The sort of party you end up with is going to depend on the sort of guests who come along. This is to some extent up to you.

Do you want the focus to be on BDSM play? If so, then you probably want to mainly have existing BDSM couples or you may want to make it strictly "couples only".

If you want it to be open to singles to give people a chance to meet and match up, then you may want to limit the number of dominants and submissives so they are about the same. Depending on your geographical area you might have a surplus of one and a dearth of the other so setting limits can prevent you being awash with either dominants or submissives, with everyone feeling uncomfortable.

Alternatively, you may want to limit the numbers of males and females so they are about the same.

Are you going to allow sex? Many people see BDSM and sex as being irretrievably intertwined and one without the other is unimaginable. How do you feel about it? And how do you want the guests at your party to feel about it?

In some areas when there's a BDSM party the local BDSM professionals may show up either looking for some action or to recruit some new clientele. You need to consider this because at a purely social and intimate gathering a professional BDSM may prove overwhelming and may make the other guests feel uncomfortable.

Some people who run parties insist that their guests be wearing fetish clothing (or just black) or they can't come in. This has advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is that it tends to filter out the people who aren't serious because many, but not all, of the people who are serious about their BDSM also like clothing which reflects their passion. On the other hand, there are serious BDSM folk who don't feel the need to buy latex or leather outfits and who happily practise their BDSM in jeans or business suits. Also, at some venues---particularly private homes---it isn't always appropriate to wear fetish clothing where the neighbours can see.

Depending on where you advertise your party, or how easy you make it to get in---such as if you don't charge people to attend and you don't require guests to wear fetish clothing, you may end up with voyeurs who come along just to to be entertained by the kinky people. Keep this in mind because voyeurs, particularly in groups, can be loud, ignorant and very disruptive.

The number of guests you have at your party is going to determine how much help you'll need to run the party and keep an eye on things. In particular, when you have people spread around a number of different rooms things may not go the way you want if you're on your own. If your number of helpers is limited you may need to think about reducing the number of guests to make sure things stay manageable.

Will the guests know each other? If not, will there be someone going around to introduce people and helping find others with similar interests?

A very important point has to do whether you are going to allow new people to come along to your party. It's usually not a good idea to have someone who is completely unfamiliar to you and your guests show up. Who knows what skills or lack thereof this person may have? They may be socially unpleasant, arrogant or stupid.

Many people who run BDSM parties require their guests to be known beforehand. This can be by only allowing new people to be introduced and accompanied to your party by someone you already know, or by you arranging to meet the new potential guest somewhere, such as at a cafe, in the days before the party and getting to know them.

Finally, what are you expecting your guests to bring with them? Food? Wine? Their own toys? Their own partners?
Last modified: Monday, 10 October 2011, 4:42 PM