I cannot speak for anyone reading this but living during a Pandemic has had a serious impact on my BDSM time. While I am one of the lucky ones who lives with their partners, the lack of social interaction has pushed against my abilities to get into the proper headspace for play. One of the things I look forward to every year is party season. Since I live in Idaho, the last week of May to the first week of September is our party season. Otherwise, it is too cold, too wet, and far too snowy to be able to play.
Parties are intensely euphoric. The amount of people, the adrenaline, the excitement, and the play itself, usually lend to a high spike of dopamine. It also leads to some of the heaviest drops I have ever experienced. Those drops can (and are) made worse because Master is a Service Top, and I am an empath.
So, since we are unable to lay you on our table, I wanted to share a behind the scenes look at what a party looks like for us as well as the aftermath of our time with you.
Fittingly enough, our parties have been held in the upper level of a barn for a couple of years now. As odd as it is to have a trip of goats below us, you stop noticing it by the time the party begins. You walk up two flights of narrow stairs, and you are facing an empty floor. Well, you would be, had we not been there three hours before the door open to set up. Straight ahead from the stairs, against the farthest wall, is a hand-built St. Andrews Cross. Next to it is a folding table with some of the toys we keep for the public to use. At the other end of the same wall, is a Rope Spider Web. It stands just shy of seven feet tall and is wide enough to put two people on at once. Next to that, hangs more public toys. It is a variety of floggers, canes, paddles, and even a nice strip of Firehose (for the adventurous type of course). Right underneath the hanging toys is the sawhorses. Master converted them from garage use to play use. They are painted black and red (his colors) and the top has been fashioned with a removable cushion (so they remain useable in the off season). On a side note, the force of that strip of fire hose will produce enough force to push your ass off the front of the horse….it is quite hilarious.
Then we have the fencing. Out here, Littles and pets are quite common. So, we fenced off a section for them, that has blankets, pillows, stuffies, crayons, and coloring books. It also works well as a place to recover during aftercare.
The next spot is a table with melted wax and another with a stereo. Due to the setting (i.e. in a barn), we paint the melted wax on with brushes. It allows us to both be artistic and keep a relatively clean area. The stereo is there to set the mood and often helps keep some of the scenes more intimate since it blocks the overlay of multiple conversations (and cries of pain/ecstasy).
And lastly, right at the edge of the stairs, stands two built-in tables. Laid on the table is three wands and several cases of implements that lend well to Electrical play. We have the light bulbs for those unsure of their interests (since bulbs are generally light feeling—like bubbles on the skin). Then there are metal kitchen utensils, cat claws, chains, knives, and a variety of other items that will honestly intimidate most people. It is both a creative and impressive layout. (and yes, each bit must be taken up by either myself or Master—then again, who are we kidding, it is taken up and set up by me).
Draped in a white sheet, is the massage table. Though comfortable, it can easily be converted with straps to hold you still and leave you feeling quite electrified. Pun absolutely intended.
This leaves the center of the loft space for interacting with others, class/educational space, a place to spectate, or additional room for floggings and spankings.
Parties take months to prepare for. If you ever get to go to one, please thank your host. They have done far more behind the scenes than you will ever be aware of.
The parties we had planned this year (before the pandemic) were planned right after party season of 2019 ended. We had planned a Luau, Pirate themed, Halloween in July, Leo and Leopards, and a Leather and Lace party.
Sounds like a lot of fun. And I am sure it would have been. But we know how that turned out.
Generally, our parties have a turnout of 20-50 people. Our August and September parties are by far the largest.
With that said, I want to give you an idea of what a party of that magnitude leads to often: Service Topping.
The term itself has a few different meanings. I am going to stick to what it means to us.
Service Top: a person who Tops another individual, whom they do not have a power exchange with, in a scene.
Due to Master being one of the few who does Electrical play in our area (and the only one with as extensive a collection of implements), people will often come to the party to get a tasting.
Tasting: a short, introductory scene that allows people to try something new in a safe environment (as a reminder, we do not include sex in any tasting, nor do we play with anyone who has had a mind-altering substance such as alcohol or drugs).
This generally means a 5-15-minute scene that starts off exceptionally light and only occasionally gets more intense.
There are a few of us who ended up with a Sadistic scene the first time…but those were exceptions to the rules. Back then, before I was with Master, I laid on his table and I made two mistakes once I realized I couldn’t feel any of the lighter zaps: first, I laughed (at a Sadist) and second, I asked if that was all he had (again, to a Sadist). What followed was one hell of a good scene. Apparently, tastings are just not my cup of eletrici-TEA.
