NLA-Austin Dungeon Monitor Training Manual
First Edition 2000. Revised 8/2001
Introduction and Purpose of this Manual
This manual was written as both an introduction and a reference for new Dungeon Monitor and experienced - those special individuals willing to learn about and accept the responsibilities of maintaining a safe, sane and consensual environment for S/M play at the BDSM play parties. While it has been designed and developed for NLA-Austin Dungeon Monitors, it is hoped this manual may be of value to other clubs in the Dominance and submission (D/s) or Bondage and Discipline, Sado/Masochism (BDSM) lifestyle. If such were the case, then its readers are welcome to use whatever this manual has to offer.
It is important to know this is not a book about the BDSM or S/M or D/s lifestyle, nor is it intended to teach "how to play." Having said that, this book can be useful as a guide to safe, sane, and consensual play. Again, it is not intended as a substitute for some excellent instructional books and videos on proper play techniques. For proper instruction in these areas consider attending NLA-Austin meetings, where demos and discussion panels provide outstanding discussions and support for all levels of players.
The job of the Dungeon Monitor is an important one. The role is necessary for maintaining the integrity of public BDSM play. It is hoped that this will be a useful reference tool for novice as well as experienced Dungeon Monitor. As for terminology, consistent terms and phrases have been used throughout. For example, Dominant instead of Top and submissive instead of bottom. The terms D/s and BDSM are used interchangeably. It is recognized that some persons have a preference for D/s or S/M; however, no bias is intended. Finally, every effort has been made to avoid gender bias as well.
Special thanks is extended APEX and the many others who for their dedication and sharing of much of the following information. Contributions of time, and effort of many people make this material available to the leather community. We are indebted to their efforts.
Objectives of Dungeon Monitor Training
Develop and maintain a cadre of prepared Dungeon Monitors for play parties for any group - public and private;
To establish a network of concerned BDSM lifestylers willing to help maintain and promote a safe, sane and consensual D/s community;
To provide specialized learning opportunities for those who wish to contribute
to the community.
Role and Functions of Dungeon Monitor
You're the boss!
As Dungeon Monitor (DM), you are the one in charge of the dungeon (play area) during your shift. That primarily includes enforcing the dungeon rules and keeping a watchful eye on everything going on regarding play areas, safe space, and the use of equipment. Other aspects of the dungeon are secondary, including the observer gallery, doorways, music, lighting, and temperature control. These things are peripheral to the DM responsibility. Keep your main focus on "the play."
Let others know you are DM by wearing the orange vest and the tool chain, which includes a pair of heavy shears and a small flashlight and CPR mask. When beginning and ending a shift, it's a good idea to make sure the scissors and flashlight are working. Don't wait until an emergency to find out that the shears are broken or the flashlight needs new batteries!
Volunteering for a Shift
It is preferred that you contact the DM Manager prior to the play party you wish to volunteer to DM.
When you arrive for a party, let the Door Security know you are a Dungeon Monitor and inquire if the DM Manager or designate is available. Shifts are typically 60 to 90 minutes; however, the length of the shift will depend upon your own availability, how many other DMs are available, and other related factors.
As DM, you have two major functions:
Ensure the safety and security of players.
Preserve and protect the integrity of the dungeon and its environment.
Perhaps the best term to describe the job of the DM is "lifeguard." As DM, it is important to ensure that active dungeon players are observing play party guidelines. While not a cop, the DM on duty observes both players and observers when they are in the play area. Your purpose is to observe the action, the equipment, and the surroundings.
As a minimum, all functions follow the posted dungeon rules, Safe-Sane-Consensual behavior, and agreement to follow the direction of the Dungeon Monitor.
Play Party: This is a general party open to all TLP attendees and their guest over the age of 18. It offers an educational opportunity by learning through doing and observing. This is also an opportunity for everyone to relax, socialize and have a good time.
Lights are low.
Talking is kept to a minimum during the play party and near the play space.
Observers are to stay in the carpeted observer's area.
All play gear and bags are kept clear of walk-ways (it will be dark).
All play is to stay out of the observer's area. Play is restricted to the play space.
Bullwhip, single tail play to occur only on the stage.
Fire play, play piercing, waxing, any other "messy" play is to be done with consent of the DM only.
