This came up elsewhere and I thought it might be worth posting here. The question is: What do you talk about with your partner(s) before attending a "play party"?
These aren’t necessarily MY required conversations but simply a list of some I’ve used or heard about.
-Is our relationship strong enough to handle this? If we aren’t sure, or this is our first play party, maybe we should go with the understanding we will only play with each other if we do play.
-Our definition of ‘play party’
-What do we think this ‘play party’ will actually be like?
-Our definition of ‘play’.
-What activities are allowed, what aren’t? (maybe oral is okay, intercourse isn’t)
-What are we okay seeing each other do, what are we not okay seeing each other do?
-Will we only play together, or can we play separately?
-What if one of us is playing with someone the other person wants to play with too? Is it okay if we play together?
-If we bring toys with us, are we allowed to share them with others? Are there restrictions on how they are shared?
-What is our intent with play? Are we looking for something new, just following any connections that might come up, or trying to spark relationships? To me, this one is important because if I’m trying to spark a relationship I may be disappointed if the other person isn’t. Conversely, if I’m only playing and want nothing more from the person and they do I could end up with something of a stalker the next day.
-Is play limited to this party? In other words, if I play with Martin at the party and Martin wants to go back to his place, or play the next day, is that okay? (This might be important so Martin and I can negotiate our ‘play’ appropriately).
-Are we attending the party together, and going home together? Is there anything that could change that? (Nobody wants to be scrambling for a ride home later).
-Are there restrictions for us after the party? Such as: we won’t play together until we have both showered, until a specific amount of time has expired?
-What time are we leaving if we are leaving together? Is that a hard limit, or are we flexible? What if I want to leave and you are in the middle of schtupping Gertrude?
-Who is coming to the party and is on our Do Not Touch list?
-Why are they on our Do Not Touch list? (STD’s, behavior), or simply our own feelings about them.
-Are there exceptions? Such as: I can have intercourse with Martin, but not with Oliver?
-When asked if we would like to play, how will we answer? Give hard limits up front? Wait until playing to express hard limits? How will we define our relationship if asked? Having these answers ready can make things easier.
-Is it required we communicate at the party ‘before’ we play with someone? (I discourage this one personally. I think it can ruin the mood for everyone and create drama. In my opinion, if you have to do this you probably shouldn’t be at a play party in the first place.)
-What if we do need to check in? For example: I can’t remember if we had limits around Martin. How do we let each other know we need to have a quick chat? What if I can’t find you, or you are in the middle of ‘playing’? Can I interrupt? Is there a safe space we can go to talk quickly? What is our agreed upon definition of ‘check in’? A wink, nudge, short conversation, extended conversation, text message?
-If one of us is having a problem with someone (a person not taking NO for an answer for example) how will we deal with it? Will we come find each other? Is interrupting activities okay?
-What worked well
-What didn’t work
-What did I see, hear, feel that I liked or didn’t like.
-What should we do differently in the future.
-What do I absolutely NOT want to hear about? What do I want to hear about?
-What is still with me from the party? Did I maybe connect with someone I would like to continue seeing? Did anything happen to put people on our Do Not Touch list, or take them off the list?
-Some people like to reconnect after their partner has had sex with someone else by having sex themselves. Should we expect that and maintain the needed energy reserves?
-A general conversation about trust and confidence. Do we trust each other to make good decisions. Do we realize there may be mistakes made? How will we recover from mistakes; time apart, talking, not having sex?
What things do YOU talk to your partner about before attending a play party? What pitfalls have you encountered and how did you work through them?