– adapted from the article contributed by zwith
You have been chatting with someone online or at a munch for a while now and you want to meet up and get to know them better, or even consider playing. You arrange for a time and place to meet, and if all goes well, it could be the first steps to a potentially awesome play session.
There is always a lot of excitement and anxiety surrounding a first meeting, but there are also many ways that things can go wrong.
Some questions you should always ask yourself include:
- Who am I meeting?
- What are we doing at the meeting?
- When and where are we meeting?
- What safety precautions can I take?
What is the purpose of the meet up? Is it to get to know the other person better with the objective of potential play? Is it to negotiate the scene?
Set the agenda of the meeting. Stick to it.
If your objective is to find out more about the person, then don’t jump into play right away on the first (or even second) meeting.
Who are you meeting?
It doesn’t hurt to do a little bit of cyber-stalking before you meet. You will be able to find hints about the person you are meeting from the photos he/she likes and his/her comments on threads. But don’t go all psycho stalker too, obviously.
Do your research on that person. Get references. Talk to others in the community and ask about their impression of the person you are meeting.
Location, location, location
Always meet in a public place. Like a place full of people.
A secluded bar that no one else goes to is not a public place. The void deck below his/her home that is quiet and undisturbed is not a public place.
You don’t want to be caught in a situation that you cannot get out of, especially when you don’t know the other person yet. A public place ensures that you always have help nearby or can run away should the situation turn bad.
Red flags should be raised if he/she does not want to meet in a public place.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced player, safe calls are very important for first time meetings.
Get a friend to check in with you at regular intervals, and pre-arrange coded answers. Also let your friend know where and what time you are meeting, and update your friend if anything changes.
Friend: Is everything ok?
You: Yea, I wanna eat chicken rice tomorrow. (if everything is ok)
You: Yup, we’re still meeting tonight. Are you picking me up? (if things are not ok)
You don’t have to tell your friend that you are meeting someone kinky. I told my safe call that I was going on a blind date and to check in on me in case he turned out to be an axe-wielding mass murderer.
Let the person you are meeting know that you have a safe call in place. If he/she objects to it, it raises a red flag early and you would have averted a potential disaster. If the person you are meeting is serious about the lifestyle, he/she will appreciate the fact that you are taking the meeting seriously too.
Personally, I also like to have an “out” or “escape plan”. For example, if you are meeting at 7pm, say that you are also meeting other friends at 10pm.
Don’t get drunk
While alcohol is a great social lubricant, getting high or drunk is not.
You want a clear mind to judge a person’s character during that first meeting. More importantly, you want a clear mind to make safety calls and judgements for yourself.
Drink only if you have to, and within your limits. If you know that you will get high after 2 drinks, have only 1. If you can’t hold your liquor, drink juice.
When all is said and done, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself! First time meetings are like going on dates. Have fun, find out about the other person, see if you connect, and maybe one day you can talk about playing.