I am very private about my relationship (except, oddly, in keeping this blog). I have told one of my real life friends a tiny bit about my relationship, but I don't think he really got it. I think things are better that way because I don't know how I'd even start to explain things the way they actually are.
I have wonderful commenters and fellow-bloggers who really get where I am coming from. There are several of you in particular who really understand and who are going through the same experiences - the exact same ones, imagine - but I won't embarass you by mentioning you by name. Just know that I love reading your blogs and feel better because you understand the beautiful and the ugly parts of my life.
That said, I don't have any real friends in "the lifestyle." Those aren't sarcastic quotes, but more illustrative of what my view on community and BDSM has been since I started with Him, which is to say that I have no view of community and BDSM. I've been with Him for a year and never once have I thought that anyone else besides the two of us is part of what we do and there has been no stopping this once we began. It's funny, because I see new submissives commonly asking others online for tips on how to start this, and I'm never able to give advice. I don't know how to start. I didn't plan this. It just happened. Submission just happens.
I'm owned and what we do may look like M/s or D/s or whatever, but we don't put labels on it. I've never waded into all of those internet arguments about whose relationship is more real than anyone else's, or whether my lack of a safeword is abuse, or whether we've negotiated and contracted every last detail of this crazy journey that we've been on. (Answers: (1) my relationship is real and the rest of you can figure out your own relationships, (2) I don't have a safeword and I'm not abused and I like it that way, and (3) no negotiations and no acronyms and it's scary/wonderful that way.)
Anyway, my therapist thinks that I need to have friends in "the lifestyle," not because I need to go to a workshop to learn how to be spanked (which I don't and I'm strenuously against more classes, as if I didn't spend the first 25 years of my life locked in a classroom), but because I need people in my life who accept my relationship and don't need it explained to them. People who just get it.
So! He and I will be going to our first party this weekend at the invitation of the owners of a local dungeon. I'm intimidated as hell by the people because I'm sure I'll come off as young and naive and won't have an answer to the questions about how long I've been part of "the scene." (Answer: For about 10 minutes.) And more importantly, I have sexy lingerie but no actual fetish wear. What am I supposed to wear?!?