Basic Protocols  

DragonWycke 63M
91 posts
8/25/2006 2:56 am

Last Read:
8/25/2006 4:52 am

Basic Protocols

Basic Protocols
by Sir Magic Darkangel


Most people who have entered the scene within the last couple of years really have no idea of what constitutes Basic Protocols nor what they specifically are. Over the years I have watched as the heterosexual BDSM scene has become more an more "causal" to the point where even Emily Post would be aghast if she was among us. Protocol is or was to BDSM as social etiquette is to the vanilla world, sadly the practice and concept has been lost in both.

Depending upon your geographic area, community, sexual orientation, (old guard were homosexual males) and when you entered the BDSM affects your level of knowledge; understanding and application of them. Not all events or gatherings are "formal" meaning full protocol applies. Most of us live in "informal" mode when we interact. Regardless, for those of us who are Traditionalists, like myself, there always exists a minimal level or standard often called basic protocols.

Do not touch another sub/slave without approval of their Dom.

This goes for casual touching (greeting hugs and handshakes) as well. You must ask the Dom’s permission before engaging in any type of physical contact. Additionally, is also improper to personally address One's property without permission. In some circles it may be deemed insulting to the Owner to address property without first asking the Dominant or Owner, "does she/he speak or may I speak to him / her?" is highly recommended. In a formal BDSM setting [events] some sub/slaves only speak when spoken too. This is determined by their Dominant and the event in question.

When knowingly dealing with a collared sub/slave, all requests for socialization, meetings, dates, munches, play, etc. must go through the Dom first.

You do not send an invitation directly to a collared sub/slave. The invitation must go to their Dominant/Owner first, asking permission to invite them to said function. The Dominant then has the right to impose whatever limits they see fit. You do NOT have the right of negotiation of said terms. You either accept them or respectfully decline and withdraw.

Never step between Owner and property attached by lead or leash.

Never grab the leash of another’s property without permission. Please be mindful not to step on leads or leashes or the handles. Correspondingly one should be cautious about unattended or loose leads and leashes (not everyone is always on the ball.) Under certain circumstances, (under very old archaic rules) it is an open invitation to have way with said attached property.

When others are scening stay a respectful distance from their scene

Even if you know them do not just walk up and speak to those in a scene, unless you were previously invited to do so. Those involved within a scene are in their own world and should only be disturbed for reasons determined by one of authority (usually regarding health, safety, welfare or personal emergency).

You never touch other people's toys or property without permission, it is rude and can be a health hazard.

[You can end up with broken fingers when they are done with you] If you see a toy you like and would like to examine it, ask permission BEFORE you touch it and NOT while they are in a scene.

In a formal setting all Doms are called Sir/Madame/Mam.

Only the Dominant or owner of a sub/slave should be called Master or Mistress by their sub/slave. Please note: in such cases Sir or Madame is a general acknowledgment of "station" and not granting them "title". Calling one Sir or a Domme "Lady" is NOT to be confused with a formally titling them Sir / Lady ( insert name here) Different scenes do different things. Where you would encounter this particular situation is in an environment of formal traditionalists. Keep in mind everything is relative and one persons traditionalist is another persons liberal.

Informational note: Gorian slaves in general call all males above their station "Master" and females "Mistress even" if Mistress is another slave.


When the Master/Mistress is engaged in conversation and it is necessary to interrupt, the sub/slave should first wait to be acknowledged before speaking.

Once acknowledged, the sub/slave should relay the information in a concise manner. In the event of an emergency or critical need to know information, the sub/slave should interrupt by saying "Excuse me Master/Mistress, Sir, and Madame" and wait for further direction from the Master/Mistress. In a formal setting, a Master/Mistress should not be interrupted unless the information is critical.

If a Dom acts inappropriately towards a sub/slave, it is not the place (in most cases) of the sub/slave to correct the Dom’s actions.

Instead, the Master/Mistress or DM is to be informed of the incident and it is their responsibility quickly deal and correct the situation.

When a Dom is a guest in the home of another Master/Mistress and their sub/slave, (the senior slave, alpha slave) has authority over the visiting Dom as directed by the Master/Mistress of the house.

Although the sub/slave may request that something is done or not done, this request is phrased as such out of respect. The alpha slave has the last word in the house in the event that the Master/Mistress is not on premise or unless otherwise indicated by the Master/Mistress of the house.

Depending on circumstances and the event in question a senior sub/slave also known as alpha sub can have over technical authority Dominants and other slaves.

This being the case the alpha sub will be accorded the respect befitting their position of said situation. For example: Munch’s conventions or other events.


A new or young (not chronological age) should not self select the title of Sir, Master/Mistress or Lord until such time their basic skills are easily recognized by the established peers in the community.

These are what generally are considered very basic protocols. Please keep in mind every scene is different. What I have listed here are the more common threads of what makes up the fabric of the National scene for traditionalists also known as Old Guard and New Guard. Many of you my not function at such formal levels, which is fine. But, like table manners if you are to interact in the public scene at the very least you should know them. Whether you choose to obey them is another matter all together.

One final note:
Please be advised that in some parts of the county {USA} "protocol" is not observed and considered a bad word. There are those who feel that there is no such thing as "protocols" and those who do. Please when traveling always observe or ask about local customs and follow them within the bounds of common sense.




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