In this post-your-Mum-reading-50-Shades world, everyone is having sex. And not just sex, but sex that involves going to classes and fucking like-minded people who have standardised safe words and special scissors for 'emergencies'.
It's the hottest hardest dirtiest thing you'll ever do, with the filthiest most beautiful and sexually gifted set of people you'll ever meet... or is it?
For years I'd been trying to meet fellow perverts through a combination of wishful thinking, luck, and subtle suggestion, and not making much progress. Everything I read, and everyone I spoke to said I deserved to get what I wanted in bed, and that the way to get it was by asking.
So I asked, and more often than not was met with a screwface and a shuddered "No way".
As I began to wonder if I was doomed to a life of solitary masturbating in dark corners of the Internet, fate intervened: I was invited to a 'munch' - the bizarre, and cutesy term for a bunch of perverts hanging out in a pub.
While I was nervous (will people be grabbing at me? Does it turn into an evil fuckfest after midnight?) I was also excited. My head was full of scenarios that were terrifying but beautiful, so I put on a nice dress and rushed down.
The 'nice dress' was the start of my problems: "Are you sure you know what this evening is?" The bouncer asked me. Three times. I pushed my glasses up my nose firmly and strode in despite his protests. Inside I found my friend, we looked around, and my heart fell.
It was a bar full of ordinary people, in fact it was a bar full of people I probably wouldn't normally mix with. Guys with slogan t-shirts on and girls in bootcut jeans. My idea of kink was a world of satin, lace, and Paz de la Huerta with a riding crop. It was beautiful guys with epic beards saying the foulest things to me.
But I decided to steel myself and stop being such a revolting snob. Even people in bootcut jeans deserve orgasms.
As the drinks kicked in I began to talk to new people and enjoy myself despite my misgivings. The disappointment was still there, but the people I spoke to told me there were better places. Places with rooms devoted to sex and good taste in soft furnishings. And so began my foray into kink.
I went to a female domination night in Converse and a vintage Moschino belt, earning glares from the 'house Mistresses' and so many foot rubs I begged to be left alone. To another night where I spent all evening holding the handbag of the most awesome pro-Domme I'd ever met wide eyed in awe.
It would be a lie to say it wasn't fun. I've never laughed so much as when a man wearing a saddle wiped out on the middle of the dancefloor with me on his back. But it wasn't the sweat drenched sex festival I had imagined.
Any good kinkster will tell that good sex takes preparation and would I have to concede that they are right. You can't hang someone upside down by one foot without knowing how to tie the knot so they don't fall and crack their head open.
And so there are classes, courses, meet ups, and forums all dedicated to the cause. After one of these classes, where I learned almost nothing because I turned up late then zoned out through all the talks (don't worry I won't be attempting anything demonstrated, I know my limits), I had a minor epiphany.
The leader of the group was the girl who caused me to zone out in the first place. She had a face that would have made a pre-Raphaelite spaff and was dressed like a Chanel obsessed ninja. I spent a large portion of the afternoon trying to watch her lead the advanced group out of the corner of my eye and concocting lurid fantasies.
When I made it home I immediately logged onto FetLife and sought out her profile. It was, at best, dull. She was obsessed with rope. In fact I began to worry that if she could turn into a giant coil of rope she would. She used the word 'transcendent' on her profile. My newly infatuated heart broke into a thousand pieces.
I was so used to being someone who approached sex as a game whose rules we worked out as we went along. I am a giggler during sex: I laugh, pout, wrestle, make strange noises of joy and fear, and often fall over and howl with laughter. This girl's beautiful straight nose was looking right down on me and I was terrified.
She was everything I had come to hate about kink and sex. The elitism and train spotter nerdery. Oh you like jute rope? I like hemp. Yeah that strap on harness looks nice, but mine is ethically sourced handmade leather, with my initials stamped into it by a master craftsman, who I had to cycle fifteen miles to find, in Bavaria.
The people in the classes looked down on me because I didn't want to fit in with their idea of kink, and I looked down on them because they didn't fit in with mine. What I wanted was fun and what they wanted was a hobby.
Having been someone who has always existed somewhere out of the popular circle I didn't feel my sexual proclivities defined me, but these people did. They wanted you to know whether they were a top or a Domme, and where you fitted into their world. They wanted a place they could be the filth monger they couldn't be during the day, whereas I have a circle of friends who have always known I'm a freak (in and out of the sheets) and couldn't care less.
So I sought out a group of people who weren't snobby about it and who liked me in and out of my nice dresses. I spent time with people chatting about Mad Men while they buffed their latex shirts. Had coffee and chatted about everything from pastry to diamond encrusted bull whips.
Slowly I created a circle where people accepted me as a deranged fuckbunny who might attempt to top you while wearing a towelling onesie, and who understood that I was never, ever, ever, going to wear latex.
I met people who were nerds about rope, who could talk about it for hours, and didn't give a fuck that I couldn't. In fact I made friends who I'll probably have for years to come. And yes, some of them do wear bootcut jeans.
Follow Vanessa on Twitter @sarcastathon.