Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Our Friends in Reno Rock!

With permission from the NNVFL :
Party Guidelines
1. The house safeword is RED. Once RED is called by either a
bottom or Top, all play will cease and the situation will be assessed by the Top and Dungeon Monitor (DM). Play will not continue until the DM deems it safe to do so. 2. Dungeon Monitors have the final word on everything including the right to stop
an unsafe or abusive scene. Check with the DM before any fireplay (waxing, cupping, flash paper, etc.), piercing, or bloodsports.
3. Respect the playspace. Clean up after messy scenes. Wipe down equipment
with supplied antibacterial wipes after each use. Use a drop cloth when waxing. No scat or water sports.
4. Don't be an equipment hog. Be aware of the time you spend on the equipment
and that other people are waiting to use it. Negotiate with the DM before beginning a long scene. Pick up your toys or assign someone to do it for you after your play to ready the space for others.
5. Play parties are
semi-public events. Doors to play areas are to be open at all times. For those wishing or needing a little more privacy, please negotiate with DM before beginning scene and understand that the DM may enter the room at any time to check on scene.
6. Although bleeding may not be an uncommon occurrence with your bottom, a
bleedingbottom needs attention immediately to prevent the possibility of spreading blood born pathogens (splatter, toys, etc). Stop all play, attend to bleeding area, and then continue. If you lack first aid supplies, the DM is able to provide as necessary.
7. Privacy and discretion are to be respected. All information about party activities, attendees, etc. is to be considered confidential. In the interest of making everyonecomfortable at parties, cameras and recording devices are NOT allowed.
8. Intercourse and sexual contact is permitted. Safer sex products (condoms,
dams, gloves) are required. Please be prepared to supply your own safer sex needs even if you and your partner are fluid bonded.
9. Alcohol and illicit drugs are not permitted at parties. Please notify DM if you
are on medication or have health issues that could be cause for concern or affect judgment.
10. Tops/Dominants are NEVER to leave their bottom/submissive unattended at
any time during play.
11. Please see the other topics covered in Play Party Etiquette that is also sent to
eachattendee with RSVP confirmation. Have fun, play safe, sane and consensual.
Play Party Etiquette
Below you will find some general guidelines to follow at the event and below that, the directions. Please forgive the length as we have included information for those new to the scene as well. (These basic etiquette notations were adapted from for our use)
If you bring a guest that has not yet become part of the group and attended an NNVFL party previously, you are responsible for your guest.
His/her behavior reflects on you and it is your responsibility to make sure your guest is fully aware and understands of party etiquette and rules. Should the behavior of your guest become questionable, both you and your guest will be asked to leave. On the same note, anyone who violates these guidelinesmay be asked to leave. Arrive to the party at the appointed time. No earlier, no later. Late arrivals will be refused entry. Early arrivals will be promptly put to work cleaning, organizing and setting up for the party.
The house safeword is RED. Once RED is called, all play will stop IMMEDIATELY and the Dungeon Monitor(DM) will assess the situation BEFORE play continues. YELLOW is a lesser safeword, but a safeword all the same. If YELLOW is called, the top will attend to their bottom unless additional help is required by the DMs. At any time, a DM may stop the play if they feel the bottom or top's safety is compromised.
In addition, please alert the DMs of any health concerns they should watch and be prepared for PRIOR to beginning play. Tops or Dominants are NEVER to leave their submissive/bottom unattended during play. Should you need to leave the room ask the DM or other trusted person to watch over your play partner until you return. This is not to say its ok to go for a smoke while your partner is on the cross. Use common sense.
Play is to immediately stop if any blood is visible. The bleeding areas are to be covered. Then play may continue. *this has become a common issue. If you fail to tend to the bleeding areas, you will be asked to stop playing entirely* The conversation area is to be devoid of all play and we ask that you are fully dressed in the conversation area. This is a safe area for people to talk, eat and drink. The conversation area is where couples relax after a scene or relax before a scene. As well as being a place for people to go to if they find that a scene is uncomfortable to them. A smoking area will be set up outside. Please bring something warm to cover up in if you're a smoker.
Do not touch people, even in what you think of as a friendly way (like touching someone's arm in conversation) without asking permission. Leave space for the top to move, swing a flogger, etc. during a scene. If the room is too crowded, stand against the far wall or leave the room. If the top asks you to move, then move! In most play circles, if you get close enough to disturb the scene, the top would be within his rights to swing the whip at you. Be quiet while scenes are going on, or go to the conversation area to chat! The admiring or joking comment you think you are quietly whispering to the person sitting next to you is often heard by the bottom or top, whose senses are sometimes hyper-tuned and on edge. Would you want someoneto whisper something about you right before you reach the point of orgasm or subspace? Be polite, and don't talk or whisper.Yours could be the remark that ruins awonderful scene forsomeone. Do not address comments or questions to the top or the bottom while they are playing! Similarly, do not try to start a conversation with the partners while they are cuddling together after a scene. What looks to you like a lull in the action while the top steps away to get a new toy or while the partners are whispering intimately together after a scene is not the moment to walk over and ask where they are from and how long they have been doing this! Do not ever touch or get too close to the bottom during---or after---a scene. Bottoms are dependent on their tops: the bottom's physical and emotional well-being are the top's responsibility during and after scenes. After a scene, give the players a quiet space on the sofa if they want to cuddle together. The closeness and after care following scenes and the bottom's emotional fragility usually last longer than it looks to outsiders.
