A play party is a social gathering of a BDSM practitioners with the express purpose of providing opportunities for BDSM play. The premises where the gathering occurs will typically have one or more rooms (or dungeons) available which are outfitted with appropriate equipment, such as frames with anchor points for bondage, or benches over which someone can be laid for caning or flogging.
Because the law in some jurisdictions makes some BDSM activities illegal, play parties are often private events and may be invitation only.
Many play parties have designated dungeon monitors whose job is to ensure that all activities are safe and conform to the rules of the establishment. Dungeon monitors are usually the ultimate authority on what can and cannot be done.
- Respect other people's property. In this regard some submissives and slaves at a party may be regarded as the property of their master or dominant. It may be that you should not address such slaves or submissives without the permission of their owners. Oftentimes, but not always, a submissive or slave will be wearing an obvious collar. In any case, a polite query will usually make this clear if you wish to talk to someone new.
- Be polite.
- Do not treat someone as your dominant or, alternatively, as your submissive without their consent.
- If someone you don't know offers or asks you to engage in some form of BDSM play with them and it isn't something that appeals to you, be as polite as possible when refusing.
- It can take a long time to build up the right state of mind in a scene. Never get too close, talk to, or try to get involved with anyone involved in a scene without their prior permission or invitation. It will mess up their mood or break their rhythm.
- Likewise, keep any comments quiet if you're within hearing range of the people involved in a scene.
- If you have any concerns about a scene or its safety, refer them to the dungeon monitor or the host/hostess of the party.
- Socialise in areas reserved for social activities---such as lounges and chill-out areas. Don't hang around play areas unless you're intending to play.
- Respect other people's privacy. Many people who go to BDSM parties don't want the fact spread through the community or in the newspapers. Don't pester people for private information, but respect it if it's given to you. Don't take photos or videos without the permission of everyone who might appear in frame.
- If someone declines to play with you, don't hassle them. Move on.
- No fighting or making threats.
- Behave in ways that will not annoy the party holder's neighbours. Avoid loud screams and yelling, and be quiet as you are coming and going from the party.
- You are responsible for the behaviour of any guests you bring.
- Don't hog party equipment or rooms. Give other people a chance. Don't plan long scenes for parties where you know you have to share the equipment.
- Clean up equipment and rooms after use.