Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Crucible?

The Crucible is a volunteer-run, private, members-only club for the BDSM, Swingers, and other alternative sexuality communities located in Washington, DC, USA. The Crucible hosts a variety of activities to serve these communities, everything from BDSM education and outreach events, to play parties, social events, yoga classes, monthly board game days, and arts events related to alternative sexuality. The club reopened in its current location in the Eckington neighborhood of NE DC in April 2017, after being closed since 2014. From 2011-2014 the club was located in the NoMa neighborhood, and prior to that was located for over a decade in SW DC.

Does The Crucible require vaccination?

No. As of January 2, 2024, The Crucible will no longer require proof of covid-19 vaccination.
We encourage individuals to make sure they are up-to-date with their boosters per CDC guidelines. As always, if you have symptoms of covid-19 or other airborne illnesses, please stay home. Individuals who wish to wear masks in the club are of course welcome to do so. If you have any questions about this policy, please reach out to info@the-crucible.com

What is The Crucible’s address & how do I get there?

The Crucible is located at 412 V St. NE, Washington DC, 20002, follow that link for Google Maps directions to the club. You can also take Metrorail’s red line to the Rhode Island Ave. – Brentwood station, and walk from there. It is about a 10 minute walk from the Metro station to the club. There are 2 walking routes, either along Rhode Island Avenue or using the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Where can I park near The Crucible?

There is usually plenty of street parking around the club. Your best bets are along 5th Street NE as well as V Street east of 4th Street. Please be mindful of the posted parking regulations (especially for weekday afternoon / evening events, when residential permit parking is in effect). The one place we ask you not to park is in front of our neighbors’ houses on 4th Street NE OR W Street NE (right behind The Crucible). If you do not wish to park on the street, there are 2 parking garages next to the Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail station, and then it is about a 10 minute walk to the club (see walking directions from previous question). Note that one of the 2 parking garages is privately owned and will require payment at all times, while the other garage is owned by Metro and is free on Saturdays after 2am and all day Sundays.

When is The Crucible open / what are the hours?

The Crucible is open only when there are events scheduled at the club, there are no “regular hours”. It is open most Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm-2am, but you should always check the Crucible calendar to make sure what event is happening. There are sometimes events on weeknights and during the day on weekends, but they are not every week, and times will vary. 

Do I need to be a Crucible member to go to events at the club?

Since The Crucible is a private club for members only, for most events you must be a club member to attend. Exceptions are made for outreach events such as the monthly Dungeon 101 nights, and a limited number of other events labeled “Outreach” or “No membership required”. Members can also bring guests (see next few questions).

Can I come check out the club before deciding to become a member?

Yes! You can come to our monthly Dungeon 101 night which is an outreach event and does not require membership, or if you know an existing Crucible member, you can attend with them as their guest (see next question). If you’ve never been to a public playspace like The Crucible before, we highly recommend attending Dungeon 101!

I’m brand new to BDSM, but really want to check out The Crucible, what should I do?

Our monthly Dungeon 101 nights are great for people who are brand new to public BDSM play. The first part of the night is dedicated to explaining playspace rules and etiquette. If you’ve never been to a public playspace like The Crucible before, we highly recommend attending Dungeon 101! Dungeon 101 is an outreach event, so does not require membership.

I am a Crucible member, can I bring a non-member guest?

Yes, for most events, each Crucible member can bring 1 guest with them. All guests must be at least 18 years of age (21 on nights when alcohol is served), show government-issued identification, and sign a waiver. There will be an extra charge for guests (see below for event costs), and on very popular nights, the number of guests allowed may be limited. Please plan to arrive with your guest or schedule a time to meet them in our lobby, as the sponsoring member must accompany the guest in order for them to enter the club.

Does “Membership required” mean no guests allowed?

No. If an event listing says “Membership required”, it means it is restricted to members and their guests. Only if an event listing specifically says “No guests allowed” will it be restricted to members only.

How do I become a Crucible member & how much does it cost?

Crucible membership is currently $40 per year per person. Apply for a membership online. You must be 18 years of age to become a Crucible member. Membership applications must be completed prior to arriving at The Crucible.

