Now before anyone out there gets confused thinking that my little spanking blog has gone off-topic and I'm now posting about basketball, never fear. I titled this entry "March Madness" because one of the groups I belong to is holding a party in Chicago at the end of the month and the Yahoo group we all post to is getting appropriately busy. The anticipation and excitement is building and the posts from the members reflects this. The bratting is picking up a lot, with bottoms talking about the pranks they intend to play and the tops promising retribution (all in fun, of course). This time is my favorite time--the weeks preceeding a party. There are plans to make concerning every aspect of the weekend (travel plans, what to wear, who else will be going, etc.) and these fill the time before the party. Many of us ladies buy new clothes or get our hair done before going. And, of course, for many of us bottoms a trip to the mall for a day spent shopping for new panties is a must. There are online chats and phonecalls between people who have been seeing each other for years and also to calm the fears of nervous newbies.
There are certain things I never go to a spanking party without. One thing I never forget to pack is arnica cream. I discovered this little miracle in a tube before my first party in March, 2003. This wonderful muscle soother has kept me in the action at parties more times than I can count. Believe me when I say that no one will play with you if your bottom is covered in bruises and sore spots. Unfortunately, we all only have one bottom and it has to last the entire weekend. Arnica helps that happen.
I also never go to a party without my trusty digital camera. Of course, there are rules involving the taking of photographs or videos at a party, but most attendees are willing to provide face shots if you ask nicely and promise to email them a copy of the picture. Pictures (whether face or action shots) should NEVER be taken without the subjects' consent. In fact, it's best to get the consent of everyone who might get in the shot. It gives anyone who doesn't want to be photographed a chance to move out of shot. Sharing pictures is one sure way to keep the fun of a spanking party in your memory.
Of course, I have to pack my toys. When I first started going to parties, I was under the impression that the tops had to provide the toys. But pretty soon it started to feel like I had to just take whatever the tops brought. So now I bring my own.
I also bring a first aid kit with me. It's just a Ziploc bag with things in it that I may need during the course of the weekend--Bandaids, antibiotic ointment (for those times when a cane stroke goes astray or some other mishap occurs), Advil for headaches, lotion and the aforementioned arnica. I couldn't get through the weekend without these things.
While the parties are fun and exciting, I find they're more so if I put a little planning into it ahead of time. Part of this planning involves networking with people who also plan to attend. Knowing who will be there helps a lot insofar as planning my dance card goes. I try to never make play promises because anything can happen during the course of the weekend and many times someone ends up disappointed that you didn't connect. But there are certain people I always try to play with just because I like them and they're fun. Planning my wardrobe is also important. Because the weather in March is often unpredictable, I really will have to pack extra things. I will have to pack warmer clothes if the weather proves colder than expected.
One thing is for sure. March Madness is definitely in the air. All the emails in my mailbox prove it.