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My Magazine > Editors Archive > Advice > You've Made It To The Party, Now What? Scene Etiquette
You've Made It To The Party, Now What? Scene Etiquette   by Bill Reed

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Floggers striking skin, whips cracking and leaving their marks, naked bodies bound in various positions. The scene is surreal, the music mysterious, the sounds of passion a song to your ear. You’re new, you’re nervous, you don’t know what to expect or what is expected. Your first time at a play party will be possibly the most memorable. These tips will help you to make it your first and subsequent visits most enjoyable.

There are some things that are very important to remember when attending a play party, whether at a dungeon or in someone’s home. Remember that each dungeon or host will have their own set of rules to abide by. If you are not sure, ask. It is far better to err on the side of caution. Following are some basic tips to make the dungeon experience better for everyone attending.

1. When arriving for a play party, please use discretion in your manner of dress. Don’t show up with just a leather harness and all of your business hanging out. Most places that are hosting play parties have neighbors that might not appreciate seeing your “business.” Once inside, the mode of dress is up to the hosts. There should always be someplace to change into your fetish attire.

2. Also try to transport your toys discreetly. I have used suitcases and hard shell gun cases for toy storage and transport. Duffel bags and sports bags work well also.

3. Do not touch things that do not belong to you without permission. This includes toys and submissives. Just because a person is a submissive or slave, that does not mean that they are your submissive or slave. You still have a duty to treat others the same as you would in the supermarket, library, or anywhere else. If you don’t know them, you don’t touch them without permission. The dungeon is no different.

4. It is not acceptable to touch the collar of another person’s submissive or slave. In a lot of communities, this is looked upon quite negatively. If you are unsure, feel free to ask. It will go a lot further in the long run then just assuming or taking it upon yourself.

5. Remember that the dungeon experience is a special time of bonding for those in a scene. Keep talking to a minimum in the dungeon area. Do not interrupt or attempt to join a scene in progress unless you have been asked by the Top to do so. Don’t walk up to a scene and attempt conversation with those in a scene. Remember that scenes are not done when the implements are put down or the bottom is untied. There is a period of aftercare that is needed. Give the couple time to unwind, cuddle, and come back down to earth before approaching with any questions you might have.

6. When you are playing, don’t hog the play area. There might be other people waiting to use that cross, sling, bench, or other piece of furniture. A lot of times there are more people that are wanting to play then there are play spaces. If you use one piece of equipment all night, you cheat someone else out of there experience. Be conscious of others.

7. Clean up after yourself. If you use a piece of furniture and you are doing something messy such as fisting, wax play, blood play, or something of that nature, be sure to use a drop cloth or towels and clean the equipment afterwards. Remember that people sweat, come, get wet, etc. You need to be aware of bodily fluids and be willing to clean them up. Cleaning items such as alcohol and paper towels are usually available. Clorox wipes work quite well for this.

8. Don’t leave your toys lying around where people might trip on them or step on them and break them. Make sure that you move them out of the way before the next scene begins.

9. Remember that we all have lives outside of the dungeon. Leave whom you see and what you see in the dungeon. There is nothing that will make you unwelcome faster than breaking party confidentiality.

10. Offer to help set up for future parties. It is not easy to host a party, especially when you have equipment to set up and furniture to move. Most of the time your help will not only be much appreciated, but it will get you invited to future parties. Helping to set up or clean up for a party is not a submissive-only thing. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty just because you are wearing the “Master” or “Dominant” hat. Your help goes a long way as well.

11. Most parties have a DM or Dungeon Monitor. That duty is assigned to someone that has experience and has been around a while. Their job is to insure the safety of all involved and to make sure that the rules are adhered to. If the DM gives you instructions, please heed them. If you question what he or she says, pull them aside and do so in a discreet fashion.

If you follow these guidelines and make yourself aware of the play party rules, you will find that your dungeon or party experience will be quite rewarding and you will enjoy some wonderful friendships with some great people. I have attended a lot of parties over the years and attend the local group’s parties monthly. The guidelines that I have mentioned above are quite common all across the country. Be yourself, play safe, and most importantly……HAVE FUN!