Sharps containers are provided for disposing of used needles ONLY.
Interrupting scenes. Don't interrupt scenes except in an emergency and you intend to stop it. Don't interrupt to ask questions or to see "if everything is ok." Also, comments like "I'll have to stop your scene, you're having entirely too much fun" are inappropriate.
Dungeon etiquette: yours, observers', and players'. You are present as "lifeguard" on the scene, not a voyeur. Save your voyeurism until your shift is over.
Avoid unnecessary conversations. They distract you from your primary responsibility -- the safety of the players and the environment.
Do not walk between a Dominant and submissive.
Use discretion: if injuries (physical or psychological) are NOT traumatic or "life-threatening," avoid interrupting the entire party. But don't hesitate to call 911 if warranted -- we're legit!
Protecting the Concepts of Safe, Sane, and Consensual
Nothing in D/s or S/M is completely safe. There is some element of danger in practically everything people do, from driving an automobile to hiking. So, while nothing is completely danger free, most experienced dungeon players will take every precaution for safety's sake. In the S/M lifestyle, dangers lurk in almost every kind of play activity, from spanking to flogging and from piercing to branding. In the context of S/M dungeon play, "safe" means, "reasonably free from danger" to the players and to others sharing the play space.
NLA-Austin dungeon equipment is generally strong and safe; however, not every situation is foreseeable. The main guideline is to protect the safety of players, observers, and the dungeon itself. That means to take precautions necessary to ensure that no one is likely to suffer serious injury and that the play areas will be safe and sanitary for the next user. With this in mind:
Persons using whips, floggers, etc. have a clear path of instrument travel, with little likelihood of striking anyone - or anything -- else. Note the area extending BEHIND the travel of the flogger or whip.
Needles are taken from sterile packages and properly disposed of in sharps container.
Knives and other "sharp" things are not left where someone else may be injured.
Sheets or ground cloths must be used under scenes involving waxing, blood, fire or any messy scene. No plastic, nylon or synthetic drop cloths around fire play - must be cotton or canvas. Always ensure adequate universal precautions are used for blood play.
Suspension scenes will have mats beneath the submissive.
Protection of vital organs...not just genitals: no activities, which can injure vital organs. This is particularly true for neck area, kidneys and liver. Watch for poorly aimed whips, floggers.
No irreversible damage: no significant damage of any kind that the submissive did not knowingly consent to.
Bondage/circulation. Be alert for blue lips and fingernails. If submissive is wearing lipstick and/or nail polish, DM can't see blueness. Tactfully check for cold skin, and numbness. For example, if you see a bound submissive whose hands appear bluish; wiggle the flashlight beam on the floor to get the Dominant's attention. Then, using the beam as a "pointer," shine it on the submissive's hands to indicate your concern. Any true Dominant will appreciate your attentiveness. Be particularly aware of breathing, and NO bondage ropes around the neck or suspension of neck. Ever!
Suspension. Every chain, trapeze, chain fall, etc. used in the dungeon has been installed properly, and with great care and checked prior to any play party. However, not every suspension sling or bondage technique may safely hold the weight of the person or persons being suspended. Be certain that suspension bonds and weight are properly distributed. Make sure there is a mat under the person who is suspended.
In scenes involving body wrapping (mummification) with saran wrap,etc the 'mummy' must be monitor very carefully for over-heating, dehydration, which can occur very quickly. The 'mummy' will need frequent water (bendable straws work best).
Safe words. The TLP play party universal safe word is "Red". As a DM, be aware that it is not unusual for a submissive to not use a safe word. This could be out of fear of disappointing the Dominant, or being in subspace to the point of being oblivious to almost all pain and not realize that a safe word is even necessary. More is said about this further on.
Safe/Unsafe impact zones. Never allow a whip or flogger to be used above the shoulders. Eye and ear injuries can be severe, especially with a novice or overzealous Dominant. As mentioned above, make sure that whips, floggers, etc. are not "wrapping" to impact against kidneys, liver, spleen, and other vital organs.
'Heavy' scenes. These include any activities in which there is intense pain.
It could be cock and ball torture, blood sports, piercing, whipping or fire play. Virtually anything where there may be loud noises accompanied by exquisite pain and the presence of bodily fluids. While the idea of "heavy" scenes will vary with perception, players are expected to advise you when a heavy scene is to be played.