I became a Crucible member online, how do I get my membership card?

Your membership card will be issued when you first come to an event at the club. You must bring government-issued identification that has your name, photograph, and birthdate to receive your membership card. A Crucible manager will check to make sure the name and birthdate on your ID match what you entered into our membership database when you signed up online.

What do I need to do to attend events at The Crucible?

For most events, you just need to show up with your membership card, government-issued photo ID, and payment for the event’s entry fee. Your membership card will be checked to see it is not expired, and your ID will be checked to make sure you are at least 18 years of age (21 on nights when alcohol is served).

Do I need to buy a ticket in advance to attend an event at The Crucible?

Advance tickets are not sold for most events at The Crucible, you can just show up and pay the entry fee at the door. For some special events, you may need to purchase tickets in advance, but if so, it will be clearly indicated in the event listing. (For these events, please either print out your ticket or have it available on your phone when you get to the club.)

How much does it cost to attend events at The Crucible?

Most Friday and Saturday night events at The Crucible have an entry fee of $25 for members, although some special events may be priced higher. Prices for weeknight events, weekend daytime classes, and social events may be lower, and will be indicated in the event listings. The non-member guest price is generally $10 more than the member price for an event. You can pay the nightly entry fee at the door in cash, with a credit or debit card, or using Apple Pay or Android Pay. (We recommend bringing cash just in case we are temporarily unable to process other payments, the nearest 24-hour ATM is at the bank 2 blocks away.)

What are the rules for events at The Crucible?

You can read our rules here.

What is your consent policy and how do you respond to consent violation incidents?

Please see the consent page for the current versions of these policies.

If you need to report a consent violation electronically, you can email us at info@the-crucible.com or use the contact us form. The form does not validate email addresses, so if you wish to report anonymously, you may do so by using this form (just enter something in that field). Please note that we cannot respond directly to anonymous reports, which makes it difficult to gather more information if needed.

What is the dress code?

The Crucible does not in general have a dress code. For the very rare events with a particular dress code, it will be clearly stated in posts about the event on the Crucible’s calendar. (Please be neighborhood-friendly outside the club though, we don’t want to freak out our neighbors, they know what we do, but they don’t want to see it!)

OK, but what do people actually wear at The Crucible?

People wear whatever makes them feel comfortable. That can mean anything from jeans and a t-shirt to head-to-toe latex or leather. Some people wear underwear or other lingerie, some people wear nothing at all. Some people crossdress. Some people wear diapers. Some people wear fursuits. If you like it, if it makes you feel comfortable (and perhaps a little sexy?), you can wear it at The Crucible.

Is there a place to change clothes at the club?

Yes, there is a large coatroom where you can change from your street clothes into your outfit for the evening, or if you’d like a little more privacy, you can change in one of the bathroom stalls which have full walls and floor-to-ceiling doors.

Is there a place to store my coat / street clothes / toybag?

There is a large coatroom with a rack to hang your coat, and shelves to store your toybag when you’re not playing. Although theft is rare, The Crucible is not responsible for items lost or stolen from the coat room, so we recommend you do not leave your wallet or other valuables unattended in the coatroom.

Are there lockers?

There are a limited number of lockers of varying sizes available in the coatroom, and they are currently available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You must bring your own lock, and locks not removed at the end of the night will be cut off (unless you have permission for overnight storage), with any items remaining placed in Lost & Found. If you did not bring a lock, please use the shelves, do not use a locker.

What is there to drink at the club?

The Crucible has a selection of non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase at all events: bottled water, soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks. You can purchase these at the bar with cash or credit or debit card. (Please consider paying with cash if possible, it is easier for the club.) Drinks cost from $1-$5 each. Complimentary self-service coffee and tea are also available at all events.

While The Crucible has a full-time liquor license, alcohol is only sold at select events. These events are indicated by a “21+” in the event description. For these events, all attendees (members and guests) must be 21 years of age or older. On those nights, beer, wine, and cocktails are available for purchase. You are never allowed to bring in outside alcohol/BYOB.

What about food options?

