Playing Well With Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Navigating and Exploring the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities

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Whether you're a trembling novice or a jaded expert, there's always something new to be discovered in the endlessly changing, complex and titillating world of kink.

While there are plenty of other books out there that explain how to give a spanking or tie a half-hitch, Playing Well With Others is the first book that explains kink *culture* -- the munches, parties, leather bars, conferences, workshops, fetish nights, exploratoriums and all the other gatherings of kinksters that ...

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Playing Well With Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Navigating and Exploring the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities

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Whether you're a trembling novice or a jaded expert, there's always something new to be discovered in the endlessly changing, complex and titillating world of kink.

While there are plenty of other books out there that explain how to give a spanking or tie a half-hitch, Playing Well With Others is the first book that explains kink *culture* -- the munches, parties, leather bars, conferences, workshops, fetish nights, exploratoriums and all the other gatherings of kinksters that turn BDSM and leather from a bedroom predilection to a lifestyle and a community.

You'll learn to:

* Examine your own motivations, needs, wants and desires
* Ease your way into established communities
* Understand etiquette in different adventurous sex communities
* Familiarize yourself with the many types of events available to you
* Care for your relationships as you explore new territory
* Negotiate for play and aftercare
* Go back to the "world at large” without ruffling feathers
* …and, of course, answer the all-important question: What do you wear?!

The team of Harrington and Williams offers 30-plus years of experience in diverse kink communities: top, bottom and switch; gay, bi and straight; female, male and trans; white and POC. Both former titleholders and international educators, they are an unbeatable pair of "sexual sherpas" with an inimitable voice and a great deal of wisdom.

Playing Well With Others is an unprecedented and essential guidebook for anyone who wants to explore or understand the "community" aspect of the kink lifestyle.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Harrington and Williams adeptly offer information, wisdom and insight to anyone traversing this erotic territory... One of the first books I'll recommend to fledgling kinksters.” - Race Bannon, Learning the Ropes: A Basic Guide to Safe and Fun BDSM Lovemaking

"The first book to completely address the most important steps in negotiating the brave new kink world - how to find it, pick what part you want to explore, talk to the natives and join in the fun!” - Laura Antoniou, The Marketplace series

"Plenty of resources tell you how to find your local BDSM community, but very few help you once you get there. This book is packed with tips about what to expect, how to communicate, and how to behave in different kinky situations.” -Tristan Taormino, The Ultimate Guide to Kink

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780937609583
  • Publisher: Greenery Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 996,462
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Harrington is a passionate spiritual and erotic educator, gender explorer, eclectic artist and published author and editor on human sexuality and spiritual experience. Along his journey he has been a brainy academic, a female adult film performer (under his previous name Bridgett Harrington), a world class sexual adventurer, an outspoken philosopher, a long-time sexuality and spirituality blogger (since 1998), a spirit worker and priest, and an award winning writer and artist. Lee's essays, podcast, videos and more are available at

A founding member of San Francisco's Crowded Fire Theater Company, Mo is the author of several solo shows, including the critically acclaimed "69Stories: One Pervert's Tale.”A proud leatherwoman, performer, BDSM educator, fat fetish model and Executive Pervert, she is extremely honored to have served as Ms. San Francisco Leather 2009 and International Ms Leather 2010. Mo blogs on The Perverted Negress at

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Read an Excerpt

Dark dungeons where chains rattle, bodies writhing in the shadows. Latex clad mistresses who entertain the most select clients who have found the one true way into their domains. Ancient traditions of leathermen passed down from man to man, available only to those willing to endure the trials of indoctrination...
It's hot porn.
If you want to keep dreaming that the world of BDSM, fetishism and kink is a scary place full of depraved taboos and grinning demons who will force you to do their bidding -
Do you, instead, long to traverse and explore the many and varied gatherings within the alternative sexuality communities from a place of emotional, social, psychological and physical well-being? Then this book will help you discover the diversity of possibilities available, and make them a part of your life should you so choose. From munches to fetish balls, shopping excursions to public dungeons, fantasy retreats to intensive educational opportunities, there are many options nowadays. In your hands is a survival guide, complete with helpful tips and tricks, to support you as you explore, navigate and integrate yourself into this community, and make it your own.
Curious about kink? Or perhaps highly experienced and looking for some tips to take your journey even deeper? Ready to dive in fully, or perhaps just take a peek?
Here is a map to the terrain you hope to explore, and we are here to be your guiltless guides, your erotic assistants, your sexual Sherpas.
This is the book we wish had been around when we began our own forays from private kinky sex to public, playful and profound perversion. With so much reference material, so many websites and resources detailing how to be kinky and enjoy diverse sexualities, how exactly do we meet others of our kind? It's about time we branched out and discussed how to play well with one another, how we build community, and how to have the best chance of success in our explorations.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Welcome to the Jungle: Your First Steps Into Adventure 3

