Old Guard 

Our Definition

refers to BDSM communities or individuals with traditional sensibilities who emphasize protocols and clear cut etiquette and hierarchies. May fall into One True Wayism and/or romanticize the history and origins of the BDSM community.

Real Life Examples

Magenta has been a service submissive to her dominant partner for 37 years, and since she was introduced to the BDSM community as a place with rigid and defined rules and hierarchies, and that structure suited her, she believes that changes are unnecessary and possibly detrimental. 

Yanchy only enjoys interacting with community events where high-protocol social etiquette is expected. They respect other styles of kink’s right to exist and do things in their own way but personally avoid spaces that diverge from the traditional. 

Norbert complains loudly at every munch about how the local kink community is being “ruined” by the influx of young newcomers who do not “respect” the norms that he enjoys. He often waxes on about the illustrious “history” of the bdsm community standards that he enjoys (most of which is based on myth, the rest of which is based on romanticized nostalgia) 


Common Practices &


Everyone is different! You'll see this repeated throughout our website and glossary. Common old guard related practices and experiences include, but certainly aren't limited to:

  • Having a long history with the BDSM community and enjoying the way that the community functioned in one’s early years. 
  • Feeling threatened or annoyed by changes made to be more inclusive and suit the needs of the community as it evolves. 
  • Feeling protective of one’s kink lifestyle practices, sometimes to the point of tearing down people who engage differently. 
  • Belief that there must be a universal “code of conduct” or rules manual in order for the community to thrive. 
  • A (usually mistaken) belief that being “trained” is an achievement that one needs only go through once, and that said “training” will suit the needs of all future partners. 

Got a beef with our definition?

Of course we don't speak for everyone! If you feel we are missing additional info, context, facts, history, or data, please email us and let us know!

While we can't promise every suggestion will make it, we'll always be working to keep this glossary thorough and inclusive!