Leatherman’s Codes and Creeds
I will form a bond with other Leathermen. In my associations, I will not lie, cheat or steal. Nor shall I malign my brothers in leather. I will pay due respect to all and shall, at all times, settle any and all disputes with discretion. I shall always respect their privacy and property!
I will engage only in activities that are personally known and experienced by me. I will personally test and experience any unknown activities prior to engaging in any play with others.
I will not misrepresent my abilities to others. I will establish and abide by set rules of conduct and will always act in the best interests of all parties in any and all situations. I will not abuse the trust earned and placed in my by my brothers in leather.
I will recognize the endurance and limits of others. I will not use or apply any instrument of pain and/ or discomfort to others, in any manner that may exceed reasonable or agreed upon limits. Nor shall I use any instrument that shall cause deliberate or unnecessary damage to the mind or body, nor any that shall be a danger to others.
General Socializing Rules
It is forbidden to touch a Leatherman’s gear or leather without specific permission. Touching without permission is a serious sign of disrespect. This can be difficult at times, but if you get it right it’s a feather in your cap.
If a leatherman wishes to hug a collared boy/sub/slave he must seek permission from the Master/Dominant/Sir first. If the leatherman is a “family member” or some local friend then this could be an exception. However in general leathermen do not touch other leathermen without previous introduction or friendships that exist and from those friendships hugs, kisses, etc. can all be determined as normal practice.
When you engage in the initial greeting of other leathermen while adhering to the Old Guard, if you do not know their title address them as “Sir”. One of two things will happen: they will correct you politely and provide you with their proper title or they will acknowledge that your title introduction was correct.
Never interrupt a Master/Sir/Top in a scene or during “Aftercare” with his boy/sub/slave.
Never interrupt a Master/Sir when he is engaged in a conversation. Always wait for a pause in the conversation if the interruption is not immediately necessary and say “Excuse me Master/Sir for the interruption”.
Étiquette vs Protocol vs Ritual
Etiquette represents a set of rules that guide us toward the right way of interacting with others in the world. It is culture bound and situation bound. It represents a way of showing respect to others while demonstrating your understanding of good manners. Manners are the key words. Etiquette can be said to be outward looking describing the way you interact with others with in our culture, external to the Sir/boy structure.
Protocols represent a new set of rules that govern specific actions or behaviour in a particular situation. Protocols however are inward looking. Protocols are actions and behaviours versus manners in etiquette. They describe the way the Sir/boy wishes his boy/boi/submissive to do specific things within the Master/Sir/boy/boi/submissive/slave structure. How the two interact with each other is Protocol. For example my boy always stands to my left side because that is where I turn my head the most when looking around. Within my leather family, protocol represents our way of interacting with each other and others that come to visit us, our common courtesy to one another. Protocols are expressed as a Code of Conduct within our community.
Rituals are like traditions. Ways that we choose to do things that are repeated with some regularity, but without a set of rules that govern specific behaviour. Much like at New Year’s Eve where some people eat herring, or corned beef and cabbage, or even black eyed peas for good luck depending on your heritage. This would be classified a tradition or ritual. Ceremonies are rituals and traditions.