Your First Gateway Meeting PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to Black Rose!

This page is designed to help you anticipate what to expect when attending a Gateway meeting.

Black Rose designed Gateway to be a welcoming, non-threatening way for people to learn more about BDSM and about the local BDSM community.  As such, it is our goal to make the meeting as comfortable as possible for you.  We know that for some people, knowing what to expect goes a long way towards easing fears.  If you have questions that aren't answered here, you can always e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and you should receive a response within 24 hours.

Where is Gateway?

Gateway is held at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, located at 4610 Fairfax Dr in Arlington, VA. The most convenient Metro station is Ballston (Orange Line).  There is on-street parking available near the hotel, as well as validated parking at the hotel itself.  Please read all posted parking signs; most meters are free after 6:00, but we can't guarantee they all will be.

How much does it cost?

Gateway costs $5 to attend. Cash only please.

What should I wear?

Please do not wear obvious fetish clothing.  The Holiday Inn Arlington Hotel caters to families and business travelers, and we are not the only people in the hotel.   While the Holiday Inn Arlington Hotel knows what we do, we try to be respectful to other guests.  Any normal street attire is fine, whether you're in jeans and a t-shirt or a business suit. Many attendees come straight from work.

Do I need to bring anything?

Bring $5, your curiosity, and any questions you might have.  We'll have handouts that cover lots of the basics, but a pen is always handy to take notes.  Quarters for the meter never go amiss.  But we don't need to see your ID or references or anything like that.

What happens at Gateway?

When you get to the Hotel, look for a sign in the lobby, this will tell you which room Gateway is in (it will be listed under Black Rose). Grab a handout and sign in (we ask for some basic demographic questions that do not include your name) and find a seat.

The Gateway coordinators will introduce themselves and go over the basics of who Black Rose is and what we do.  We try to keep this portion of the program short, so we can get to your questions.  Once we've covered the basics, we'll open the floor to questions.  No question is stupid or inappropriate.

At some point during the meeting, you'll also receive a discount card.  One will get you a discounted admission to a BR Tuesday night education meeting.  The other will get you a discounted admission to Dungeon 101 or Kink: First Contact at The Baltimore Playhouse.

When the meeting ends, the coordinators usually stick around to answer questions and make sure everyone got a handout.  If you need a ride to the Metro, please feel free to ask.

At no point will you be required to say anything, unless you choose.  We won't ask your name.  We will tell you about the benefits of membership in Black Rose, but we won't have membership forms available.  Gateway is designed to be a low-pressure low-key meeting; a chance for you to dip your toe in the water before you dive all the way in.

If you have questions about Gateway, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  We hope to see you there!


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