What follows is a select listing of pertinent links for resources to the underground & alternative community. Relevant entries have been categorized by cultural focus & coded according to their specific area of interest:
Some crossover will often exist, so the entry in question will be listed by the nature that most reflects its general practice. Please note we don't list pornography or elements that would be
percieved as spam.
[Status for all listings have been confirmed as of Fall 2017 - exceptions are noted]
Scene Based Media:
Gothic Beauty (GothicBeauty.com): Featuring trends in fashion, music, art, & entertainment for the Gothic Community.
Gorgeous Freaks (Facebook): Launched in 2011, Gorgeous Freaks covers the full breadth of alternative culture from Goth, Body Art, Fetish, TV/TS, & a wide range of diverse interests. Available in print & electronic formats. Also see MagCloud. Although they hope to resurrect efforts on the magazine, current efforts have shifted to their clothing line so this initiative is currently on hiatus.
Regen Magazine (RegenMag.com): an online publication devoted to underground goth/electro/industrial music, offering
comprehensive & objective critique / analysis to help expose the most talented, visionary, & creative artists to the public at large.
Eric Von Gutenberg (www.VonGutenberg.com): Offering one of the scene's best blogs, a very high end magazine, social networking, online shopping, as well as hosting incredible parties for the west coast. This is an invaluable resource for the fetish scene.
Marquis Magazine (www.Marquis.de): Fashion, news, events, & articles for the fetish community.
The Fetishistas (TheFetishistas.com): Comprehensive fetish news, featured articles, fashion, & photography from across the globe.
LFN / Latex Fetish News (Facebook): Full coverage of trends & news for the Latex Fetish Community. Updates on Scoop.it
Fixe Magazine (FixeMagazine.com): Based out of New York, Fixe is an online publication that presents Fetish, Pinup, Goth and other alternative features in a mainstream & accessible way. Self-described as, “Like Maxim, but kinky.” ;-)
Xtreme Magazine (www.xtrememagazine.com): Although The Metro doesn't cover items such as strip clubs, pornography, or adult entertainment, Xtreme Magazine is an excellent resource for the area & the nation.
Match Sites, Apps, & Social Networking:
Tinder (GotTinder.com): Mobile Phone App providing geo-specific targeting of active profiles. It uses your Facebook profile to analyze a persons social makeup, then matches compatible profiles w/in a geographical are. Users may then anonymously 'like' another user by swiping right or pass by swiping left. If two users result in a 'match' & they are enabled to chat. Most often it's essentially used as a dating & hook-up site, but it does offer a wide variety of potential.
Model Mayhem (ModelMayhem.com): Primary site for models, photographers, event planners, & industry networking.
Vampire Freaks (VampireFreaks.com): Although quickly phasing out, it's all things for the Goth-Industrial Culture.
Fetlife (Fetlife.com): Provides online networking for the kinkster crowd. It essentially works as a kinky cousin to Facebook. Focused directly to the alternative culture, it's the coolest damn thing to hit the net since, well, Facebook! See The Metro under groups!
Alt.com (Alt.com): Online adult personals for the BDSM, Fetish, & Leather Community. Although it's the largest site of its kind, this is a VERY homogenized forum with a large number of dead profiles & false links.
Feeld (Feeld): Geolocational dating & hook-up app for couples & singles who are looking
to connect. This includes those looking to just spice things up & explore, as well as poly, kink, & those of a bisexual orientation.
Swing Lifestyle (SwingLifestyle.com): One of the most recognized sites with real couples & honest scenarios. Offering individual profiles, select forums, chat, groups for a wide range of interests, listings for regional parties, lifestyle tips, & more.
APG / AltPlayGround (AltPlayGround.net): One of the area's core resources for those
in the Lifestyles. They host the site as well as parties around the DC area. Profiles are real people & generally up to date.
Kasidie (Kasidie.com): Adult dating site for Swingers, Couples, & Singles. Offering individual profiles, special forums, chat, various communities for a wide range of interests, listings for regional parties, lifestyle tips, & more.
The Lifestyle Lounge (LifestyleLounge.com): Online date & match site, "Where 'real' couples go to meet..." Personally, these guys make the most hilarious flash-point presentations anywhere. I'd check 'em out just for that alone! ;-)
Adult Friend Finder (AdultFriendFinder.com): Swingers match site brought to you by the same producers of Alt.com. Although it's the largest of its kind, this is a VERY homogenized forum with a large number of dead profiles & false links.
BiCupid (BiCupid.com): An affiliate of the OKCupid Network, BiCupid offers a more progressive forum for it's standard dating forum. Provided for both men, women, & couples.
Manhunt (Manhunt.net): Gay male personals & online chat for both dating &
hook-ups. Representing one of the highest traffic sites in the culture, it has a large following & is specifically focused toward casual encounters.
