[Dan] Our question of the day came in from a podcast listener and they said ‘Dan and dawn, what do you guys think it requires to have a successful play party?

[dawn] oooooo ….a successful play party? …….People. People is a good thing. Can’t be successful unless there’s people, but also just a sense of ….. those people feeling welcome as well. Right? So for me, a successful play party…. what I’m thinking of is more of the energy. So new People feel welcome. People that have been there a while aren’t clicky, they kind of welcome in the new people and everybody has a good time.

[Dan] Yeah. We’ve been fortunate that you and I here at the Columbus space, we have the first Saturday play party and we’ve been running the last couple of and we’ll be running the next first Saturday play party…. and we go back and forth with Barak and Sheba. They’ve got some traveling to do. We just did some traveling so we’re going to do a couple in the row. So it’s really easy for us to actually answer this because we’ve happened to have some successful play parties. So first off …have a …for us, one of the keys is that we have a crew of people that show up before the play party and help us to create that space and help us to just put the furniture out and to put the furniture out in a different way each time. Sometimes the furniture is put out with these pieces in this room, these pieces in that room.

[dawn] Sometimes we have the pink mats, so we make sure to have the suspension frame, the gate out. You guys look at it to make sure that people can walk through it with no problem and that the energy of the space looks good and the lighting, the music is key. Oh my God. The music is key. The music is key. Don’t put in a nickelback CD. Nope. No, don’t put in Willie Nelson. Don’t put in KC and the sunshine band and I’m saying this from experience.

[Dan] Yes, we have had all those experiences. If you’re thinking, well Dan, what do I do for Dungeon Music? You could keep it simple. Head on over to …. and this is just the simplest way to do it. …Like you’ve got no clue what to do…… Head over to Pandora. If you have that account, that means you don’t get commercials. ,,,,Do a radio station based on the band, “Massive attack” . That is good, middle of the road, dungeon music. It’s got thump to it. It’s not too techno and it’s not to Enya. You want that balance between the two. Knowing… and like you said, that you’re going to have some new people, …..So when you have new people showing up to the play party, how do you make them feel welcome? So have somebody….. for us, what we do is we give them tours and walk them around the different areas of the dungeons. Showing them….’here is this and here is that’…

[dawn] Try not to be loud because people are playing.

[Dan] And we’ll talk about that. “Here’s this play space, here’s that play space. Here’s the bathrooms, here’s the smoking area. And here’s the social area. And if the opportunity exists, which often it does to introduce them to one or two people in the social, I usually try to introduce them to an extrovert in the social area. So yeah. So let them know that they are welcome here and let them know what the rules are as they come in, be aware that they’re gonna have questions….ie “what can I wear?” That’s the number one question, what should I wear? What are the protocols? What’s the decorum? And let them know beforehand so that they feel welcome coming in. You’d mentioned the music … making people feel welcome.

[dawn] Yeah. I try to mention when I give tours, I try to mention a little bit of dungeon etiquette. If we do the newcomer meeting at a half hour before the party, sometimes we’ll do a newcomer meeting and I’ll go over dungeon etiquette. So I really try to give them the skills to be able to have a good time at the party and not step on toes. Because this lifestyle is actually like it’s own culture. So people come in not knowing anything. They really don’t know how to behave. And a lot of us like to know how to behave so that we make our best first impression. So ….

[Dan] …..it’s tricky to recognize that all the things that go into a successful play party, And one of the things we’ve been doing at the space lately that has been super successful is we put out little wristbands with different colors. They say, I’m a top. I’m a bottom. I’m a top looking to play. I’m a bottom looking to play. I’m a switch looking to play. So that people know…..Oh hey, I see you’re wearing a blue wristband, maybe we should try something.

[dawn] And we put some people out there that are willing to play with new people and have them start some scenes. (Dan – Including you and me) Me and you do that all the time because we want to get that energy started. And sometimes me and you are the first ones to play in the dungeon as well, because a lot of people come and they want to spend their time socializing first. Which is fine, but then everybody’s gathering into the social room and nobody’s playing. Two rooms to play furniture and nobody on it. So sometimes we’ll go and start the party.

[Dan] Yeah. And then you have a bunch of new people there. They don’t know who to socialize with and they’re looking around at the dungeon furniture….”I’ll just….is anyone going to play on this.?”

What do you think makes a successful play party?