BDSM

Peek into this subculture with parties and groups for the novice.

0

Comments

Add +

  • Photograph: Francine Daveta

    Paddles

  • Photograph: Francine Daveta

    Paddles

  • Photograph: Francine Daveta

    Paddles

  • Photograph: Francine Daveta

    Paddles

  • Photograph: Francine Daveta

    Paddles

Photograph: Francine Daveta

Paddles

Paddles
In search of public options for curious newbies, I visit NYC's holdout nonprivate dungeon. The simple setup, found behind a marked door under an inconspicuous Chelsea awning, isn't intimidating. There's a bar selling soft drinks and a few rooms full of contraptions catering to individual interests—such as a chair to help fetishists get a faceful of a partner's feet. Unadorned corridors of cages and Saint Andrew's crosses are scattered around.

My friend and I arrive just before 3am on a Saturday, as the space was converting from a well-lit coed atmosphere to the darker men-only party. Still, a half-dozen suburban types linger on a stage with a giant mirror behind it, setting up one last "scene" (a fantasy scenario). Everyone I meet is helpful, down-to-earth and eager to talk, including the Brit who'd arrived in town with a mind to getting caned. He met a German couple outside the club, took them for a drink and convinced the woman to do the honors. There's no pressure here; everything that you do or have done to you is consensual. Quietly watching is permissible; if you witness an act between two people who intrigue you, etiquette dictates you wait until they're through to approach them. There's no penetration or booze—stipulations that have helped the club avoid being shut down—so it's about leaving your street clothes at the door ($2) to reveal your leather skivvies; purchasing a cat-o'-nine-tails ($50--$70) from a spread of switches, whips and paddles on a lighted display at the entrance; and going to play. 250 W 26th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (paddlesnyc.com). Fri, Sat 10pm--3am; men $25, women $10.

BDSM groups and websites

Fetishtribe.com
These popular monthly events—Impact, {xcess and Suspension—cater to a young crowd. Each soiree highlights a different interest (spanking and BDSM play, schoolgirls and dangling from the ceiling, respectively). Location, time and price vary; visit fetishtribe.com for more info.

NYC TNG
This collection of 18-to-35-year-old BDSM fans meets several times a month, sometimes to attend parties and occasionally just to munch—that is, have lunch at Odessa (119 Ave A between St. Marks Pl and E 7th St; first Saturday of the month 3pm). Expect a Q&A session for anyone new to the scene. nyctng.org

FetLife
This free online community, which boasts 26,000 members in the New York City area alone, helps the uninitiated to connect with others and find their way into local private parties. Create a basic profile with a picture and your proclivities, join chat groups ranging from Kinky and Geeky to Spank You Very Much to find fellow sexual explorers and arrange to meet them at one of the happenings in the Upcoming Events section. fetlife.com

The Eulenspiegel Society
This 40-year-old nonprofit, a clearinghouse of information and a support group for the community, hosts lectures and gatherings every month. The Novice Meeting is geared toward answering first-timers' questions, while at the Novice Excursion, scenesters and newbies alike gather at a diner for coffee and conversation before heading to Paddles or a private TES party. tes.org

See more in Sex & Dating

Users say

5 comments
Thomas
Thomas

How do you know if you're a submissive or a top when you enjoy both

Thomas
Thomas

How do you know if you're a submissive or a top when you enjoy both

astonmartin508
astonmartin508

a question.... is there a caucasian Goddess who enjoys training black boys to know and understand their proper place??