Keep in mind that safety is the primary consideration.
Bodily fluids. These include urine, blood, saliva, semen, tears virtually any secretion that could contaminate the environment. Bleach water and paper towels are available for clean up by the players. See the Section concerning "Universal Precautions"
Fire: candles, branding, flash/burn, etc. Know where the fire extinguishers are throughout your shift.
Expect the unexpected - think: "what would happen if this thing broke?"
Anticipate problems -- try to spot 'accidents waiting to happen.'
Remember that Murphy lurks behind every cranny in the dungeon.
The dungeon provides red biohazard sharps containers. These must be used for disposal of sharps contaminated with bodily fluids or opened. Biohazardous items must be double bagged prior to placing in trash containers. Gloves, napkins and such items do not belong in the sharps container.
Carry knife and/or paramedic scissors, flashlight -- no toy is worth the cost of a person's well being. If you decide that a rope needs to be cut, or a body wrap is causing claustrophobia and the "mummy" needs to be freed quickly, let the Dominant know of your observations and let the Dominant do it. Be prepared to help the Dominant if necessary.
No unlicensed weapons are permitted in the dungeon. Knives are ok as part of a scene; however, use your own discretion about knives being unsheathed in the observers' area.
Sane. The play we engage in is expected to be sane; that is, activities that present no unreasonable or unrealistic threat to life, limb or psyche. If someone is doing something that appears unrealistic or just stupid, don't hesitate to check it out and stop it if necessary.
This is supposed to be pleasurable!
There's pain and there's PAIN! It takes experience to tell when a submissive is experiencing pain that goes beyond what is expected. Look for body language such as:
- Crying - not just tears of joy!
- Not breathing appropriately for the experience; e.g., gasping for air or gagging.
- Muttering a safe word, and can't get it out.
- Licking lips ... is the submissive thirsty? Perhaps you've noticed that the submissive hasn't had a drink of anything for last half-hour. Ask someone to bring a cup of water and a straw to you, and discreetly put it on the floor - without interrupting the scene -- so the Dominant can see it. The "message" will get through.
- Submissive moving away from the whip.
- Other body language that says the submissive is undergoing a procedure or activity that is beyond his or her limits.
- Severe bruising or bleeding.
- Signs or symptoms of shock or impending loss of consciousness. See First Aid section.
If any of the above situations are present, discreetly approach the Dominant and share your observations with him or her. In most cases, making the Dominant aware of a situation will be sufficient to modify the play, either in intensity or kind. If the Dominant doesn't agree or refuses to modify the scene appropriately, you have the authority to stop the scene. Again, use discretion.
Unreasonable risk. Just about everything we do has at least an element of danger, especially if it's done right! Since Murphy's Law is always operational, be alert for activities that present an unusual danger or potential problem. This can be especially true for people new to BDSM. Mostly, such persons are anxious to learn; however, some may be too embarrassed or insecure to seek proper instruction. For these reasons, pay special attention to:
- Electrical and fire play
- Any play that involves blood
- Suspensions - including swings and slings.
- Do the players appear to know what they're doing?
- Acts that attempt to defy gravity and other "death defying deeds."
Consensual. Our play is based on the informed agreement of each participant.
Players not only agree to engage in the activities in which they are involved. They also understand the implications of play and its consequences. For example, a submissive that agrees to participate in needle play is expected to be fully aware of what he or she is getting into! Brutality vs. clear, informed and mutually agreeable play.
Equipment Review and Safety Check
Disinfectant Bottles. Prior to each party, the Party set up/ strike Chair will provide spray bottles of disinfectant and rolls of paper towels at each "station" in the dungeon. Ensure that the bottles are filled and available at the beginning of your shift. If not, contact the Party Chair and ask that they be brought out. Make sure that players wipe down equipment when they are done, after each scene without failure. Trash containers should be located near play areas.
First aid kits. The Dungeon should have well-stocked kit. Be familiar with their contents and how to use them. The first aid kits are checked regularly; however, please let DM Manager know if an item is missing or very low. First aid kits however, are not to be used without supervision; players should be prepared for their play (such as gloves for blood play, etc).
