QJSex: Kink events

So you’re going to a kink event – or maybe you’re thinking about it. Maybe you want to get a little more information on what it actually means. In the future, I’ll go over some basic points on what to expect and how to behave at kink events. This first entry is on public events.

How can I tell if it’s public? If it doesn’t require an invitation, and you can find information on it online or on a poster, it’s probably public. That means it’s similar in concept to other club events in terms of venue (a bar, dancefloor, mingling), except with kink!

Public events vary greatly: some are more like mixers, some are huge and theatrical, and some are a little more dungeon-like. You can probably tell what the event will be like by how it’s advertised. What’s certain is that public events are not sex parties, and you won’t see people having sex.

There will likely be performances. Some are shows: burlesque, belly dancing, drag, fashion, snake charming, and some are kink scenes. A “scene” is the activity negotiated by a top and bottom (impact play, fire, electricity, suspension, needles, bondage, etc.,) which is “performed” at the event.

Although this is performance, it’s also actual play. How extreme this is varies a ton, but usually at public events nothing too crazy is going on. That said, there will likely be people in pain and there will likely be people being dominated and/or degraded. If you’re uncomfortable, go check something else out, and try not to be judgmental.

No one will pressure you to participate. It actually isn’t that easy to get involved. A lot of people go to these events already knowing who they’re going to play with that night. People certainly meet one another over the course of the night and decide to play together, but it can be tough if you don’t already know somebody going in who can vouch for you. Trust is really important, and for the most part you need to have a conversation or two before jumping in. But that isn’t to say you can’t ask! Newbies are welcome, and you might get a shot at something if you’re keen. Talk to some people first, and have patience if it doesn’t happen right away. Also, notice the badass looking people carrying around duffel bags and suitcases? Those are filled with toys – floggers, whips, dragon tails, ropes, ball gags, canes, riding crops etc. As a dom, you have to bring your own equipment, so it isn’t for public use.

It’s totally cool to watch. For the most part, anyone performing at a kink event loves the spotlight. A sure sign that you’re doing a good job is attracting a crowd, so don’t be shy to stand around and explore your voyeuristic side. That said, it’s definitely not cool to interfere. The activities going on can be dangerous, and you don’t want to break anyone’s concentration or physically get in the way.

Off-stage: there will probably still be kinky activity going on, and lots of kinky clothing. You’re likely to see people leashed and collared, bound and gagged, doing a little foot worship etc. This isn’t acting, and it isn’t costume. Some engage in this on a casual basis, and some live it 24/7. It’s best not to make assumptions. It is, however, considered respectful to address a Dom/Top before their sub/bottom. People often have rules. Don’t think it strange if a person wearing a collar refuses to speak to you - you never know when someone is being punished!

Dress code: some events are strict on this, and some are totally not. A domina once told me that it’s a matter of respect – people put tons of time and money into their outfits, so you shouldn’t show up in sweatpants. She also said if you’re in doubt, or aren’t comfortable, just wear black. If you are going to pull out the stops, the sky is the limit. Typical looks include goth, cyberpunk, victorian, military, schoolgirl/boy, animals, anime, latex, drag, medical…really anything you find fun or sexy is fair game. Waist up nudity is common. Maybe not walking around, but subs generally shed some fabric before getting strapped in.

Intoxication: as with any bar/club event, people will be drinking, but probably less than usual. It’s pretty frowned upon to drink and play – a lot of people have a zero tolerance policy on that. That said, if you aren’t playing, feel free to do as you will.

Have fun! At the end of the day, this is an opportunity to meet some nice people and learn something new. Kinky people are generally welcoming, open and love to talk about their experiences. So have a conversation, feel sexy, maybe have a dance, get a piercing (just kidding!) or have a drink. Just relax, be friendly, show respect at all times, and you’ll do fine.


All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.