Your First ‘Kink’ Event by Belladonnax
Here are some notes I wrote a while back which were going to be used for an Adrenachrome workshop, but I’ve decided to put them up in here.
I figure there might be something helpful for someone.
We are all everyday people.
• It’s fine to use the name you use on Fetlife, if you are a member there.
• You’re not expected to give out all your details; just a first name is fine.
• Don’t discuss details of what you see outside the venue. You are in a position of trust when observing events.
• If you meet up with someone from your ‘everyday’ life, stay cool and calm. Remember that they are here too!
• If you meet someone from here in an ‘everyday’ setting by themselves, it’s fine to just say ‘hi’ …’ preserve others privacy and they will do the same for you.
• If you know someone from an event and meet him or her in ‘public’ when they are with others, don’t say anything that indicates you know them. The person may be with friends; family or coworkers and you don’t want to be put in the position of explaining where you met them.
• This may change as you get to know people, but always talk to them first. When in doubt, say nothing.
• Remember that what you see is only a small part of people’s lives. People here have jobs, kids, and professions, just the same as you.
Why is there a dress code?
• No one expects you to show up to your first event wearing leather and latex. But to show respect and ‘fit in’ (as much for your comfort as anyone else’s) the organisers have created a dress code, much like any other event in everyday life.
• There is a dress code for atmosphere – everyone likes a night out where they can dress as their fantasy or fetish.
• When in doubt, dressy black is always good.
• People here are not dressed up to be your freak show. If you love what someone is wearing it’s fine to compliment them, but don’t hang around openly leering. It’s not a vanilla nightclub: p
• Be sensitive to people’s cues. If someone appears uncomfortable or unwilling to talk or answer questions, be polite and move on gracefully.
• “There are official photographers, who will be wearing ……” Most of the time, official photographers have some ID on them, this will be in the information given out before/when you come in the door.
• The reason there is an official photographer, is so that photos can be controlled. This is for everyone’s privacy. Some people are ok with their photos being taken; others avoid it like the plague. This can depend on their profession, their career, or maybe they’re just camera shy! However some people like to have a record of their scene, and this is the best way for this to be achieved.
• The reason people are not allowed to take whatever photos they like is that we are very careful of peoples privacy. Someone could end up in the background of your photo, it could make its way to someone connected with both of you, or a family member or boss might find it.
• You don’t have to have photographs taken. You are free to say ‘no thanks’
• If you see someone sneakily taking photos with an iPhone etc., let an organizer know immediately. We want to protect everyone’s privacy, this includes yours. You don’t want to be caught in the background of an unauthorized picture, so keep everyone safe by letting an organizer know. You don’t have to create a drama, just go and quietly let them know and they will take care of it.
What to expect.
• Firstly, what happens at an event is not always an indication of how people conduct their relationships in private.
• What people do here is the result of (mostly) a lot of experience and negotiation.
• Remember that they’re not playing to entertain you. This sounds obvious, but it’s good to keep it in mind.
• The people involved are not always in relationships, it might be strictly a play situation, or a masochist and sadist arrangement, or someone finding out what something is like.
• Things may look scary to you sometimes. Feel free to walk away and not look if something feels upsetting or confronting.
• Give the people involved room. It’s considered very bad manners to crowd in for a better look. Keep a distance and observe quietly if you want to watch. People playing know that there will be an audience, you don’t have to ask permission to watch, it’s a given.
• Don’t attempt to join in. Even if it appears otherwise, all people participating are known to each other and it has been set up previously.
• Remember that consent has been given. Negotiation has already taken place; you’re not watching anything that is nonconsensual, even if it doesn’t appear that way at times!
• Remember that there are dungeon monitors here. If you are new, there is no onus on you to jump in or report anything or do anything more than keep a respectful distance and just watch.
• When observing, keep your voice down. This is an easy one to slip up on, but it’s very important. The people participating are in a headspace of their own and badly timed voices can snap them out of it.
• You are welcome to ask questions of the participants in most cases, but don’t pounce on them the minute they finish. There is a period of time afterwards that can vary for everyone, but it’s when they are processing what’s happened, getting a drink, and making sure the other person is ok. Watch from a distance, and you’ll see them pack their gear, get a drink, and start to socialize again. That’s when you are probably welcome to compliment them on what you saw, and ask a question or two.
