I recently went to Imaginarium, a kink club in London, UK for the first time. Despite my best intentions, I had never managed to get myself to a kink club before. It was exciting and beyond fun to finally indulge in this desire.
To add to all the splendor, I was attending the club on a date with my long-term, and, until very recently, a long-distance lover who I have been visiting in person for the first time since we met 5 years ago. This is my first partner to not only be open-minded and kinky but also fully trusting and trustworthy with my body and soul. I was eager to explore this experience with him and he did not disappoint.
Yes, I had an incredible time and I learned a lot from that experience, which I will now share with you.
Here is what you need to read before going to your first kink club.
Get a referral
Sure, you could just Google ‘kink clubs in my area’ and take the results at face value, but even then, a good referral goes a long way. Sometimes the top hits aren’t the best.
If you know anyone connected to the kink community, ask them for recommendations.
If you don’t know anyone, a great resource to meet others in the kink community and get some intel on the best spots is FetLife.
If they are female-presenting, it’s likely that they would have some insight as to which places, if any, are unsafe. Regardless, a friend in the kink community with experience going to clubs should be able to at least give you a sense for the vibe of places they’ve visited.
If you have a play partner who is familiar with a certain club, and wants to go back, I’d recommend you go with them. They can give you a guided tour and who doesn’t love that extra, personal touch?
Choose your clothing wisely
When you go somewhere for sexy reasons but are not in control of the environment, there’s a lot to consider. Sure, you may have the perfect outfit clear in your mind, but will it still be a good idea at 4 am when the chills set in?
I like dressing in layers. There should be a coat check service where you can store your extra layers, perhaps in a bag of some sort. You definitely don’t want to be carrying around all of your extra layers with you. Layering will allow you to be scantily clad when you’re ready for it, but warm enough when you catch a chill.
If the club you’re going to has multiple zones, you’ll want to dress for those activities. Dance floor? Make sure you can move freely. Bar? Will you need pockets for money and/or ID? Dungeon? Time to break out the leather chaps.
For my evening, I chose layers of black, sheer fabric. Panties with mesh sides, fishnet stockings, and a translucent, striped tank top on the first layer. The second layer was a long-sleeved fishnet dress — perfect for revealing your body with a bit of disguise. On top of that, I wore a sleeveless, button-down, frilly dress with a high Victorian-style collar. Then, I wore a tailcoat over it all and a large, soft scarf with leather gloves. I was ready for the cool, early autumn night air, the sweaty dance floor, and an intimate dungeon, all at once.
Bring your own toys
I made the mistake of thinking that a “fully-equipped dungeon” meant that there would be floggers and other toys ready for anyone to use. I considered bringing my riding crop but opted not to for fear of having it confiscated. As it turns out, bringing my riding crop would have been lovely and fully acceptable.
I could have brought a myriad of other toys, too.
Once I arrived and asked a staff person, it was too late. I’d already left my toys at home. I was still able to feel the leather strings of a pro dom’s whip, but only because I was very lucky and asked for some action before he was too booked up. He gave me a few minutes of shock and excitement that my date was able to watch and enjoy as well.
It’s a delicate balance. You don’t want to bring too many toys and risk losing or breaking any, or having to carry around an annoying amount of things in your hands, but you’ll probably really enjoy bringing one or two items for the night. Bonus points if your toys match your outfit. Even more so if your accessories support a particular role you’ve decided to play.
Explore the space
The first thing we did when we got there was just walking around and getting to know where every available room was located and what the qualities were of each room. I’m always checking for temperature, lighting, and comfort. Assessing these qualities gives you a better idea of what you might wear in each space and which sorts of activities you’ll want to get up to.
The dance floor had some lovely fog action in addition to being very industrial-feeling and delightfully filthy. I noted the dark corners within which one might get up to some mischief. The bar was a bit chaotic, but there were some good seating options and easier chatting opportunities than on the dance floor. We found all the toilets. The dungeon was a relatively calm space that was a bit warmer than the other rooms and it was clean enough that you could have your shoes off without worrying about what you might step in. Eventually, we found the bar on the other side of the dungeon, but it took a while.
Exploring the space allowed us to get a sense of the possibilities. It grounded us in this new reality and held a framework for the evening. We knew where to go to get our needs met, what we could comfortably do in each room, and how each space made us feel.
Ask for what you want
At a sexy kink club, plenty of people are there just waiting to satisfy their desires. They want to get off, they want to get you off, and really, they just want to have fun. However, not everyone you come across will have the time, space, and capacity to fulfill your desires. Some may have strict boundaries.
It’s good to ask.
One of the worst ways to approach a kink club has to be imagining all the awesome things you want to do before you get there and then once you actually arrive, holding back, not talking to anyone, and going home without ever having had one interaction. Voyeurism is totally fine and to be expected at kink clubs, but if that’s not what you want out of it, you’re going to have to push yourself a little. It’s no fun to go home grumpy, especially if it’s your own damn fault.
Instead, I would make eye contact with whomever you’re interested in and ask them if they would like to do X to/with you. If you’ve got someone who’s agreed to carry out some kink with you, make sure you communicate. Tell them when they’re going too hard, or if you want it harder, slower, or to change direction. I’m sure if communicated appropriately, any new play partner would be only too eager to satisfy your requests.
Consider your own boundaries
We all have boundaries we’d rather not have crossed, whether or not we’re aware of them. You might think, “Oh no, I don’t have any boundaries,” and then someone might come in and do something unexpected that would leave you thinking, “I definitely did not want that to happen.”
It can be hard to become aware of our own boundaries and even more so to then communicate those boundaries to others. However, it’s worthwhile when you realize that clear boundaries help everyone to behave in ways that will be well received by all parties involved. One of the best things you can do to prepare for semi-public sex is to learn how to communicate your boundaries.
To quote an anti-gambling-addiction slogan: Know your limit, and play within it.
If you’ve got clear boundaries and feel confident in your communication abilities, it might be worthwhile to begin breaking down boundaries that no longer serve you. This is a delicate process. Kink and fetish events can be great tools for redefining boundaries if used correctly.
For example, say you’ve always been more interested in whipping than being whipped, but you’ve reached a place in your life where you’re curious about what that might feel like. A kink club may be the perfect place to find a gifted dom to gently lead you into the world of submission, one step at a time.
Relax and enjoy!
Above all, whether you attend your first kink club solo or with a date (or multiple dates!), allow yourself to relax and have fun. The world is fraught with drama and inequality. Crises are reaching pre-apocalyptic levels, and it feels as though the world could just catch fire and explode at any given moment. Take your pleasure whenever and wherever you can.
My own experience allowed me to restore my sense of personal liberation, excitement, and intrigue. I was able to recognize my own boundaries and gently push them to extend my comfort zone. I got to explore how hard of a slap I can enjoy on some sensitive areas, where my partner’s boundaries lie in terms of exhibitionism, and what sort of sex furniture might be worth investing in for the home.
Whatever your goals are in attending a kink club, take a deep breath and push through whatever might have been holding you back in the past. Give yourself over to your desires and spread as much enjoyment and satisfaction as possible. The world needs it. Especially now.