Adam4Adam (Adam4Adam.com): Gay male personals, online chat, & cam for dating & hook-ups.
Men 4 Sex Now (Men4SexNow): Gay male hook-up site, serving 500 cities worlwide. Its name is self-explanatory.
Squirt (Squirt.org): Gay & Bi male hookup site offering personals, chat, member content erotic stories & videos. Members are able to refine searches by not only local geography, but also by community demographics & type of individual.
Hornet (Hornet.com): Available as an online resource or mobile app for the iPhone & Android Devices. Geo-socially targeted for local gay, bi, & bi-curious guys. Many bill it as a better version of Grindr. It is aligned more as a full platform to the entire gay culture.
Grindr (Grindr.com): Mobile App for iPhone & Android Devices. Geo-socially targeted for local gay, bi, & bi-curious guys, but reviews make note that photo & profile restrictions have reached an almost Puritan level of restraint.
Scruff (Scruff.com): Gay Mobile App for the iPhone & Android. Geo-socially targeted to find local gay, bi, & bi-curious guys. A key element allows the app to intuitively learns the type of individual you prefer w/ each successive swipe.
Jack'd (JackApp): Claiming to be the worlds fastest growing gay app, Jack'd carries a diverse group of users & allows a prolific search by "scenes" as well as the usual search parameters of body type, etc. Demographic profiles slant heavily toward people of color.
Bisexual Playground (BisexualPlayground.com): Personals, info, & chat for bisexual couples & singles - both men & women. It should be noted that online reveiws often speak poorly of the site. It has yet to be determined if this is confirmed as the case.
Recon (Recon.com): Self-described as the world's largest hook up site for gay men into fetish, leather, and gear.
OkCupid (okcupid.com): Although it's a mainstream dating site, it carries a large number
of people in the alternative culture. As an interesting note, Match.com has recently purchased OkCupid so we'll see how this influences the overall site.
Match.com (Match.com): Self-described as the number one destination for online dating with more dates, relationships, & marriages than any other dating or personals site. But that tends to be due to the sheer volume of its members. Still, it's probably the largest dating site currently online & they've recently launched active area events for singles to meet face to face in real time.
Facebook (Facebook.com): In case you've been living under a rock, Facebook offers a great means for interaction & will get you back in touch with people you haven't seen in years. Also an invaluable forum for parties & events. See The Metro Group on Facebook!
Twitter (Twitter.com): And then of course, there's Twitter. The Metro is there as well!
Meet-Up DC (MeetUp.com): A dedicated site for area events, outings, networking, & various activities.
Steampunk Empire (TheSteampunkEmpire.com): A fully evolved resource covering all aspects of the Steampunk Culture on a national level. Membership is also available to create a social networking opportunity in addition to a fundamental a scene guide.
DC Goth-Industrial Events (Facebook): Facebook group covering all DC
goth-industrial & related events, be it club nights, shows, get-togethers, whatever is open to the public. Also covers Baltimore & the surrounding areas.
Philly Goth-Industrial (Facebook): An comprehensive online resource covering all things related to the goth-industrial scene in & around the Philadelphia region. Formally a website similar in context to The Metro Underground, now exclusively on Facebook.
BDSM Events Page (TheBDSMEventsPage.com): Providing listings of major BDSM Events from around the nation.
BDSM Events Calendar (BDSMEventsCalendar.com): Providing Fetish & BDSM Event listings from across the nation.
BDSM Events Info (Fetlife): Covering all of Maryland from the Del Marva Peninsula to the West Virginia Pan handle.
The Fetish Information Exchange (FetishExchange.org): An instructional resource & information exchange featuring a depth of cultural material. Its focus is to provide a useful guide to explore sexuality as well as a variety of personal needs, wants, & desires. Recipient of the prestigious AVN Award for the Best Educational Site on the internet.
Tristan Taormino (Puckerup.com): What can we say, she's a one woman force for the scene. A noted author of 4 separate books, she also runs the adult film company & is directing two series for Vivid Entertainment. In her spare time she's a sex columnist for The Village Voice & Taboo Magazine. She also lectures on BDSM, sexuality, & the nature of open relationships. With that much in her schedule we're not sure if she actually has time for sex.
Jane's Guide - also relevant to Swingers (JanesGuide.com): Offering hands-on reviews for damn near everything & anything related to the Adult alternative culture, from clubs & groups (categorized by location), to movies, books, products, websites, & just about anything that you could possibly think of. It's a mainstay for the culture & one of the best resources available anywhere.
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSFreedom.org): A national organization
"committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is
primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression."
NASCA International (NASCA.com): NASCA offers a national/regional listing of clubs, events, & services which are relevant to the Swinger / Lifestyle Community. A premier gateway to the adult alternative scene throughout the United States.
Sexy Jobs (SexyJobs.com): National listing of job opportunities for the adult industry...
