“Until recently, I think self-bondage wasn't commonly accepted, so you'd get odd looks, like, "Why are you doing that by yourself?" I think it's become more established and more people are experimenting with it now.”—adrenaline_lust
“I feel that self-bondage is seen as taboo/perverted in others’ eyes, even in the BDSM community. That makes it hard to start publicly learning and makes safety extra challenging.”—sincognitoy
Many areas don’t have regular self-bondage classes, or a lot of established mentors. In my home community, I’ve collaborated with other local self-suspenders to build a number of skill-share events, munches, and similar types of gatherings. It has worked out amazingly well—we’ve built a fantastic little community, and the number of self-suspenders at events has increased exponentially as a result.
You’re almost certainly not the only person in your area interested in self-tying or self-suspension. If a self-tying community doesn’t already exist near you (and odds are it doesn’t), create a FetLife group called “Self-Bondage in [Place I Live]” and post about it in some of the local bondage groups, and/or experiment with a meet-up at a local event or a munch. Have a mini-takeover of an established rope event, skillshare, or munch—as long as it’s leaders are on board, of course!
Don’t worry if your local self-suspension community starts out small. Know that it just takes someone to make the first steps, and that person can be you—even if you’re just a curious beginner. Building a community takes time. Have awareness of your own internalized imposter syndrome, and realize what you have to share and offer.
Some different types of events you might consider organizing to meet other people interested in self-suspension include:
A munch: This can be at a coffee shop or restaurant, and the expectation is generally that there is no play or kink, just discussion.
A skillshare or open space: These can be done at a local playspace or even at someone’s house, on weeknights or weekend days. There can be a theme (come troubleshoot futomomos!) or the event can be entirely peer-driven in content. For some general information on facilitating open space events, check out openspaceworld.org. You can also check out the guidelines we use locally for our Self-Suspension Open Space events, and our code of conduct.
A class: This can be with a local instructor, or you can work on bringing in someone from out of town. You can connect with many international self-suspenders who travel to teach on the “Self-Suspension” Fetlife group. If the instructor also teaches partnered suspension, having them present an intensive on a partnered topic (that might have broader appeal and higher attendance) and piggybacking on a self-suspension class could be a way to make it worthwhile for them to come out.
- A party or performance: This can be a theme of a larger rope event or a stand-alone Friday or Saturday night party, perhaps with a few structured/planned self-suspension performances and a mini-class at the start.