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A Slightly Irreverent Guide to Attending BDSM Play Parties.
How to act at a BDSM play party

You may encounter nudity, explicit sex acts, and an amazing variety of other kinky debaucherous stuff at a BDSM play party or dungeon. Please be aware that within the BDSM community, it is expected that you will NOT react with surprise, shock, pointing, or undue fascination to encountering such things.

If something literally freaks you out...well, you can always politely excuse yourself and leave: You aren't required to be there. Otherwise, simply pretend that whatever you see is usual and ordinary. Within the BDSM scene, this is simply considered good manners. 

1. No touching (without permission)
-this one encompasses a lot-

A. No touching 'yourself,' aka NO WANKING
-- if you are watching people 'scene,' but are not participating in the scene leave your pants zipped. You may not masturbate. Scenes may be sexy, but they are NOT a peep show for your benefit. Sure, you can watch, but avoid creepy staring and again, don't 'whip it out.'-

B. No touching other people's toys (without getting permission)
-It's super rude. It might even have ass juices on it. 

But primarily, just walking over and casually picking up a Top's toys (floggers, canes, whips, clips, clamps, clothespins, etc., etc.,) is just considered REALLY rude and disrespectful. Some equipment may have been sanitized prior to a scene. Some floggers cost upwards of $200...each. In any case, they're NOT YOURS, so don't touch unless you ask first and recieve permission.

Just ask, most of us are quite happy to show and share.-

C. No touching other people (without getting permission)
-The BDSM community operates within an expectation of more formal behavior than many people are used to. In this community, you simply don't casually touch people uninvited. It has to do with the fact that we do things that might seem to be wildly non-consentual to an uninformed onlooker, so we compensate by being more explicit about consent.

In a BDSM scene, a bottom is lending a Top his or her body to play with. In BDSM, such play almost always includes things with a potential for injury to the bottom's body. An experienced Top can hit you with a cane and leave a permanent mark...or hit you with one and leave a welt...or hit you with one and leave no mark at all. Knowing the difference, and respecting the difference is what enables bottoms to play with Tops.

This is done for the bottom's enjoyment, but the bottom expects -- and has every right to expect -- that such play will be done very carefully, and that the Top will respect the bottom's limits, whether those are mental, physical, pain, or consequential marking of the body. These are all NEGOTIATED. 

If you go up uninvited and slap "a slave" on the ass, or even touch her clothing, what do you think that has communicated about your ability to respect her limits? If a Top is wearing an interesting costume, and you go up and start touching it, what do you think that says to the Top about your ability to show respect?

Naturally, people will have friends in the community who may treat them far more casually. Just like you probably have friends who you might sneak up and hug on the street, without being Maced.

D. No "touching" other people's play space.
-- As you walk around, be aware that activities such as flogging and whips require physical space that may not be immediately obvious to you. A Top will have checked the space behind him before starting play, but once play is started, his/her attention is properly focused on paying close attention to the bottom's reactions -- not on making sure that you aren't backhanded across the face with a whip because you walked across the scene.

Within the BDSM community, the appropriate response to the above would be for YOU to quietly apologize and immediately retreat -- the emphasis is on the scene, not the bystander. By all means watch politely, but do so from a respectful distance, so as not to visually intrude into the attention of those scening.

E. No "touching" the concentration of people who are scening.
Be aware that the bottom should be entering, or will-have entered an altered state of mind during play. This is a primary PURPOSE of BDSM play. If you yank him or her out of that altered state of mind by yammering loudly near a scene, he or she will likely desire to rip your larynx out of your throat.

You may watch. Or, you may go elsewhere and talk. The option to watch a scene and talk is NOT available.

2. Be polite. Be honest. It will get you far, seriously.

A. Speak politely, to everyone.
-Call people by the name used in your introduction, even if it is "Ravenmoongoddess Lustbucket." If you are unsure of what to call someone, try "Sir" or "Madam," or "Hi, I'm _____". 

