Play parties are a great way to get out into the local kink scene, find new partners to play with, and experience new things. While I’m tempted to leave the house with only my phone sometimes, it’s actually really useful to keep a play bag on you to make the most of your experience at a party.
Some parties have coat checks, lockers, or a place to store your bags and things while you play. Others may not, so just consider that you might have to keep an eye on your bag if you’re not familiar with the party you’re attending.
For maximum comfort and convenience, I’ve compiled a list of the ten items I always carry in my play bag.
1) Proper Identification
This seems obvious, but there have definitely been times I’ve gone to a play party and someone at the door was trying to get in without an ID. A legal ID is important for everyone to carry at all times, but especially when you’re going to an over 18 or 21 event. It’s legally required for the door person to check ID, so you’re likely not getting in without it–even if you look over age.
In addition to legal ID, make sure you bring your membership card if that’s something your local play space does. Some require it to get in as well, and others may give discounts for community members.
I also carry business cards in my play bag, but that’s mostly to refer people to my website or if I hit it off with a new partner and want an easy way to give them a way to contact me.
I keep a little travel pill box in my play bag that contains a few things for emergencies. There are a few ibuprofen in there in case I get a headache and some stomach pills in case I don’t feel well but not bad enough to want to leave.
In addition to over the counter medications to make things easier if you’re just not feeling well, I suggest bringing any prescribed medications, as well. For me, this means carrying some of my anxiety medication because going to a new party or playing with a new partner can make me super nervous and having my meds on hand can help me relax and enjoy the night.
If you have any allergies, I suggest carrying your Epi-Pen, as some play spaces serve food or drinks that may trigger allergies. If you’re diabetic, it’s also a good idea to have some of your insulin or glucose tablets in case your blood sugar suddenly spikes or drops, as it can during an intense scene. Other as-needed medications are always recommended to make sure you’re as safe and comfortable as possible while at a play party. Wearing any medical alert tags you have is also a good idea in case an emergency happens.
3) Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are an essential tool for me both in my bedroom and in my play bag. They make things a lot easier when you’re dealing with any bodily fluids on your skin or for wiping down sex toys after use. Note that this doesn’t sanitize sex toys, but it’s a good way to quickly clean off your personal toys to bring home and properly wash.
Baby wipes are super useful for any messes that may happen on your body, but not for the equipment you’re using.
4) Antibacterial Surface Wipes
To sanitize the equipment at a party, you’re going to want to use antibacterial surface wipes. These are not for cleaning off body parts, but are an important tool for using shared equipment like spanking benches, tables, etc.
Most play spaces should have these available on site, but if they don’t, carrying your own isn’t a bad idea. For spaces that don’t have them available (which is a red flag about the space, if I’m being honest), I highly recommend wiping down the equipment not only after using it, but also before to be sure you’re not exposing yourself to any bodily fluids that can get you sick.
Even if you’re not getting blood or ejaculate on the equipment, it’s important to wipe it down in shared spaces. Just like at a gym, it’s common courtesy.
5) Change of Clothes
Some play spaces have a dress code to follow, which may mean changing out of “street clothes” and into a kinkier outfit–or stripping down entirely if that’s allowed. However, I also find that bringing a change of comfier clothes is a nice way to wind down after the hot and heavy play earlier in the evening. I have, on occasion, dressed up in clothes to scene in and then changed into comfy pajamas for aftercare cuddles and socializing on the couches.
There’s no shame in bringing something comfy. Whatever makes you feel comfortable is usually encouraged. Consider shoes, as well. If you’re driving home after a scene, some sneakers may be better than 9” platform heels. Also consider a sweatshirt if you get cold or a pair of comfy shorts if it’s too hot.
6) High-Energy Snack
Some play parties do serve food–some do a potluck style. For those with allergies or food sensitivities, you may want to bring your own snack if food is allowed in the space. A high-energy snack like granola, nuts, or a protein bar may be a good idea for fueling up after a scene. A sweet snack is also a good idea for those who experience glucose crashes during intense scenes. A small piece of chocolate is a great way to reward a submissive for a job well done, which rises their blood sugars back to normal.
7) Water Bottle
Of course, hydration is key! Most spaces will have water available, but I like to bring my own bottle to fill up so I can sip it during aftercare without worrying about spilling or having to refill a tiny cup a bunch of times. I suggest that everyone takes water breaks at least once an hour regardless of the scene intensity. Frequent water breaks is a good way for folks to stay calm, hydrated, and cool. Water is really important to avoid problems like headaches from occurring during exhausting scenes.
8) Aftercare Supplies
Aftercare supplies are going to greatly vary based on the person, the type of scene, and the specific kinks in the dynamic. For example, littles may want to pack a stuffed animal to cuddle or a hairbrush to have their partner brush their hair after a scene. Someone who does a lot of heavy impact or wax play may want a cool compress or a soft fuzzy blanket to feel comforted. For scenes involving scratches or cuts, bandages and rubbing alcohol may be good to keep on hand.
Pack for your specific needs. Think about what would make you feel comfortable after a scene and pack whatever that is, even if you don’t think you’ll need it, it’s nice to have there just in case.
9) Safer Sex Products
If your space allows sexual contact, safer sex products are a must. Condoms, lubricant, dental dams, and gloves are all great ideas of things to keep packed in your bag. Even if you’re not having sex, you can use condoms on toys or gloves during medical scenes or scenes involving blood. If you do plan on sex, make sure you’re remembering birth control and barriers to keep you and your partner safe.
Of course, you can’t forget the toys! Whether you’re bringing your trusty Rechargeable Magic Wand or your favorite silicone paddle, you’re going to want to bring toys for yourself. Lots of people enjoy sharing toys at parties (especially ones that don’t come in contact with bodily fluids) but bringing your own and not wanting to share or mix is perfectly acceptable, too. Making that clear between you and your partner(s) is important.
You’ll probably see lots of different kink toys while at a party. There very much is a culture of “show and tell” for kinksters. Toys can be unique and customized and a lot of us like showing off the ones we take pride in. Of course, it’s protocol to ask before touching anyone else’s toys, so be sure to be polite and not interrupt a scene to look at someone’s cool flogger. If you see someone relaxing in a social area of the party, by all means compliment their toys and ask if they can show you up close. Most will be excited to show off!
Hopefully you’ve got an idea of the things you’ll want to pack in your play bags. I tend to have a specific bag for parties packed and ready to go for convenience, but not everyone is going to bring as much as I do to every party. The important part is that you’re packing enough so you feel comfortable, safe, and enjoy your time at the party!