Prospering in Pervy Pick-up Play

Setting up scenes at BDSM events can sometimes be tricky.  Whether it’s with someone you already know or a total stranger, people often have trouble with some step of the process.

When it comes to pick-up play with someone you don’t know well (or at all) I’ve found it best to watch them play with someone else first to gauge their play style.  If you have time, checking out their profile on Fet isn’t a bad idea either; that will give you insight into their philosophy on various aspects of BDSM, their interests, and different aspects of their personality.

Getting a little background on someone you don’t know is important.  At one weekend event, I saw someone I found attractive, and she had an armband on that indicated she was a top open to casual play.  It was late in the night, so I decided to approach her the next night.  The next night, her pupils were huge, she was wobbling when she stood, and she was slurring her words.  That was a close call.  Had I played with her, that could’ve ended badly.

Asking is where many people stumble.  One thing I’ve found to work well is to offer rather than ask.  When you ask, it puts the other person on the spot because you’re essentially demanding an answer pretty much immediately.  If they’re interested, that’s not an issue, but if they’re not, then they have to shoot you down.  And that can be awkward.  Plenty of people feel like asses when they shoot someone down too.  By offering, you’re being more courteous to the other person, giving them the opportunity to sidestep that awkwardness.  Here’s how that typically runs in my experience:

“If you’re interested in playing tonight, just come find me.  I’ll be around.”

“I’d like that.”


“If you’re interested in playing tonight, just come find me.  I’ll be around.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

The latter is an easy rejection.  Far less awkward to give than a direct “no”.  Obviously to use this approach you need to be able to read those cues and not pester the other person.

Once you’ve established that you both want to play, negotiating comes next.  If you just say, “Oh, I don’t know, I’m up for whatever you want to do” then you deserve to be smacked in the face with a large mackerel.  You don’t need to put out a detailed list of your interests, but just name a few forms of play you really like.  If the other person is well-known for a certain type of play that you want to experience, say so.  Having no interests or saying you’re into everything is boring.

Be sure you mention your limits, any health issues,  and your aftercare needs.  While unintentionally hitting an unknown landmine can always happen, it’s far less likely if you do these things.

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