So I'm not sure if I even actually wrote about this - a quick browse over the last few entries didn't show it, and an anonymouse's comment on my last entry also implies that I didn't - but the local Leather community is having a high protocol dinner on July 17th.
The subject came up at MLD a few months ago while we were discussing protocols and whether that was something we wanted to explore further as a community. Everyone was very excited by the idea of a high protocol event, and a dinner was an obvious choice. So we picked a date and a host volunteered and we started organizing.
So, a high protocol dinner. What it is varies on its atmosphere. The question "is it a Leather thing" came up, and well, no, not exactly. It will be in this case because it is for us. Because we're coming at it from a position of, we enjoy Leather and high protocol, and we want a place to explore that.
But high protocol dinners are fairly common in the BDSM world, and in the vanilla world too. In the vanilla world they're for rich business men and special occasions like anniversaries, but sometimes your average person takes part too because they're fun.
In the BDSM world - and in the Leather world - it's a bit different. You're not hiring caterers and waiters, for example. That's what submissives are for. :) And there is a more... richly sexual tinge to the atmosphere. Not necessarily sexual as in, people fuck - in fact they usually don't - but sexual as in everyone is raw beneath their manners and aroused by the formality of it all.
So for our Leather dinner, we'll have 12 dominants seated at the dining table. We'll have many submissives running about behind the scenes - in the kitchen, in the parking lot (boy is going to be a valet for the first part of the evening), things like that.
The point is for us to enjoy our dominant or submissive positions as a sort of roleplay for several hours. The submissives will be serving, and the dominants will be served.
High protocol means just that - it's a very strict code of behaviour for the evening, where everyone (including dominants) have certain rules they have to obey, certain expectations about their appearance, and certain ways they have to behave.
We've all been given a manual to read up on before the day, it's around 20 pages long and includes slave positions, serving instructions, and rituals for the day.
One of the interesting things about this dinner in particular is that pre-existing couples will be split for the event. It's an opportunity to (as subs) show our excellence in service and (as doms) to receive service gratefully from someone different, who we cannot take for granted.
Another thing about this dinner is that there will be a Leather ceremony performed directly after dinner. I will write more about that after it has happened, because I'm enjoying my own private little joys about it until then. :)
So - a formal dinner, where the submissives serve the dominants and everyone is expected to be on their best behaviour, with many rituals in place. That's what this dinner is. A place for us to indulge in a bit of a fantasy for a while. :)
Personally I'm very nervous about the dinner; I come from a lower class background and still am not well acquainted with even the middle classes, let alone the upper classes, so a lot of the manners expected of me will be things I have little practise in. But I will do my best, and I'm sure it will be an excellent experience.
I'm sure I'll ramble more about the dinner sometime soon - probably after the rehearsal on Sunday.
I hope that's clear - I'm a bit muddle headed at the moment!