What is the wristband system?
At Utah TNG’s play parties, we’ve implemented a system of green, yellow, and red paper wristbands that are provided as you enter the party. Basically, the color of the wristband indicates how interested you are in being asked to play, which can be generalized — loosely — to how interested you are in finding pick-up play (that is, spontaneous play with someone you don’t have an established relationship with) at the party.
What do the different colors mean?
As you can guess, they basically correlate with the colors of a stoplight. Remember that the wristbands are really only guidelines for interactions with strangers. If you have a scene set up in advance, or you’re romantic partners or regular play partners, we won’t enforce this contrary to common sense (although even if you’re regular play partners, it’s never a bad idea to let a red flagger be the one to ask).
Green — “I’m actively looking for play.”
Green flaggers would like to find someone to play with. Don’t be shy; if they seem cool, ask away! It’s still a good idea to talk to them first, though. Remember that green flaggers are people too, and if they hesitate, or don’t seem excited, don’t push it; it’s always more fun to play with someone who’s as into it as you are.
Yellow — “I’m not actively looking for play.”
Yellow flaggers aren’t there to find pick-up play. They might consider it, if something sounds especially interesting, but it isn’t their first priority. A yellow flag means “socialize first.” Don’t approach a yellow flagger if your only goal is asking to play — if you hit it off, maybe they’ll ask you.
Red — “I’m not looking for play.”
Red flaggers might be new, or taken, or worn out from an earlier scene, or just not interested in pick-up play. In any case, they don’t want to be asked to play. A red flag doesn’t mean “don’t talk to me” — it just means “don’t ask me to play.” Chat, get to know them, make friends — just no propositions. If you’re flagging yellow or green, and you’re really getting along and you think they might want to play, let them prove it by being the one to ask.
That’s a lot of information. What are the specific rules?
- Don’t ask a red flagger to play.
- No matter their wristband, only ask someone to play once, unless they specifically tell you to ask again later. Badgering someone for play is never a good time for anyone.
- No matter their wristband, don’t push when someone says no or gives you a non-answer (“I dunno” / “I’ll think about it” / etc). If they didn’t mean that as a no, or if they change their mind later, they can ask you. Always look for an explicit yes before you go forward.
- Remember that you aren’t married to your wristband. If you change your mind as the night progresses, feel free to change it.
Which color should I pick?
Whichever one you think describes you. When in doubt, go with yellow. If this is your first party, we strongly recommend choosing red or, at most, yellow.
So can I ask a yellow flagger to play, or not?
Unfortunately, the only answer here is “maybe — use your best judgement.” If you think you have enthusiastic consent from them, and that they really, really want to play, you can probably ask. But if you’re flagging green, it’s never a bad idea to wait and let them be the one to “pop the question.”
Conversely, if you are flagging yellow or red, and you find you want to play with someone, you should be prepared to ask.
I just saw a red flagger playing. Isn’t that against the rules?
Not at all. A red flag doesn’t mean “I’m not going to play.” It means the flagger doesn’t want to be asked to play, especially not by strangers. They can still play if they have a scene set up in advance, or if they’re monogamous and playing with their partner, or if they asked someone else, and so on.
Do I have to wear one?
Not really — we won’t throw you out of a party if you aren’t. But we really encourage it, for your sake as well as the party’s.
What if someone isn’t wearing one?
If someone isn’t wearing a wristband, treat them like they’re flagging yellow.
What do I do if someone breaks the rules?
First, if you can, tell the rule-breaker what they did, and ask them to stop.
If you’re too shy, or too intimidated by the person in the moment to call them out — or even if you did tell them — find a DM, or a member of the TNG admin staff, and tell them about the problem.
If you don’t get a chance to bring it up at the party, or don’t realize how bad their behavior was until later, you can contact the TNG account or any TNG staff member, describing the incident. Promptness makes it easier for us to enforce things, but we know it sometimes takes a clear head and fresh set of eyes to realize how bad something was; we won’t treat late-reported incidents any less seriously than promptly reported ones (within reason, of course; if it happened two years ago, and wasn’t something like rape or ignoring a safeword, we probably won’t do much about it).
What do I do if someone makes me uncomfortable, but maybe didn’t break a rule?
Follow the same steps as above. We’ll talk about it and decide what action is appropriate, but we can only do that if we know about what happened. Please don’t stay silent. The last thing we need is a kink community Bill Cosby incident.
What’s the reason for the wristband system?
We at Utah TNG want our parties to be as safe and comfortable for all of the attendees as possible. We understand that it can be difficult to assert yourself, especially if you’re new or socially awkward; we also understand that a situation can make you uncomfortable even if you do successfully say no. We believe the wristband system will help people to avoid these situations by giving them more control over whether or not they need to reject people in the first place. In addition to that, we believe that this will make it more comfortable for people to ask others to play, because they’ll have a general idea, going into a conversation, how likely someone is to reject them (and, let’s face it — rejection blows).
For these reasons, and a few others, we believe that the wristband system will make our parties safer for our most vulnerable members, and more comfortable for everyone.
You didn’t answer my question.
Sorry! Contact us or talk to any Admin and we’ll do our best. If it’s an especially good question we’ll add it and our answer to the FAQ.