5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your BDSM Dungeon Experience

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If you’re like me, then you’re lucky enough to have a public BDSM dungeon in your community. It may go by a different name (dungeon just happens to be my favorite word) but the general concept is the same whether it’s part of a BDSM convention, a public play facility, or a privately owned one. The play space is there for kinksters to enjoy time tying, flogging, and consensually teasing their play partners in a variety of ways. Even if you go as a voyeur and not a participant, BDSM play spaces are a wonderful way to get new ideas and indulge in your fantasies. Below are my suggestions for how to make the most out of your experience. Why should you take my word for it? Because I work at one, and making kinksters happy with their dungeon experience is my job.

1. Know the Rules of Play

Every play space will have rules, even the private ones. If you’re going to play in a public space, the rules should be posted somewhere where everyone can read them. In my experience, the public play areas don’t permit sexual penetration or exchange of body fluids. And no matter where you play, the most important rule is to obey the dungeon monitors or DMs.

Dungeon Monitors are there to keep players safe. You may feel like you have everything in control and your partner is flying high from endorphins you’re giving them, but if the DM flags you and requests that you desist with the scene, you have to stop. The DMs will know better than you what is permissible in the play space, and they’re also looking to comply with whatever local laws are in place. No one wants to get arrested or the space shut down for violations.

2. Be Clean!

If you’re bringing toys into the space, please ensure that they’re cleaned beforehand. Depending on what they’re made of, lots of toys like dildos can be run through the dishwasher. And wet wipes are a kinkster’s best friend. They’re good for cleaning off lube and cleaning yourself. You should also clean off any equipment you used at the dungeon with a wet wipe. Chances are that someone will want to use the Saint Andrews Cross after you do, and it’s only polite to wipe your sweat off it. If you’re going to be naked (check the rules if full nudity is allowed), bring a medical pad or a towel when you sit on any furniture. No one likes a snail trail on their chair.

3. Save Your Questions for the End

Playing in front of other people can be exhilarating and a learning experience. BDSM play spaces are where kinksters can come together to learn from each other, watch, and experience. The key is to let a scene finish before you ask questions or offer advice. And as for that last part, ask the players if they want advice first. Players will create their scene based on their personal boundaries and preferences. Having someone interrupt play to ask if they can participate, or worse, critique without having received previous approval, can ruin the buildup and natural cadence of the scene. Be respectful.

4. Ask Before You Touch

Consent is a huge deal in the BDSM world, and if you’re playing in a private dungeon by the invitation of the owner, you still need consent to play from all people involved. I assist a pro-Domme, and when I participate in a scene, the bottom in the scenario often assumes that they can touch me because I’m not the one holding the whip. Consent is key, and unless they ask and I agree, there should be no touching between us. I promise that no one will look at you weird for asking. In fact, I’m more likely to be turned on by the respect offered with a request.

5. After Care

After the party is over and you have cleaned up your toys, the play space, and yourself, chances are that you are going to need some TLC in some shape or form. Tops eventually come down from their natural highs and bottoms come out of subspace. If you’re still at the play space when this happens, make sure that you have the tools you need to cope. A blanket can help, as can a snack. Water is always good to have on hand too. The dungeon where you’re playing may have a place set aside to curl up and recover, but it’s good to scout this out before play commences. And if there’s not, make sure you and your play partner have a plan sketched out for after care in advance.

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Heather Cole
When Vagina Antics began in January 2012, Heather was newly divorced and a collared, lifestyle submissive ‘owned’ by a Dominant, identified as M in her posts. She was also dating a Canadian in an open, polyamorous relationship. (I know. It’s shocking. A Canadian!) She struggled to balance creating a new home and a new career while exploring what being kinky meant to her.

These days Heather is still exploring her bisexuality and kink, but her relationships have changed. She just ended a long-term, long-distance D/s relationship and is in the process of re-grouping and assessing what kinky elements work and don’t work for her. She moonlights as an assistant at a private dungeon . Turns out that she has her Toppish moments with a hearty side of sadism if she really gets going. Of course all of it is under the healthy supervision of the Dominant in charge at the dungeon, Eve.
Heather is a published erotica author and enjoys modeling for her book covers. You can find all her books and her latest release, CONFESSIONS, on her author website at HeatherColeErotica.com. She’s currently working on a historical romance and the third installment of her Come for the World series, ABSOLVED, which combines elements of the spiritual and BDSM.

Heather wrote two columns for Fearless Press: A Kink in the Curves discussed body image and fashion, and At the Crossroads was a monthly column that explored the sensitive place where Catholicism and kink met. She has been published in Safeword Magazine and is developing several other sex-positive collaborations, including a Dating Kinky guide to be released this spring.

On the days that she escapes the thrall of her computer, Heather drinks wine, takes photographs, runs, and spends an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen. They don’t call it the hottest room in the house for nothin’. Visit Vagina Antics for more information.
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