Introduction to the Dungeon

Curious? Willing and able to explore your inner dark desires, but don't know where to start?

Start here.

The Black Rose and the Crucible have two programs to help you find your way into the BDSM community.

GATEWAY ~ A Black Rose monthly meeting on the first Thursday of each month

Held at The Hilton Garden Inn US Capitol - 1225 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Gateway is a special Black Rose meeting intended for individuals (18 and older) who are either new to BDSM or new to BR. Gateway is designed to facilitate getting your questions answered. A typical Gateway meeting has 20 - 40 participants from diverse backgrounds, and always runs from 8 - 9:30 PM on the 1st Thursday of the month. The meeting is an informal discussion and there is nothing you have to bring. Casual or business attire is more appropriate than scene wear.  Attendance is $5 per person.

Please check the calendar of events for the date of the next Gateway meeting.

Also, please be aware that you can come to any Black Rose weekly (Tuesday night) meeting without first joining Black Rose or making a reservation (same goes for Gateway). The one exception is the members-only monthly Board Meetings.

DUNGEON 101 ~ The Crucible's monthly intro on the first Friday of each month.

Held at the Crucible's new home at 412 V St., NE DC

The second meeting is called Dungeon 101 serves as an introduction into public BDSM play. If you have never attended a public BDSM play event, it can be a bit daunting. The Dungeon 101 class is specifically designed to make you feel comfortable at your first public BDSM dungeon event. Attendees and presenters come from a diverse cross section of the community, all orientations, genders and kinks are welcome. You are welcome to come alone, bring a friend or bring a bunch of friends.

Dress in whatever makes you comfortable but please respect the neighborhood and cover up outside of The Crucible, there is space to change inside if you wish.

This meeting is considered "outreach", and as such is one of the very few events that does NOT require membership to attend.

While memberships are not required for Dungeon 101, a "real" interest is. If it's obvious to us (and we will know), that you are just coming in to get your jollies, and not actually participate, WE WILL NOT LET YOU IN.

When is the Dungeon 101 workshop held?
The Dungeon 101 class is normally scheduled for the first Friday after the first Thursday of the month.  This way it follows the Gateway meeting.
How much does the Dungeon 101 workshop cost?
As the Crucible is a private members only club, there will be a cost for attending. The good news is that at the Gateway meeting, we will be giving you a coupon that will admit you into the Dungeon 101 class for $10.00. Each person must have the Gateway coupon to get that price.

If you didn't make the Gateway meeting and still want to come to 101, the entry fee is $20 for Crucible or BR members.

If you are not a BR or Crucible member and didn't make it to Gateway, you can still attend 101 for $30.

[NOTE] : This is the only Crucible night where memberships are NOT required. It's considered education outreach.
What time does the Dungeon 101 workshop start?
The Dungeon 101 doors open @ 7:30, and the presentation starts PROMPTLY at 8:00 pm.  Space is limited, so please arrive early. Don't be late please, it's disruptive.
Ok what do I get for my $10 (or $20)?
-A short and light hearted discussion on how to meet people at a public play event and cover some of the etiquette so everyone knows how to be a non-interfering spectator.

-A tour of the facility where Staff will show you the play equipment, discuss safety concerns and some of the rules so that everyone can enjoy themselves.

-An exploratorium is set up to let you ask questions, watch or even try things like spanking, bondage etc. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TRY ANYTHING. The purpose of the exploratorium is for you to get the chance to learn more about yourself and BDSM in a non threatening environment.

-Open play after the exploatorium is finished at roughly 11pm. If you see someone you would like to play with, now is the time to politely ask them. Or watch some of the regulars and presenters play.

Dungeon 101 sounds great, but I can’t make it the day after I attend gateway!

No problem.  We all understand about real life commitments.  If you can’t make the Dungeon 101 class the day after you attend the Gateway meeting, your coupon will be good for the next two months.  So you are perfectly welcome to attend a Gateway meeting in one month and the Dungeon 101 class the following month.

Here's a journal entry (thanks for re-print permission) from an attendee of Dungeon 101:

It's amazing how the whole tone and color of life seems to change a little after one night of serious fun. Ever since I got up this morning, I've noticed a renewed vitality in everything I do… even activities as mundane as washing and hanging up my clothes. I'm not just going through the motions of my day… everything that I do feels fun, creative, special. I'm finding myself smiling a little bit more than usual.

Why the sudden shift in attitude? Because last night I attended Black Rose's Dungeon 101 at The Crucible. If any of you have never been there before (and I hope that isn't the case), this event could best be described as a Chinese poo-poo platter for fetishists. Every kind of sustenance you could possibly desire is layed out in front of you. Not only that, but meticulously organized: arranged for maximum ease of consumption. I arrived about an hour into the event… but by the time I left, I was left with plenty to digest.

After everybody present had made their introductions, a wide array of stations opened up. For the next two hours people who only knew fetishism from fiction and fantasy were turned on to the real thing. I had the opportunity to sample four stations during this time.

First, I bumped into a lady with a warm, nurturing personality who happened to be introducing people to CBT with the use of clothespins. I ended up becoming her first victim. As she attached a series of six pins to my balls and the head of my cock, she used eye contact, touch and dialogue to guide me through the experience. She told me to breathe slowly in through my nose and out through my mouth. She explained that I would discover that the pain isn't really painful… it's just a part of me. An element of my being. For a few moments, I was apprehensive about experiencing something painful that I had never felt before. But quickly, that evaporated, and I was left focusing on her touch, her words, and her eyes looking into mine. I centered myself, and found the attachment of the clothespins to be more intimate than anything else. Unexpectedly, by the time I left the station I actually found it arousing to have them attached. After it was over, the clothespins were mine to keep as a souvenir.

