Play Party

play party is a (usually) private party for people into the BDSM lifestyle where the primary purpose of the event is to allow people to scene (play) in public and socialize with like-minded people. Play parties are often held in private houses and will have one or more rooms set aside as Dungeons. Generally there is an area for drinking and socializing, an area for changing into more appropriate attire (such as fetishwear), and an area for “play” or sexually arousing activities. There are a number of suppliers that will rent larger items of equipment to individuals for this purpose. Dungeon space can also be rented by groups of people to use as a venue for a play party.

Play parties offer a very different dynamic from more publicly accessible clubs. The numbers of people attending are much smaller, anything from 4 to 40, compared to a club which might have 200 to 2000 people. Because they are private affairs, there are many fewer restictions on what can take place during the event. Typically the play will have a much stronger sexual edge to it with fewer restictions on nudity and sex. The small size of play parties and the fact the the people attending are usually known to the organisers often provides a safer and more confidence-building environment to play in. Some people are also concerned that clubs, who generally do not vet their clubbers, might let in tabloid journalists and other undesirables and this acts as an inhibitor on their play.

Play parties can accommodate a range of interaction between the people attending, from couples who are stictly monogamous but have an exhibitionist streak and enjoy other people watching their play, to couples that enjoy swapping partners and who could be considered swingers.

It is not mandatory to play at a party, instead attendees are welcome to merely take the role of a voyeur. It is not acceptable, however, to touch anyone or their toys without permission or to interrupt a scene in any way.

Some play parties have open invitations, others are restricted to members of a BDSM club or people known to the organizers. There may also be a dress code (such as no street clothes), or restrictions on admission such as couples only or no unattached males. Some charge an admission fee, while laws in some areas may not allow a fee, but may take donations, or payment in advance (by some prior date.)

The amount and kind of sexual contact allowed varies from party to party and city to city, depending on local laws regarding sexual contact, “bawdy houses” and public nudity. At some parties, penetrative sex may be allowed, while at others full nudity may be banned.

Further Reading

Essays

Downloads

What is a BDSM Play Party (PDF) – An Informational Booklet produced by Uncommon Bonds of Christchurch NZ

Videos

Dungeon Etiquette and Play Party 101

FetLife Groups

Search Results for Play parties on FetLife (over 1000 results)

Books

Brame G. (2001) Come Hither! A Commonsense Guide to Kinky Sex, Fusion Press, London, page 63.

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