Sharps containers. These are large, red polyethylene containers and need to be made prominently available during play periods.
Inspection of play equipment. Check for splinters, broken pieces or parts. Monitor equipment such as crosses for movement on the floor, or a submissive leaning over to far and tipping the unit (concern for unit tipping over and causing injury - depending on the situation, a person maybe required to sit on the unit to keep it from moving or tipping.
Fire extinguishers. There are several available near each exit. Know their locations and how to use them.
Fuses, main switches. Know their locations and how to turn them off/on as necessary.
Proper use/abuse of equipment. It's hard to abuse Dungeon equipment; however, some people may need to know how use it, for example, the rack or the pillories. Make
yourself available to help players use the equipment properly.
Music. Music helps set the mood of the dungeon. Another purpose is to mask the voices of observers, which can distract players and thus endanger a scene. If anyone wishes to have the music changed or the volume adjusted, contact the DM Manager.
Again, your primary responsibility is to keep alert on player activity.
Common Physical Injuries and First Aid
This section of the Manual focuses on some typical injuries, both physical and psychological, that you might encounter during parties. In case of emergency, contact the DM Manager via radio headset. Listed below are some typical situations:
Anaphylactic shock. Can come from latex allergies or bee stings or any of a number of severe allergic reactions. People with extreme allergic reactions often carry "epinephrine pens" and/or antihistamine tablets. Symptoms include severe swelling, which can close off airways and cause major breathing problems. In extreme cases it can literally asphyxiate the victim. Often accompanied by itching, burning skin, watery eyes, increases in body temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate. Call 911 and treat for shock.
Asthma. Symptoms of an asthma attack include difficulty in breathing, rapid pulse, congestion, and "blocked breathing." Typically, players with asthma will have an inhaler. The wise play partner will know where the inhaler is, so it can be available quickly. Respiratory problems can also occur as a result of allergy; e.g., foods, pollen, or chemicals. Asthma can be severe. Remove person from main Dungeon and, if life threatening, call 911.
Bleeding. Unless the scene is intentionally blood sport, stop the scene and get wounds covered with antiseptic and bandages. Biggest potential danger from bleeding in the Dungeon is spread of HIV and other blood borne pathogens. Make sure spilled blood is cleaned up, using bleach water using Universal Precautions.
Low blood sugar/dehydration. The wise Dominant will have lots of water or juice available to maintain hydration for both self and submissive, especially during a heavy scene. Gatorade (or other sports drink in 50/50 solution with tepid water is the best.
Unconsciousness/fainting. Can be result of fear or shock or injury. See below for ABC first aid.
We always hope accidents don't occur; however, S/M does have its risks. We can never predict how people will respond to a BDSM scene. Even the "lightest" play has its risks. In the event of emergency, contact the DM Manager via radio headset; it will be up to you to make certain that someone calls 911 and that you are prepared to provide first aid.
It is highly recommended that every Dungeon Monitor seek specialized training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. Such training is available through the American Red Cross at a modest fee. This book is no substitute for a quality first aid manual. [For further information, see Standard First Aid & Personal Safety published by the American Red Cross]. For present purposes, some basic concepts and measures are shared here as reminders. A person not trained in CPR should not attempt CPR.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
When someone is not breathing, it is possible his or her heart has stopped beating or has a blocked airway. The technique involves opening and clearing the victim's airway by tilting the head backward, restoring breathing by mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-nose resuscitation, and restoring blood circulation by external cardiac compression.
In any serious life and death emergency, the first priority is breathing. To determine if a victim is breathing, place the side of your face and ear next to the victim's nose and mouth to feel if any air is being exhaled. Also, see if the victim's chest is rising and falling. To determine if the victim's heart is beating, check for a pulse at the carotid artery in the neck.
Remember ABC: Airway, Breathing, Circulation.
Have someone call paramedic (911) immediately!
[NOTE: The web master has removed some text from this section of the "Dungeon Monitor Training Manual" about Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) rather than including any potentially outdated and inaccurate information which could exacerbate a dangerous situation. (The guide was last updated by the author in 2001.) "A person not trained in CPR should not attempt CPR. And Dungeon Monitors should always refer to the most current guides for CPR and first aid. Please refer to the first aid links at http://www.EvilMonk.org/A/health00.cfm.]
