***I understand that some people will disagree with what I say in this post. I also want to acknowledge that this post includes my thoughts and is not meant to be the answer about how to interact with a Dom/Handler and/or sub/pup that you do not know. That being said, my focus of this post is when a Dom/Handler is with a sub/pup and someone neither of them know walks up to interact with them.***
Public play has always interested me but lately it is working its way up my list of interests. A by-product of this is that there are often other people that do not handle themselves appropriately when they see a Dom/Handler with a sub or pup. When a sub/pup is out in public it is not an open invitation to touch him or otherwise take advantage of their submissive position.
Anytime I am with a sub/pup my number one concern is their protection. Protection in this manner means a number of different things but, for purposes of this post, I am going to focus upon their health, physical well being, and sense of security. I describe two very different situations below:
This spring I had a sub at a Fetish bar in Chicago. We were having a good time and the sub was kneeling in front of me in a submissive position while I chatted and enjoyed my beer. Some random guy walked up, pulled his dick out about 18 inches from us, and started to jerk off. My sub’s face was at the same level of the random guy’s cock. I immediately used both my hands to push the random guy back several feet to the point he almost fell. At that point, I had my sub stand so he was no longer in such a submissive position and I kept watch of the offender the remainder of the night.
In this situation I had a sub down on his knees and as soon as the random guy took action he was clearly invading our personal space. If he came up to talk or complement the sub (as a number of others did that night) I would have been polite with him. Since he decided to come up and jerk off I immediately acted to protect my sub, and myself, from getting cum on us and to minimize any risk from a potential STD.
Throughout IML weekend I was in the lobby and the various parties with a sub or two at my side. Most of this time was spent talking with old friends, meeting new friends, and a number of “fans” introduced themselves. During some of this time I had my sub kneeling before me and the majority of people were very respectful of him and enjoyed watching him. A number of factors contributed to the attention he drew – he is a great guy, he is very submissive when he is with me, and he had my heavy collar on.
On a couple of occasions random people walked up and started to touch him which shows a lack of respect for him. Luckily, nothing similar to the incident at the Fetish Bar happened at IML. Once again, I protected my sub and corrected those that overstepped their bounds.
When a sub gives up control to me they are entrusting me to help them explore their submissive nature. I talk about limits with subs extensively prior to play and I am always respectful of a sub’s limits. Because of this I expect that when they are subbing for me they will not question what I tell them to do. In order for a sub to get in the correct headspace they must trust me and know that they do not need to worry about their basic protection as I will provide that for them. This is why I am protective of any sub/pup that is submitting to me.
When you see an unknown Dom/Handler and sub/pup together in public respect them both. If you want to talk to one, or both of them, feel free to approach the Dom/Handler and be polite. If you do not know both the Dom/Handler and sub/pup I am of the opinion that you should not go beyond conversation unless you are otherwise told it is OK to proceed. In these situations an outsider does not know the headspace that the Dom and sub/pup are in at a random moment in the evening. If you want to touch or otherwise engage the sub ask first. If the Dom/Handler declines understand that this may be at the sub’s request or you may otherwise be interfering with the evening the Dom/Handler and sub/pup set out to enjoy.
Pup Sparky wrote a blog post about Interacting with Pups that I encourage everyone to read. While Sparky was writing specifically about pups I think his words apply to subs too:
“Everyone in the leather/kink communities should respect what they are doing by treating them well, and not abuse the position a pup puts themselves in by being vulnerable physically and mentally. That respect is what is allowing the vibrant and fun puppy community we have now to continue to grow.“
Finally, I would like to thank 113 (boundand), my friend and sub and my partner (Toil) for offering their differing insight on this subject.