I know, my puns are terrible. I hope you snickered anyway. I’m here all day.
There is one major factor of Service Topping that no one ever talks about. The fact is, you only get short scenes. That means that you most often do not hit Dom space, are up and down with energy highs, and are utterly fucking exhausted by the end of it.
For example, Master usually gives tastings for several hours at a time. One right after the other. So, over time, Master and I have developed a routine. I negotiate with the next person as he works on the current one. I let them know the rules, how fabric interacts with electricity, screen the health questions, and verify the limits. Then I relay the information and while I wipe down his gear and table, he connects with the one I’ve just negotiated with, introduces himself, verifies the information I told him, and helps them onto his table.
I keep watch on everything happening. Electricity can burn skin. This means that even a light tasting can leave you covered in marks. Master always rubs them down with burn gel (to prevent any issues), asks if they need anything, and then I check in on them later in the party. You can never be too careful, and I find some people are just more comfortable talking to a submissive.
I also keep an eye on Master. When you have a line of people waiting to be on your table, you rarely get a moment for yourself. That means that I may bring cold drinks, a wet cloth, or food up to his table and remind him that he needs to take a few minutes to rest. It will not help anyone if he ends up on the floor from exhaustion.
We are a good team. He plays with and takes care of others while I take care of him.
Its my favorite part of the night.
Of course, that could be the voyeur in me.
While I may help instruct people on a basic flogging or rope harness, I am not a Service Top. Out here, in our community, they are few and far between. I was lucky enough to corner Master and get a few questions answered. Most of these are questions that have been asked by members of our community out here. I’d like to share them with you.
- What is a service top?
Someone, at an event or party, who is there to give tastings of kinky play to many individuals. Generally, play lasts around 5-15 minutes.
- How long have you been a service Top?
8 or 9 years
- What is your favorite thing to do as a service top?
Electrical play (I should specify that Master also does impact play and fire play)
- How do you negotiate?
I let my subbie do it. She knows the questions and gives me the answers. It saves time. It is general questions. Are you pregnant? Any medical devices in the body? Any metal in the body? Any areas you do not want touched? Have you done this before?
- Do you follow up on people who are on your table?
I try to. It depends on the person’s reaction and how intense we played.
- Do you prefer in depth/longer scenes or tastings?
Depends on my mindset.
- Do you develop favorites to play with?
Yes. There are some that I enjoy their reactions and if they come back to my table, it is fun to play again.
- Do you find it harder to abide by limits since you play with so many people?
Yes. I will ask someone to remind me again, even if we have played before. Just to make sure I stay within their consent.
- Why do you service top?
I enjoy being able to introduce people to new sensations. Something they may not otherwise try
- What do you get out of it?
The enjoyment of introducing someone to something new. Introducing the possibility of a new kink
- Is the drop different when you service top?
Yes. You are dealing with so many people. More exhausting. Longer recovery time. It is often hours of nonstop play as a service top versus a shorter one on one scene
- What do you wish people knew about service topping?
Most Service Tops do not have time for aftercare. It is something that should be in place by the person before we play.
Service Tops generally specialize in one area. We know other types of play, but we have what we do best.
Service Tops need taken care of too. We do this rollercoaster of adrenaline rush and then a drop. Up and down. For four to ten hours. I have done as many as forty people in a single night. There is little time between scenes. Especially since electrical is edge play that isn’t often seen where we are at.
I hope this has given you a little more insight into Service Topping. Please keep in mind that what happens in “pick-up play” varies from dungeon to dungeon. But I hope that should someone take the time to give you a tasting or even something you’ve been craving, that you remember what they go through in a single night. It takes just a moment to thank a Service Top.
My name is Joji. I am 29 years old currently and I have been in and around the kink community about 15 years.I am a collared submissive to Magick42. I am also a Daddy to a wonderful babygirl, and have been for more than three years now and I find it very fulfilling. I am being mentored in and being taught electroplay. I am a masochist at heart and thoroughly love impact play, especially caning. I enjoy reading anything I can get my hands on and am a die hard Harry Potter and Doctor Who fan. I am also the secretary for a group in Idaho called Moscow S.P.A.R.K.E (Simply Providing Another Route to Kink Education). It is our mission to teach safe practices to those new to the community and give them a safe haven to ask questions and learn without judgement. We accept all kinks and all we ask in return is respect between all our members.