Tips for Tops

Don’t be pushy. You will almost certainly be turned down at some point. Unlike asking someone to dance, the invitee may be sore, tired, or spaced out on endorphins. It is OK, of course, to ask twice, but remember “no means no”, and if you are too pushy your chances to play will actually decrease.

If the Bottom is new to you, take some time to find out what he or she likes. Negotiate play, and stick with your negotiation.
Basic social skills still work. If you are a Dom as well as a Top (as are some of you), that’s great! But that doesn’t mean bossy or rude. Be pleasant. Bossy is usually a turn-off or a threat, especially to a new Bottom.

On a related note, not all Bottoms are Submissives, and not all Submissives are your Submissives. If the Bottom indicates that dominance is desired, then please feel free to accommodate, but make sure that it is part of the agreement.
Listen carefully for safewords. “Red” means “stop” and is unconditional.
If a Bottom brats you, that IS to be construed as an invitation to play. But if she safewords, you stop.

When playing with a new implement, or with an implement that you haven’t used in a while, or just as a general rule, it is always smart to start a little on the light side and build up. Not only is this a safety measure, but it usually works better for the Bottom in terms of endorphin-building and pleasure. (And a happy Bottom is more likely to play with you again.)
If you see a Bottom with another Top, most of the time, it is the polite thing to do to ask if they are together and if it is OK to play. On the other hand, if you are with somebody, and somebody asks your partner to play, don’t be offended. That is the way spanking parties are. Let your Submissive know to tell inviters to ask your permission if you wish. This is not a BDSM party, and the protocols are significantly more vanilla.

Aftercare is always a good thing, especially after a long spanking, but don’t get TOO affectionate. What a Bottom usually needs is a soothing, friendly hug, some quiet time, and maybe some water, soda, or M&Ms.

On a multi-day party, try not to wear out the Bottoms the first night. While not a hard and fast rule, hands and stingy, light toys are a good idea the first day so that you can go hog-wild the next day. If you wear them out the first night, they won’t be able to enjoy playing the second night, which sort of defeats the purpose of a two-day party.