Public Play – Kink Events, Dungeons and Play Parties
The first time I went to a kink event was when I was around 18 years old. I didn’t go there to play. And I didn’t have any (conscious) interest in BDSM. I went because some of my friends were part of the kink community and the music they played at such events was quite good. I also liked the atmosphere: it had a sort of a dungeon feel to it. There were St. Andrew crosses, benches, fuck rooms and the background sounds were barely muffled by the loud music: screams of pain, whips and floggers hitting on naked skin. I was just there to dance, although I sometimes took a glimpse at what was going on around me. I went to that specific event a few times. But I never played, because at that time I didn’t allow myself to show any interest.
The Fear of Becoming Fresh Meat
Fast foreward 15 years and I am in another country. My partners lived abroad. My interest in BDSM and D/s had definitely been sparked and I was enjoying lots of crazy kinky sex, online. I got curious and signed up for a local kink community website and quickly found out about events in my area. You know, I definitely wanted to go but I was also nervous. I am quite self-conscious when it comes to my body. I didn’t want to feel forced to be naked in front of others.
So I started to do some research. There are a lot of online guides out there: about etiquette, behaviour and consent at play parties and dungeons. And some of it really made me feel a bit uncomfortable. It felt good that there seemed to be strict rules on consent and touching others. But there were also quite a few warnings about going to such events if you are a new female submissive with no ties to the community yet. Especially if you were to go alone. There is a huge risk that you would become “fresh meat”. Someone is fresh meat if they are new to the real life kink community in an area. Inexperienced female submissives are easily targeted. It is about unsafe Dominants who cross boundaries, push limits and use the submissive’s inexperience for their advantage.
At the same time, I had dozens of guys writing to me on that website I had joined. Some of them bluntly hitting on me, others trying to push their dominance on me, all inviting me to go to a play party with them. It all just didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to end up being fresh meat. Or end up in some sub frenzy, and do things I would regret later. So I decided to not check out the local kink scene.
Public Play: The Dungeon
I’m now across the pond and living in a city with a big and thriving kink community. My partner had been to play parties here before so he could tell me a bit more about how things worked. One night I spontaneously decided to attend a dungeon event: a BDSM play party. There were about 200 people there, mostly between the ages of 19 and 45. Music played. They had an area where they sold water and snacks, and an area that was more dimly lit, where the play was happening. When we paid, we could choose if we wanted to have a sticker attached to our clothing signifying if we were a top or a bottom, and if were open to play.
Walking into the dark hall, was a bit daunting. I was the new kid, after all, and although my partner knew some people, he wasn’t deeply integrated into the community. We maybe could have attended someone munches first before diving into dungeons and play parties, but as I said, it was more of a spontaneous thing.
In the Dungeons itself were several dungeon monitors. They were easy to spot and it felt safer right away when I realized that different sorts of gender had that role, and they were checking out the play scenes and were making sure everything that happened was according to the rules. There were leaflets with the event’s rules on all tables. They were the ones that you’d expect: don’t touch anyone without their consent, don’t interrupt scenes, use the safeword, no genitals, no hardcore play, clean up after yourself and no pictures.
We walked around a bit and a few people said hello to my partner and he introduced me. Everyone seemed kind and welcoming, and because I was with a male Dominant, no one really approached me inappropriately. I spent a while checking the place out and watching other people play. There were cages, benches, crosses, mats, places for suspension, wooden constructions to get tied to. There was an aftercare room with lots of mattresses, there was a fuck room. And there were lots of soaps, gloves and wipes to clean up after you were done with a scene.
You were supposed to bring your own toys, and public full nudity was not allowed, and insertion and penetration weren’t allowed in public either. You’d have to go to the specific room for that. I watched people get flogged, whipped, kicked, spanked (lots of spanking going on at events!!), tied down, rope play, suspension, wrestling on mats. It was a lot to take in! And strangely enough, it didn’t turn me on. It was such a relaxed atmosphere in a quite sterile place and it felt like a meeting of like minded people. The scenes that I watched, I looked at out of curiosity, not because I found them sexually enticing.
And during my first dungeon experience, I also got to play, with my partner, of course. We didn’t bring any toys. So it was mostly just impact play with hands and fists. I enjoyed it as long as I kept my focus on my partner. The second I remembered where we were and that people could be watching, I got nervous and uncomfortable. I found the whole thing incredibly awkward.
Play Parties and Fetish Events
We have been to that specific event a few more times, bringing toys and tools. I got to know a few people in the community. It is actually quite nice to talk with people in real life who are also in D/s connections. The level of non-judgment as such events is really beautiful. It is people of all shapes, colours, genders and ages. Everyone is in lingerie or sexy clothing, many topless. Some are there with their committed partners, others play with different people throughout the night. I have watched negotiations, I have seen safewords being used. And fortunately, I have not seen any drama yet.
I have found out a few things about myself, by going to this event and others play parties. I am not very confident about my body. At most events, I am probably the most covered woman. Well, apart from those in full body latex outfits that is! I have an urge to play with others, to see what it feels like, but I am too shy and I need to trust someone enough to be able to do that. I also don’t like planned scenes, and for me to be able to do a scene in public being tied down and flogged, paddled or spanked, I need to feel the vibe. If I am only a tiny bit uncomfortable or I feel that my partner is not focused on me, I can’t do it.
I do love a good spanking in public (as long as my butt is still covered!), I love wrestling for control and fighting back in public, and I like when we do impact play with hands and fists at events. The connection that I have with my Master isn’t about long flogging or whipping sessions. I like those tools being used, but we barely do so at home, and if then only as part of our play, not as the main attraction.
We have been to a few other kinds of events. One other dungeon that we have been to several times, allows full nudity, but doesn’t have a room to fuck. The crowd there is different: older, more timid, and more welcoming too. That event has a warm kinky meeting feel to it. Fetish events on the other hand, seem to be more about showing yourself off and dancing to (terrible) dark house music. There is barely any play room at those events, alcohol is served, and it is more for the younger crowd of beautiful women wearing cat ears and loving to show off their body while wearing a collar, with the occasional furry or latex fetishist looking lost in the crowd.
I haven’t made any close friends in the kink community here. But I think that has mostly to do with that we attend events only sporadically. We haven’t been to an event in a couple of months. I still get invited to play parties, dungeons and even sex parties. I am connected on social media with many that I have met at events. And I know that if I wanted to, I would always have a fun event to go to.
I don’t know if public play is very much my thing due to my shyness and my body image issues. But I have enjoyed myself during scenes, and might again. And one thing I really want to try in the future is playing with others: there are quite a few Dominants in the scene here who are very experienced with whips, floggers, spanking and suspension. So who knows what the future will bring!