There are bumps, unfortunate downs and other negative aspects. The thing is that it only seems to get better.
People of all types and of all levels of engagement continue to invest their time, energy and many more parts of themselves to make things happen.
With texting, internet and people all over the place talking about about good and bad things, word spreads quickly.
The good seems to build and build. New people come in and learn what they like. They help others. It keeps building.
The legal aspects however seem to stay the same. The laws are so agonizingly slow to change and the older generation seems bent at times on going backwards.
I have a sense that many if not all events will shortly go into a state where one simply can not show up. You have to join hours or days earlier otherwise it is not a legally private event.
PittsburghPittsburgh lost its wonderful stable weekend kinky play spot. It was a surprise to the kinksters and not of our own doing. Shit happens.
Pittsburgh has moved on with many different munches, private parties and private play dates. They are listed in various Pittsburgh groups on FetLife.
I am curious about the "swinger" club, DJ's Island. I may go one day to check it out on a more fetish or BDSM like night. If you are capable of establishing relationships with someone very attractive to you, are concerned about coming across creepy and can avoid being a wall flower going alone, I would check it out if that is your thing.
There are advantages to going alone such as paying attention to others instead of yourself and who you arrive with. If you are male and can't connect with people or women at a bar or grocery store, I wouldn't bother going. I would work on getting friends with the sex you are attracted too.
I myself have many wonderful sexy friends and would go with me or I could go alone. I would make a decision based on interest, pricing and my impossible schedule.
ClevelandOhioSmart BDSM Club is still rocking strong. It is one of my favorite clubs. I can't say enough about it. I am sadden that some people had to leave to deal with life but that is the nature of things.
They have 2 or 3 play parties a month. I wish I could go to them more often. They will also have in May, their amazing Kinko De Mayo event.
Another wonderful "swinger" club, is Club Eros. One of these days, I hope to attend a fetish night. I checked out their web site recently and they are being selective about single men. I have a sense they are vetting men based on who knows them which is understandable.
Nearby in Akron, there is the BDSM club, Purple Rose Society. It is amazing what they have done to the space.
ElsewhereMaryland has an exciting new space called Studio 58. Various groups are using this wonderful large photography space for fun.
The AIS event in Columbus called Winter Wickedness happened this weekend. They have other wonderful events such as COPE (Central Ohio Perversion Excursion).
The Dark Odyssey Winter Fire event happens in a hotel in DC. Later they have two wonderful cabin/camping events in Maryland, Fusion and Summerfest.
As of late, I have been bouncing around New York, Boston, New Hampshire, Toronto Canada and elsewhere. Each place has different restrictions such as Massachusetts laws that you can't consent to being hit (how the heck do sports work there?). They can have established clubs or people travel by train, car or bus to clubs in other states.
Getting Out ThereIt doesn't matter the context. One has to invest time and resources in themselves to make connections.
Whether it is sexual alternative lifestyles, business or dating, one has to make connections.
I spent more than a few months meeting people, asking questions and using those answers to understand myself when I entered the kinky world. I was a clueless newbie who only understood things from what I read online, books and my own experiences.
As part of that learning and exploring, I had to watch my own ability to learn. The more negative distractions I have, the harder it is.
Every time I go some place, I work on keeping my expectations low. It is so much easier to go from low expectations to wonderful exciting fun than deal with missed expectations.
My car could break down. People I was planning to meet couldn't make it. People get sick. Normal every day stuff like job, family and other relationships can take priority. It can also be something more subtle like being upset about something at work or struggling to understand where I am with an important me relationship.
I work to recognize when things are off for myself. I get more careful with expressing myself and I try to express that any missteps in conversations is my issue with being "off" or "somewhat out of it".
I don't beat myself up for spending my time, my money and getting all dressed up if all I do is talk to people or nurse a beverage all night watching and listening to people.
The important thing is to get out there, say hello and be curious.
Go to munches, go to parties, smile and enjoy the moment. Being seen, engaging to some small degree to learn from others, communicating honestly and not spoiling other people's fun is the best approach.
Many people can sense desperation and needy behaviors. Conversations that are focused around "me me me", what you know and what you are unattractive. Subtle boundary missteps are "red" flags and cause people to exit conversations.
Doors are opened by learning and connecting.