One of the events I’ve attended a few times in the roughly four months I’ve been in the scene is the DC TNG happy hour. In researching the group, I learned that TNG stands for “The Next Generation”, and is aimed at kinksters from age 18 to approximately 35. At age 30, I’m one of the older folks in the crowd, though definitely not the oldest by any means. I checked with the group on FetLife about whether or not I would come off as too old, and was told that I would be just fine. Excellent!

DC TNG’s happy hours are held on Tuesday evenings at The Spot, which is a small lounge in the basement of 1214 18th Street NW, sharing a building with Public Bar DC (see reviews from DC Socialite and DC CIty Blog). The venue is down a flight of stairs, and has a small bar. To my knowledge, the venue does not sell food (but Shake Shack is next door).

The event is kind of a cross between a munch, an educational session, and a play party. Dress is listed as “street legal”, and from what I can tell, most people don’t dress in any way specifically for this event. I wear whatever I wore to work that day, and from what I have been able to tell, most others also wear whatever they wore to work (i.e. dress is pretty much vanilla). Nudity is not permitted. Conversation, like at a munch, runs from the kinky to what-happened-at-work-today to whatever over drinks from the bar. About midway through the event, there is usually an educational session. That occurs in the back of the venue. One particularly interesting session was an introduction to knife play, where we learned about the basics of knife play, such as how to clean/sanitize knives, how to get to know and become comfortable with a knife before playing with it, a good beginner’s knife, etc. Then there is also a light play element, as people are allowed to engage in kinky play (as long as everyone stays covered) in the back of the venue (see photo). Not bad.

For the TNG happy hours, the same principle applies as for munches: be yourself and enjoy the company. It’s a good place to make friends. My only real complaint is that the seats along the walls – these low padded benches – are a bit hard despite the padding. And as someone who has lost a bit of weight in the last year, I lost almost my entire behind. When I sit down, I’m practically sitting on bone. Those seats are hard, despite the padding. But otherwise, though, great times. The music is kept low, the drinks are good enough, and the company is really friendly.

One of the greatest benefits to the TNG happy hours are the ability to network with different folks than I otherwise would. The munches and things that I attend are mostly in the Maryland suburbs of DC, outside the Beltway for the most part, and as such attract a different, somewhat older crowd. This, on the other hand, is in the middle of downtown Washington, about six blocks away from the White House. The crowd is much younger, from 18 on up. And of course, the educational sessions are great for the beginner in kink, since it gives me new things to think about, and perhaps try in future play sessions.

So if you’re down that way and are ready to meet, greet, and learn, I think it’s definitely worth a stop over to take a look. Details about the educational component of the evening are usually listed on FetLife a few days in advance. And best of all is that it’s totally free (but you are responsible for the cost of your own drinks).