B. Fuck politely.
-BDSM play parties are not orgies: Sex isn't the main focus. But it does happen sometimes during scenes. This is either if the people playing are in a pre-established relationship that includes sex and decide to include it in a scene, or if they're playing casually, and doing a scene where some form of penetration has been pre-negotiated (usually pretty rare, but possible). 

If you participate in one of these scenes, though individual dungeon rules vary, consider using barriers, even if you are in a monogamous or fluid-bonded relationship. Condoms capture cum that other people don't want to encounter. Swallowed cum is an exception to this rule. 

Clean up after yourself. Sterilize any (public) equipment that you use, before and after you use it.

C. Dress politely.
-Arrive discretely dressed, wearing at least a coat over your 'outfit' if you're wearing one. Most dungeons are near "normal" businesses, and do not desire to draw attention of their neighbors. This goes double for house parties. You may change inside. The dress code at most BDSM events is at least semi-formal (all black is a good color choice), Gothic clothing, or fetish-wear.

D. Be honest and candid about your level of experience.
- People in the scene cared to ask, because they're either concerned about guarding your safety, or their own safety. They are not judging you based on your claimed experience, they're figuring out what level of communication and care needs to be taken for you to be able to safely play with them, or learn from them.

An experienced Top will play quite differently with an inexperienced sub, as opposed to an experienced one he has played with before. This is for the sub's protection -- to make sure that the sub's limits don't get crossed. Misrepresenting yourself as having more experience than you do as a sub, could tempt a Top to play less carefully with you, assuming that you know that you are supposed to communicate things which you, do not, in fact know to communicate. This can be bad. More or less the same thing applies to inexperienced Tops.

There's a BDSM thing called "aftercare". If you don't know what it is, and a Top asks prior to a scene, if you will need it after a scene, the correct answer is "YES, and can you explain more about what that is?".

3. What happens at a fetish party, stays at a fetish party.

-Don't talk about specific people who attended without their permission. Don't connect names with descriptions of things you might see, without prior permission. Be aware that there is a large difference between saying, "I saw a Dom sticking needles into a sub's breasts" and "I saw Master UberPain sticking needles into his slave lustbucket's breasts".

Most dungeons and play parties have VERY strict rules about forbidding cameras and cell phones. People in BDSM often have quite vanilla, sometimes even straightlaced jobs. One picture on the Internet could potentially ruin a career.

Some dungeons allow taking pictures in social areas. Don't take, draw, or post pictures of people without their permission. Naturally, you can 't post what you did not take. And frankly, if someone explicitly invites you to take pictures, without knowing you very well, they're not very bright. But if you're invited to take pictures, please only post them as they explicitly specify. And be aware that merely having a camera or cell out in many dungeons will get your memory card crushed.

4. No drug or alcohol use. No public intoxication allowed.
-One of the things that BDSM is "about" is attaining a very profound natural form of "high," caused by the massive rush of endorphins and other naturally-occurring opiates released by the body in response to excitement or physical impact. Not only are these natural opiates far more powerful than marijuana or alcohol, but marijuana and alcohol use impairs the clear judgement necessary to safely get to them.

If you're used to alcohol-fueled and "420-friendly" parties, you'll find that BDSM parties are very different. But if you'll pause using the drugs you're used to -- and if you participate -- we'll teach you to find some REALLY cool "drugs" produced by your own body, that you probably never knew existed, that are completely legal, and that you don't even have to buy.

5. Safety first. In BDSM-speak, "Safe. Sane. Consensual."
-Often, when people first find themselves exploring BDSM, it doesn't occur to them how much safety matters. They tend to be a bit overwhelmed - or enthusiastic! - about all of the various options that exist out there, and the idea of taking precautions to make sure a scene plays out okay simply doesn't occur to them. And let's face it, they're coming from a mainstream background where everything is usually rigidly structured and idiot-proofed.

The BDSM community opts more for personal freedom than for babyproofing. That means we spend a LOT more time thinking about safety than you might guess. It's a Top's PRIMARY responsibility. This means that both the Top and the bottom need to know what precautions to take going into an encounter, so that it turns out well.
Category: Basic Info | Added by: Dex (21 November 11)
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