A quick and easy guide to vetting tops

So you just saw Full Circle Kink post their new class and you are anxious to go, but are without a top. You post an ad on FetLife and someone responds! But how can you know if they are trustworthy? Here is a quick guide of steps you can take to vet a top!

Vetting another kinkster is the process of finding out about them as a player. This could be meaning finding out about their skill set, their ability to play within the negotiated boundaries, or whether they are within your risk profile (do they play in a way you consider to be safe or well informed of the risk?). It is important to trust your gut when playing with new people but finding out information from others in the community can be incredibly valuable. Letís talk about a few ways to gather information and to vet someone!

First, read their Fetlife profile. While not everyone is super active on the site, it is a good space assess how they present themselves to the world. Read what they wrote in the ìAbout Meî section. Is there anything that gives you pause? Or do you feel like you have an understanding of who they might be as a human? Look at the pictures theyíve posted. If there are photos of scenes that look pretty sketchy, that might be an indicator of how they play. Pay attention to any mutual friends you may have. If you trust those people, they would be great resources to ask about interactions with the person (weíll get into good questions to ask in a bit). If there are no mutual friends, reach out to any bottoms in their photos to ask about their experience playing with this person.

It can be difficult to know what to ask someone about their experience. Here is a list of some questions that might help you understand the person you are wanting to play with more:

  • How was negotiating with them? Did they listen when you set hard limits? Did you feel respected? Were able to advocate for your own wants/desires/limits or did they push their agenda onto you?
  • During play, did they stay within the negotiated boundaries?
  • Did you feel safe with them?
  • Did they keep lines of communication open? Were you able to ask questions? Did they listen when you asked for adjustments? If negotiated, did they check in with you after the scene?
  • What would they say is the topís style? What are they interested in as far as play goes?
  • What did the top say about their level of education?
  • Would they play with the top again?

Use the answers to these questions to help you decide if the top is someone you would like to move forward with.

Because learning from other peopleís experiences is crucial to vetting a top, some community-focused bottoms created a Google Group called Rope Bottomsí Share Group. Check out the FetLife group to see how to join. This is a space where bottoms can share their own experiences about a wide array of topics, including personal experiences playing with various tops in various communities. The benefit of this space is that people from all over the world are members and are willing to contribute their voices. Members can request information about specific tops or read through posts already written.

At the end of the day, you must decide if a top is someone you feel comfortable playing with. Vetting allows you to obtain more information about their skills and their interactions with the community in order to make that decision.