There's no pressure to do anything
Not everyone wants to end up in the playroom or ends up meeting people they want to play with. A lot of people are just here to learn, play and enjoy a liberated environment. Don't feel pressured to enter the playroom, kink room or to connect with other people if you're not ready. Work with your PAL and anyone else in your group to negotiate what you do and don't want to get out of this experience. Talk about your boundaries and set yourself firm limits of what you do and do not find acceptable.
Treat the playroom better than you would treat your own bedroom
The playroom isn’t a chillout area, and it’s also not a bar. Water only in the playroom please.So please no bottles, no smoking and if you want to lounge and chat, please take it elsewhere. Don't allow yourself to fall asleep in the playroom.
Make friends before you get to a playroom.
It’s not okay to lurk around in the playroom unless you can be sure there's someone in there you plan to play with. It's okay to go in and check if your friend or a potential playmate is there, but don't cruise around in the playspace. If you have had the bright idea of teaming up with a wanky wing(wo)man just to gain entry, hoping to get involved in a scene that’s already going on, think again. If you've been playing but your playmate(s) leave(s) the playroom and you find yourself at a loose end, take that as your cue to leave. Under no circumstances linger in the playroom alone - hanging about on your own makes you look creepy, makes others feel uncomfortable, and it breaks our code of conduct.
Even if you are with a playmate, be careful about engaging in voyeurism. There’s a difference between “seeing” and “staring”. Some people love to be watched; most do not. So be sure to ask before watching, and that also goes for times when you may be playing yourself. No-one wants to see you drooling blank-faced like a zombie!
Consent: Get it, give it
Get consent for everything you do. Whether it’s kissing, touching, biting, spanking, stroking, licking, whatever: check that it’s okay and that it’s what your playmate wants. Just because someone is not saying ‘No’ doesn’t mean it’s a ‘Yes’.
Instead of assuming, just ask. That goes especially for approaching someone for the first time or joining a scene. It’s best to talk, but even if your mouths aren’t available there are other ways and there’s no excuse not to get some sort of signal of consent.
And be considerate of people around you, including their need to consent to what happens in the room. If you're interested in extreme play like slapping or needles, you should get permission from all the people in your vicinity. It's a polite, simple way to ensure that you don't trigger or upset anyone unneccesarily.
Negotiate your boundaries
Being clear about what you are comfortable with is just as important as gaining consent. Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ and to let your playmate(s) know where your boundaries lie.
Saying what turns you on can be sexy as hell. It might seem weird or embarrassing if you’re not used to doing this but if you’re playing with people you're still getting to know, it’s essential.
Respect other people’s choices. Be graceful and don’t be offended or try to argue if someone says ‘No’ to you. Equally, be firm but polite when you turn people down.
Safer sex, no exceptions
Put condoms on toys and on everything else that goes in a warm place. Make sure you clearly communicate that you are using a condom – don’t wait for the other person to ask. Disregard of this rule is unacceptable. We advise you to bring your own condoms, lube and gloves.
Be upfront about your safer sex preferences. It’s okay to ask for your playmate to use gloves or a dental dam if that’s your thing.
Keep it clean
Be as down and dirty as you like, but clear up after yourselves. Fellow guests will be in the room after you - there are no professional cleaners who will tidy up. Condoms and other discarded playroom accessories can pose a health hazard as well as being downright nasty to put your hand in. We provide bins for your used condoms and sex supplies - so please use them.
We all make mistakes, get over-excited or misread the situation from time to time. But the only way we can be aware of our behaviour is if other people let us know. It is everyone’s responsibility to let other guests know that they are in danger of breaking our code of conduct or these guidelines.
By communicating positively, every guest can help to prevent misunderstandings from developing into anything serious. If someone makes you uncomfortable, for ANY reason, let them know immediately. That includes touching without asking, saying something that offends you, or even just looking at you in a way you don’t like.
Even if you’re not involved in a scene, if you see a potential problem, feel empowered to have a quiet word or to tell a member of the Summer House team.
If you need to make a complaint about another guest, please try and tell the guest concerned directly, and then tell the organisational team. We will always investigate complaints, even after the event, but the sooner we hear about it, the more likely we can bring about a happy result for everyone. We promise not to cause a scene on the night but instead look to mediate and bring about peaceful resolution of issues.
(With thanks to Kinky Salon London, who supplied the inspiration for some of these guidelines)