First, I would like to mention that I am a relative newcomer to the Chatro Dungeon....and to the lifestyle, I suppose, although is has been a fantasy of mine for years....
I have been coming to the "D" since the last week of November, 1997. I was sent there by a r/t Master that I met in normal chat. Somehow we got on the subject, and I told him I wanted to learn more. He advised me to go there.....said that although it wasn't perfect, it was a good example of the lifestyle. He advised me to sit quietly and observe, and that he would come in soon. R/T obligations kept him from fulfilling that promise, but he is still, and always will be, my Master Mentor. He gave me the URL, and, as they say......the rest is history.
From the very beginning, I was completely taken with the atmosphere. The Dom/mes ruled the Dungeon.....the subs were secondary, in everything. I sat quietly, speaking to no-one for the first 4 days, then speaking only in private with one or two other subs who were beginning to recognize my name, when I had questions. For 10 days.....18 hours a day or more, I sat and watched, learned, absorbed the knowledge I needed to be a successful and respectable sub. Back then, it was so very important to be a proper sub. The Dom/mes would have nothing to do with a sub who didn't know protocol. Any sub who was overly loud, boisterous, or rude was quietly ignored by the Dom/mes. In fact, the subs often whispered their greetings, not by emote, but nonetheless, the greetings were conservative so as not to disturb the Master's at rest and relaxation. When a Dom/me entered the room, the subs greeted them quietly, respectfully, always with their eyes lowered, always with a smile. If a Dom/me responded kindly to a sub's greeting, the sub could offer to prepare a meal or a beverage for the Dom/me, and would graciously and studiously serve the Dom/me at their bidding, then retire quietly, unless the Dom/me asked the sub to stay and converse, or to serve them in some other way. Subs were not obligated to serve the Dom/mes sexually, and often the Dom/me just wanted a companion, someone to speak with, or perhaps a neck rub. Most subs readily agreed to serve those Dom/mes and often, their service was so greatly appreciated for the quality that the Dom/me would ask the sub to kneel at their feet afterward. This was considered a great honor.
Each of us has our own unique mental image of the Dungeon layout. Some just consider it a chat, some take it more seriously, and picture an actual place.
I picture the "D's" doors as wood; tall, arched double doors with heavy iron handles....I picture the Dom/mes pulling both doors wide upon entering, framing their silhouettes, drawing attention to their presence. By contrast, I imagine the subs as barely pulling open one door, slipping sideways into the room, a minimum of disturbance and fuss. Upon entering, Dom/me and sub alike find they are in a large, semi-dark room, with stone walls and stone floors, area rugs made from furs or woven mats scattered here and there; one in front of the fireplace, and covered with soft pillows of various sizes, ranging from small throws to large cushions. I picture a long, narrow woven mat behind the bar, and a couple of small rugs in the kitchen, one under the large table, and one in front of the huge, cast-iron woodstove.
The bar is approximately 45 feet long, of the darkest walnut imaginable, polished from years of use. Only about 1/3 of the bar is used regularly, that end nearest the kitchen. There are highback stools lining the length of the Bar, and small, arched windows high in the wall behind the bar, running the length of that wall. Behind the bar are racks and shelves filled with every type of liquor imaginable, glasses, trays, mugs, snackfood, and serving aids line the back wall.
The Hot Tub is at the other end of the bar, extending along the side wall of the Great Hall, and is fairly large. Located next to it is the showers, and past them is the hallway to the Dom/mes chambers.
And then, there is the Dom/me's Circle. Fashioned in two semi-circles, the Dom/mes chairs and tables are placed along the outside edges of the Persian carpet. It is a place of quiet conversation, and an honor is bestowed upon any sub invited to remain in that circle. The Dom/mes chairs vary in degree of beauty and design; some are heavy, of magnificent proportions, while others are small and simple in their complexity. Some Dom/mes have separate chairs for their subs, nearly all have pillows on the floor near the chair for subs.