Christian’s Red Room (of pain/pleasure), as Ana calls it, is nicely outfitted with everything a girl could want for a kinky good time. But what if your dom can’t devote the space or a huge wad of cash to a room dedicated to kinky sex? Have no fear; it’s public and semi-public playspaces and dungeons to the rescue. Pretty much every major city and a whole lot of smaller ones have spaces that are either open to the public or require a simple membership or a buddy system, where you can get your kink on without having to invest in a lot of equipment. St. Andrew’s crosses and spanking benches tend to be standard, as well as a padded table and some kind of lounging space for aftercare. On the more well-equipped end, you might find chairs with tie points, cages, a medical-play room, hard points for rope suspensions, a hoist, pillories…the options are limited only by the owner’s imagination and budget and the available space.
And if you don’t have a dom already, you might just find one there. Many playspaces have open-play nights, and you can scope out single doms, play voyeur to see what kinds of scenes are possible, and maybe even get involved in a scene of your own. (Be sure to read up on negotiating and consent before you get involved in any scenes.)
If you’ve never been to a public playspace or dungeon before, don’t be intimidated. Most people in the BDSM community are friendlier than you’d think for people decked out in leather and toting instruments of pain. And if you tell people you’re new, most are happy to offer help if they’re not busy. Some playspaces even have parties specifically aimed at newbies that include a tour and a primer on dungeon etiquette.
“Etiquette?” you say? “What is this, a tea party?” Yes, there are standards of behavior to help keep everyone safe and not creeped out, and you should familiarize yourself with both general standards and the specific house rules before you attend. You can find two good basic guides to dungeon etiquette here and here.
When you’re getting to know your dom, it’s great to have these places where you can explore in a safer setting. In addition to there being more safety in numbers (there’s more accountability than if you’re playing in someone’s house alone with them), there are almost always dungeon monitors (often identified by a bright armband, a vest, or something else easy to spot) who keep an eye on things as well as a house safeword, meaning if you call it out, the dungeon monitor or someone else outside your scene will step in and override your dom to end your scene.
To find events at the playspaces and dungeons in your area, set up a free account on FetLife, make sure to list your real city, and then click on Events -> Near Me. Then stow any shyness in the closet for the night and pull out something that makes you feel sexy. Your Christian Grey, when you find him, will appreciate it.