Considering attending a BDSM play party? Awesome! I’m proud of your adventurous self! That excitement you feel commingled with nervousness is natural! Whether it’s a private residence, local public dungeon or large convention, there are are important things to consider in terms of do’s, don’ts and general etiquette. I’ll offer a few tips too!
- DO take the tour if the space is offering one. It’s the easiest way to locate bathrooms, aftercare/quiet spaces and get a general lay of the land.
- DON’T take photos or video. All spaces have a photo policy which is usually NONE CAN BE TAKEN with the exception of hired staff. Many folks aren’t “out” and photos/video can destroy lives.
TIP – Many BDSM spaces have signs plastered all over for etiquette, consent and safety reasons. Read them.
- DO understand you are not obligated to play! BDSM communities have a tendency to be more social than anything else and conversing with a party goer is always good! I encourage you to invite a friend for support and to mitigate any awkwardness/nervousness you may feel.
TIP – Be sure to bring your ID. Most BDSM spaces have age restrictions and also require you sign a waiver
- DON’T make assumptions about what is allowed. Acts like Edge Play, Breath Play and sexual intercourse are NOT allowed in some spaces. Rules vary from event to event. Refer to the House Rules and/or consult a Dungeon Monitor.
- DO bring your own toys and supplies. Toys can be unique, high quality, hard to find and expensive which is why folks will be VERY reluctant to let you borrow their toys. Furthermore, bring supplies like a snack for between scenes, water bottle, aftercare kit (see “Drop 2”), contraceptives, face towel for sweat
TIP – A lot of BDSM spaces will provide chux, disinfectant and contraceptives
- DON’T interrupt, walk through or too close to someone’s scene. BDSM is an intimate experience and disrupting the “flow” or “space” people are enjoying can be detrimental to a scene. Watch from a distance and try not to gawk, speak too loudly or express outright disgust. Some kinks won’t be YOUR kinks. Don’t be a dick.
- DO wipe equipment down after you’ve used it by utilizing disinfectant supplied by the play space. Also, use chux for sex if it’s allowed and any other place bare asses or genitals will touch
- DON’T hog equipment. Give others a turn.
TIP – There’s always at least one piece of equipment that is used the very least. Keep an eye out, be imaginative and get your turn to play faster.
- DO get express consent rooted in specificity before touching anyone with anything. Don’t be afraid to say no to any offers. Say that shit.
- DON’T immediately “pick-up play” with someone you just met. Negotiate properly and ask the friend you brought with you or a Dungeon Monitor to keep an eye on your scene.
TIP – Tell the monitor you’re new and ask about the person you’re about to play with
- DO come sober and if alcohol is available at the event, DO NOT GET WASTED. Yes, I know you’re nervous, but alcohol and other drugs lower inhibitions and alters your ability to judge what you are mentally, emotionally and physically feeling which heightens risk. Inform any playmates about any mood altering substances you’re under the influence of.
Lastly, have fun! Stay Kinky. Be Good.