Miss Bitch’s Guide to Dungeon Etiquette – the Revival
You can deny all you want that there is etiquette, and a lot of people do in everyday life. But if you behave in a way that offends the people you’re trying to deal with, they will stop dealing with you…
~ Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners
Good day, Gentle Reader, and welcome to another installment of Miss Bitch’s Guide to Dungeon Etiquette, otherwise known as, ‘Don’t be a Douche in the Dungeon.’
During recent kinky social outings, several rather egregious breaches of behavioral etiquette have come to my attention. Since it has been a few years since we, here at Douchebag Elimination, Inc. have addressed this topic, we decided that it was time for a revival.
In this fringe society, where we play, on a regular basis, with concepts and words and behaviors that, in our ‘vanilla world,’ would indubitably be frowned upon, it may seem counter-intuitive, especially to those new to this thing we do, that good manners, common decency, and basic etiquette are important. It’s understandable, on many levels. We discuss topics, regularly, in public, that would be horrifically offensive in almost any other type of social interaction. We expose our breasts and genitalia, and wander around naked. We actively seek to cause one another pain, or to have someone cause us pain. We call one another nasty names, and make sex noises in rooms full of other people.
Yet, manners are an essential part of our interactions. Respect, courtesy, and consent are essential. Even while we’re calling one another filthy little whores.
•First, we must obey the rules of the venue. For those of who attend LF, those rules can be found here. In most other venues, outside private parties, those rules will either be clearly posted, or made readily available. It behooves you to read them, and familiarize yourself with the laws of the land. It matters not how new you are, or how experienced, there is simply no excuse for neglecting to do so.
•Common courtesy applies. If it doesn’t belong to you, seek permission before touching it. In these situations, ‘it’ may refer to either people or objects, or even people who are objects. Individual dynamics don’t matter. The roles of those involved do not matter. Don’t touch anything or anyone who doesn’t belong to you, period.
•Consent isn’t a transitive property. Just because you see someone else manhandling my tits, squeezing my ass, or gnawing on my inner thigh, it doesn’t mean that you are allowed to manhandle my tits, squeeze my ass, or gnaw on my thigh. If they’re doing such things to me, and I’m not screaming a safe-word whilst ferociously attempting to rip their eyes from the sockets, it’s reasonable to assume that they asked for, and were given, consent to do so. That doesn’t render your eyeballs safe from my not-so-tender ministrations, should you attempt the same, without asking.
•In most public playspaces, there are clearly delineated social areas, and areas designated specifically for play. Do not engage in one activity in the areas set aside for the other. If you are having a discussion in the play area that could easily be overheard by anyone other than the person sitting next to you, you’re being rude, and a douche. At LF, for example, it is quite clearly posted that all present in the dungeon are to be quiet. If the extreme transition from a well-lit, cheerfully decorated room, to a large, open, dark space full of furniture that looks like it may have been invented during the Inquisition doesn’t clue you in, the very clearly-worded signs, on the landing, state, “Quiet, please! Adults at play!” …or something very similar, and similarly unsubtle. For those who have difficulty, still, understanding such things, it means that, beyond this point, you shut your effing pie-hole.
•Unless you are a DM with a very specific and urgent concern, do NOT interrupt a scene in progress. Don’t talk to the top. Don’t talk to the bottom. Don’t invade their scene space. Walking within a few feet of a top throwing a whip is considered consent, in certain circles. If you get hit by a toy, because you are obliviously rude enough to walk through the middle of a scene, you deserve it, and it is my fondest wish that those who do so repeatedly would pay, via losing eyes to singletails.
•Your mother doesn’t work there. Clean up after yourself. There are almost always designated receptacles for garbage. When you’re finished with that water bottle or solo cup, throw it away! If you spill something, clean it up. It is pretty basic, grammar school stuff. Even for you, Mr. Domlypants. The capital letter at the beginning of your interwebz screen name doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility of picking up after yourself, or, at the very least, having your s-type do so.
•Do not stop to socialize in doorways or hallways. People move pretty fluidly from one area to another. Often, those people are carrying heavy loads, or wearing high heels, or in some state of altered consciousness due to play. Get the hell out of the way, mmmkay? As was already mentioned, there are areas set aside for socialization. You want to talk? Go there.
•Do not attend if you are intoxicated. Drinking at play parties is a controversial topic, and not at all the point of this post. If it is allowed, fine. Again, though, don’t be a douchebag. Know your limits. Whether you had your drink before arriving, or ordered it from the bartender at the venue, make sure that you know when to stop. Don’t make a habit of getting completely sloshed or utterly stoned, then trying to participate, on any level, in these types of activities.
•Clean the equipment you use. Don’t leave the cross all covered in sweat and joy-juice for the next person in line. I’m pretty certain they don’t want to spend their scene swimming in a sea of your bodily fluids.
•If your aftercare takes more time than your scene, perhaps it should take place someplace other than one which blocks access to the equipment. You know, like in Kindergarten… take turns!
•If you must have a conversation about some seriously negative subject matter, please be aware of those around you, those who have not consented to be a part of that discussion, and keep it down. I don’t know about you, but I really prefer not to hear about MasterFappity’s teenaged daughter’s DNC as I’m getting ready to have my tits turned into a pincushion. Seriously?
There are probably dozens of other ways in which we could all show one another courtesy and respect, and I can’t be arsed to think of everything.
It’s really simple, folks. I don’t care if you got your start from Fifty Shades, or have been doing this since your induction to the Grandest Ye Olde European High House of teh Assbeating. This stuff is basic. It’s easy. It costs you nothing.
…and doing otherwise makes you a douchebag.