Treatment: maintain Universal Precautions
Apply direct pressure using a sterile compress from first aid supply.
Do not disturb any blood clots that form.
If blood soaks through the compress, do not remove the compress, but apply another pad over it and continue with firm hand pressure over wider area.
If bleeding is severe, raise limb above level of heart. Continue direct pressure.
Do not raise injured limb or neck if a fracture is suspected.
Do not wrap compress so tightly as to cut off circulation.
Treat for shock.
Burns. maintain Universal Precautions
Burns occurring during play are usually the result of waxing or fireplay. On occasion, a Dominant will rapidly stroke the submissive's skin with the flame end of a lighted candle. This is safe when done properly; however, painful burns can occur. Burns from waxing are mostly first and second-degree burns, especially when colored waxes are used before white waxes, which melt at a lower temperature. Metallic candles should never be used, as they burn at a much higher temperature and can cause blistering. Similarly, candles made of bees wax should be avoided. Sealing wax, that red, very hot and scalding wax, should never be used in play.
First-degree burn symptoms include redness, mild swelling, and pain. Skin is unbroken.
Treatment: Apply cold water for 10 minutes or as long as pain persist.
If necessary, cover with sterile gauze or clean cloth. NEVER apply butter, lotion, ointment, grease or ice to a burn.
Second-degree burn symptoms include redness or blotched appearance, blisters, swelling that can last for days, moist, oozy skin surface, and pain. Any one or all of these symptoms can appear. Treatment: Apply cold water - NOT ice - or cold compress for 10 minutes or as long as pain persist. Pat area dry, apply sterile bandage. Elevate burned limb if possible. Advise victim to seek medical attention. Do not break blisters; do not apply ointments, salves, sprays, butter, lotion or other home remedies without medical advice. Treat for shock. Note that any facial burns can present difficulties in breathing.
Third degree burns will destroy all layers of the skin and leave the skin susceptible to infection. Symptoms include white or charred skin, destroyed skin. At the moment of burn, limited pain is actually present because nerve endings have been destroyed. Any or all of these symptoms can be present. Third degree burns are a medical emergency.
Apply cold compress. No ice.
Cover burned area with thick sterile dressing. A clean sheet or towel may also be used.
Treat for shock.
Contusions and bruises
Treatment: Apply cold compress or ice with a towel between skin & compress or ice.
If bruise is to arm or leg, elevate the limb above level of heart to decrease blood flow.
Recommend moist heat (a warm wet compress to aid healing) after 24 hours and
medical attention if severe. Contusions or blows to the head should be treated as an emergency.
Convulsions and seizures
Symptoms: Victim utters brief cry or shriek, rigid muscles followed by twitching movements, interrupted breathing likely, bluish color to skin, eyes rolled upward, loss of bowel and/or bladder control, drooling or foaming at mouth (may be bloody), sleepiness and confusion following convulsion, unresponsiveness during seizure. Any or all of the preceding may be present.
- Try to catch a falling victim (with help) and lay victim down gently.
- Remove any surrounding objects or furniture that could cause injury.
- Place victim on their left side if possible.
- If breathing stops and doesn't return after seizure, treat with CPR.
- Do not interfere with convulsive movements; however, just ensure that victim does not injure self.
- Do not try to put a spoon, wallet, pencil or any object between victim's teeth.
- Loosen any tight clothing.
- After seizure, place victim on side to prevent choking on secretions, vomit, or blood.
- Keep crowd away.
- Check for other injuries: see ABC above.
- Someone stay with victim until recovered. Victim will often be confused or groggy.
- Seek medical attention promptly, particularly if followed by second convulsion or the initial seizure last more than 10 minutes - is considered a medical emergency.
Treatment: If victim is still on contact with electrical source, turn off power before touching victim! If that's not possible, loop a belt, rope or other non-conductive material around victim - not the neck! - and use it to pull them to safety.
The effect of electric shock on the heart is great. Since a person can die up to 24 hours following a strong electric shock, recommend that person seek medical attention quickly.
Treat according to ABC.
