When I see new words that has to do with BDSM, I always look for information on the subject. I do this for various reasons. Sometimes, I have no idea what the word means and other times I have an understanding of the word, but want to check whether my understanding is indeed what the subject is about. This time, for the word protocol, I found several sites with similar information, but I prefer to direct you to one of my favorite sites, that of Dumb Domme where she has done a BDSM Lexicon entry on protocol.
protocol, n.: in D/s contexts, protocol is a set rules (based on role) that govern an individual’s conduct.
Establishment, practice, and enforcement of protocol is widely variant–individuals agree on protocol to govern behaviors, conduct, and actions within the context of their own relationship/s. Rules and guidelines that make up protocol can be numerous or few, formal or informal, stylized or basic, and may cover language, honorifics, grooming, rituals, chores, and general conduct. While protocol may be expected of individuals in both dominant and submissive roles, most often, the rules are established based on the dominant’s preferences and followed by the submissive.
Protocols may include daily household chores (such as cleaning or laundry), daily rituals (such as journaling or meditation), service activities (like tea service or massage), grooming (rules for attire or hairstyles), honorifics and language (calling the dominant “Ma’am” or making requests with specific language), and other behaviors and actions (such as posture, presentation, communication with others, etc.).
There are different levels of protocol, such as:
- Low protocol (rules that can be practiced in a vanilla situation with family members or other people that are not aware of the D/s dynamic. It can be as simple as to always have to ask if your Dominant wants to drink something when you go to the kitchen.)
- Medium protocol (just a step up from low protocol, but it makes a submissive a bit more aware of his/her behavior. This can involve being respectful to whoever joins you for dinner. You are still able to speak freely, as long as you are respectful.)
- High protocol (a submissive is instructed to behave in a certain manner. He/she will have rules to follow and all focus will be on the Dominant and on no one else. The submissive will keep his/her eyes lowered and will not speak to anyone. This keep the submissive fully focused.)
- 24/7 protocol (Just as it says: all rules will be followed 24 hours a day for 7 days a week.)
There are two more levels, but those you can find in the post of Dumb Domme (http://dumbdomme.com/2012/11/bdsm-lexicon-entry-22-protocol.html)
Do we have protocol in our D/s relationship?
Yes, we definitely have. For one, I am considered to wear my day collar every day and every night we go to bed, Master T puts my night collar around my neck to sleep with it. Most of our protocol – I call them my standing orders – can be found in the sidebar on my website:
I have to:
* wear my nipple charms every day.
* shave my pussy every day.
* ask permission to orgasm.
* wear my day collar every day.
* sleep with a collar every night.
* share all communications with Him.
I am not allowed to:
* meet anyone without permission from Master T.
* wear underwear on Sundays.
* to cross my legs when wearing a dress/skirt.
One other thing that’s not in the list above, but that actually is a standing order too, is that I am not allowed to look at Master T when I am wearing my collar during a session. Something else we have thought and talked about a lot, is how I should address Him, especially during a session. I have blogged about this in September 2012 and again more recently, after one of our play dates . It was after that last play date that Master T told me that in any future play dates, I will have to address both Him and the other master as ‘Master’. This, of course, is adding to our protocol.
All my standing orders have been things Master T has decided on. Some of them came more or less ‘expected’ such as having to wear my nipple charms every day. When I ordered them, this was a requirement of Him that I should wear them every day as He knows me well enough to know that I would otherwise have stopped wearing them once the novelty wore off. The other one that came from a conversation was that I have to shave every day. I once made a remark that I had to shave (back then I did it every couple of days) because the hair growing back was irritating me and He made it a standing order. All the other standing orders came as a surprise, and I know that more might follow.
Having these protocols keep me focused on my submission at unexpected times during the day, such as when I am wearing a skirt (which I mostly am) and I am not allowed to cross my legs. Or seeing myself in the mirror in the ladies room and noticing my day collar around my neck. That always puts a smile on my face and makes me think of Master T. I like to be that focused…
© Rebel’s Notes