Old Guard vs. New Guard


With the entrance of millions of new “Fifty Shades Lifestylers” into our world, the classic Dom/me/sub scripts have been turned upside down. Thus, I would like to offer to the newest members of our community some advice that takes into account this new reality. No, I will not offer “helicopter etiquette” nor “how to skipper your Master’s yacht.” But, like it or not, the Old Guard must pass the torch. Since I have a millennial live-in submissive, I think this article is grounded enough in real life observations to be quite useful. And hopefully to more than just the millennials.

Many of the so-called New Guard partake in a more casual style of BDSM. This “lower-protocol” approach implies a more relaxed and less rigid type of D/s union. For example, the submissive may not be required to address the Dominant as “Master,” “Sir” or “Mistress” every time.

To the skeptic, it might appear that these new, usually low-protocol, relationships are lower on the food chain the classic 24/7 Master/slave arrangements. Not! In a real world with real life demands, this “new style D/s” works best in their younger and faster paced community. It is not lower “on the food chain”; it might simply be more realistic for their world. But that does not mean that the new generation is not into D/s; far from it. The new BDSM generation wants Dominance and submission – including switching. Adventurous lot I must say!

After interviewing many of the newer lifestylers, I have compiled, my “lucky seven” tips that I feel can improve their, and your, relationships – whether for a night or a lifetime. Or anything in between! These pointers might not guarantee a perfect relationship, but what advice ever can?

1. Respect your protocols. Treat your rituals with the same respect and intensity as those in the highest protocol Old Guard relationships do. You might not have as many rituals, nor may they be as demanding – but each one is just as significant as any high-protocol custom. Even if you have just one ritual – the greeting one, for example – perform it as though it is the most important thing in the world. It just might be.

2. Don’t forget to perform your rituals. If you think about it, the fewer rituals you observe, the more deleterious is the effect of letting one slide. Neglecting one might be a fifth of all your protocols, whereas it might be only one out of fifty for the 24/7 Old Guard couple.

3. Low-protocol is not lazy-protocol. This tip is directed to the Dominants. You must be just as observant, vigilant and on your game as any TPE Master. You must rapidly recognize any protocol lapses and correct them quickly. Do not neglect to push your sub’s limits. Try new areas of play to prevent any boredom from creeping in. In this regard, this seems like any other D/s relationship

5. “The Popeye Principle.” “What is that,” you ask? It is Popeye’s mantra, “I yam what I yam” — BDSM style. As I said before, don’t think that a 24/7 high-protocol D/s relationship is inherently better or is something to aim for. Of course it can be. But if you and your partner(s) enjoy low or medium protocol, it can be every bit as powerful as the vaunted high-protocol TPE Master/slave relationship.

6. For the Dom/mes: don’t use a cookie-cutter approach. The object is to get what you want, within agreed upon limits. For example, my slave responds to a more positive approach, with some humiliation thrown in, when it comes to sex/play. (Yes, BDSM is about sex!) But the classic physical pain approach works wonders when she neglects putting the dishes away. And don’t forget the role of respect. It is a lot easier for a submissive to serve if he/she respects the Dominant. Some things never change!

7. For the subs: Don’t be afraid of the dreaded “topping from the bottom.” While I thought Anastasia Steele’s constant “renegotiating” of their non-existent slave contract in “Fifty Shades Darker” was extremely lame, making your needs known is not topping from the bottom. It is, duh, “making your needs known.”

Ultimately, it’s a relationship, dammit! Sometimes people, whether Old Guard or New Guard, forget that relationships, whether they are vanilla, D/s or S/m, are ultimately about people. We are not BDSM robots. No matter what your protocol, orientation or play style, don’t neglect the classic, human aspects of your relationship, such as honesty, communication and appreciation.

Even the most sadistic of Doms would be well advised to get his slave a birthday present!

In this spirit, I will be presenting a panel discussion “Old Guard vs. New Guard” at DomCon L.A. in May. Stay tuned!

By BaadMaster
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.


  1. NyDollie says:

    Great Article! Thank you this needed to be covered as our community grows more mainstream its good to remember that there can be room for most anyone in BDSM realm!!

  2. You said 7 Tips. Where is the 4th Tip?

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