Fainting. This is a temporary loss of consciousness that occurs when there is an inadequate blood supply to the brain. Recovery usually occurs within a few minutes. Help victim avoid further injury catch as catch can! If recovery does not seem complete within a few minutes, call 911. Symptoms similar to Traumatic shock below.
Heart attack. Have someone call 911. Loosen clothing or bonds, keep victim warm. Treat for ABC.
- Pale or bluish skin, cool to the touch.
- Moist clammy skin.
- Overall weakness.
- Rapid pulse (over 100).
- Rapid breathing, shallow, irregular; deep sighing.
- Restlessness, anxiety
- Nausea, vomiting
- Sunken eyes, pupils widely dilated, appearance of 'dry' eyes
- Unresponsiveness or inappropriate response to questions
- Skin blotchy, streaked (other than "marks")
- Possible unconsciousness
- Any or all of above may be present
- Treat for ABC
- Keep victim lying down
- Keep warm
- If shock is result of injury, elevate feet 8" - 12"
- If shock is experiencing chest pain (heart attack?) do not elevate feet, elevate head to 45 degrees.
- Do not give liquids if patient is unconscious
- Reassure victim. Get information from victim re: nature of problem, last meal, water and the emergency contact information.
- Contact EMS if shock does not quickly resolve.
Fractures, Sprains, Strains
Anyone who suspects they have sustained a fracture, strain or sprain of any limb, or body part. Treatment: immobilize the fracture, or sprained limb as best as possible. Monitor for pulses below the fracture site. DO NOT attempt to reduce or straighten the fracture, or apply traction. After immobilizing as best possible, the patient should be referred to a medical facility as soon as possible. Sprains and strains may respond to an application of a cold compress and immobilization. Elevating as much as possible will help control swelling. Sprains and strains should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. In the event of a neck, or low back injury, patient should not be moved if the is any complaints of numbness, tingling or loss of sensation. This should be considered a medical emergency and EMS contacted for appropriate transport.
Common Psychological Problems
Sometimes the experience of being in a scene creates new problems for the Dominant as well as the submissive. Even the anticipation of a scene can conjure fears, images, and memories of past experiences that cause mental anguish and irrational behavior. Typical symptoms include screams or shouts of fear rather than pain; desperate struggling to be free, as from bonds or cuffs, and displays of genuine anger rather than the typical submissive behavior of "Oh, no, Sir, please don't do that! Oohhhhhhhhhh." Some of the more common psychological events include:
- Panic attacks
- Traumatic flashbacks
- Uncontrollable crying
- Unreasonable requests for MORE!
Most of the time, the Dominant and the submissive will be aware of the problem before it begins. Or, at least we expect them to be aware. For example, before doing mummification, it is reasonable to expect that the Dominant has asked the submissive if he or she has claustrophobia. In cases of psychological trauma in the Dungeon, it is best to stop the scene, and allow the victim to get loving support and reassurance from the Dominant. In any event, the Dominant is expected to advise the Dungeon Monitor on duty if a scene will be loud, especially intense, or in any way might require special attention.
Understanding Dungeon Rules
Review posted Dungeon Rules. Know the Rules well enough so that you can tell if someone else is not observing them. If you become aware that a player or observer is not complying with the rules, the following procedures will be followed:
Tactfully and clearly remind the offender that a given rule is not being followed.
Specify the rule in question.
Remind the individual to please observe the rule; e.g. cleaning the play station after play, then thank them for their cooperation.
If the individual continues with the infraction, a second warning may be given. If in the opinion of the DM, the violator may need to be asked to leave, you must contact the DM Manager immediately. If the person looks mean and ornery, get assistance!
For more serious infractions such as the presence of a weapon, impaired behavior from drugs or alcohol, or the endangering any party attendee, immediately contact the DM Manager via radio head set. Firmly and politely escort the person away from the dungeon to the outside. Do not do this alone! When in doubt, check with a colleague or the DM Manager. Approaching the attendee in a calm way, often can defuse a tense situation.
Food and beverages. In general, food is consumed in the carpeted observers' area. While attendees of TLP play parties are expected to provide their own personal food; the aroma of cheeseburgers and fries can be very distracting to other players. If a food or beverage is spilled, those who spilled it must clean it up. We have no maids at TLP. Please assist by reminding attendees to police up their sitting area.
