Being Old Guard Leather in a Modern World – The Constructivist Approach

We’re often prompted to label everything, even thinks that resist labeling. So, how do i categorise my own BDSM dynamic? Is it old guard or new guard? The way i see it is as a constructivist approach in practicing M/s dynamics.

Does actual BDSM fantasy – like the one described by Gengoroh Tagame comics, or Laura Antoniou’s classic Marketplace novels actually exist in the world today? Where we have all sorts of hook-up apps and the concept of Master is just a swipe of fingers away?

Here’s my own story.

i am a few years into being a collared slaveboy to a Master, and His pup. It doesn’t makes me qualified to speak for others, but it does give me something to talk about in regards to my own brief experience in the rather old guard and traditional Leather protocols of a Master and slave relationship.

i was collared initially as a leatherboy to a Leather couple. When it first started, i was clueless about the old guard protocols as a lifestyle. It was confusing, because although there are strict rules and codes of proper Master and slave behaviours, what we would call “the traditions of the old guard”, everyday life requires a lot of flexibility. It’s often not ideal to actually go through life permanently switched to “high protocol”.

It took me a few years of observing and learning through mistakes, and a lot of trial and error, to get the dynamic right today. Along the way, we tightened the leash and my role in our relationship transitioned from a general leatherboy into a rather more committed slaveboy. We live apart, but the energy of Master and slave is constantly deeply rooted inside me.

Us, in Hanoi, Vietnam


The way our power dynamic operates in daily life is rather flexible. i have explored and experimented with a range of strict old guard protocol. These have included: a slave should never look into the Master’s eyes directly, always walk a few steps behind the Master, the slave should not use personal pronouns (i, me etc) in speech, slave should… and shouldn’t… You get the idea. None of this was requested by my Master, it was proactive initiative I took to help set the tone of our relationship.

In a polyamorous household, each of us has different sets of power dynamics relating to the others. And, we perform a number of roles. We are all multi-dimensional people. On a practical level, i can’t perform in the way i need to if i am only looking at someone’s shoes and never their eyes.

i take the pronoun “Master” very seriously, and i use it strategically and sparingly. To keep throwing it out there in every sentence would make me feel like the word “Master” loses its original special embodiment of power exchange. Preserving and anchoring that strong power of Master and slave is important to me and my life as a slaveboy.

i think, after a few years of trial and error, i have found that for me a constructivist approach to the Master/slave dynamic works and serves as the bedrock foundation of a power dynamic that plays in our daily life.

There are many “flavors” of constructivism, but one prominent theorist known for his constructivist views is Jean Piaget, who focused on how humans make meaning in relation to the interaction between their experiences and their ideas… During its infancy, constructivism examined the interaction between human experiences and their reflexes or behavior-patterns. Jean Piaget called these systems of knowledge schemes.
~ Wikipedia

i serve coffee to Master as the duty of a slaveboy. The day starts with my kiss on Master’s feet as proper greeting. Occasionally, i kiss and lick Master’s boots when Master is leaving the house, as a gentle submissive gesture of bringing that energy to Master’s daily journey.

These are rituals i cherish, rather than strictly abiding by rules that i have to follow and execute. And, on those days when i can’t actually execute these old guard submissive behaviours, the power dynamic stays in the back of my mind. It has become intertwined in daily life. Of course anytime Master may decide to turn the strictness of our protocol up or down, or our life circumstances may require that to happen, but generally speaking we are flexible enough to maintain the discipline in a way that facilitates, rather than hinders, our daily operations.

i do think the constructivist approach is more suitable for us in today’s time. Perhaps, secretly, i do wish i could not worry about anything and just be a 24/7 slaveboy, strictly following rules and regulations and not have other things in my mind. But in practice, i know that i have to operate in a world where my power dynamic isn’t the sole thing that powers my engine.

The relationship i have is very special. i am eternally grateful for my good fortune in being given a chance to live a rather ideal slaveboy dynamic, collared and committed in servitude, that manifests itself not just in the bedroom but is woven through my daily life.


• Deviance & Desire – Old School BDSM versus New School BDSM
• Deviance & Desire – The Mysterious Old Guard
• Deviance & Desire – Where Did Old School BDSM Go?
• An Article by Maaike Knol – Constructivism and Post-Constructivism 
• Evil Monk – Old Guard, New Guard
• Lucidsyn – BDSM: New Guard, Old Guard, and Titles
• Kink Weely – Old Guard vs. New Guard
• An Article by Vincent Pouliot – The Essence of Constructivism

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *