Rochester Kink Society

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Dungeon Etiquette

In general

  • Politeness will get you a long way in the scene. Treat other people as you'd like to be treated.
  • Honesty is highly valued in the lifestyle and at RKS. Lying, whether about one's experience level, marital status, risk factors, or anything else is frowned upon, and will usually be found out.
  • Touching (even casually) other people or their possessions (including collars, cuffs, and apparel) without permission is unacceptable. Most people enjoy playing show-and-tell, but always get their permission beforehand.
  • Following someone around ("puppy dogging") is likely to creep him or her out, and make them want to avoid you instead of getting to know you.
  • There are DMs, hosts, or people in charge at most organized BDSM settings. They are there to enforce the rules, but are not psychic; if you are victimized by someone, let those in authority know. They cannot do anything for you without knowing that something is wrong, and concerns reported after-the-fact become difficult to validate or enforce.


  • Asking personal questions (one's real name, where they live or work, etc.) is usually considered rude until you've established a personal relationship with an individual.
  • Confidentiality is very highly valued in the scene and at RKS. Treat all personal information as confidential unless the individual in question tells you specifically otherwise. This includes e-mail addresses, scene names, home location, etc. It is also rude to ask others to break confidentiality for your benefit (for example, by asking for a third party's contact information).
  • Attempting to track down someone outside of the BDSM arena without their prior knowledge and consent is generally bad form. If you absolutely must reach someone, rather than "hunting them down", have a mutual acquaintance pass a message along with your contact information.

Interpersonal Expectations

  • An individual's clothing or toy collection is not indicative of their BDSM interests or experience level. A casually dressed person is not always a newbie, whereas the leather-clad goddess decked out in high-heeled boots and black PVC outfit might might just be trying to make an impression on her first visit.
  • Expecting people who don't know you to call you 'Sir', 'Mistress' or another respectful title will make you look pompous. Titles and respect are both earned– let your behavior show others that you are worthy of your desired title.
  • Submission/Dominance is not a competition. Pretentiously claiming to be the best submissive/Dominant, gloating over having the most or best toys, and other more subtle ranking tactics are unseemly.
  • If a dominant requires that someone ask him/her before addressing his/her submissive, it is his/her responsibility to inform others of this rule. Strangers should be forgiven once (but not twice!)
  • If you've prepared yourself by learning scene etiquette in an on-line chat rooms, do yourself a favor and forget everything. The fantasy of anonymous on-line role-play does not convert to actual, in-person behavior and etiquette.

Friends vs. Acquantainces

  • You may notice people who are close to each other committing what look like flagrant etiquette violations. Most often these people are friends who don't feel offended by their close friends' jibes. Do not assume that because they can, you can.
  • Not all submissives– in fact, very few– are instructed to be submissive to all dominants. Do not expect a submissive to be submissive to you simply because they are wearing a collar.
  • Playful threats towards a submissive you're personal friends with may be considered cute and delightful. Playful threats towards a submissive you have just met will probably be considered an unsolicited advance or a general lack of etiquette.
  • Likewise, tattling to a submissive's dominant about his/her misbehavior is usually considered cute and harmless among friends. Tattling to a submissive's dominant when you don't know either of them will make you look whiny.