Table Manners-from the things no one should have to say, to the things that you may not have even known. There are many times that we will share a meal with someone. Bad manners or exceptional manners will ALWAYS get attention while acceptable ones may go unnoticed. But, this is such an easy way to represent yourself and your D/s partner well that everyone should strive to do their best. The trick though is to keep up your manners while in the often-relaxed atmosphere of dining.

The following list is a dozen items ranging from basic manners that everyone SHOULD practice to a few things that you may not have even been aware of…

1. Close your mouth!!! No one wants to see what is going on in there. Have you ever seen a cow chewing grass? Now, do you want to look like a cow chewing grass? Do not chew or talk with a mouth full of food.

2. Do not help yourself to things from someone else’s plate. It is just rude. If you want to taste something, compliment the appearance or ask if the relationship allows for that informality. If the diner wants to offer you a bite, that is fine; if they do not, order it next time.

3. Use your napkin!!! Your napkin goes on your lap unless you are using it. It should not be laid upon the table until the meal is over. If you leave the table for a moment, your napkin should be placed upon your chair. And, your napkin is NOT a handkerchief. If you need to blow your nose, you should excuse yourself to the restroom.

4. Your cell phone, hats, keys, wallet etc do not belong on the table. Ever. Now, there may be a rare time that a cell is acceptable (if you have kids, are on call etc) but your dining companions should know why your phone is present. “Please forgive me; my kids are with a sitter.” If you need to use your phone, you should excuse yourself from the table.

5. Elbows do not belong on the table. If you are finished with your meal and are trying to converse in a loud environment, it is ok to rest your elbows on the table and lean in to hear more clearly. However, it should be obvious that you are involved in/listening to the conversation-you should look attentive, not lazy.

6. If you need to remove something from your mouth, you do so the way you put it in there. If you were using a fork, you should not remove it with your fingers and vice versa.

7. Bread should be eaten in bite-size pieces. To eat butter on your bread, you should lay the butter on your bread plate and butter each piece as you eat it. You should never butter an entire piece of bread.

8. Unless instructed otherwise, do not eat until the host/hostess has taken a bite. In an intimate setting of six or fewer people, everyone should wait until all have been served. If your setting consists of more than one table (a wedding etc), you need only wait for your table to be served. Some dominants have special instructions for this part of a meal, if the submissive/slave may not eat until their dominant has begun.

9. Silverware should not touch the table once it is picked up. If you need to lay it down, it should rest on the outer rim of the plate. Restaurants will serve soups and desserts with the required silverware so you should always have the pieces you need.

10. There is so much on the table! What belongs to me? How do I know that I am using “my” items and not those of the people next to me? That is easy-liquids on the right, solids on the left. You should be able to easily pick up your water glass, with your right hand.

11. Dishes are passed from left to right. When served, food should be presented on the left, and the dish will be removed on the right. When you are passing something to someone who has requested it, you should not take anything from the plate/basket until they have chosen.

12. If you are finished, lay your silverware on your plate, lay your napkin to the left of your plate and leave everything else alone. You should not move dishes/stack/rearrange the dishes.