When you hear “kinkiest city in America,” what city comes to mind? Maybe Las Vegas, the famed city of sin, or New York, the city that never sleeps? They have to fill those waking hours somehow. But neither of these cities took the top spot.
Surprise, surprise: Portland ranked kinkiest city in America by Kink University.
And it’s not surprising why. A myriad of venues and parties that cater to an alternative lifestyle are just a Google search away. Here’s my list of inclusive, sex-positive venues and events for anyone who wants to explore another side of Portland.
Catalyst is the only 18+ venue of its kind in Portland. Navigating its website reveals plenty of information for newcomers, as well as a calendar with several events. Standout events include the TNG Party and How Queer! A Queer Dungeon Party, both of which take place one Saturday per month.
The TNG Party welcomes guests ages 18–35 with preceding workshops, so it is an ideal destination for learning in a young, comfortable environment. How Queer! welcomes queer-identified people and allies alike. The Queer parties focus on creating a safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community to express themselves. Both of these events have a door fee of $15.
Located within walking distance of campus, the venue is 21+. The eye-catching event on its calendar was a simple Meet and Greet. With a more affordable door fee of $5, this weekly Friday event is an affordable and low-key way to expose yourself to Portland’s kink scene.
The Portland Leather Alliance
Formed in 1998, this venue focuses on “education and awareness of alternative lifestyles.” It promotes and hosts a variety of workshops, classes and social gatherings across Portland. While it does not have a single set meeting place, PLA advertises events at several venues around town. Its calendar is jam-packed, but there are just two play parties listed.
On the first Friday of every month, PDX-Rated takes the stage at the historical Bossanova Ballroom. PDX-Rated is “Portland’s premier kink party” and is good for both the experienced and those new to the scene. According to the event page, the venue hosts a variety of “kinky furniture.” There are also tasters available throughout the night “to explain certain types of BDSM play and even guide you through a sample experience.” If you’re over 21 and curious, this event is well worth your Friday night.
Tickets are $12 if purchased in advance, $15 at the door and $20 at the door after 10 p.m.
This once-a-year convention is put on by PLA, and it is a prime time for learning. March 30 through April 1 of this year, Kinkfest will take over the Portland Expo Center. Sprinkled across the three days are a whole host of workshops and educational classes. You can visit the vendor mall between classes, which is “filled with products and services from local and national leather, fetish and kink businesses.” Finally, after the classes are done for the day, Kinkfest hosts evening play parties every night of the convention.
This is Kinkfest’s 20th year, so you can expect it to be extra special. If you’re interested in learning about alternative lifestyles and practices, registering as soon as possible is the way to go. A standard pass is $200, but there are other cheaper options if you don’t intend to attend all three days.