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Question
I am somebody who always has had an interest in bdsm and would like to explore it. However, I do not know how to get involved, meet people etc... I am open to any advice you suggest.

Answer
Hi, Christopher -- thanks for writing.

You'll get a LOT of ideas if you'll do an Internet search for: "BDSM starting out"

You'll want to join www.fetlife.com (it's free). Fetlife is the "Facebook" for us kinky folks.  I'm Dr_Bob on there -- send me a friend request.

You're in California, but I don't know what part. Virtually any medium-sized city on up to LA and SF will have lots of BDSM clubs. On Fetlife, type in the name of your city and see what comes up.  When the page comes up within Fet, the members who have that city in their names are on the top part of the page, then scroll down to see if there are clubs who have their own Fetlife groups. You can write to the group owner and ask how to get involved.

I have just finished a book called: BDSM Mastery: Your guide to play, parties, and scene protocols.  It's intended specifically for a person such as yourself who is just starting out in BDSM. If you'll send me your email address, I'll add you to the announcement list once it's available on Amazon. It should be up in about six weeks.

If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask.

Here are some books to get you started:

Books if You’re Just Starting Out in BDSM
•   Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism by Philip Miller and Molly Devon (The classic guide to sadomasochism that is intended to strip away myth, shame, and fear, about BDSM to reveal truths about this intense form of eroticism.)
•   When Someone You Love is Kinky by Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt (VERY helpful for explaining your interest and involvement in BDSM to non-kinky family and friends.)
•   Sensuous Magic, 2 Edition: Your guide to S/M for Adventurous Couples by Patrick Califia (Califia mixes erotic vignettes with practical advice and personal insights to produce a very creative guide to sadomasochism for couples.)
•   Playing Well with Others by Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams (Interestingly, this book is a marvelous companion to this book that you’ve been reading.  We cover very little ground in common and their material really picks up where this book has left off.  And both authors are friends of mine.)
•   The New Topping Book, by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton (Helps to explain what make someone a “good” dominant, including some of the mental aspects of being a dominant, offers some advice on BDSM play and techniques, and covers the all-important area of safety.
•   The New Bottoming Book, by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton (The “mate” to the previously-recommended book, this one is written for submissives/bottoms and deals largely with the mental/emotional aspects of being a submissive, rather than hands-on instructions in techniques and toys.)

++++++

Lists:
•   Of practically every kink known to man—just in case you thought you’d heard it all: everything2.com/title/Submissive+BDSM+Play+Partner+Check+List
•   Glossary of BDSM terms: www.xeromag.com/fvbdglossary.html

Major general information resource sites:
•   www.FetLife.com: “Fet”, as it is called, is the go-to source for just about anything these days. It is the “Facebook” for those of us interested in BDSM. There are discussion groups for just about any topic you can think of. It’s my first stop for anything I’m researching. (Thanks, John Baku, for creating this Web site.)
•   bannon.com: the site that is both 100% authoritative and responsible. Race Bannon, author of Learning The Ropes: A Basic Guide to Safe and Fun BDSM Lovemaking not only sends you to responsible sites but also provides some guidance about what to be looking for and avoiding when it comes to Internet searches concerning BDSM and Leather.
•   Extremely useful site for all things submissive: www.submissiveguide.com
•   High quality information: www.the-iron-gate.com
•   Good information: http://collarncuffs.com/resources/doku.php?id=bdsm
•   One of the most comprehensive and sophisticated sites I can recommend—particularly for types of play and the psychology of play—belongs to Peter Masters (Sydney, AU). Clever guy. www.peter-masters.com/wiki/index.php/The_Control_Book

Best wishes, and thanks again for writing,

Bob  

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Robert Rubel (Dr. Bob)

Expertise

Anything related to BDSM or Master/slave relationships or activities.

Experience

See: www.KinkMastery.com I live 24/7 Master/slave lifestyle and have since 2002 both as Master and slave. My Owner and I present and do "weekend intensives" internationally and at BDSM conferences practically every month.

Organizations
Masters And slaves Together (MAsT) National Leather Association - International (NLA-I) National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)

Publications
+++ BDSM Mastery—Basics: your guide to play, parties, and scene protocols. +++ BDSM Mastery—Relationships: a guide for creating mindful relationships for Dominants and submissives +++ Master/slave Mastery: Updated handbook of concepts, approaches, and practices +++ Master/slave Mastery--Advanced: Refining the fire; ideas that matter +++ Master/slave Mastery--Protocols: Focusing the intent of your relationship +++ Is THAT What They Meant? A book of practical communication insights

Education/Credentials
PhD, Urban Education Policy Studies with a minor in criminology, U of Wisconsin, Madison. EdM, Boston University with specialty in urban education Presented 80+ BDSM weekend conferences worldwide since 2007.

Awards and Honors
Pantheon of Leather Community Choice - Man, 2008

Past/Present Clients
Not applicable.

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