1. Get an email address without your real name in it. You will need it for invite lists and such.
2. Get a Alterium/FetLife or other such site account, and put a picture up. No need for your face to be shown, but put something up. Something other than a shot of your genitals.
3. Find local events such as munches and classes to go to.
4. Pick a name to be known by in person. If you have a common first name, you may want to use that. If you don’t, or want to be even more careful, pick another name. Remember, people might buy “Buddy” a beer, but no-one wants to buy “Lord Domly Pants” a beer.
5. Practice introducing yourself. You will be doing it a lot.
6. Go to real life events. Everybody is shy sometimes. Go to events and introduce yourself. A lot.
7. Make friends, before you make play partners. They will help guide you.
8. Don’t touch people or stuff without permission. You will notice that people in the scene can be touchy and huggy. They know each other. If you get to know people you can probably get hugs too. If you want. People should not be touching you if you don’t want them to.
9. Guard your identity. Don’t give out your real name, phone number, or post pictures of your face without a good reason. Get a Google voice number to hand out instead. It also works with texting and you can block calls with Google Voice if you need to.
10. Meet new people in a public place or at a group event. Trade personal identity information later if you feel comfortable, and want to meet them privately.
11. Read a lot! SM 101, Screw the Roses, Loving Dominant, Ethical Slut, etc.
12. If you are looking for a mentor, look at your peers. If you are a submissive, find an experienced submissive to mentor you.
13. Ask questions. People are happy to help you learn.
14. Practice saying “No, thank you”. Be firm but polite. You may get many offers – much more than what you are used to in vanilla life.
15. If you are at an event, please say hi to the hosts. We love to meet new people, and we can introduce you to good people.
16. Ask for what you want, when you are ready. And don’t be afraid to ask for something simple and mild.
17. Trust your gut. If something feels wrong, assume it is.
Copyright 2011,2012, Match Stick. Licensed under the Creative Commons Share Alike Attribution License. Please feel free to copy, improve, translate, and share. You don’t need to ask permission first.
Feel free to tattoo it on your ass. If you do, please send me a picture!