Give people time to come down. If you need to ask a quiet question, like "Would you like this blanket that's here behind me?," address the top, not the bottom, and be as unobtrusive, succinct, and quiet as possible. Do not join in scenes, even if it looks like they are free-for-alls. A scene that might look to you like lots of folks are joining in to pleasure or otherwise play with the bottom might in fact be pre-arranged between the top and other acceptable players to look casual. Or it might be that the top is subtly signaling audience members he knows to be acceptable. Join in only if the top clearly beckons you in. If in doubt, check with the top. Do not come on to women (or men---whoever you are sexually interested in) in a clue less manner. If you wish to ask someone if they'd like to play, do so, but if they say no, respect their wishes in a courteous manner.
Most people like to be complimented on their scenes. If you like a particular top or bottom, telling them what you liked about their scene is usually well-received. But wait till they are walking about and socializing again! Asking interesting how-to questions is also a good way to make friends. Do not intervene in scenes. If you are bothered by something you see because it seems extreme, risky, or even impossible to be consensual to you, find a host or DM to check on the scene, explain it to you, or reassure you. If a corrective action like a safety improvement needs to be taken, the host or DM will take care of conveying that to the top in an appropriate manner. When you are more experienced you will be able to recognize if something is possibly non-consensual or unduly dangerous. At your first few play parties, plan to absorb and watch and learn. If something is too extreme for you to enjoy watching, then simply leave the room quietly.
Do not touch people's toys, floggers, etc. that are lying around without finding the owner and asking. Even if someone lets you hold a flogger, it is also courteous to ask again before swinging it through the air at an imaginary target or your forearm. Do not run a knife orwartenburg pinwheel along your skin to test its sharpness---the owner might have gone to pains to sterilize the blade in expectation of an upcoming scene, and sharp edges break skin without always leaving marks or drawing blood.
Clean up play furniture or play areas when you are done using them. Pick up your toys so someone else can use the play area without stumbling on your belongings. Wipe down the play furniture so it is not sweaty for the next person, and if any bodily fluids were spilled accidentally, clean them up thoroughly---we will provide appropriate cleaning materials if you don't have them on hand. Do not hog play furniture for hours on end with your own scene. If play furniture and play space are scarce, ask the host for an estimate of a reasonable amount of time to use it. Alcohol and illicit drugs are not permitted at parties!
Help clean up before you leave! Don't offer and then wait for instructions---just do it. Those ten used plastic cups you gather up and toss out, or the empty dip dish you wash and leave in the drainer to dry at 3 a.m., or the ice bucket you refill mid-party just because you noticed it was empty will save the host a lot of work and mean more parties in the future.
Do not mention anyone at the party to those not at the party without that person's express permission to name him. Especially do not post to the list or any other public forum in a way that identifies someone else without permission. Even mentioning someone in email without that person's permission can be considered a violation of etiquette.
Do not assume that the attire makes for the position. Simply said, a collar does not make a sub anymore than a flogger makes a top or dominant. When in doubt, ask! Be tolerant of things you didn't expect. In particular, even if you are fascinated, try not to gawk noticeably at stuff you personally have never encountered before. Watching and learning are fine---and are often exactly the point!---but there is a social norm in each group about what is appropriate astonishment to show to those around you. Actually, this rule of thumb goes for submissives, bottoms, tops, and doms of all kinds.
No one who is not your own personal partner owes any deference to you beyond common, everyday courtesy. You can and should talk to the host/ess/party coordinators or DM during the party or, if more appropriate, afterwards to ask unanswered questions, say thank you, and follow up in any ways you like. If you felt uncomfortable about anything at all at the party, talking to the host/ess/etc afterwards is an excellent idea! Hosts/esses/etc usually very much want to help their guests learn and sort themselves out according to comfort levels. Hosts/etc also desperately want feedback so they can create environments that accommodate a variety of comfort levels and so they can decide what kinds of play and which attendees make for enjoyable parties. If a host never hears about the individual you felt harassed by in the social space or while you were playing, or that you felt some kind of play you watched was unnecessarily dangerous and you had no DMs you could approach and didn't know the customs about how to handle the situation, the host cannot possibly make thenecessary reforms. The host/etc wants to know, and it is your responsibility as a responsible attendee to take the initiative to inform the host/etc.
Finally it is your responsibility to thank the host/ess/party coordinators! Follow up email is the standard, and don't think for a moment that hosts/etc do not notice those who take a moment to send a thank you.