You don’t have to be an event planner extraordinaire in order to throw your own play party. With a little organization and preparation, you can gather your favorite folks together for a fun night of safe, kinky fun. The following tips will help you get started.
Create a guest list
You’ll have to jot down a list of all the people you’d be interested in having over to your home. Allowing people to play in your personal home is extremely intimate and involves a certain level of trust. Make sure these are people you are at least slightly familiar with and who will respect your home. Make sure to have a good ratio. This doesn’t necessarily mean equal men to women (and every other orientation) but rather will there be enough Tops vs. bottoms? Did you invite four Dominatrixes but only have two potential play partners for them? A lot of times people come in couples and that’s fine, just be cognizant of who ends up RSVPing so you’ll be prepared to entertain in other ways.
Consider using an online invite
Depending on the size of your party, it might be easier to invite people through an online invite such as evite.com or a private Facebook invite. This will be more organized than a giant group text or chasing everyone via individual texts. If technology is not your style, then by all means go the old fashioned way of calling people. The online invite will just give you a step by step way to view who is coming. Also make it clear in your invite if people are allowed to bring guests. If you only want folks you know personally to attend, this will prevent any awkward unexpected (and uninvited) guests.
Consider the size of your space
How many people can comfortably fit in your home/apartment? Now consider how many people can comfortably play in your home/apartment. In Los Angeles at least, there’s the old saying that you should invite twice as many people as you would like to come since only half of the RSVPs will show up. So if your space can hold 25 people, invite around 35 to be on the safe side. In my experience, there are ALWAYS people who will bail last minute. It’s an unfortunate reality, but you’d rather plan for more and have just the right amount.
Set a list of house rules
You cannot just assume everyone coming will know proper BDSM etiquette or rather, the etiquette for a party in your home. Do you want people doing a needle play scene on your couch for example? Is wax play on your new carpet going to fly? Perhaps you don’t want a flogging scene in your daughter’s (who is away at her friend’s house) room? Post the rules in the invite and also post signs letting people know if certain rooms are off limits. If possible, just lock the doors so there is no confusion. I always make sure to let guests know if penetration is ok. If so, you need to be prepared with extra trashcans, condoms, and towels. While it’s difficult to think of every scenario, I always try to cover things like edge play (fire, blood, needles, knives), penetration, wax, golden showers, single tails (are your ceilings high enough? Will the whip accidentally break something?), and noise levels. If you live in an apartment, perhaps you can encourage Dominants with loud submissives to gag them, haha. Since it’s your party, you make the rules. Don’t be afraid to remind guests of the rules if you find them breaking them. It’s your home.
Or ask guests to bring something to contribute. Water is the number one necessity at any play party followed closely by food or snacks. It’s important to let guests know if there will be a full dinner served or just snacks so people don’t arrive ready to play hungry. While I have served alcohol at past play parties, many kinksters strongly believe in playing sober. This is a sensitive and highly debated topic but it’s entirely up to you of course. I personally like to follow the rule that drinking while playing is ok but being drunk while playing is not. If you have alcohol, make sure you have something substantial for people to munch on throughout the night.
Be a social butterfly
Keep an eye on your guests. If someone is standing alone, engage them in conversation and make introductions. To me this lifestlye is all about inclusion which means making everyone you’ve invited feel included! You can also do yourself some favors by inviting some extroverts to the party to help you out.
Offer defined play stations/areas and set the mood
Not everyone’s house is a fully equipped dungeon but more power to you if yours is and can I please come over?! 😉 Consider the different areas of your home/apartment and set them up in a way that would be hospitable to play. Removed objects or decorative things that you don’t want to get broken or damaged. Don’t want someone getting a spanking in grandmother’s antique rocking chair? Put it away in an off limits room. If possible, dim the lighting or trade out some bulbs to a softer glow or color. Put on some music for background noise.
There should also be a clear “socialization” area for people to sit and watch/relax. This can even be a few chairs or couch along the perimeter of the room. Also, be prepared to accommodate (or not) smokers or having a smoking area or a sign to tell people to go outside if you so wish.
Be prepared to get the night started
Private play parties can get awkward really fast if the socialization aspect lingers on too long. As the host, you should be prepared to get the party started! Or if you want to be in attendance to the guests, plan on having some close friends get the play started with a planned scene. It only takes one spanking to break the ice and others will be soon to follow.
Plan an end time…unless you want people potentially staying all night and if you do that’s fine! But planning an end time will eliminate potential resentments over guests overstaying their welcome.
I hope these tips will help you newbie party planners out there. Did I forget anything major to planning a play party? What are your best practices for hosting an in home play party? Let me know in the comments!