Headspace versus Party Space

Love going to spanking parties — always have, always will. They are often fun whether I’m playing or just hanging out with friends and meeting new people in the scene. However, playing at parties is usually in a place apart from playing more privately.

At it’s most basic, it’s sometimes difficult to totally achieve the kind of headspace I seek out when I play. It’s not impossible and it has happened on occasion but the party itself interferes for the most part. I can compare it to playing at a club like Paddles only because I am consciously aware that there are people “right over there” — something that is difficult to ignore.

Playing at parties does have advantages over the club mostly for the opportunity to play in somewhat private booths or rooms. This gives a modicum of privacy and at the very least keeps the eyes off of you for a short period of time. I find that scenes can be done that are a little more elaborate than possible at a club — some role play or discipline session. It’s not that this couldn’t be done at the club but the noise and prying eyes do get in the way of concentration. Weekend parties at hotels (like Shadow Lane or FMS) are preferable because there is the option of private space in people’s rooms which offers the chance of more serious and satisfying play.

Even though there are private or semi-private spaces at local parties, the fact that play space is finite creates another issue altogether: Time. If there are X number of people at a party and much less than X number of play spaces, it is always in the back of my mind not to overstay my welcome and offer others a chance. I admit to having done my share of hogging play space and have even done this at Paddles at times. Perhaps it’s not something I should be worrying about because I should be concentrating solely on the person I’m playing with but I can’t help being conscious of the fact that there are others who might want to use the space I’m occupying. Perhaps it’s just that the kind of play that would take up a room for an hour is not something people should be doing at a party.

Politeness or play above all? Your thoughts would be welcome.

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7 Responses to “Headspace versus Party Space”

  1. *ahem* when I am playing..it is ALL about me..and to hell with everyone else. KIDDING!!!

    Interesting points, Rad. Sometimes, one of the most surreal aspects of playing at parties is because it IS a “spanking party”. I sometimes wonder if I can get into the headspace I need to feel –vis-a-vis DISCIPLINE/punishment if I know full well that everyone there is there to spank or be spanked. IN my head, it needs to feel organic, spontaneous, and ‘natural’.

    I mean ..how much “fear” can you feel when standing elbow to elbow with a person at the chip and dip station when you are gonna be playing with them in five minutes? ( “can you pass the hummus, and oh..will you be using your belt this evening?”)

    The fact of the matter is that it all usually works out. I tend to need a bit of a mantra in my head when going to such an affair: ” relax, go with the flow, relaease all expectations..you are among friends….” or some variation to that effect. Nothing against Paddles, but..the noise, loud music, staring eyes, and sticky floors is getting old to me.

    I definitely prefer the more private play areas..even though I can occasionally get into the exhibitionistic aspects of playing. ( after all, it CAN get quite theatrical!) When in private, you can have that lovely feeling of “doom” that washes over you as you are “led away”. The loft is cozy or claustrophobic..depending on one’s point of view. If you primarily get along well with the partygoers, it’s the former. With each party I attend, I am feeling more and more relaxed..and thats a good thing. ( well, relaxed until ‘That Moment’)….

  2. Wednesday Says:

    Good question. I don’t quite know. My answer plus comments on other aspects of your post below.

    I am very empathic so there is something about party energy that I just *need*. I think it has to do with my job–I get sucked dry and I need to go someplace with intense positive or powerful energy to get replenished.

    I am finding I’d rather do serious disciplinary or cathartic scenes in private. For one thing I can’t scold above music as you mentioned. For another–that is really not performance art for me. Actually spanking itself is generally not performance art for me so an SL situation where I can spend some time in a suite and some time in private is ideal.

    However, I do have some arcane kinks that I find useful to do in a dungeon if I expect to find enough bottoms. That and some scenes for me are performance (or perhaps visual) art–I am turning the person into art and I like increasing my odds of finding consenting voyeurs to admire it.

    So, I vote for polite at really crowded parties–unless my scene is a complex piece of art (something *that* complex only happens a couple times a year). I try to balance the two and not hog space all of the time. I do limit my time at *stupid* crowded parties.

    I like complex imaginative scenes though and I’d hate to never see them as a voyeur due to time limits.

  3. I’ve got a couple of SL who are exhibitionists so because of them, I’ve done a few scenes in public. But the knowledge I’m being watched definitely overwhelms what’s going on around me. At a certain point, sometimes I’ve been able to escape and just feel the connection with the person topping, but largely I’ve just felt self-conscious. (It does tend to make me very still and quiet which works well for certain sorts of demonstrations.)

    I like scenes to feel organic. This is all about connection and feeling like I’m prying myself (and being pried) open for someone else. I don’t want anyone else seeing that. Well, at least not a whole room full of them.

    One problem of all parties, even the weekend ones, is feeling that a playmate’s schedule is packed too tight. Keeping in mind emotions running a bit high anyway, I know I’ve burst into tears at least once on realizing someone I’m doing a scene with is glancing at their watch between strokes to make sure they’re not late for their next date. In retrospect, I feel embarrassed, but at the time I felt a bit crushed.

    All that said, one of my very fondest SL memories is being spanked during a suite party by Tony. Sweet Bailey realized I was too frozen to make any noise, despite the very loud smacks, so she held my hand and, in true spanking model professional fashion, gave the appropriate sound responses.

    The best party moments are the ones spent laughing with friends.

  4. er, that should be “a couple of SL *friends*”. See, this was such a great blog post, Rad, I’ve responded before coffee.

  5. The first thought I had when reading this was the contrast between Rad, with his concerns and sensitivities that he never lets go of, and the scene-spoiling jerks that he’s cataloged here. I’ll take an optimistic view that annoying behavior is built on ignorance, and could be educated away. But I wouldn’t expect that to happen in situations where there’s not enough socialization.

    Parties, by their selectivity, then seem to be a better situation. Are there lots of people at clubs who “just want to get it” and prefer quick and impersonal encounters?

  6. radagast Says:

    To all above: There certainly are times when the more voyeuristic moments are what makes a party fun — the public spankings both laugh-filled or serious. Mija does point out one aspect of this that I had not thought of which is also connected to what I was talking about. Namely, that the pressure isn’t to just vacate the premises for the next people who want to play but that the person you’re playing with might be super busy. In that case and as unfortunate as that may seem, I just suppose you have to resign yourself to the fact that you can’t play with everyone. Perhaps it’s best to have a few good scenes rather than too many hurried ones.

    To MVee: You will definitely find a wide spectrum of players at any sort of gathering — some who want a serious scene, others who might want something playful and others still who might just want the physical. Different strokes and all that.

  7. Speaking as one who does not often have the opportunity to play at private parties (there just aren’t any spanking groups in my area that I’m aware of), I am glad to have had the safety of playing at Paddles. However, I am always aware that there are the proverbial wolves at the door watching and waiting for a chance with me. And although I occasionally get mesmerized watching a Top Dom employ his technique, I am not a voyeur at heart.

    I don’t enjoy having turn people down, but after all these years I have learned how to say “NO.” When all is said and done, I prefer to play in private.

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