How to Deal with Drama in the BDSM Community

lightning bolt as metaphor for drama in BDSM community

The complainer. The troublemaker. The snarky asshole who loves to tear people down – to their face or behind their back. In any group where humans gather, you’ll find these people. When you find them in the BDSM community, it can be extremely disappointing. We’re already on the outside of the mainstream and nearly all of us hide who and what we are. You’d think that more people would be supportive.

In my experience, they usually are, but it wouldn’t be life if there weren’t a few assholes around. If you’ve tried to join your local kink community but encountered nothing but drama, here are a few ideas to help deal with it.

Talk to Community Leaders

So let’s assume that the drama you’re experiencing – backstabbing, dirty looks, vicious rumors, snarky comments – comes from the rank and file of your local BDSM community. Talk to the organizers of the munch or at the dungeon. Share your concerns, and watch their reaction. It’s possible that they don’t see it (even leaders can have blinders on) or that you’re one of many who’ve complained. We all have a point where we say enough is enough, and your voice could be the one that compels a leader to finally say something to the troublemaker(s).

Talk to the People Causing the Drama

I’m not a confrontational person, so I’m the last person to advocate for getting in someone’s face about anything. That being said, we’re all supposed to be adults around here. Saying something will at least put the other person on notice that you know what they’re doing, and you don’t appreciate it. They may even apologize and behave better in the future. Of course, they may become worse, and at that point, you’ll have to decide if this is a group you want to be a part of.

Look for Those on the Outside

Wanting to be part of the “in-crowd” is common for many of us. Watching from the outside feels awful. If you feel like you’re surrounded by people who only want to cause trouble in the community or nothing but a bunch of cliques, stop focusing on them. Look around at the munch or the dungeon. Who’s sitting off to the side not speaking to anyone? They might feel the same way you do about the drama. Strike up a conversation and see where it leads.

Try a Different Group

If you live in a large enough area (and not everyone does), looking for another group can be a viable option. Especially if the drama starts from the top down. When community leaders are the problem, you usually have no other option but to leave. Think about how far you’re willing to travel and what kind of time constraints you have. John Brownstone and I know people who drive an hour one way to go to munches because they really enjoy the energy of the group. If you have that option, take it.

Form Your Own Group

Don’t have multiple kinky groups to choose from? Can’t afford to travel an hour away from home? Consider starting your own kinky group. You don’t have to be as official or formal as a regularly scheduled munch. Invite a few drama-free kinkster friends to lunch or out for coffee. Sure, the big groups of people can be nice, especially if you’re trying to meet someone. It’s much nicer to go out with a few people you genuinely like rather than spend countless hours at events you dread because of the drama.

Go Online

Let’s be clear about something – you’re going to find even more drama among kinksters when you go online. Where more people gather, more drama occurs. This isn’t an easy fix, but being online does give you more options, especially if you live in a kink-desert (of sorts). Wherever people hang out online, you’ll find kinksters – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – and never forget Fetlife. You may have to weed through some idiots to find a few people you like, but it’ll be worth it once you find your tribe.

Ignore the Idiots and Embrace Your People

The hardest thing to do about anyone bringing drama into a community, kinky or not, is ignoring them. They’re usually doing all they can to get attention. Don’t give in to the melodrama they want you to be a part of. Spend your time and energy on the people who matter – your partner, the friends you’ve made, your online community, wherever you’ve find respite from the noise. You can’t stop those people from being who they are, but you don’t have to feed their dramatic needs either. Remember who matters and give those people your time and energy instead.

In every group, you’re going to find drama. It’s the nature of things. In BDSM, people believe very firmly in the way they do things and can look down on anyone who feels differently. It’s sad and creates unnecessary drama, but you can’t control these people. You can only control yourself. It’s much better to spend your time and energy on people who lift you up and make you feel good, rather than on those who like to cause problems for everyone around them.

If you’re looking for an online community of fellow kinksters who want a drama-free environment to make friends and learn about kink and BDSM, join us in the Loving BDSM community!

5 Comments

  • Pixie

    Reply Reply October 19, 2017

    I can tell you how much I relate to this ! I’ could of done with this in my nila life a few years back lol

    I have seen so much drama , on so many levels over the years. Lol is it a point to say I have been in to the fetish from the tender age of 19 and I’m now 37. I actively stayed away from clubs and Munches over the last 5 years, as things with my ex had got to a point of being the source of drama. I could not stand the disapproving looks and hushed whispers . Now I chose not to go to clubs as I still have major social anxiety, but we are looking at low key munches next year! My saving grace has been on line kink and the people that come with it. I have never met more excepting people! Some times it can feel a little cliquey and the are a few brown nosed people , but I’m learning to just be me and let it go over my head.

    The thing I do now I that is different is I will call people out , if I feel myself! One of the girls or someone new is being bullied in some way. Cos , well that is just not right or fare !

    • Kayla Lords

      Reply Reply October 19, 2017

      I can’t wait to hear about your adventures at the munches next year. But online communities can definitely be an excellent replacement, though, you’re right – the same kinds of people with the same kind of drama will be there, too.

  • TheLittlePrincess

    Reply Reply October 19, 2017

    I love this article. Most of the interactions I have with fellow kinksters is online, because, well, I live in a kink desert of sorts. I’ve not really seen a lot of drama on FetLife, but I’ve definitely seen it in groups I was in on Facebook. I stay away from, or leave, those kinds of situations. 🙂 I hate drama.

    • Kayla Lords

      Reply Reply October 19, 2017

      I hate it too! Sometimes the best thing to do is stay away.

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