One of the questions that I get asked quite a bit how do we maintain protocols and relationship dynamic in front of others.
Last week we were out of town and we were around many vanilla people but as I mentioned in other posts we were around friends who are in the lifestyle. And it occurred to me that not even our lifestyle friends probably noticed that I asked permission of several things while with them. I did it all without saying anything. It was just my eyes and hand gestures. And Master nodded to them.
We are so used to being around non-lifestyle people that our way of doing it has become almost invisible or at least subtle enough that I don't think it is usually recognized. We don't get many looks for some things that we do in public. I walk on Master's right side about a half a step behind (and that is because he is hard of hearing so likes me in a place he can hear me). He orders for me in restaurants.** And most of the time people just think he is being "gentlemanly." I don't carry a purse anymore with him - he keeps my id with him in his wallet. So if I want something I have to ask permission and most people see I am not carrying a purse so understand why I am asking. I don't eat without permission even in vanilla settings he just gives me a head nod when I can eat. I can't leave his presence without "telling" him. I put telling in quotes because at home I ask permission in public vanilla settings I say I was thinking of getting a diet coke would anyone like one? That way I am informing Master and he usually gives me a little nod as permission And he has said no in public in a way that is subtle enough no one knew. I asked for diet coke and he said, "we are going to have soda with dinner." And that was my queue that I shouldn't have one then. So there are ways we keep our normal everyday life out in public settings.
** This has variations to it -- for the most part I don't open a menu or order for myself. When we haven't been to a restaurant before Master just finds it easier if I look at the menu, pick out what I want and order it. I still need permission though even in that setting to open the menu because there has been the rare occasion he has just went ahead and ordered for me. When we were out with our lifestyle friends in Denver last week -- I got permission to look at the menu and order because it was a new restaurant - it was done with gesture and eyes.