Meet. Greet. Kneel.

It’s been almost five years of calling myself a kinkster and I still consider myself to be quite the novice. I’ve written quite a lot about my journey within The life, everything from first learning how to be a sub, falling in love with my first Dom, being basically screwed over by an awful Dom, what it feels like to be a Black woman kinkster and I once wrote a bit of a BDSM 101 piece. In all those five years the most common craving I had (along with a lot more bondage in my life) was being able to be in a space of dirty, curious people – even thinking about it now makes me want to cross my legs.

All the learning that I’ve done about kink was done on my Twitter timeline, some brave DMs, some even braver (and by brave, I really just mean dirty) Whatsapps, even better Skype sessions as well as a few interesting websites and Tumblrs along the way. The thing that I wanted, that wasn’t as easy to find, was real human contact. Being part of a short-lived “Let’s make it dirty” Whatsapp group had my hope alive for a while but with people spread around the country, we only met once while the rest of the time was spent exchanging nudes and sexual escapades as well as questions about things we were all curious about.

Wanting a space that would welcome people that were more than just what you get from the Google results of “bondage” I decided to take it upon myself to create one. Toni Morrison would be proud. Along with Dineo and Kgothatso, we were able to host an event that felt safe and was a space of sharing, learning and experimenting was more than I could have imagined. The space offered a lot of discussion, beginning with introductions as well as sharing progress in individual journeys. Dineo and Kgothatso, having a lot more experience than I do were able to share their own experiences, both speaking on the impact of being a Black woman within kink. 

I probably came into kink about six or seven years ago, quite by accident. While I’d already experienced some elements of kink in sexual encounters, I hadn’t really put a name to it. Stepping into the world of BDSM shifted my perspective in an incredible way, and probably helped me gain a better understanding of my personal power.

There are many nonsexual ways that BDSM affirmed and empowered me. The power of choice and engaging in a D/s dynamic gave me a sense of control, even when I was a submissive. In fact, I could even go as far as saying I felt most powerful in that position.

I made a lot of mistakes when I started out and, while I had people I could trust, I would have appreciated having the kind of support that I have today. I have people from all over the world who have my back and are always watching out for me. That is important.

But as a black kinkster, finding people who are like you is difficult. Most kinky spaces in SA cater to a particular demographic. I understand why, and while it’s frustrating it also highlights the need for online dialogue and spaces where we can get together and talk about why we do what we do.

The roles I play are different and I still need guidance. I need spaces where I can learn from people who are experienced and those who are still starting out. I’m hoping that this munch will break the ice and open us up to more positive spaces for discussion and learning. Not only that, but they’ll provide some sort of guidance for anyone who is starting out in kink and needs reassurance.
— @DeesseDee

Our experiences are different but incredibly similar in that we all yearned for this space, we've been frustrated at what was currently on offer and were anxiously awaiting being able to share our experiences. Being able to be in a room of so many Black kinksters - both experienced and others simply curious - was the happiest I had felt in a long time. Being able to speak about that frustration was a release I could only compare to being choked.  

Being the minority in the minority in the minority can really suck. A lot. Black. Woman. Queer. Kinkster. In this country I so love, people who identify in these ways still struggle to truly be themselves without looking over their shoulders or having to defend why the also deserve to prosper.

I didn’t have to think twice about booking a return to Joburg just to attend ‘Meet. Greet. Kneel’ a safe space where people who are interested in… let’s call it ‘alternative forms of pleasure’, can talk and engage with like-minded people. A space for kinksters. As a black kinkster, I’ve found it to be challenging finding spaces that allow me to stimulate this part of me, never mind the freedom to be able to speak openly and freely about the interesting journey my mind and body has been on since I started embracing it. Because we are such a minority, basic things like access to information and access to spaces is very limited, and it has become necessary for us take initiative and create an environment we would want to frequent ourselves.

The play parties I’ve attended, contrary to popular belief, were not set in dodgy basements where the entire floor is covered with naked bodies swinging ropes and floggers around everywhere. From my first event, I was rather welcomed by a space where I could unapologetically wear my love and appreciation for pleasure and the different ways the body and mind can experience it. There, my curiosity was encouraged, my fetishes adored and my fears and questions laid to rest. I could speak to people about enhancing my experiences in the lifestyle, how to be a better and considerate partner or play mate, and receive guidance on maintaining physical and mental health while engaging. All of this with no judgement no matter how different our kinks were.

There is something about sharing of one another’s experiences that allows you to learn so much and have the option of being or doing better. It’s no different with this necessary space. With more and more of these spaces becoming accessible, I personally hope to see society starting to better embrace and understand sex, sexuality, gender and pleasure, and not demonise or shy away from these topics so much.

I may be a minority, but even I deserve to live my best life.
— @Lyricnotic

The sentiment at the event was a similar one, everyone who attended was there to live their best life. While describing different roles within The Life, one of the guys who were in attendance figured out that they identify as submissive for ages, two couples in attendance were there because they were trying to learn about what their partner was interested about, Black women thanked us for creating a space were they could speak on what they loved without being fetishized, discussions on consensual non-consent were brought up and analysed, it really and truly was a dynamic group of people that I hope to see and play with again very soon.

Upon hearing about the event, the amazing people at Matildas sent us through a Kink Box containing a clitoral vibrator, bondage material, a vibrating butt plug and lube for days. As a side note, their delivery is amazing, I got my package the day following the offer. This was, of course, the perfect prize to give to whoever replicated Kgothatso’s mini bondage lesson. One of my favourite things was seeing how happy those who were being tied up looked. Feeling safe and protected while dressed in rope, I wasn’t at all surprised at how their faces were glowing.

So thank you. To all those who attended, even those who weren't able to come but sent through their love over the interwebs. We'll be doing it bigger and better soon and I cannot wait for the things that come from it. Cough.