Habitat Range: Once in the Sanctuary, they favor wide-open spaces so that they can set down tarps.

Field Notes: These hard-core, bloodthirsty mammals may leave their victims feeling drained. Their natural enemies are the emo-fucktards, other slow-witted mammals they tend to prey upon and dominate.

******

Details

Fashion Players

Description: Costume play, or "cosplay," involves dressing and accessorizing to represent either characters or ideas. This can be highly sexualized, and often costumes are revealing and made from non-traditional materials like latex.

Twenty-nine-year-old LaLa is a cosplayer. "I learned about costume play from my ex-boyfriend, who is a cross-dresser. He was always putting together different outfits that were sexy and had a theme. I usually try to keep true to his ideal by keeping an overall theme to my costumes and making sure they flow," she says.

"My costumes are outfits I either got at local stores or on the Internet," LaLa continues. "I put together costumes from finds at thrift stores. They are fun clothes to put on to promote my image of being a sexy baby girl, so I have a lot of schoolgirl outfits, a Bo Peep, and lots of ruffled petticoats and panties. I have seven-inch platform heels I wear, and I always have my teddy bear in hand."

Lovinlatex, 23, clarifies that latex can be for the kink scene or just for the shiny hell of it. "The wonderful thing about it is you don't necessarily need to be kinky to wear and enjoy it," he says. "If you look at popular music in the last several years, you'll see an explosion of latex clothing. Celebs like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé and several others have all worn latex at one point or another. And there are a lot of regular people who wear latex around their house just for the pure joy of it."

Habitat Range: These mammals like to see and be seen, and they tend to migrate to the Crypt at 8 Broadway when they're not at the Sanctuary. According to manager Jared Guerts, the Crypt has "sexy merchandise for adults who enjoy all kinds of erotic experiences, from vanilla to extreme; from the beginner to the highly advanced; from the feminine to the butch."

Field Notes: The brightest-plumed creatures in the kink forest, these mammals stand out from the pack and are easy to identify. They also tend to roam together.

******

Internet-only Players

Description: Internet players are more reserved creatures who are most comfortable conducting BDSM relationships online, with partners who don't have to be in their geographic location — and the proliferation of online sites makes that possible.

CaptKirk, a 27-year-old male dominant, says, "The scene has been growing at an almost explosive rate, and that is directly due to the Internet sites.

"The biggest pro of online is that you can connect with people that you may never otherwise run into, and you can get to know them a little before actually meeting them in person," continues CaptKirk. "The biggest con is that you never know if you are talking to a woman, a fourteen-year-old boy or a fifty-year-old man."

According to DarkSteven, a 55-year-old male dominant, alt.com is the "granddaddy" of the sites, while Fetlife.com is the most popular kink networking site at the moment. He's also had favorable experiences with Collarme.com. "It's actually two sites: Collarme.com, which has member profiles, and Collarchat.com, which has the chat forums," he says. "Their profiles let you state your kinky and -kinky interests and provide a prose self-description. You can also specify your gender, your orientation and what you're looking for. The forums are a great place to 'meet' people from around the world, and a great place to get others' opinions and insights. I met two sub women from there who relocated to be with me."

Beautiful Black Cat, a 27-year-old female submissive, also recommends Fetlife.com, but has a different opinion of Collarme.com. "Not the greatest or one I'd recommend," she says. "I do like the options of having a forum board, private chatting and games, but a lot of people on there are only looking for a third or fourth person to join their household."

Those opportunistic, dominant kinksters looking for multiple subs are pejoratively nicknamed "collectors."

But some kinksters choose to conduct entire M/s or D/s relationships online, never meeting their partner(s) in real life. Online BDSM may seem less personal, 47-year-old female submissive Merike acknowledges, but her relationship with her online dom is "not meant to be a typical relationship," she says. "Our general interest lies in the D/s experience only. We are both open to whatever happens together and apart — no strings, truly."

Here's how Merike describes a typical online scene:

Master (actually wearing mask while typing): "On your knees, serve me, make yourself worthy of my cock, you wet little whore!"

Slave: "I am ready to serve you, Master, as soon as I can figure out how to get myself out of this cage you had me lock myself into last night.... Oh, fuck, I gotta pee!!"

Habitat Range: Internet-only players prefer to stay near their wireless routers.

Slide show: The Denver Kink Field Guide

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