PodcastShow Notes

The Old Guard History, Kink, Protocol, and BDSM-S01E42

Recorded:   4/29/2018      /      Published: 5/19/2018
  1. Welcome to Kuldrin’s Krypt I’m your host Master Kuldrin. If you are new to the show we use our combined 30 years of experience to dispel myths, get rid of stereotypes, and answer your questions about BDSM. You can call in at 865-268-4005 to leave your question or visit the Krypt at kudrinskrypt.com
  2. On this episode of the Krypt we are going to explore the Old Guard but first, I have to welcome my amazing co-host, Funsize.
  3. Rules to Love by:
      1. Safe, sane, consensual, and informed
      2. KNKI: Knowledge, No Intolerance, Kindness, Integrity
      3. “Submission is not about authority and it’s not about obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect.” -Wm. Paul Young
  4. New schedule:
    1. With Funsize every other week
    2. Interviews for the off weeks
  5. Definition
    1.  A group that outlined a lot of the etiquette and traditions of modern BDSM through their practices in a subtle military style format post World War Two.  
  6. History
    1. Now we would like to note that while we typically talk about BDSM in a worldview, or as much as we can, the Old Guard history as we know it is something that is very American.  We’re definitely interested in how these things have evolved throughout the rest of the world, and Funsize is chomping at the bit to dive deeper into that subject, but for today we are just focusing on the American side of this topic.  
    2. We’ve talked a bit about this before, they were originally World War Two veterans who had returned from the war with a sense of brotherhood, protocols, and their own system of communication.  Quite a few of them came back in the leather bomber jackets, which is where the leather part of leather culture comes from, and they began their journey. These men came back from the horrors of war, years away from their homes and had discovered parts of themselves, parts of their sexuality, which wasn’t seen as being okay during that time period.  The protocols of the Old Guard evolved as a way to express those things and to protect these men.
    3. So we know where the communication tactics come from, subtle signals announcing who was who and their relationships etc, which we’ll dive into a bit more in a minute.  But what about the sexual practices that are rooted in kink? I say kink here and not BDSM because there is a big difference. Kink is just that, it’s the actual physical bondage, the floggings, the animal play-  those kinds of things are kinks. BDSM goes deeper into our mental and emotional sides, beyond just physically consenting to our kinks. It is more; and those kinks some of these men discovered come from the places and histories of the people these veterans encountered during their travels.  BDSM has existed in some format throughout the world for millennia. You can trace some roots back to ancient Romans, Egyptians, and even throughout Asia. And then we have the works of Marquis de Sade in 17th century France, which I’m sure a lot of these veterans came across as quite a few of them ended up in, or traveling through those western regions of Europe.  BDSM is by far not a new practice to the world, so it’s not surprising that these men found it’s traces, and those who were interested in those things easily incorporated them into their personal protocols.
      1. I think it should be noted that while we are talking about the history of the Old Guard in context to BDSM that not every person who was part of this tradition even practiced what we would identify as kink.  They had a system of who was top and who was bottom, they had etiquette as far as communicating goes, but they didn’t necessarily have scenes with whips and floggers, and pet play, or any of those things. BDSM has certainly evolved in the last century but these are our modern roots.  
    4. But it’s not just that simple as men returning home in the mid-1940’s and creating this subculture.  They came home to a very puritanical America, where they were expected to have wives, jobs, and create families.  They had to be very subtle and very secretive about their sexuality for a long time to come. They created the framework of their protocols and etiquettes but it wasn’t until the 1960’s and 70s after the Korean and Vietnam wars that the Old Guard truly filled out that framework, and began spilling over into what we identify it as today.  
    5. During the 60’s and 70’s we saw a lot of civil rights movements, and on more personal scales, personal rights movements.  There was a whole culture of people who wanted to explore themselves, and the world around them, and weren’t quite happy with how things had been for a very long time.  They were having personal and sexual revolutions. But you also had this giant stigma that homosexuality was still very wrong. So these new veterans coming back from the Korean and Vietnam wars had this basis of the military-style hierarchy combined with the need to explore and have their sexual revolution and they came home, and many of them started to exhibit the same habits of the World War Two veterans, the subtle communications, the protocols, and the need to be able to have their own subculture.  The older met the younger and there was a blending of ideals, of protocols, and the subculture evolved a bit more.
    6. This is where we really see leather culture starting to be viewed as a whole, there were the biker gangs, the secret clubs, and also the very real fear of being discovered.  And what’s more is it wasn’t just men who were veterans hiding their homosexuality anymore. There were also women getting involved in these things. There were the people who were homosexual and lesbian, but there were people who were straight getting involved more and more into this subculture as they explored parts of themselves that didn’t quite meet the greater status quo of the country at that time. This is really the point in which BDSM, the protocols, the etiquette, the top/bottom relationships, met with the kink aspect on a grander more recognizable scale.  
    7. During the 1980’s we start to see the slow divide between the Old Guard and the biker gangs.  More of the leather clubs began to arise and the subculture began to define itself a bit more clearly, to the point where if you were part the Old Guard you could and would follow the cues and etiquette signifying this, and if you weren’t then you would never be part of this leatherman culture.  More people who were leathermen but not bikers began to filter in and the divide between the two became more solidified. From there the culture evolved more and now we have the New Guard arising which we’ll touch on briefly in a moment.
  7. Protocols
    1.  For now let’s talk about the more prevalent protocols that came from the Old Guard, what they were or are, what they signify, and why they will either continue on or evolve as BDSM culture evolves.  