Dr. Ziggy's Forum on Sexuality (drziggy.com): A comprehensive resource that addresses an expansive array of topics concerning sexuality & the Adult Alternative Culture. Provided by a sex researcher.
The Society for Human Sexuality (Sexuality.org): An excellent resource that provides numerous links to topics on human sexuality. Including: books, forums, & organizations; scene relevant events, erotica, & matchmaking; various articles concerning numerous aspects to sexuality & perspectives on a wide range of topics such as Tantra, polyamory, bdsm, anal, oral, sexual positions.
World Polyamory Association (WorldPolyamoryAssociation): An invaluable resource for the Polyamorous Lifestyle.
Loving More (LoveMore.com): National Organization dedicated to the Polyamorous Lifestyle.
Marcus (MarcusTeaches.Blogspot.com): Sex-Positive educator & presenter for the gay, bi, & pansexual communities. Called "a truly engaging educator" - Marcus teaches classes, runs workshops, and even holds interactive sessions with demo tops or bottoms. He is normally available for group classes, but can also conduct smaller gathering or one-on-one classes.
Liberated Christians (LibChrist.com): A great resource that promotes positive intimacy as a legitimate choice for modern Christians, "exposing false traditions of sexual repression that have no biblical basis." Overall, it provides some very valuable information for those in the culture who might be conflicted due to a religious upbringing.
CDC / Center for Disease Control (CDC.gov): Not the best topic in our culture, but it's a very real consideration. If you have any concerns about Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) or would like some general information on the subject, then the CDC has an extensive data base & can offer an enormous amount of information in this regard. If however you feel that you may have contacted an STD, then please don't hesitate to see a doctor (or if you are embarrassed about visiting your primary care physician then at least get to a clinic that specializes in this aspect of patient care). For yourself & the rest of the community, please be informed & always be careful.
Where to DC (WheretoDC.com): With a definite focus on dance, Where to DC is a newly launched site to help you find fun & interesting activities in the DC area.
Maryland Renaissance Festival (RennFest.com): Coolest thing since Disneyland. Runs from end of August to mid October. See website for theme based festivals on select weekends.
The Resource Pool (ResourcePool.org): An educational resource offering lectures, demonstrations, discussions, & workshops for the BDSM Community in & around the Washington, DC area.
Washingtonian Magazine (Washingtonian.com): City Magazine offering the when, where, who, & what's going on. Available to keep you informed for general life & culture in Washington, DC. Available at most bookstores & magazine stands.
The Washington Post (WashingtonPost.com): Main newspaper serving the DC Area. Friday edition offers the weekend guide which lists all the events such as festivals, bands, cultural events, & mainstream activities happening around town.
The Washington City Paper (WashingtonCityPaper.com): Alternative City Guide
to news, events, clubs, restaurants, & what's happening in & around town. Readily available throughout the city.
On Tap Magazine (OnTapOnline.com): Washington's ultimate guide to the club, pub, & restaurant scene. Available online as well as in local venues throughout the area. This is a monthly publication.
Where Magazine (WhereTraveler.com): A general guide to the city geared primarily for the tourism trade. Excellent resource for shopping, shows, restaurant reviews, & general neighborhood orientation. Available in most hotel lobbies.
Brightest Young Things (brightestyoungthings.com): An exhaustive list of events & enticements throughout the area.
DC After Five (DCAfterFive.com): City guide offering everything to do in terms of clubs, music, restaurants, arts, & more.
DCist (DCist.com): Blog featuring area news & events, restaurants & nightlife, plus regional observations from local residents.
The Washington Blade (washingtonblade.com): Primary news source & prolific scene guide serving the Gay Culture in Washington, DC. Readily available at gay hotspots throughout the city. Sister publication is also in Baltimore.
MW / Metro Weekly (MetroWeekly.com): Washington's GBLT News Magazine. Readily available throughout the city.
Flock Baltimore (Facebook.com/Flock.Baltimore): Excellent resource & event promoter for alternative music & the underground scene in Baltimore & its surrounding areas.
Sugar (SugarTheShop.com): Baltimore's premier boutique for adult materials, workshops, & occasional events (including First Friday's Reception in line with the merchants of Hampden Hall). Located at the corner of 36th Street & Roland Ave. Baltimore.
The Baltimore City Paper (CityPaper.com): Alternative City Guide to news, events, clubs, restaurants, & what's happening in & around town. Readily available throughout the city.
Baltimore Magazine (BaltimoreMagazine.net): City Magazine offering the when, where, who, & what's going on. Available to keep you informed for mainstream life & culture in & around the Baltimore area. Available at most bookstores & magazine stands.
Virginia Renaissance Faire (VARF.org): Virginia's own Renne Fest, located at the Lake Anna Winery in Spotsylvania.
