So. My first BDSM group meeting. I survived, I didn’t flee in the middle of the meeting, and I even interacted with people. Going in, two things made me a little less stressed. (1) They had a small newbie meeting *before* the general meeting, just to provide important general info, etc. (2) They don’t publicize the location of meetings, so — if you’re new — you have to e-mail them to find out where it is. And, I suppose, so they can screen out the creepy scary folk. So I dutifully e-mailed, and the woman who e-mailed me back was very warm and friendly and reiterated that I was definitely welcome.

So that was a little better than just going in completely unprepared. People were friendly, in that they said Hi and smiled at me even though I was edging away and probably had a deer-in-the-headlights look on my face. (Since the meeting was in a public location everyone was in regular old Sunday-afternoon vanilla clothes.)

The topic of the main meeting was Intro to Dominance and Submission, and it was basically a discussion-type format. A few people were a panel of sorts, to talk about their experience with D/s — a single guy who just charmed the hell out of me with his grammar-geekery (he talked about not using “dominant” and “submissive” as nouns, when they’re really adjectives, and how that was actually significant to him b/c no one is 100% dominant or submissive, etc.), and a couple who have been in a 24/7 lifestyle D/s relationship for 5 years.

Let me say this — I totally understand that different things work for different people, in different relationships. I get that. But, for *me*, the 24/7 D/s scenario pinged every single feminist flag I have. Or maybe they weren’t even feminist flags — they could just be My Own Particular Issues. Either way, that 24/7 relationship wouldn’t work for me. I couldn’t live like that. And it’s not an issue of the sub being in bondage gear all day long, because that’s not their thing. It’s totally the mental, non-sex part of the relationship that I couldn’t cope with. The dom makes all the decisions, gives his wife a list of things she must get done during the day while he’s at work (housework, organizing meetings, etc.), she cooks dinner every night, she serves him dinner and doesn’t start eating until he starts — things like that.

I understand that it works for some people, and that for some submissives, that kind of devoted service is their thing. But so so SO not mine.

It’s interesting — I’m already learning things about myself, just from this one meeting. Like my inclination is more strictly limited to what happens during sex (and I define “sex” pretty broadly), rather than how I interact with my theoretical partner in non-sex-related areas.

I even asked a question of the panel, and didn’t stammer or get all babble-y, which I can really do when I get nervous. I was all calm and coherent. After the meeting, when the woman who ran the newbie meeting came over, she said “It seems like the panel didn’t answer your question fully,” which they didn’t, because they got off on a tangent, and so she told me that if I wanted to discuss it further, I could call or e-mail her. Very nice.

So. It was good. Not as scary as I feared. I’ll be back.