Venue considerations

One of the factors which is going to limit the size of the venue is how many helpers you have available.

If you're going to just be running a small party then you might be able to keep an eye on everything and organise everything on your own. If you're planning a larger party, maybe with three or four play areas, plus you're planning on providing food for the guests, then already you're probably at the limit of what one person can do. There will be things happening which will take all your attention and other aspects of the party might get out of control---guests might start arguing over use of the play spaces, someone might have an accident and need bandaging, the telephone might ring, or food in the oven might start burning. You can't keep all of these things under control at the same time. Hence the need for helpers.

Beyond the number of helpers, the venue which you have available to you is going to play a big role in determining the type of party you can run. In particular, the actual amount of space you have is going to determine how many people you can fit in. The number of rooms or areas which are suitable for BDSM play are going to determine how much BDSM play is actually going to go on.

If you have a small apartment or house with only a couple of bedrooms then play space is going to be limited. If you are particularly keen on BDSM you may have already fitted out one or two areas in your house or apartment for play. You may have attached eye-bolts to the coffee table for bondage, or perhaps have some anchor points in a doorway or two for the same purpose.

Being less subtle, you may have cleared out one corner of the dining room or have a whole spare bedroom set aside for BDSM play and equipped with a rack or bondage frame, an eye-bolt in the ceiling for suspension, a spanking bench and a rack of floggers, chains and rope.

If you have a larger house or a spare garage and you do BDSM regularly you may have set up a much larger space with cages, chains, ropes, medical play areas, as well as benches, tables, bondage frames, winches and all manner of fun toys, gadgets and furniture.

If your own space is not enough, another option is to borrow or rent dungeon or play space from someone else. There are many BDSM enthusiasts who happily devote themselves to collecting and setting up great dungeons and play areas. When they're not planning on using it they may be prepared to lend their space to you.

You may be tempted to try to make every bit of space available for BDSM play. This is a mistake. Many people will come along to a BDSM play party simply to spend time with others who have similar interests and with whom they can share war stories and exchange kinky ideas. For this reason you need to keep some spaces available simply for sitting and chatting. Do, however, allow for the possibility of dominants sitting with their submissives at their feet.

While it's beyond the scope of this course, in larger cities or towns you may be able to find nightclubs which can be rented for a night to run a large BDSM party. You'd probably need to truck in play equipment for your guests to use, but such premises are often able to serve alcohol and they're unlikely to have problems with neighbours.

Consider how the weather will affect your use of the venue or space you have available. If you were planning on making extensive use of a back yard or terrace (such as for smokers), what's going to happen if it rains? Will everyone have to cram inside? Do you have other arrangements for smokers?

If you do have outdoor space, is it screened from the neighbours? Is noise a potential problem there?

Are there quiet or private areas for people to talk or engage in non-BDSM intimacy (if you allow it)?

Will you have a room with a TV for watching "on-topic" videos, or maybe for sport or news?

Is there a kitchen at the venue? If there is, you may be able to prepare food for the guests before the party starts. Can things be cooked or do you need catering? If there's a large enough microwave oven you can pre-prepare food and then heat it up on the night.

How many toilets are there? You might like to start thinking or limiting the number of guests to twenty per available toilet.

As well as how the inside of the venue affects the shape of your party, what's outside the venue in the immediate vicinity is also going to affect how your party runs and how big it can be.

The earlier point about neighbours is very important. When you run a party at a private residence you need to take steps to ensure that you remain a good neighbour. The most obvious point is noise from guests arriving and leaving---particularly in the early hours of the morning---and from any play or music. Screams can be especially troublesome for neighbours, as can nudity and fetish clothing when they have young children.

Your neighbours might also be very inconvenienced if there's only street parking for their cars and your guests take up all the parking in your street. Keep this in mind.

When you are planning a large party it can be a good idea to let your neighbours know, perhaps by putting flyers in the mailboxes, telling them when the party is on, and giving them your mobile telephone number so they can call you if they have a problem. It is greatly preferable for them to call you directly than the police.

Are you going to provide overnight accommodation for guests, particularly for people who have travelled a long way, who play hard, and are then too tired to drive home? Do you have a couch, mattresses, blankets?

Do you have a space which can be used as a changing room? Do you have space for people to hang or leave their clothes when they arrive (clothes rack, hangers, etc.)? Is there space enough for people to change into challenging outfits such as corsets or cat-suits? Changing space is very important otherwise you'll find that valuable toilet space or play area space will get taken up by people getting changed.

What about heating in winter and cooling in summer? What does the venue provide? This is important because naked people can be very sensitive to temperature (as can people in tight-fitting latex or leather outfits!).

There are other limits which your surroundings or neighbourhood might impose. Thin walls in your apartment might mean you can't make much noise and all screams and moans need to be muffled.

Other points to think about include:
  • Limited public transport for car-less guests,
  • Lack of privacy in your backyard, such as from people in nearby apartments being able to look in,
  • The presence of upstairs or downstairs neighbours who may see or hear more than they want to,
  • A school or church being nearby,
  • Nosy neighbours ringing your doorbell "to make sure everything is alright",
  • Other businesses in the area---which could be a plus if they are restaurants and they deliver,
  • Council zoning, which could be a problem if neighbours complain,
  • Lots of pedestrian traffic outside your door making it hard for guests to come and go unnoticed.

Last modified: Monday, 10 October 2011, 4:42 PM