Kink? What Is This Kink Thing? 4

Who Is Into Kink? 5

Why Are People Into Kink? 6

Why Join the Community? 12

Choose Your Own Adventure 16

2 Does This Flogger Make My Ass Look Fat?: Kink Etiquette, Kink Culture 23

A Gathering of Tribes vs. a Monolithic "Community," 24

Dispelling a Few Myths 25

Myths Within the Community 27

Courtesy and Respect 31

Personal Responsibility 42

Check Your Assumptions 43

Language, Names and Social Styles 45

Maintaining Privacy: Yours and Mine 48

3 So Many Choices! Events, Groups and Gatherings 53

Which Event Is Right for You? 54

Can/Should You Join This Group? 58

Finding Events 59

Types of Events 62

Munches, Brunches &: Meetups 62

Fetish/Club Nights and Dance Parties 63

Leather Bars and Kink Cafes 65

Fetish Balls and Performance-Based Events 66

Private/ House Parties 67

Exploratoriums, Samplers & Tastings 69

Local Classes &. Education 71

Public Dungeons, SM Clubs and Play Spaces 73

Private Dungeons, SM Clubs and Play Spaces 75

Fetish Nights at Swinger Clubs/Bathhouses 76

Club Operations, Boards & Meetings 77

The Big Hotel Event 78

Kinky Camping, Runs and Retreats 82

Shopping and Swap Meets 83

Pride Parades and Street Festivals 84

Leather Contests and Title Competitions 86

Intensive Education 87

Leadership Conferences and Alternative Academia 88

When Kink is Just a Slice 89

Faith and Spirituality Gatherings 90

Virtual Communities and Gatherings 91

Other Major Categories of Events 92

…And Even More? 96

4 The Pre-Game Plan: Planning, Budgeting, Packing and Getting There 97

Planning 98

Budgeting 99

Packing Your Bags! 105

Getting There 108

5 Male New Friends (and Keep the Old): Keeping It Hot without Burning Bridges 111

Preparing For Successful Networking 112

In-Person Connections 114

Managing Your Virtual Self 123

Lasting Connections 127

6 But It Followed Me Home!: Pre-Event Negotiation And Planning 131

Setting Frameworks Before You Go 132

Pre-Event Preparation 136

Prep For Relationships 138

Styles of Partnered Attendance 143

Consent 144

Communication Systems 145

Involving Other People 149

Find Your Systems and Stick By Them 151

7 Unicorns, Trolls and Other Creatures: Behavior Awareness in Kink Communities 155

Mythical Creatures Are Mythical 156

Emotional Traps 157

Physical Pitfalls 162

Social Snares 164

People Are People, Everywhere 170

8 Oh the Places You'll Go!: Dungeons, Play Spaces and Erotic Arenas 171

Understanding the Space 172

Laws of the Land 184

Dungeon Dos and Don'ts 188

9 Wanna Do Some Stuff?: Negotiating For Play 193

Who To Negotiate With 194

What And Why To Negotiate 198

Setting Play Dates 207

10 Even Perverts Get The Blues: Staying Healthy (and Happy) at Events 211

Managing Needs, Wants and Desires 213

Con Drop and Con Crud 214

Refraining "Negative" Experiences 221

11 Transitioning with Grace: Back In the Default World 225

Real World? Fantasy World? 226

Transition Tools and Techniques 227

Who to Tell, What to Tell 230

Honoring Your Journey 232

Afterword 234

Appendix 1 Kink Lingo Glossary 235

Appendix 2 Kink Flags and Symbols 251

Better Know Your Hanky Code 251

Flags 253

Symbols 256

Items/Clothing/Props 259

Appendix 3 Negotiation Tools 261

Before We Play 261

Playcard 261

Before We Play Questionnaire 262

Before we Play Checklist and Extended Questionnaire 263

Appendix 4 Further Resources 277

4A Non-Fiction Books 277

4B Websites and Social Media 281

4C Sources of Kinky Inspiration 285

4D Out To Your Doctor?: Talking To Health Care Professionals, by Barak, RN 290

4E Understanding STDs and STIs: Sexual Expression and Infection Control, by Scotty Thomson 293

4F Sex, Gender, Identity, Orientation and Behavior, by Aiden Fyre and Lee Harrington 297

4G Relationships Beyond Labels: Some Terminology You May Encounter, and What It May (Or May Not) Mean, By Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy 300

4H SM vs. Abuse, by Jay Wiseman 304

4I Is it a Cult?: The Advanced Bonewits' Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (version 2.6), by Isaac Bonewits 305

4J Pocket Reference to Dealing With Law Enforcement, provided by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Law Enforcement Outreach Program, 308

Thanks/Acknowledgments 309

About the Authors 313

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Customer Reviews

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