A Dungeon Monitor, or DM, is a trained safety expert in many common forms of BDSM that is assigned by the venue owner or event host. Often they will have additional medical training as well, but not necessarily. Generally they are well-respected, well-vetted, experienced members of the community who walk the dungeon(s) at events to ensure rules are being followed, that nothing patently unsafe is occurring and that consent is being respected. They keep a trained eye on various scenes and observe to help ensure that everyone is safe.
Unlike most individuals, dungeon monitors have the privilege to interrupt a scene (for safety purposes) as well as other liberties, though the specifics and scope of their powers may vary from venue to venue. If you see something you believe to be patently unsafe, report it to the dungeon monitor, and if there is not one present, the host or venue owner.
General DM Guidelines
As a DM you will be an official representative of the event, venue and presiding institution and therefore it is very important you be properly prepared, trained and knowledgeable person capable of handling emergency situations and even potentially dealing with law enforcement, violent/intoxicated persons, and emergency response teams.
As a dungeon monitor your job will be to ensure, as much as reasonably possible, the safe operation of the play space. It is a very important job that may involve emergency rescue as well as life saving decisions and actions. It is not a responsibility to be undertaken lightly or by those inexperienced in BDSM play.
- Answer a calling or humbly state interest to event/volunteer coordinators concerning your desire to be a DM. When applying state your perceived qualifications to include your experience, expertise and relevant training.
- Most dungeons or events will have a dungeon monitor course, be prepared to attend and participate.
- Understand that DM selection is often a subjective process, take acceptance or rejection with grace.
- Most dungeons will require you to work shifts as a shadow (following around someone with more experience to see how they operate) before you become authorized to run a shift by yourself. Further demonstrated success is often required to operate as a Team Leader/Head DM.
- Be an expert in the party rules and the house rules. If not noted ask about policies concerning:
- Consent, Identification, Touching/Marking, Hygiene, fluid barriers, sexual penetration and prostitution.
- All types of Edge Play; which ones are permitted/banned and under what circumstances?
- Possession of Knives, Firearms, Stun Guns/Cattle Prods, Crossbows and other deadly weapons.
- Smoking and use of Alcohol or other impairing substances concerning entrance and play.
- When and how to interrupt a scene as well as who to notify if there is a persistent problem.
- Cell phones, photography and other recording devices.
- Protocols concerning collared submissives/slaves and those in service to the House.
- Equipment reservations and monopolies.
- Locations of exits, smoking areas, bathrooms, after care areas, and medical/safety/emergency/security gear and personnel.
- Calling for and Interacting with law enforcement and emergency services (Head DM).
- If working in a team, assign a team leader (Head DM) and communicate with them about matters of import. Have a team meeting prior to the shift led by the team leader.
- Whenever possible, be currently certified in CPR and EMT services even if it is not required.
- Be an expert in negotiations, you may be called upon to witness negotiations for a scene.
- Be prepared to explain safe usage of all dungeon furniture present, you may be called upon to explain it.
- Be knowledgeable and prepared to explain RACK and Best Practices play concerning all major disciplines allowed on premises. If you aren't sure about something, ask.
- Before your shift, inspect all play stations/furniture/equipment and outlets for damage/hazards, as well as the play space itself for structural damage and tripping/other hazards.
- Set the example and follow all rules during play while off duty.
During the Shift
- Be vigilant and ready for emergencies, calling of safe words and consent violations. Don't play or overly socialize while on duty.
- Notify the head DM in case of an actual emergency. If you are the head DM, have a charged cell phone and be ready to call for emergency services in the case of an emergency.
- Circulate. If an area hasn't been inspected in the last fifteen minutes, go look at it. Be aware of back-swing and personal space when passing by scenes.
- Work invisibly whenever possible unless directed otherwise.
- Don't act with bias (positive or negative) to anybody.
- Intervene sooner rather than later, but only when necessary as stated by the house rules.
- Intervene gently and diplomatically, discreetly when possible. Seek to help rather than order other players when possible.
- Be an honorable example of your character and the venue.
Suggested Protocol for Medical Emergencies
Event Coordinators should feel free to take this document in part or in whole, and modify it to the needs of the event.
- Assess the situation
- Direct the removal of victim from scene (i.e. suspension/bondage)
- Use a spineboard to help assist in the removal of a suspension to take pressure off of the bottom.
- DM activates the EMT staff, if a serious emergency, through use of a whistle
- DM acquires info from scene Top/bottom/witnesses and passes that information to EMT staff
- What happened?
- Is this a "normal" reaction?
- Any known medical issues (pacemaker, seizures, etc)
- Real name (if available)?
- DM starts crowd control and clears path to the emergency medical area
- Assistant EMT takes emergency bags to med room
- DM offers assistance to EMT's if necessary/move injured to medical area
- DM escorts scene Top to medical area
- DM secures medical area and crowd control of medical area
- DM follows EMT's guidance/direction
- If outside medical response is needed, the Head DM informs Facility owner. Head DM anounces all play suspended and to prepare for arrival of emergency services.
Suggested Protocol for encountering Law Enforcement
- Inform attendees Law Enforcement is en route/present and play is suspended.
- Law Enforcement Entry is by Warrent or Board approval only.
- Be professional when encountering Law Enforcement Agents.
- Get Board member, do not allow Law Enforcement inside or unattended within the limits of your authority, do not invite them in or allow sight into the venue.
- Cooperate, but do not volunteer information.
- Do not use language that assumes liability
- Do not lie to Law Enforcement.
- Help provide minor assistance with house matters such as clean up, tear down, and closing.
- Brief before the party/shift, debrief after the party.
- Set the example and follow all rules during play while off duty.