Types of playIt will almost always be the case that you won't want some types of play at your party.
Firstly, you and some of your guests may feel uncomfortable if someone starts doing some extreme play. If you are running a party mainly for people who are relatively new to BDSM, how are they going to feel if someone starts putting hooks through their flesh and suspending themselves from the ceiling? Or, as BDSM is often seen as sexual, how would your guests react if a couple started fucking on the carpet while others are trying to have a conversation? Would everyone feel comfortable with that? Now, some people would feel comfortable with this, but will it be right for your party? Do you want to provide rooms which are for sex?
Safety is another aspect to this. Some forms of BDSM play, such as asphyxiation or suffocation play, are risky and challenging---both to do and to watch. Unless you're very experienced yourself, you may not want this sort of edge play at your party. At your party you are responsible for what goes on, and therefore what goes on needs to be something which your are comfortable is being done safely. Without experience you don't know if it is or not and if that's the case then that sort of play should not be at your party.
Do you have the skill to recognise when someone is in difficulty during the forms of play which may happen at your party? Do you know what to do about it? Do you know someone who does?
This brings up the role of dungeon monitor. A dungeon monitor is a person who attends an event where BDSM play occurs and whose job it is to monitor all play and ensure that it's safe, responsible and conforms to the house rules. A dungeon monitor will often have been involved in BDSM for a long time and have lots of experience. They can be dominants, submissives, tops or bottoms, and they need to be comfortable drawing the line that you have set in your house rules. Your dungeon monitor's rule should be law and must be non-negotiable. If your party is large enough and there are enough people you don't know really well, then you may need a dungeon monitor to keep an eye on things.
The sort of play which works best at a party is that which most of the guests are comfortable seeing and doing themselves. Ultimately, perhaps, the sorts of play which go on at your party are going to be representative of your own BDSM interests, and this is entirely reasonably. The people you should invite, or the way you phrase any posts or emails advertising your party, should reflect this focus. If you're looking for a party where people are happily tying each other up all night then say so. If you are into pet play then make it known that this is the way you'd like the party to go.
Another point is that people don't come to a play party for private play behind closed doors. They can do this at home. People come to BDSM parties to share their interest in BDSM, to see, and to be seen. This means that play at your party is going to more public, exhibitionist and perhaps toned down compared to what the folk do in the privacy of their own dungeons.
Thus, you should expect your guests to explore relatively short scenes---probably no more than 20 - 30 minutes long, be relatively conventional, and involve mainly impact play and bondage. People with specialist interests or skills may do more focussed scenes or may usefully volunteer to do demonstrations of their particular kink.
Last modified: Monday, 10 October 2011, 4:42 PM