of kink meant we were good people to be able to help newbies and effectively be part of the gateway to the scene.

 

The new event, I'm not 100% sure what my role will be - potentially either as a Dungeon Monitor and/or House Dominant - but - again - I have many years experience in this.

I've also been a House Dominant in the past for another event.

 

There are skills I can offer and give back.

 

Of course, there are benefits to this and I'd be lying to suggest otherwise.

 

But, I think it's more important when volunteering to look at what you can give, rather than what you can get out.

 

I've seen too many more interested in their own profiles or what they can gain and it never, ever, ends well.

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dlrican

Posted

Yes sir I would

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Ladyjadelore

Posted

I would most definitely

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Alxwulf

Posted

Yeah would love to volunteer sounds like it would be fun

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Rave92

Posted

Yes I would as I would like to know more poeple and learn more about kink

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CLASSYFATSEXADDICT

Posted

I'm interested in being a greeter.

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eyemblacksheep

Posted

well, I run a munch - DJ at one event and volunteer at another.

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BigPolly

Posted

I volunteered in a fetclub when I was around 30 as the resident TV Dommes apprentice as she was as a friend at the time. Loved it, I gained so much more knowledge, experience & insight.

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Saints7384

Posted

I would like to volunteer one day, I’m still a bit nervous about BDSM, but would love to go to events with some one.

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MrMegraw

Posted

I've actually yet to go to any events but that's because I've only recently moved to the Kent area and have no idea where they are or anything and would love to go and try.

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Cade

Posted

Volunteered at my first convention in 2006, one of the best experiences of my life! Helped start a local TNG before that, but ever since that first convention, I've worked at least two conventions a year, and help manage a couple monthly play parties. Totally worth every moment of time and effort invested for me.

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HexThePup

Posted

I'm still a fetish event virgin, havent even popped my munchies cherry so to speak. I would like to help and take part in events. A mixture if nerves and adrenalin? Sounds sexy!

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Strawslut

Posted

Frequently do. DM, host, cloakroom attendant or just set up and take down crew

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