Who are they?
Do you know who the Photographer is? Have you researched them? What are their credentials, have they been doing this long, are they actually kinky or do they just want to take photo’s of you naked, do they take a good photo in low light, do they have good equipment?
Do you know who the Rigger is? Have you researched them? What are their credentials, have they been doing this long, have they caused damage before, do they have a good reputation, are they welcome to attend all the major venues or just a few, do they prey on newbies, do reputable people look sideways and then answer noncommittally when you ask about them, will they drive you to work if they give you wrist drop?
Do you know who the Medical Top is? Have you watched them work, seen their ability to keep their area hygienic, seen their infection control measures, checked with other people who have played with them before, know that they don’t reuse single use needles even on the same person, trust them with your long term health?
Do you know who the Impact Player is? Do they clean their toys between plays, are their toys well cared for without damaging nicks or tears, have they been using them long, can they vary their strength and impact based on your needs and wants, do they have a good reputation with their previous play partners, will they give you aftercare if you need it?
Do you know who the Venue is? Have they been operating for a reasonable length of time, owned by the same people, without incidents being spoken about, can you speak to the Owners easily, are the Owners active longterm members of the community, is the equipment well built and safe, do they have policies in place that match your expectations of safety and privacy, who are the DM’s and are they trustworthy and experienced, does the Venue welcome people who are ostracised or unwelcome elsewhere?
Do you know who the Teacher is? Do they have a good reputation, have they been teaching for a reasonable period of time or just started, have they spent years upon years perfecting their craft before even thinking of teaching or did they learn something last week and are teaching it this week, can they actually teach or are they just skilled at their craft without any teaching experience/ability, do they put their money where their mouth is and ensure you have a professional environment to learn in?
Do you know their Medical History? Is any sexual or body fluid contact negotiated before any play, and if it is do you know their medical history and are comfortable with it, did they offer to show you their blood results or did you have to ask, are their results recent or a year or more old, did they conveniently forget to tell you about something medically important that you now might have to deal with for the rest of your life?
Do you know who THEY are? Who are they as a human being, do they admit to their mistakes, is their ego overinflated or under control, do they promise to save everyone from everyone else, are they inclusive or do they “other” people, are they always big noting themselves or just go about things quietly and calmly?
Who are they?
*NB all of the above applies to both sides of the slash….