Richmond dot-com (Richmond.com): Your basic guide to all things Richmond, including listings & reviews for clubs, restaurants, news, & local events.
Philly Goth-Industrial (Facebook Group): After a brief hiatus, Philly Goth-Industrial has resurrected as a Facebook Group. Covering the Philly Goth-Industrial Scene, they offer updates on club nights & events in the city.
Passional (PassionalBoutique): Formally Fetishes Boutique, Passional sponsors educational workshops, art receptions, "Passion 101 Fantasy Workshops", Aphrodite Gallery and "Sex-pedition" tours. Also affiliate links for the area. See Website for further details.
Sexploratorium (Sexploratorium): Offering classes & educational forums
for erotic engagement, sexual encounters, & kink related subjects of interest. Hosted by Passional Boutique, they also serve as a key resource for the Philly scene. Also see Fetlife.
Philadelphia Magazine (PhillyMag.com): City Magazine offering the when, where, who, & what's going on. Available to keep you informed for general life & culture in & around the Philadelphia region. Available at most bookstores & magazine stands.
Philly2Nite (Philly2Night.com): Philadelphia's nightlife resource, featuring club & restaurant reviews, guest list availability, area events, as well as mainstream alternative venues.
Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns (Book coauthored by Philip Miller and Molly Devon) - Published in 1995, this text became an instant classic. Its coverage of core topics offers a depth of insight & understanding while its style & format are both lavish & beautiful. The Black Rose calls it, "as close to a coffee table book as the field has yet produced." The only problem is that in its writings, it tends to see no difference between S/M & D/S, which is clearly incorrect.
Miss Abernathy’s Concise Slave Training Manual (Book by Christina Abernathy) - Just like it says, this a tight, concise guidebook to properly training a slave. Essentially presented in two parts, Part I deals more with specific techniques for training, while Part II offers a more in-depth look at the relationship as a whole & the various aspects of the D&S dynamic. Elegantly written & engaging.
The Story of ‘O’ (Classic Erotic Fiction by Pauline Reage)- From the Inside Cover: "The classic erotic novel, The Story of 'O' relates the love of a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer for Rene. As part of that intense love, she demands debasement and severe sexual and psychological tests. It is a unique work not to be missed. This is a truly unique & deeply fascinating story of the unadulterated surrender of ones body mind and soul. It is one of the most classical tales of true erotic fiction."
The Marquis de Sade: The Complete Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings (Compilation of Essays compiled and translated by
Richard Seaver & Austryn Wainhouse) - An exhaustive accumulation of the Marquis' works, which for the record, represented an exploration of graphic (perhaps even obscene) fantasy that was engaged
fully in the dark nature of man. However, this was - to the best of our understanding - not meant as an expression of viable reality. His philosophy in this was an outcropping of the view that
mankind is ultimately governed by the laws of nature, & that nature in its most common element is indeed rather cruel. So, mankind if he is to be in harmony with is inner self must at the very
least allow himself to imagine himself in possession of such cruelty. In short, it's twisted, but then again it's the combined work of "The Marquis de Sade" - need we really say more?
The Joy of Sex (Book by Alex Comfort) - A classic work & instructional primer on the many aspects of adult sexual play. While its approach to the subject is both clear & informative, its overall tone & sense of class actually make it an excellent book to give to a youth who is ready for 'the talk.' Indeed, this is not a 'Lifestyle' publication but rather an open dialogue for the art of adult sexual practice.
The Kama Sutra (Classic Text) - Few people really understand that The Kama Sutra was actually a theological doctrine. Based on the fundamental aspects of the ancient Yogi (read that in today's language to mean yoga), its point & purpose was to define a means by which to achieve a higher degree of spiritual harmony & interconnectedness. The end result strives to reach a higher evolution in personal & interpersonal elevation through sexual energy & the practice of sexual engagement. And yea, that always leads to good sex!
The Ultimate Swingers Guide (Book by Tina Minell) - Probably one of the best introductory texts ever written on the culture. Tons of information about etiquette, meeting others in the scene, finding clubs & groups, as well as what to expect. Safe play, discretion, & approaching your partner with the general concept are just a few of the topics covered in depth. A must have for those new to the scene.
Anal Pleasure & Health (Book by Jack Morin) - One of the best books ever published on the topic of anal play (indeed, it may very well be one of only a very few books dedicated to this particular subject). It's focus on health & hygiene make it ever more relevant in a time where HIV still lurks in the shadows but is not given the focus it achieved just several years ago.
The Leatherman's Handbook II (Book by Larry Townsend) - An updated & complete rewrite of Larry's 1972 classic by the same name (one of the nation's first manuals for S&M play). It offers an extensive how-to instructional for a broad spectrum of topics in the BDSM Culture. It's key focus however is an all male perspective; but even still, its content is useful to all in the scene.