Kinksters who want to meet like-minded people in comfort and safety can go to activities organized by reputable BDSM organizations in public places. A number of clubs exist in San Diego and other areas for the purpose of bringing kinky people together for education and socializing. They often have "munches," which are meetings in restaurants that are open to non-members. These events usually provide a casual atmosphere and no pressure. Since they don't want to advertise their sexuality at their public meeting places, people are advised not to wear fetish clothing, and there are no indications of the nature of the group meeting apparent to outsiders. BDSM clubs often have "orientations" for new members and discussion groups in public places for the same reasons. One of the iron-clad rules of the kink community is confidentiality, so people attending these get togethers don't have to worry about their boss or their minister finding out (unless they are at the meeting too). No one at the meeting will tell who attended, so everyone's discretion is protected.
Munches, classes and discussion groups are not hard to find, and are easy to research on the Internet. A reputable club should have its own website, at least part of which should be viewable by the general public. There are also Yahoo groups that exist solely to organize these kinds of activities, and those are easy to join as well. These days, a little time and effort is all that's needed to find a safe way into the fetish community.