TLP play party attendees are encouraged to bring juice drink or sport drink (Gatorade, etc). It is far more nutritious than carbonated soft drinks and will help restore normal blood sugar and vital electrolytes. Heavy play, along with high temperatures make the use of nutritious beverages very important.
Observers and Players. Observers are required to stay on the carpeted area, away from players during Play Parties. If observers are talking too loudly, you may ask them to speak more softly.
Dungeon Monitor Guidelines
Safe Place: virtually anywhere in the front of the Dungeon; however, depending on discretion and need, anyplace can be made a safe space. If any attendee request or fears for their safety, you must contact the DM Manager immediately.
Judgment: the DM on duty is always 'right.' While you are always right, be aware that a poor judgment call on your part may create resentment on the part of players. Always give the benefit of the doubt to "safe, sane, and consensual." "Walk the walk." Members new to the community will copy what they see you doing.
Never allow a submissive to be left alone during a scene, especially if blindfolded, bound, and wrapped any way at all. If a Dominant needs to "break away" for some reason during a scene, ask the Dominant to find someone to watch the submissive in the interim.
Resources and mature judgment are as more important than knowledge. Don't be afraid to say you "don't know" something. Find out the answer from someone who does know, and let the asking person know. If in doubt, ask the DM Manager!
Ethics of 'On-Duty'
No smoking or toilet breaks. Please attend to those needs before your shift begins. In case of emergency, contact the DM Manager via radio for assistance.
NEVER LEAVE THE DUNGEON UNSUPERVISED!
Avoid any activity that could distract you from your duties. Sometimes you may get involved with a chatty observer, or become entranced with a beautiful new whip being used; however, keep in mind it is very important to stay focused on all the activities.
Honoring your shift. When you volunteer for a shift, you will be expected to respect your agreement by being available at the proper time and relieve the DM on duty. If some unforeseen circumstance has made it impossible for you to keep your shift, try to find a replacement DM for you and by letting the Dungeon Master Manager know.
Volunteering for a shift. Volunteering to be a DM in advance of a party is a good way to "ready" yourself for the role. If you plan to attend a party, let the Dungeon Master Manager know of your interest in volunteering and you will be assigned a shift. Many DMs don't know in advance if they will actually be available to volunteer until they show up at the party. In that case, please "sign in" with the Door Chairperson upon arrival and the DM Manager will try to assign you a shift for that party.
NLA-Austin TLP Play Party Guidelines
NLA-Austin/ TLP reserves the right to refuse admission of any person(s) for any reason, at their sole discretion. Any person removed from a TLP event for infraction of rules will receive no refund of monies.
There is no admission to anyone under the age of 18. Legal photo identification is required.
DM's are to be respected and obeyed at all times. Failure to obey a DM may result in expulsion from the TLP party and permanent banning from future NLA-Austin events. If you have any further questions see a DM - they are wearing orange safety vest or someone supervising the front door. DM may stop any scene/ demonstration as they see necessary.
By your voluntary admission, you agree and understand that adult oriented discussions, activities and demonstrations may occur, there may be nudity, and such does not offend you. Activities that may occur during NLA-Austin sponsored functions may pose physical and/or psychological risks for some individuals, and it is your responsibility to make known any medical and/or psychological conditions that may have a bearing upon your participation in said activities. You understand that your attendance and/or participation is voluntary and that you may leave at any time.
By your voluntary admission, you agree that you are not a member of any law enforcement agency and/ or on active duty at any time during this NLA-Austin/ TLP play party.
If human nudity or theatrical re-creation and demonstrations of Sado-masochism, dominance or submission offend you, DO NOT ENTER.
Only attendees of Texas Leather Pride and their guest(s) may attend the NLA-Austin/ TLP parties. Reciprocal admission is given to members of SASM, HPEP, DDCT, NLA-Austin, EROS, CTC, NLA-Dallas, Different Strokes, Inquisition-Dallas with appropriate membership card & photo id. Others by prior consent of the DM Manager. Tickets must be purchased at TLP registration desk prior to the party. No door sales.
RED is the universal dungeon safe word. It's use will result in the immediate stopping of a scene by a DM. DO NOT use "red" as a safe word in your scene if you mean to slow down/ end you scene in a consensual manner. Please agree to use of another word in your scene.
