Safe, Sane, Consensual
Many people just breaking into the Lifestyle have had very limited dealings with other people who are into BDSM. Their ideas and experiences are often limited to books they have read, scenarios they have imagined, and relationships they may have had in cyberspace. All of these realms are very often firmly rooted in fantasy and can bear little if any resemblance to real life. Thus, many people new to the lifestyle have some very unrealistic expectations about how to behave and how others might treated them.
The following is intended as a brief, very general guide on BDSM manners. Its purpose is to dispel many common misconceptions and act as a guide for general acceptable behavior at Kinky Kollege and within the Lifestyle at large. Readers will find this guide to be a fairly constant indicator of expectations for behavior at most BDSM Events across the nation.
SAFE, SANE AND CONSENSUAL
Expect to hear this phrase over and over. What “safe, sane and consensual” basically means is that you take precautions to prevent accidents, you don’t do anything that is obviously dangerous, and you know your play partner and negotiate in advance what activities you are willing to engage in. It also means defining and using of safe words during play. Safe, sane and consensual means no one is ever obligated to do anything they don’t want to, even if it was something they previously agreed to. Anyone who does not live up to this standard is not safe to play with.
NEW TO THE LIFESTYLE
We’re all just people. Don’t be afraid. We have jobs and families and homes. Those of us active in the Lifestyle vary in our level of involvement. For some, BDSM is a fun, sexy thing to do. For others, it is a journey that encompasses their entire lives. Most players are somewhere in between. Like the rest of the world, most of us are pretty nice most of the time. Sometimes we act rude or angry and get to apologize later, like everybody else. And, as will happen in life, sometimes you meet someone who is just a jerk. Don’t worry about it. Feel free to be yourself and not live up to what you think others expect of you. We’re just people only kinky!
COMMON COURTESY PLEASE… UNTIL NEGOTIATED OTHERWISE
This is the real world, not a fantasy novel or cyber SM group. There is no Master/slave caste system here. We are all on equal ground until we negotiate otherwise. Some players particularly enjoy the role-play of Master and slave. However, it is presumptuous and rude to treat everyone as if they are “in role.” Just because someone is a submissive, it doesn’t make him or her your submissive. If you haven’t negotiated with someone then neither of you has any right to give orders or any obligation to take them. And it goes both ways. Kneeling at the feet of someone who hasn’t asked you to can be every bit as imposing and offensive as being ordered around by some pushy Master or Mistress you met two minutes ago.
DO UNTO OTHERS
There is a classic BDSM proverb: Don’t piss on someone else’s kink. It is generally considered bad form to trash or judge someone else’s turn-on. At various parties we all see many players and many scenes, some more extreme than others. Some scenes we witness may arouse us, while others may disturb us. However, we all come to the Community looking for acceptance and support in our Lifestyle. It is counter to our cause to find fault in others for taking pleasure in things we do not.
In the context of the Lifestyle, it is often considered rude to touch another person or their toys and equipment without first receiving permission. This can be of particular importance if it involves a collared submissive, but is basic etiquette for everyone. Physical contact can be very powerful and personal. If unwelcome, it is violating. Our toys are also very intimate objects, imbued with the powerful emotions we feel when we use them. They are our sex toys. Handling someone else’s toys without permission can have the same emotional impact as fondling their body without permission.
The guidelines above are a very broad, general view of basic BDSM etiquette. Everyone should know that it is acceptable for anyone, of any orientation, to take a fellow member aside and let them know when they are not behaving appropriately. If it is a repeated problem or the member doesn’t feel comfortable speaking to the person creating the problem, a Leather SINS Board Member will be happy to respectfully speak to the person about it. The Leather SINS Board wants Kinky Kollege to be an event where all members feel comfortable. Much of what is mentioned above is common sense and common courtesy, so in other words… PLAY NICE!