      1. Chaps indicate more commitment than Levi’s, and leather pants more commitment than chaps, especially when worn consistently.
        1. This goes back to how we view BDSM fashion, even today.  We see a newbie come in their blue jeans and we go okay, they’re newer, they may only be looking to scene, or learn, or whatever.  Then we see someone like Master Kuldrin, yes I’m using you as an example, and he’ll show up to an event with his leather on and it signals to us that this is someone serious about what they are doing, and about who they are in this community and culture.  It’s still a very real protocol and communication signal and honestly likely will be for quite some time, however, I personally do see this as being one of the traditions that relaxes a bit more as BDSM evolves in this post 50 shades world.
      2. Bottoms may not own collars unless a particular Top has allowed that bottom to be the custodian of the Top’s collar. A bottom wearing a collar is a slave and belongs to the owner of the collar who, presumably, has the keys. Other Tops are not to engage a collared bottom in conversation, but other bottoms may do so. Should such a relationship end, the collar must be returned to the Top.
        1. It still stands that tops provide the collars for bottoms, it is theirs to give, and the bottoms to maintain.  While the bottom isn’t necessarily a slave, and the terms of top and bottom have expanded to mean just top/bottom, or top/Dom/Master and bottom/sub/slave or pet the idea is still the same.  Especially in the case of high protocol settings you still the rule of not speaking or approaching another’s bottom without permission first. So in a lot of ways, this protocol isn’t as rigid as it once was, but it’s certainly not going away anytime soon.  
      3. Tops and experienced bottoms should be accorded higher respect and deference unless and until they behave rudely–all are expected to observe rules of social courtesy-bad manners are inexcusable and can lower one’s status in the Scene.
        1. It’s true that the longer you’re around, and the more you participate the better the vetting is the more people you will have access to, and the more events you can attend.  This comes from experience and also how others in the community perceive you. Courtesy and respect still go a long way, and most in the community won’t bother with you if you’re rude.  
      4. Preliminary social contact should be on the formal side.
        1. You’ll notice this quite a bit as you travel through the BDSM community, people calling each other Sir, or Miss, or just behaving more formally than what we would otherwise behave or witness in the vanilla community, especially at first, or when we first encounter someone new to us.  
      5. Experience being equal, Tops lead the conversation.
        1. The note about experience being equal comes from the Old Guard tenet that experience lends to leading more than position, but this part of the notion is slipping away more and more.  Tops lead the conversation is more often seen in those who were trained or came into the community pre-50 shades, and it comes from the idea that tops are meant to lead bottoms. I practice this notion myself.  When I’m with a Dom, I let them lead the conversation, when I’m in the presence of a sub, I lead. It’s a very hierarchical system that is slowly crumbling into less formal settings as time goes on.
      6. When walking together, bottoms walk half-a-step behind and to the left of Tops with whom they are involved or playing.
        1. Still holding its ground this protocol doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, nor is it likely to.  
      7. The more submissive one is, the less direct eye contact one makes.  The more dominant one is, the more direct the eye contact is unless there is no erotic interest.
        1. Kuldrin and I have discussed this before in a previous episode.  Eye contact is huge a sign of submission and respect. From a dominant standpoint, the sub should always look away first.  And with the case of Dom not making eye contact unless interest is implied. I think this is something that’s sometimes forgotten but it’s a very important cue that needs to come back a bit more, and I really think it will as the culture mellows out a bit more in the next several years.  
      8. These are several protocols that still exist in our subculture and how they change will define who we are as a community.  
  8. Evolution
    1. New Guard
      1. Finally a note on our evolution or what is known as the New Guard.  The New Guard is starting to be perceived as those who have learned from the Old Guard, and are carving out what our culture will be in the era of the internet, and now the post-50 shades era as well.  They carry over the protocols, and practices but also usher in the changes that we will all be a part of. We are part of this New Guard, which is a double-edged sword, because we are trying to preserve parts of our culture’s history while also giving way to something new.  All the eyes of the world are potentially on us, and the choices we make because of the flow of information being open in ways that it never really was before. And I know I’ve said this quite a lot since I joined the Krypt a year ago, but our community will become what we make of it.  I’m excited to see what the future for us all will hold, so that really wraps us up on this topic of history, and the evolution of modern BDSM through the exploration of the Old Guard.
  9. A final note or two.
    1. I’d like to thank our Executive Producers Jeff, Jeremiah, and Sihlus, our Senior Producers Matt and Jeremy, our Producers Kainsin, Danni, and Heather, and our Jr. Producers K-2SO, Irish Mt. Dragon, and BuffaloDom84. If you would like to become one of our show producers go to our website, https://kuldrinskrypt.com/support to get that information.
    2. Second, I’d like to talk BDSM contracts for their donation of their beautiful 25 page soft and hardbound M/s and D/s contracts.. http://bdsmcontracts.org coupon code: kuldrin20 for a 20% discount on all purchases.
    3. And finally, I’d like to thank http://whippingstripes.com my personal maker of leather and paracord impact toys.
NEXT WEEK’S AGENDA
  1. Next, on The Krypt we are going to dive into avoiding burnout. In the meantime go to kuldrinskrypt.com for show notes, how to subscribe information, and the link to Fetlife group so you can take part in the conversation and be eligible for giveaways. While you’re there click on support us to become a Patreon supporter.
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Outro: This has been Master Kuldrin and Funsize for kuldrinskrypt.com: Unearth the Truth

 

Source for the Old Guard Protocols:

The Old Guard History, Origins and Traditions
by Guy Baldwin M.S.   (http://www.evilmonk.org/a/oldguard.cfm)

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