Hooking Up

Playing with someone new

Ask first: It’s OK to ask about someone’s experience level and to set limits. Be clear about what you do and don’t do, and don’t be afraid to say no. Remember, you can say no at anytime, even after you’ve already said yes.

Meet up: A phone call can tell you a lot. An in-person meeting at a public place will tell you even more. Some players even prefer a first play date to be at a public party.

Let others know: If you do go home with someone or even host, it’s never bad idea to leave a “silent alarm.” Most silent alarms involve a prearranged time for a cell phone call to or from a friend, and a set phrase (“The coast is clear”). If you arrange a silent alarm, make sure you are able to take the call (think of being in restraints and hearing your cell phone go off). And always remember when you set a silent alarm. Friends who are instructed to call the police if they don’t hear from you will be less inclined to help a second time if you don’t follow through.

Most good players react well to safety measures. If your potential scene partner gets furious with you about setting a silent alarm, you might think twice. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, walk away.

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