by Old Tom, of old-tom.com
When I play with people other than Jojasa, I nearly always play in public. For that matter, when Jojasa and I have the option of playing public or in private, we'll often play in public. Playing in front of an audience allows her to go further - she doesn't want to disappoint.
She also enjoys watching me play with others. She's quite sadistic herself, and enjoys making *suggestions*. "What a lovely cane welt. Wouldn't a clothespin look nice on it?"
Playing in front of an audience carries its dangers. The audience can be rude, crude, and/or interfering. I don't play where rude/crude might be an issue. One thing I learned the hard way, is the danger of exceeding the *audience's* limits. One particular scene was reported to the world at large as severely abusive. In fact the "abuse" was the woman having an orgasm. Both jealousy and a phobia of "that horrid BDSM stuff" were involved. Jojasa observed the whole thing, and fortunately knows exactly what did and did not happen!
Funny thing... when I pull out the canes, people instantly vacate the space within a four-foot radius of where I'll be standing. I've caused more collateral damage on the backswing...
Why play in public? There are a number of reasons.
It's a safety net. She knows other people are watching, and there to help if something goes wrong.
Many are exhibitionists and/or like being the center of attention. Works for me
Most importantly, that gives other people the opportunity to observe me playing with one or more other people. She can form a comfort level, and we can negotiate the scene based on what she's already observed.
The thing which becomes absolutely hilarious over a series of parties, is the same thing happening time after time. Years ago I did a full-horsepower caning scene with Kellfire. LadieJJ came to me later that weekend, explaining she was curious about the cane, but not like *that*. Could we try something more introductory? Of course we could.
The next party LadieJJ wanted more - a whole lot more. She was ready to seek that subspace she'd observed, and was in the right frame of mind to accept what the cane had to offer. Afterwards (it was a public scene) someone came to me in front of LadieJJ, and used almost the exact same words: She was curious, but not like *that*.
LadieJJ had a fit of the giggles. She thought it was so cool, because she thought she hadn't taken all that much.
The next party we heard the exact same phrase the third time, after that person's second caning scene.
Now, naturally, we expect the cycle to continue as a matter of course.
Still, there are difficulties.
After a full-horsepower caning, you're pretty much done for the weekend. So, the standard procedure is to wait until the end of the weekend, and then ask Old Tom to work around the other damage. (Which I can do; because canes are thin they can be used with pinpoint accuracy. Like a sabre or foil, one can use the tip, or any portion of, the blade.)
Conducting a full-horsepower caning scene is *not* easy or simple. Safewords become irrelevant, because of the tripping through subspace. Every person is different. No errors whatever are acceptable. Most important is discerning when and how to stop. Aftercare, allowance for crashing, and explaining what the heck just happened, are equally crucial.
So... a backlog of several such scenes at the end of the weekend does become delightfully wearing ;-)
Public play, then, becomes something of a litmus test. Most will say No Way ewwww ick ick. But some will have a curiosity - and I can work with that.