• Don’t go overboard with the questions though as people are here to socialize and play as well as answer questions. Try not to monopolise them even if you think they’re the most fascinating hottie you’ve ever seen.
•If you don’t understand something, for gods sake go to the person/people you watched.
Someone was present at a scene I participated in, and later analysed it in excruciating detail to someone else. They got it completely wrong. If that person had tried to replicate it, they would’ve put themselves at risk – if you don’t understand something, for gods sake go to the person/people you watched. Observers/onlookers can get it so wrong, however experienced they are, and if you get hurt … it’ll be on your own head.
Toys and Gear
• It goes without saying not to touch other people’s property. If you’re interested in knowing what something is and how it’s used, ask respectfully.
• Remember that gear is kept very clean as it is contacting people’s skin. For your own protection as well as the owners, don’t reach out and grab something unless it is offered to you to touch. It might have been used on someone else that night, or the owner might be keeping it scrupulously clean for playing later on. Look with your eyes, and only touch if it’s offered to you.
• Not everyone wearing a collar is a slave or sub, but in this environment it is more common than on the street: p
• If you approach someone to talk to him or her and they are wearing a collar, don’t be taken aback if they refer you to their other half for permission to speak. This might not happen, but it’s not something to freak out about if it does. Just accept it gracefully and refer to their other half.
• Collars are often worn as fashion statements, but in this environment it is often an indication that someone is ‘in service’. If they are too busy to speak to you, it’s because they are looking after their other half. Not everyone lives like this all the time, but many couples use events as a way to express this side of their dynamic. Watch and learn as you can get ideas!
• Wearing a collar doesn’t always mean a person is submissive. It is always best to ask.
• Because a person is wearing a collar that does not give you the right to order them around. It doesn’t matter if she/he is stark naked and only wearing a collar. She/he is under no obligation to do anything for anyone at all unless it’s pre negotiated and agreed to. Don’t be the dick that makes an arse of themselves inflicting their stuff on an innocent bystander; this won’t make you appear ‘dominant’. Speak to them as you would to anyone else in a social environment.
Online v Reality
• If you’ve been online for a while you might find that reality is very different. This is understandable, but be prepared.
• Actually watching someone being flogged or cropped can bring up various thoughts and emotions, so if you discover you are finding something difficult to deal with step away and take a breather.
• Real life floggings etc. do leave marks. You might see bruises or blood. This can also bring up emotions for people, but always keep in mind – everything you see is consensual.
• Watch for people checking in with each other, as this might be reassuring. You’ll see what appears to be a hug or a whisper in an ear, or even a top glancing at their subs hands. There are many different signals that people use to communicate with each other in a scene; it’s not all just random beatings!
• Another reason to be quiet around a scene is that the top needs to be able to monitor their sub or bottom closely. If they’re using a safe word the top needs to be able to hear it. Please don’t put any bottom or subs safety at risk by forgetting this rule.
• An old fashioned word but supremely important.
• People don’t want their business discussed with others. That’s set in stone, don’t abuse it.
• People gossiping at the water cooler can affect careers, family, kids, and friends. Call it karma. You need to respect others so they respect you.
Be super paranoid about this. You can cause a huge amount of damage depending on the person’s circumstances. Respect their privacy.
• If you have someone’s phone number or email address and another person asks you for it, don’t hand it over. Tell them you will ask the person to get in touch. This is also very important.
• If you ask for someone’s phone number or email address and they are reluctant or say ‘no’, respect this.
• If you ask someone to ‘demo’ something on you and they say ‘no’, don’t ask again. No means no.
• Don’t ask around to get personal information on people. Even if there is no apparent negative reaction, it will be noted and your chances of making friends will diminish rapidly. It’s not good to be pushy or nosy in this environment.
Hope this gives some insight to those who are wondering.
You should always be safe at a kink event.
Don’t miss out just because you’re scared – there is no need.
Have fun! :)
©2013. Belladonnax. All rights reserved.
Happy for you to use it wherever with a credit; it took a bit of thought to put together! :)