After that, I visited the spanking bench. A woman with a quick-witted, stern, somewhat bossy demeanor doled out spankings to anyone interesting in receiving them. She asked me about my prior experiences with spanking, and then she lay me down on the bench. After starting with a slow, sensual warm-up to test my reaction, she began to build up a fast-paced rhythm, almost as if she was using my ass as an instrument to play a song with. It was eventually discovered that I generated the best reactions when both sides of my ass were struck simultaneously, and hard… my face would twist into an expression of shocked surprise, which slowly transformed into a huge, happy smile.

The station that thrilled me the most, by far, turned out to be the vacuum bed. I had never thought of this sort of device as even being one of my fetishes… but when I saw a woman trapped inside being teased with ice cubes, I knew I had to give it a try. When my turn came, I slipped inside, and the latex was tightened around me by the station's operator, L......… an electrifyingly beautiful woman with a tendency of giggling like a schoolgirl while doing extremely naughty things to severely restrained subjects.

Here's what is fantastic about the vacuum bed: Once the latex of this device stretches tightly around you, covering you like a second skin so that you can't get out, anything else imaginable can be done. You have no choice but to lay there and take it, and all the sensations seem to be slightly intensified by the presence of the latex. Vacuum beds are not a fetish: they are a convenient launchpad for integrating a whole host of other fetishes into a scene. This elaborate device attracted a whole crowd of curious people, and it was intensely erotic to hear their comments while I was being tormented.

L......, along with a couple of other people present, took advantage of my immobility by rubbing ice cubes across my prone figure, contrasting the warmth of the latex with the intense cold of the ice. Then a hitachi vibrator was turned on. It was discovered that by thrusting the thing into my crotch, I was plunged into a state of total sensory overstimulation that put a perplexed and overwhelmed, almost orgasmic expression onto my face. It seemed to amuse L...... how easily she could get such an intense reaction out of me. She giggled as she used the device on me, and commented that I look much more beautiful when I'm in a state of ecstasy. I told her that she was an enthralling dominant, and she shared with me that actually she's a submissive… I was simply bringing out what little dominant side she has by the amusing quality of my reactions.

She actually got so into the scene that she began slapping me silly practically all over my body. This was something that nobody previously sampling the vacuum bed had been subjected to, and it was clear from the emotions on my face that a very big part of me enjoyed it. Out of concern, she stopped a couple of times to ask if it was too much, but of course I told her 'no'. I was slipping into subspace... a familiar state that I haven't had the chance to feel for far too long. My memory of the later sections of my time in the vacuum bed are hazy… but I do remember two details that I absolutely treasure. One is a spectator commenting about me, "His reactions are so much better than all these other sluts." I LOVED THAT! And the other was when L...... - who had mentioned she is studying as a nursing student -began lecturing me about the anatomy of the human ear, and all its components… the helix, the anti-helix, the conch… while nibbling on each part to demonstrate their location. When pointing out the lobe, she prefaced it by saying "and this part- to put it in very technical and scientific terms- is the lobe!" We both giggled at her silliness… and then she turned around and plunged the hitachi roughly into my groin while hovering her own crotch just inches above my face! I even had the opportunity to feel her lips kissing my face while she tortured me.

Going into that station expecting to merely sample a random fetish and instead having the situation transform into a real, human connection with an amazingly beautiful girl, complete with a combination of tenderness, humor, and sadistic excess… this was more than I could have wished for. In a word, Bliss. And all the better since it was witnessed by several people! I'm beginning to discover that I have a definite exhibitionist side.

There was even more. Before I left, I had tasted a singletail whip for the first time, leaving me with a few beautiful marks to remember the night by. I even tried watching the bright sparks of a violet wand arc from the cold steel of a knife blade across to the warm flesh of my arm. Although I'm still not sure that I'm a fan of the heavier forms of pain play, I definitely feel more comfortable about them now that I've tried them out firsthand.

After the stations closed, open play started. I saw that the possibilities for what can happen at a place like the Crucible are basically endless. The sheer variety of scenes unfolding around me was just eye-popping. It's really a ridiculously impressive amount of entertainment for something costing only $20 admission. Being my first time there, though, I didn't yet feel very comfortable negotiating scenarios with other kinksters present. I socialized, I watched, and I enjoyed my surroundings, but I didn't involve myself too heavily in any of the spontaneous play. I figure the time for that will come later… being a first timer, I don't want to make anyone else uncomfortable by trying to push my way into a kinky scene with people who are still just getting to know me.

I learned a lot by giving Dungeon 101 a try. The biggest thing I learned is that there's really nothing scary at all about going into a BDSM environment to play… I'll feel less timid about it in the future. It was eye-opening to see such a large and diverse group of people together all acting so freely, with no shame about anything that they were doing.

Of course, no event is ever completely perfect. I'm a slightly awkward person, with a poor memory of names, and I'm still just getting to know most of the people in the scene. I sense that there were at least one or two people there who I didn't have very good chemistry with, and I haven't yet gotten to the point where I can walk up to people and convince them to fulfill my fantasies in an open play environment. But ultimately, who cares? I went to the event and gave BDSM in a group environment a try. And I walked away from it not only with a few new fetishes and a better idea of what I'm looking for from the fetish scene, but also with memories of a few moments of pleasure that I can carry with me forever, and never forget. That's all I was really looking for, and I found it.

My thanks go out to everyone involved in hosting these fantastic events at the Crucible, and to everyone I met at Dungeon 101 for helping me along as I learn to navigate the scene. The night was just fantastic… I've stumbled into an awesome community, and yet I know that I've only just hit the tip of the iceberg. Things are only going to get better with time.