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
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
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.
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
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
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.