Trubled Times
Picture Herefor those times when you're having a "bitatruble"
by Celeste aka BitaTruble



Dear Bita,

HELP ME! Master and i are about to host our first play party. What kind of food should we offer? Do we need to provide condoms? What about lightening? Candles seem romantic but dangerous to have around a large crowd. Master and i both smoke but should we let people do that where there's play? What about decorations? Is that required? What do i do if we don't have enough places to play? Should some other form of entertainment be provided? Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated!

Nervous hostess


Dear Nerves,

What fun! Don't get me wrong. Hosting a play party is a lot of work, but if you prepare in advance, you'll be able to enjoy yourself during the party. I hope the tips below will help ensure a successful party and um, if you invite me, I'll bring the pineapple chips!


First of all, depending on the size of the party, you might want to recruit some helpers. Just a few friends that will keep an eye on things with you. I highly recommend these helpers not be blindfolded! Gagging them should be ok, however. ::Multitasking - it's a skill:: If you have to stop what you're doing every two minutes to make sure the water buckets are filled, you'll be so busy working, you won't have time for playing so a few other eyes around can ensure a good time. Also, a cleanup crew after the party is done is going to be of enormous help when everyone is sore and tired from the great time they've had.


I would also set a time-limit for the party to end. I've failed to do that in the past and ended up with guests that stayed for two days! Ok, it was fun, but also unplanned, so setting an end-time for the party, even if it's only used as a guideline can help you to avoid being saddled by THE GUEST WHO NEVER LEAVES. ::Wondering if you heard the ominous music in the background?:: Set a beginning time as well unless you don't mind guests arriving while your Aunt Mary is sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea with you! If she'd into leather, that could be a good thing, but if she's not, you may have to cancel the party while you take Aunt Mary to the emergency room after her heart attack!


If you are restricted on play space, keep the number of guests to a reasonable level. Depending on the length of time your party is going to last, figure no more than 3 or 4 guests for each station you have. Take into consideration how many bathroom facilities you have as well. Fifty people, one bathroom doesn't work unless one of your stations is specifically set up for golden shower play! If you must, set a 30 to 45 minute time limit on each play station so people don't have to wait too long before engaging in their favorite activities. You'd also be surprised how many stations you can fit into some unusual places. I was amazed that the most popular attraction at the first party Michael and I hosted were the chains we'd embedded into the wall of the living room. That party lasted two days and I don't think there was a moment that went by where some helpless creatures wasn't being tormented while chained to them. Cheap, easy to install and it was nothing to remove them after the party was over! In addition, the white background of the wall made it easy to take pictures and we took them in abundance of everyone that requested them. The small space ensured no guests were captured on film that didn't wish to be. Now, if there are places that will be off-limits for play, make it clear. Keep the door closed, locked if you must or simply tie some yarn around and cordon off the areas where guests are not allowed. It's your responsibility to make sure your guests know the limits. You'll feel more secure and your guests will appreciate not being placed in a position where things could get awkward because they didn't 'know.'


Jugglers, knife throwers, hell.. even a Playstation 2 are all good forms of entertainment, however, the hope is that your guests will basically be entertaining themselves and each other, so put away the Playstation, fire the jugglers, but, maybe keep the knife thrower cuz, hey, knife play is certainly welcome at a play party! Just make sure you have plenty of towels around to wipe up the blood. Some mood music in the background is all the entertainment you should worry about. Keep in mind that if you break out the video games, addictive as they are, even with a set time limit, your guests will never leave as they try to beat that last level on Halo 2! And let's face it, Halo's just don't belong in dungeons, even temporary ones.


I always have a room set aside for wax play and that's where I keep the candles. Yes, they are romantic, yes, they set a wonderful mood and yes, they are a fire hazard. You'll have enough to worry about without needing to call 911 when the place goes up in flames from an errant whip knocking over that vanilla scented candle. Save it for a more private setting. Public play with lots of guests requires public lightening. If you want to bring the light level down, use dimmer switches.. ::not that switches have less brains that any other member of BDSM:: or just turn on fewer lights. Something else you can do to set a darker mood is hang up some black or maroon sheets on several walls. Just makes things a bit more yummy and sinister. Ooo. I like that word! Being scared is half the fun for me! Use your imagination. If you want a lighter atmosphere, hang up pictures of Winnie the Pooh for your scat station, or pictures of Scooby Do where you have your K-9 setup. The only limits are the ones within your mind! Personally, my scat stations have always been relegated to the bathrooms and I only allow one guest in there at a time, but hey.. to each their own!


Ask 10 people for a list of the best food at a play party and you'll get 10 different lists. On every single one of those lists will be this word - CHOCOLATE! It doesn't matter what form it's in, just make sure to have some there. ::My personal preference is milk chocolate just in case you're inviting me. Dove! Yum!:: You'll want plenty of filtered water, gallons of coffee, some sorts of fruits, nuts ::more than just the nutty guests you'll have there.. I'm talking about the kind you eat... ok, ok.. damn it people, get your minds OUT of the gutter! Planters! Perverts:: There really isn't any sort of food that wouldn't be ok with the exception of Mexican food. Frijoles and play parties do NOT mix. Please, trust me on this one. Been there, done that, ain't never doing it again. Spicy and heavy can certainly be avoided for the night of the play party. Light fare should be offered. If the party is really large, feel free to ask guests to bring some dishes to share so your expense is not so great and make sure to tell them what to bring so you don't have too much duplication. I avoid things like potato salads and such, falling back on finger foods so there is less cleanup, less need for paper plates and things like that. Speaking of mess, invest in a large size garbage can and point it out to people when they arrive. I've been to party's where I held onto a chicken bone for several hours because I didn't know where to throw it and the hostess was.. uh, tied up at the time and I'm not into interrupting scenes. Be considerate of your guests and don't give them an excuse to trash your house. As for smoking - it's just courteous to set aside an area specific to smokers, even if it's outside. That is really going to be up to your Master. I've been to parties where smoking was allowed and even though I smoke myself, it drove me away. Personal choice though and depends on if you want the nonsmokers to come to your next party. Discuss that one with the Domly.. and let him know that Bita suggested a smoking section to the side or outside and that the majority of the place should be free from smoke. My sense of smell enhances my play and if all I smell is smoke, it's going to detract from my fun.

NOISE and other issues of ETIQUETTE:

Do you have your own country estate on 200 acres of land? Then noise is not an issue. For the vast majority though, especially those of us that live in suburbia, we have neighbors and screaming can gather those patrols cars quicker than anything. There is nothing that is guaranteed to put a damper on a play party like having half the guests taken away in handcuffs. Ok, the subs won't mind, but the Doms are going to be pissed. A gentle reminder to your guests as they arrive is usually all it takes to keep the levels down to a dull roar. When the submissives are having their genitalia tortured with electricity, a gag should do the trick if they can't control themselves. ::And, really, controlling yourself while being electrocuted? It's just not that easy! I know!:: Also, if it's ok for your guests to arrive in full regalia ::and quite often that means stark naked:: then by all means.. it is rather fun to shock the neighbors isn't it! If however, you want a lower profile to your party, a simple line on the invitations is all it takes. Most of us are adults and want to enjoy a good party so are willing to comply with a few simple rules if it will make the life of the host and hostess easier.. especially if that means they'll throw more parties in the future!

I hope these tips help you out, Nervous. I'm thinking it's time to throw another bash now. I'm sooo in the mood!