Entering the Community: Understanding and Following General Protocols in Public
Welcome to part
in this week’s series all about how to
help you feel more comfortable entering and becoming a part of the local BDSM dungeons and clubs may have very specific rules for how they expect Dominants/tops and submissives/bottoms to behave. You also need to remember that whatever rules and protocols your Dominant has set for you still apply.
Before you get yourself stressed out that you’re never going to remember all the rules or you’re going to embarrass yourself, remember this one thing:
Just be polite.
If you remember no other protocol once you walk through the door and are faced with a mix of Dominants and submissives, remember that.
Munches, Meet-Ups, Coffees – Low Protocol
The least stressful time you can have with your kinky peeps is in a vanilla setting. This is a time for everyone to come together just to hang out and get to know one another. You need to blend in so you don’t freak out the non-kinky among you, but you still need to remember who you are.
- Follow whatever rules your Dominant has set for you. When Southern Sir and I are out at a restaurant, it’s my job to prepare his coffee once it’s served. Most servers don’t even notice, but every once in a while, one gets confused and thinks they gave coffee to the wrong person. Nope, this is just my rule. He doesn’t remind me, and I don’t mention it. I just do what I’m supposed to do.
- When in doubt, let your Dominant introduce you to people. Or, if you know the person organizing the munch or meet-up, let them introduce you.
- Be polite but feel free to talk to other people. This is a time to get to know people in the lifestyle. Hopefully, it’s a no pressure situation for everyone.
- For single submissives, don’t be bashful. Shake hands, introduce yourself, and find a conversation to join. But always, always, always show good manners.
For those submissives who have a Dominant, you have to remember that your behavior is a reflection of them. When you’re rude, rowdy, or obnoxious, you make your Dominant look bad, as if they don’t have any control over you or your behavior.
Dungeons, Play Parties, and Kinky Events – High Protocol
Okay, for a night out with the kinky peeps, the rules are a bit different and often much stricter. No worries, though, you can handle this. When in doubt, fall back on being uber-polite.
If you’re new to the location, ask the dungeon master or whoever greets you at the door for any rules you need to be aware of. Most places will tell you the rules from the beginning, but in case they don’t, always ask.
Follow those rules. Don’t get kicked out of a dungeon because you didn’t feel like complying with the same rules as everyone else. Also realize that everyone is new at some point, and mistakes will be forgiven as long as you apologize and stay polite.
Some basic higher protocol rules you’ll probably encounter in general:
- Follow all rules your Dominant has in place for you. (That’s a given and should be an automatic.)
- Wait for your Dominant to introduce you.
- Unless told differently, use “Sir” for male Dominants and “Ma’am” for female Dominants. Don’t worry, they’ll tell you if they want to be called something specific.
- Don’t speak to, touch, or otherwise engage with someone unless your Dominant approves. If the person you want to talk to is a submissive, you may also need their Dominant’s permission.
- Don’t talk too much during a scene. Definitely don’t talk to the participants. If you talk to the people around you, be very quiet and keep it brief. Interrupting someone’s concentration could be dangerous and is definitely rude.
- Never interrupt a scene. You can ask questions later. If you think someone’s in danger, you should go to the dungeon master.
- Keep your attention focused on your Dominant.
- In very high protocol situations, you may need to keep your eyes lowered and kneel or sit at your Dominant’s feet. For some, this is already part of your rules when in public. For others, it might be new.
- If you make a mistake, simply apologize politely. Most people are very forgiving.
Single submissives, you have more freedom to approach other people, depending on the rules of the club or dungeon. If the person is a submissive, make sure their Dominant grants permission first. (In reality, they should make sure they have permission but if you are the one who approaches, be the one to ask permission.) If the person you’re talking to is a Dominant, be as polite and respectful as you know how to be.
If you remember nothing else when you’re out and about with your fellow kinksters, remember this: Always be polite. It’s good practice for being a human, and it’s a great way to establish trust and respect and make friends in the Finding Other Local Kinksters Using Online Resources
Part 2: Socializing with Kinksters
Part 3: Understanding and Following General Protocols in Public