boy stray wrote a well thought out post on aspects of protocol. On the way to publishing the post from a blogging assistive app, the entire article vanished.
So, back to the writing table…
i did have the pleasure of hearing International leatherboy, boy jake, speak about Protocol this afternoon. He regaled the packed audience with the history and meaning of protocol and then discussed what actions and rituals are or can be a part of an agreed upon protocol between a Dom/Master and his sub/slave. Also touched on was what to do (what protocol to follow) when you go to Aunt Martha’s for Thanksgiving. Above all it seems open and honest communication up front is paramount in establishing and maintaining protocol.
I performed several google searches of “Old Guard Leather” and did not get very thorough or informative results. There was a somewhat vague reference to the Old Guard developing in the 1940s and 1950s when gay former servicemen from World War II adopted military protocol into the Leather BDSM community. The protocols were a strict set of rituals and behaviors established to develop a rank-based system that emphasized a hierarchy between Dominants/Tops/Masters and submissives/boys/bottoms/slaves, and even between Dominants.
The protocols required active participation of the sub. he was the one who served his Sir coffee or a drink in a certain manner; he was the one who stood when a Dom entered the room or assumed a specific position on command. he walked behind his Master, sat on the floor rather than using the furniture, ate only when the Dom had begun eating, etc. he served his Sir joyfully, and was deeply gratified to be able to serve his Dominant. his satisfaction was in providing good service. The Dom received gratification knowing his sub was well trained, respectful and would willingly meet all of his needs without hesitation.
However, punishment was delivered swiftly for mistakes and repeated infractions in carrying out established protocols.
Well these are the opinions i formed from my readings about what Old Guard might have been like.
Again this is my opinion of how the New Guard tradition is interpreted now. The system asks its members to be sincere, respectful, courteous, honest and polite in our dealings with one another, and between Dominants and their submissives. The hierarchy remains today but is less rigid than before. It seems the majority of Dominants today don’t expect all boys to submit to them just because they self identify as a Dom. Dominants by their experience and tenure in the Leather BDSM world earn the respect of the rest of the community.
Protocols still exist, and are just as important today as they were decades ago. The establishment of protocols in a Dom/sub relationship can be discussed and agreed upon by both parties involved, and it has even been reported that some subs request a deeper or more difficult level of protocol as an outward sign of the honor and respect they have for their Dom.
subs simply should ask themselves, “how should i behave respectfully in this situation to bring honor and pride to my Dominant?”
As a submissive who is fairly new to coming out and working to fit in i have to say i am confused by the blurring of roles in the community. There is a kind of sliding scale from 100% Dominant to 100% submissive. It seems more gay Leathermen and boys are falling into the mid range on the scale….also known as versatile. At the bars, arm and wrist bands are seen on both arms, or hankie flags, keys, or chains are placed in a manner incongruous with other outward signs or mannerisms of established Dom or sub roles.
What’s a total, sub bottom boy to do when he can’t tell if the hot man across the room or the one he is standing next to is another boy, or is in fact a Dom/Top/Master?
Every boy’s Bill of Rights
1. Every boy has the right to have his body, intellect, and emotions protected by his Dom.
2. Every boy has the right to choose the man whom he serves and to discontinue that service and take his leave without being subjected to physical, mental, or emotional abuse.
3. Every boy has the right to be cared for, disciplined appropriately, and allowed to feel pride in his submission.
4. Every boy has the right to protected sex if he so wishes.
5. Every boy has the right to privacy if he so wishes. No boy can be blackmailed, publicly humiliated, or physically coerced into service without his expressed desire to be so.
6. Every boy has the right to defend himself from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
7. Every boy has the right to consent or not to consent to sexual activities.
8. Every boy has the right to seek refuge, counsel, and advice from other subs and DOMS without the expectation of sex, money, or any other service in return.
9. Every boy has the right to a physically and emotionally available circle of friends.
10. Every boy has the right to protect his own possessions and finances against intercession, theft, and non-consensual acquisition.
SIRS: Please copy and paste this Bill of Rights into your online profiles if you wish to let subs know how you feel about their rights.
subs, boys, and pups: Please include the Bill of Rights in your online profiles and take a stand against abuse
** This copy of the boy Bill of Rights was found online at http://www.theLeatherjournal.com