I'm a young gay kinkster interested in other young kinksters, but I'm not quite sure how to go about finding someone. I'd like to pursue a relationship with somebody who shares my kink cards (mostly BDSM), but I don't know where to look. Obviously, in this day in age, the Internet is a powerful tool for such things, but where to turn? I'm in my early 20s, and I'd prefer to stay close to my own age. Suggestions?

Curious Boy is Troubled

I'm running around Los Angeles being stupid and boring—LA is about meetings and hugs and bottled water—so I passed your question to Tynan Fox, a young gay kinkster who's a blogger, speaker, activist, and regular "Savage Love" and "Savage Lovecast" guest expert. Tynan's response is after the jump.

This response is by Tynan Fox.

Good for you for seeking out your desires, CBT. Many guys your age are still struggling with being gay, let alone being kinky and gay. I can sympathize with feeling a little bit alone at this age and this stage. Finding other trustworthy young people to meet up with in my early 20s wasn't easy in rural Missouri. I hope you're located a bit closer to a metro-area than I was. Personally, once I found someone on RECON, I had to drive four hours from my college town to meet up with him. Was it worth it? Absolutely. My point is to not let yourself get discouraged if you don't find someone right down the street.

The internet is a powerful tool indeed, and it would seem that most gay male kinksters swarm around RECON. Two other sites where you'll find other young gay men into BDSM are GearFetish.com and RubberZone.com. Be advised that these are hook-up sites. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, CBT, and who knows? You could end up finding the love of your life one of these sites. Personally, I know of one RECON hookup between two gay 21-year-olds that lead to them getting married a few years later.

You could also try FetLife.com, although gay kinksters have been a bit slower to embrace this platform than our straight/pan/lesbian/poly/asexual brothers and sisters.

Whatever venue you go with, CBT, don't dive in so quickly that you forget about BDSM safety. (We all love our balls getting smacked once in a while, but most of us probably aren't down for non-consensual castration.) Remember to meet up a prospective play partner in a public place before playing and get to know them a bit. Ask for references. Leave the person's name, address, and phone number with a (responsible) friend in case something goes wrong. You can send a text message to your trusted friend to let them know you're alright and the person you met up with is trustworthy. But if you think that they're NOT trustworthy, CBT, trust your gut. If you're not feeling comfortable or things aren't feeling safe, get the fuck out of there before you're in a situation where you can't leave.