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That’s a common refrain throughout the community, though, one of wanting acceptance. When asked what’s one misconception they would like to lay to rest about BDSM it’s that people stop thinking of them as ‘other’ or weird. As Gelsomino said, most people feel something deviant. “It’s okay to feel the way you’re feeling,” Mistress Kye said. “There are places you can go, and our community is so welcoming. I always suggest people attend a munch to learn more.” Munches are informal gatherings of local kinksters, usually at a bar or coffee shop, and chances are you’ve walked past them many, many times and didn’t even realize it. Munches are focused on chatting, getting to know people and learning in a relaxed environment. If Munch got you intrigued to learn more, happy hours and Sloshes follow. Both are more party-like, usually involve booze at a bar or club, can get a bit more wild, but you’re still in public, so it’s a tad more restrained than say, Freaky Friday at The Body Shop. Russ, one of the four kinksters I met at The Body Shop, runs Freaky Friday (their once-a-month kink and fetish night, held in the aforementioned sex dungeon,) and Phoenix, organizer of Pittsburgh’s Bondage Ball, runs the DJ booth. R, a petite brunette in a latex catsuit, and an older gentleman named Pete completed the group that evening. Each were effusive in their stories of the BDSM community, none more so than Pete. Looking more like a 60-someyear-old humanities professor than a kinkster, Pete started his tale. “I came into the community about two years ago,” Pete said. “I’m 18 | FEB. 5, 2019 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

Newer to the scene, R. demonstrates a rope suspension (Current Photos by Jake Mysliwczyk)

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Pittsburgh Current, Issue 3., Vol. 2  

The Sex Issue

Pittsburgh Current, Issue 3., Vol. 2  

The Sex Issue