Authentic Relating Game - Hot Seat

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NOTE: This page is a daughter page of: Online dating

Authentic Relating Games are games designed to really get into a persons core. They usually take the form of pretty straightforward question and answer games, or maybe a deck of cards. They could be deep questions and answers, or sexy conversations and occasionally just silly and playful... as long as they make you feel alive, present and connected to the people around you.

This article isn't just an account of these games, it also contains some deep questions and strategies I've come across or devised to get the most out of the games. Of course the most critical ingredient is good, fun open people who are willing to be vulnerable... and that's when the games really flow. Most recency, I was pretty surprised when I just mentioned this game after dinner at a restaurant (we had just done dancing and we were in a quiet corner of lounge chairs) and everyone decided to give it a go. I gave five minutes per person (there were 7 of us) and it was really fun!

Hot Seat

I first played "Hot Seat" in San Francisco, and it was pretty incredible. I have to say it's best done in a quiet controlled environment where the person in the hot seat sits on a stool, as if in front of the class, with everyone facing towards them.

How to Play

NOTE: These instruction have been copied almost exactly from the [v Authentic Relating Games Night Handbook PDF] by Bryan Bayer and Decker Cunov (co-founders of Authentic World), so please download that if you wanna read about more games!

  1. One person sits in the "hot seat" and anyone in the room (including the facilitator) may ask that person a question. They will raise their hand and I will call on them.
  2. You can ask the person in the hot seat ANY question you want. The person in the hot seat refuse to answer, just like in real life, but the challenge is to be honest and push your boundaries.
  3. Questioners must ask "interested questions" versus "interesting questions". Interested questions keep the focus on the person in the hot seat, while interesting questions put the attention back on the questioner. (If someone asks an interesting question, it's up to the facilitator to redirect that rather than let it play out).
  4. The question-askers can only respond in one way: by saying "Thank you." And they can say it at ANY time during the hot seat person's response, and the person on the hot seat stops speaking, even MID-SENTENCE, PERIOD. This does the person/people listening the favor of not needing to listen to more than they asked for, and the speaker doesn't have to be speaking to someone who doesn't want to listen to them.
  5. Everyone in the room keeps full attention on the person in the hot seat, not the questioner. So, while the natural tendency of people is to look at the person asking the question, instead, everyone should keep their attention focused on the person in the hot seat. This keeps the seat nice and hot.
  6. After setting up the rules, the facilitator asks for a volunteer to be first in the hot seat and the game begins. The facilitator calls on participants with questions, and waits for a high note before saying "and I’ll take you off of the hot seat there", encouraging a round of applause, probably after about 4-10 minutes per person.
  • Extra NOTES:
    • Usually only 3-8 people will get a chance to be on the hot seat in any given evening.
    • 4-10 minutes per person.
      • Clarifying Questions: If a questioner asks a question like, "What are your relationships like right now?" and the person in the hot seat asks a clarifying question, "Do you mean my romantic relationships or my friendships?" that should be taken as their answer and the appropriate response from the questioner is "Thank you." Then another person in the room or the facilitator can re-ask that question, "What are your romantic relationships like?" or they can ask an entirely different question.
    • Keeping the seat hot: Ideally, people are feeling some intensity while in the hot seat. Be sure to invite the questioners to ask anything at all. At any point the facilitator can turn up the heat, explore the edges of the person on the hot seat "Tell me about the last time you felt shame / angry / had an orgasm. How is your relationship going? What would you like more of? How is the sex?
    • For extra heat: Ask questions about people in the room: "Who are you most attracted to?" "What would you like to do with them?"

Some Great Questions

Leaning In

...... (I feel like these are good questions to ask right at the beginning)

  • Would you prefer people ask you easy question, or really grill you right now?
  • What style of questions, are you most hoping people ask you.. as in sexy question, family questions, childhood or a total mix?
  • What makes you uncomfortable to talk about with strangers?
  • From 1-10, how nervous are you right now, and what might make you less or more nervous?
  • Can you describe how your body is feeling right now on the hot seat?

Life History

  • What is your proudest achievement in life?
  • Best gift you've ever received?
  • Most meaningful gift you've ever gift?
  • What was your lowest point in life?
  • Edge question: What's something you did that you are most ashamed of?
  • Biggest life regret?
  • What's your next big step in life that you've been putting off?


  • What's your best childhood memory?
  • Describe your childhood?
  • Where were you born, and where do you wish you were born?
  • What's an embarrassing story from your youth?
  • Tell us about your first pet, the good times and when it ended.

Recent History

  • When's the last time you cried and why?
  • When's the last time you yelled at someone?

Current Situation

  • What makes you happy?
  • What would you change about yourself right now?


  • Who are your family members and which, if any, do you wish you were closer to?
  • What does your relationship with your parents look like?
  • Was there a death in your family or friends that profoundly affected you?
  • What do you love most about your mom?


  • Talk about your very best friend.
  • Has a friend every betrayed your trust.
  • How do you think your friends describe you?


  • What's the best trip you've ever done in your life?
  • Where's somewhere you really want to go, and why haven't you been there?


  • How would you describe yourself in three words?
  • What do you think is your biggest personal flaw?
  • What's something you wish you had learned as a child?
  • What can I count on you for?

Work (boring)

  • What do you do for a living, and what do you wish you were doing?
  • What's the worst thing about your workday?


  • If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take one person, who would it be?


  • Describe the best date you've ever been on. (if none jump out, an ideal date)
  • What was your worst date.
  • Who is your favorite ex and why?
  • What is your greatest fear in romantic relationships?
  • Tell us about your first kiss.
  • What's been your biggest regret in dating?
  • What do you look for in a man/woman?
  • What's your biggest complaint about dating?


  • When did you first have sex and how was your experience?
  • Edge question: Describe the best sex you've ever had.
  • What's your darkest sexual fantasy.
  • Favorite sexual position, and why.
  • Describe yourself in bed, in three words.
  • Tell us about your last orgasm.
  • Have you ever had a threesome?
  • Have you ever done or come close to group sex?
  • Edge question: What's the craziest thing you've ever done in bed.
  • Edge question: Do you have any kinks or experiences you've never shared with people.
  • Super cheeky, don't have to answer: Have you ever done stuff with your butt or another butt. (can be funny)
  • Where were the last 5 things you put into your butt. (Fahed insisted on this question)
  • Edge question: In your ideal relationship are you allowed to see other people, or is it 100% closed and monogamous.
  • Extra heat: Do you find anyone in the audience really sexy.

Body Image

  • What's the favorite part of your body.
  • Is there anything you wish you could change about your body?

Meta / Wildcard

  • What's a question you are genuinely afraid one of us might ask you, right now? (follow up with that question)
  • What's a question you are really hoping someone asks you about? (follow up with that question)
  • At what point in this game did you feel the most moved or turned on?


Acknowledgements: Vicky and Courtney on Oahu, for hosting a hot seat game... not my first time participating, but when someone complimented my questions, I decided I should list some of them out. Also: Ann, Taylor, Fahed and others who spontaneously let me host a "hot seat" with them after a night of dancing. My first time hosting, and it really was a fun group!