Do not arrive at the TLP party under the influence of any intoxicant - legal or illegal, you will be denied admission. Recreational drugs are not tolerated or allowed at the party. Alcohol in any form is banned. Anyone suspected of being under the influence and/or impaired regardless, will be removed from the TLP party without refund.
Texas Penal Code defines artificial genitalia as illegal. DO NOT bring or wear artificial genitalia to TLP party. NO oral sex. NO fucking. NO sexual penetration (defined as the insertion, however slight, of any part of the body or any instrument, apparatus, or other object into the vaginal or anal cavity of another).
No unlicensed possession of firearms.
All information about the TLP party activities, location, and attendees is considered to be confidential. NO cameras or other recording devices are allowed at TLP parties.
Check with a DM before any type of fire play, waxing, cuttings, play piercing, electrical play, or any messy scenes. NO scat, water sports, any form of breathe play. See DM if you have any questions.
Attendees of TLP play parties are expected to be familiar with these guidelines and obey them. Infractions are subject to expulsion from the TLP party. Ignorance of guidelines is not an acceptable excuse.
All TLP party scenes/ demonstrations are expected to be Safe, Sane and Consensual. Respect your self, others and this Party space. Safe words are strongly recommended. Do not assume someone at a TLP play party is available. We are not a sex club - please do not act as if we were. Keep talk low. Stay out of the center space if you are not in a demonstration/ scene. Not step into a scene/demonstration without permission.
Play space is for playing. Stay out of the way of the players. Do not sit or leave things on the equipment.
All bags, equipment, clothing, etc must be kept under tables and out of the walkway.
When watching a scene or sitting in the dungeon, keep your voice down. Sound carries and can cause distractions, which could lead to injuries.
Do not be afraid to ask people to play, and then negotiate. Be respectful.
Do not touch or play with toys or people without permission.
Do not join a scene without permission or interrupt to ask questions.
Give players recovery time and space after a scene. Right after a scene is not the time for a critique.
If something looks or feels wrong, let the Dungeon Master Manager know right away. It is better to be wrong than sorry should something bad happen.
Players are expected to inform the Dungeon Master ahead of time if they are going to engage in a loud, rough, or very intense scene.
Check to make sure you know who is the DM Manager.
Clean up the play area when finished. Equipment should be wiped down with bleach water, sharps in the sharps containers. No non-sharp items in the sharps containers.
Clean up after yourself when watching too. Do not leave cans and trash for the maids; there are no maids.
Clothing covering breast, genitals, and fetish clothing must be worn outside of the building.
Universal precautions are measures taken to prevent the transmission of blood-borne pathogens from unidentified, infected persons to others. This involves protection not only from HIV, but also the viruses that cause hepatitis B and other diseases.
Body fluids considered to have potential for containing infectious viruses include blood and any body fluid containing visible blood, semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid and amniotic fluid. However, non-blood-containing body fluids not on this list, such as sputum, nasal secretions and tears may potentially transmit other diseases.
Wear gloves when hands may come in contact with any blood or body fluids that are potential sources of blood-borne diseases.
Wear gloves when caring for a victim with breaks in skin or mucous membranes.
Avoid direct victim care and handling of soiled equipment or supplies when one's own skin is broken.
Wash hands with warm soapy water for 1 minute after removing gloves.
Wash hands with warm soapy water thoroughly and immediately if there is any contact with blood or body fluids.
Dispose of needles, syringes or other sharps in a puncture resistant container. Never attempt to re-cap needles.
Use a disposable ventilation device rather than mouth-to-mouth breathing for pulmonary resuscitation.
- Ten Tips for Novice Dungeon Monitors by Jay Wiseman
- Dungeon Masters by SubtleDeath
- The Black Rose DM Guide by Chris M.
- Comprehensive Dungeon Monitors Guide (2003) by Sir Bamm! and His! t
- NLA-Austin Dungeon Monitor Training Manual
- The Health & Safety section of this site: More articles on and resources for general BDSM safety, medical advise, emotional health & psychological issues, sexually transmitted infections including hepatitis, support groups, medical sites on the internet, and finding a doctor
- The Civics section of the this site: More articles on "throwing dungeon parties."