While some of our promoters may offer packaged snacks to attendees, The Crucible does not have a kitchen. You are welcome to bring your own food into the club, but please eat only at the tables near the bar or in the social area and don’t make a mess. There are a variety of restaurants in the Eckington/Brentwood neighborhood. Ivy City Food Works is located across the street from The Crucible – and offers both pick up and delivery options. You can also order delivery from area restaurants directly or through one of the various food delivery apps/services available in DC.

Can I smoke or vape at The Crucible?

Smoking and vaping are not allowed inside the club. The Crucible has a designated smoking area outside the side door in the social area by the pool table, which is lit, covered, and screened from view from the street. You are welcome to smoke/vape tobacco products in this area. The use of marijuana products is not permitted.

What is an “Open Play” night?

A night listed as “Open Play” on the calendar and event listings is a night where the club is open for play with no special events happening. These nights usually have fewer people attending than the special event nights. Open play nights are a good time to come to the club if you have a scene planned that requires a specific piece of equipment, needs more space, or will take a longer time than might be polite on a more crowded night. Additionally, with fewer patrons, club staff can sometimes accommodate special requests more easily on open play nights.

How do I reserve time in one of your private rooms?

The private rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis on most nights when the club is open for play, with a 60 minute time limit. You cannot reserve or schedule time in them. They are always closed on all Dungeon 101 nights, and may be unavailable on other nights as well.

An event is listed as a “Private Event”, can I attend?

Usually not. The Crucible sometimes hosts private events for various groups that are not open to the general Crucible membership. If there are additional details listed on the calendar or the event listing about the event, you may be able to find information on how to join the group or contact their organizer for more information, but most “Private Events” at the Crucible are by invitation only.

I lost something, where is Lost & Found?

If you have lost an item at the club and you discover it is missing on the same night, check with the staff member behind the bar. Small items are usually kept behind the bar until the end of the night. If it is not there, they can direct you to the manager who can check the main Lost & Found bin which is kept in a staff-only part of the club. If you discover you are missing an item after you have left for the night, please send email to info@the-crucible.com and we’ll try to locate it and get it back to you.

I found something, where is Lost & Found?

If you’re absolutely sure it is an item someone lost, or if it is an especially small item (e.g. an earring) that someone is unlikely to find otherwise, please turn it in to the staff member behind the bar. If you’re unsure if someone actually lost an item or left it somewhere on purpose, please don’t touch it yourself, but feel free to let a staff member know that it may have been dropped or lost. If an item is still there at the end of the night, a staff member will put it into the Lost & Found bin.

Is The Crucible wheelchair-accessible?

There are no steps to enter The Crucible or inside the club, so it should be wheelchair-accessible. There is a short and very low ramp into the bathrooms, where one stall is larger and wheelchair-accessible. (Private clubs such as The Crucible are not required to be ADA-compliant, but the club strives to be accessible to all. If you have suggestions or concerns, please contact Crucible management.)

Will I feel comfortable using the bathrooms at The Crucible?

The Crucible’s bathrooms are not gendered, and offer a great deal of privacy. There are 4 stalls (1 larger and wheelchair-accessible) with full walls and floor-to-ceiling doors, as well as 2 (somewhat less private) urinals out of sight around the corner.

Am I required to “Get naked and play”?

Although “Get naked and play” has been the club’s amusing tagline for years, all activities that happen at The Crucible are only with the consent of all participants. So no, you do not need to be naked unless you want to be, and you do not need to play unless you want to. You get to decide.

Are you hiring?

The Crucible is run entirely by volunteers and does not have any paid positions available. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact info@the-crucible.com for a volunteer application. Volunteer responsibilities may include: cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming floors, cleaning playspace equipment, doing laundry, taking out the trash, restocking soda and supplies, staffing the bar (on nights when we do not sell alcohol) and/or helping at the front door. All Crucible volunteers must be current members of The Crucible.

Can I rent the club?

The Crucible is a private, members-only social club whose primary mission is to serve our membership. We are not a commercial event space or a rental hall. We are occasionally able to partner with or outside groups hosting events that would benefit our membership or to arrange private events for members. For more information, please see the rentals page.

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