In order to live up the title of “Complete Guide,” let’s conclude this series with a collection of tips to make your public play a success. Of course, if you are an advanced player, these tips might seem obvious. Then again, you can use them as a check list to see that you have not forgotten any of them.
• Plan your scene. When you see musicians jam, they usually have their sets planned out. It is not totally free form. Same with public play – especially if it is your first time. You should not just wing it. Have a good idea of what equipment you will be using, what your scene will consist of and the general arc of the play. It need not be a note-for-note plan, but you should not leave a lot to chance – especially if it is your first scene.
• Agree on a safe word. This has been mentioned so many times, even in Fifty Shades for crying out loud, you probably want to punch the computer screen. Don’t. This is rather important and worth repeating. Make sure you not only have a safe word, but also have a safe signal.
• If you are performing rope bondage, watch out for cramping. The sub might not safeword on it, but it can be very painful – and not in a good way. Check in with the sub every once in a while with respect to this issue.
• If you are a hard or heavy player who is new to this particular group or dungeon, introduce yourself – and your submissive – to the host and/or the Dungeon Monitor (DM) and explain what you will be doing in your scene. That way, the DM will know what to expect, know that it is fully consensual, that you are in control and will not step in and stop your scene.
• If you wish to do something super-edgy and dangerous – like flesh hook suspension – you MUST discuss it with the host way before the actual party. (Again, this seems obvious, especially as equipment must be brought in.) This also applies to fire play and knife play.
• Although pain is not a requirement for a successful scene – rope bondage, caging or mummification can all be pain-free – remember what is heavy pain to one submissive can be light pain to another. One pain size does not fit all. The key word here is “communicate.”
• If you only want to watch, fine. Being a voyeur is perfectly acceptable at a play party. But be respectful of another’s scene. It might seem obvious, but do not interfere with any scene in any way.
• If you meet someone new and want to play, negotiate and outline the scene. The bottom should state in no uncertain terms what his/her hard limits are. And the Top should always respect these limits.
• Stick to these negotiated guidelines. Unless you are an experienced couple, stay reasonably within your negotiated limits. For example, if you have negotiated a light caning, keep it light. You might want to push the sub’s soft limits a bit, but don’t use the fact that he/she is immobilized as an excuse to do anything you want.
• Get the audience out of your mind. Concentrate solely on your Dominant or your submissive. Pay close attention to him/her; ignore any comments from those who are watching. Don’t play to the crowd; play to your partner.
• Observe. The Dom/me should be overly observant as to the condition of the sub. Often a submissive is reluctant to “safe.” Or is deep in subspace (which will be covered in subsequent articles) and cannot utter the safe word or even signal. So, don’t just rely on the safe word or safe signal. You don’t want to hurt your sub or have some DM stop your scene when you could just as easily have stopped it, or slowed it down, by yourself.
• Reassure your submissive. Being tied up or flogged in public is scary. Especially if it is his/her first time. Reassure the sub so he/she can relax and enjoy the scene.
• Don’t neglect aftercare. “Aftercare” is the sum total of the actions a Dominant takes, after a scene, to ease the transition of the submissive from her/his elevated endorphin state back to pre-scene normality. For many submissives, this can be the highlight of the scene!
• Don’t forget to clean and wipe down any equipment that you used.
There is one final thing you should do to make your scene a complete success. Make sure you thank the other person and compliment them on their participation in the scene with you.
But whether you play or not, have fun at the party. That’s what parties are for!
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.