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28. I want to attend a play party; what is the etiquette?

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This article is from the Bondage FAQ, by numerous contributors.

28. I want to attend a play party; what is the etiquette?

The simplest way to fit in in a play party is to behave politely. There
will be people right in front of you who are doing very sexual things.
They are doing them for _their_ pleasure, not for yours. Stay away from
the action unless invited to participate-- and a glance in your
direction does not constitute an invitation.

The people who really interfere with the energy of a party are the
people who seemingly assume that just because the scene is taking place
in a semi-public context means that comments from the audience are okay
fine. They're NOT. The top in the scene is concentrating on the
bottom's pleasure, and the bottom is almost certainly in a very private
mental space. Neither the top nor the bottom will appreciate being
yanked back to reality by a loud suggestion or greeting. If you want to
compliment them on something, WAIT UNTIL THE SCENE IS OVER and they're
circulating and being sociable again! Interfering with a scene in
progress is inexcusably rude, and if I were dungeon-mastering I would
throw you out of the party for doing it.

Once you understand that scenes are private even though they're taking
place in public, the question then becomes, how can you watch without
detracting from the energy of the scene?

There definitely are people who interfere just by watching. They've
been dubbed "energy vampires" in the past. These people are watching
the action as though it was a porno movie--as though the intense magic
taking place in front of them was no more than a bad fuck flick where
the actress is half asleep. They have no empathy, no sense of
connection to what's going on; they might as well be in a movie theater.

If you have the ability to watch what is happening with an open heart,
if you can pick up on the energy and send your own good wishes towards
the participants in the scene, you will be much more valuable as a
watcher. Public players never object to an enthusiastic audience which
can appreciate the way they're playing! An audience which values the
gift of being allowed to watch, and which contributes its goodwill
towards the play, can be a delight; an audience which watches without
giving and without connecting takes the life and spirit out of the
scene. (And remember, a good audience does NOT make comments that the
players can hear--an audience doesn't interfere with the performance!)

You can be a part of the magic without playing yourself. All it takes
is an honest enjoyment of what's happening combined with politeness and
tact.

If you _do_ want to play, and there's someone you want to play with, you
can ask--but be prepared to accept a "no, thanks" gracefully. If you
are comfortable mingling and making small talk, you'll be more likely to
find someone with compatible desires--after all, everyone else there has
similar tastes! There often will be rooms for heavy play and rooms for
hanging out and socializing; don't try to do one activity in the other
activity's space.

(It helps if you dress sexily, even if you're not playing--the more
leather and lace there is to look at, the better!)

 

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