Play parties and sexual fantasy can be a fun and exciting way to explore your sexuality, acting out on fantasies, meeting new people and enjoying the sexual energy of others. Good play party facilitators create a safe container for the participants by warm up games to get to know each other, practice discussing boundaries and your safe sex elevator speech. The ideal play party creates a playground where you can frolick, engage in different types of activities, play in groups, take breaks, and just hang out and witness, which is a great way to participate in a play party.
Playgrounds, however, can also be challenging places. Just think back on some of your own childhood experiences. At various times you might have experienced rejection, teasing, isolation, jealousy and disappointment. These same playground dynamics can take place in a play party and can stir up the same types of feelings. So here are five ways to help protect your feelings and ensure that you have a positive play experience.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Frequent check ins with a play partner, not only on boundaries or what you might like, but on how they are feeling, will help ward off problems before they occur.
Transitions can be challenging. Going from one partner to the next can create problems particularly if someone feels like their last play session was incomplete. Be sensitive during transitions and be sure to check in with your last partner and close out the play session. It’s OK to say that you had a good time playing with them and are ready to move on.
Understand Group Play Dynamics
Don’t’ say “Yes” to someone joining you if you don’t know how to play in groups. Group play dynamics deserve a column to itself. Some people are better at it than others and it does take some practice to negotiate boundaries and figure out ways in which everyone is included. If you are new at group play, state that up front and make sure that your group discusses how you are going to play together.
Offer “after care”
Some people need some “after care” with a play partner, (a hug, some cuddling etc) before moving on. Always be ready to offer this to your partner and experiment yourself to decide if this is an important aspect of your own play.
Go with the flow and try not to have expectations. Play parties are dynamic and have their own unique ebb and flow. I’ve been to many parties where people have contacted me in advance to ask if we can play and despite our best intentions, it never happens. Never take this personally and be comfortable going with what feels right to you at the moment. Remember, there is always the next play party!