Protocols are part of the structure so necessary in a d/s relationship. They help each of us feel in our proper place. D/s protocols are also part of the fun! But what exactly is a protocol? Put simply, a protocol is a behavioral ritual, consciously designed & chosen to express or reinforce our respective roles in our Mistress/slave relationship.
Protocols belong in writing
If you have a bdsm slave contract you should certainly write your D/s protocols into it. I highly recommend writing them down even if you don’t have a contract. Most pro Dommes (both online and off) will have a statement of protocols somewhere. It might be called her ‘rules’ or something similar, but it will always tell you how she expects you to behave when you contact her, when you meet her, etc.
BDSM events often have their own protocols. These protocols are commonly noted on the invitation and often spelled out in more detail on any website, Facebook page etc associated with the event. When in doubt about the protocols of an event you wish to attend don’t hesitate to ask! Event organizers would much rather answer your questions & have everyone follow the required protocols.
Universal bdsm protocols
The bdsm community considers very few things to be universal protocols. These tend to be very basic and mainly involve issues of SAFETY and CONSENT. Just because someone is a sub doesn’t mean he’s my sub. And just because someone is a Domme doesn’t mean she’s your Domme. These two rules are perfect examples of truly universal protocols. Neither one of us should ever assume that we’ll automatically get attention/domination/submission/obedience from the other!
On a similar note you should never meddle with another Domme’s slave (i.e. property) without their permission. Which doesn’t obligate a Lady to do a background check to find out if a subguy belongs to another Mistress. Owned slaves will usually tell you straight up – they’re proud to be owned! And if he doesn’t mention it a simple question will do. Any slave who is truly owned won’t lie about it so he can play around with another Domina. Most Dommes will happily give permission for other folks to torment their slaves, so a truly loyal slave wouldn’t need to lie anyway. The subguys who do lie tend to be community sluts who like the feeling of being called slave but who have no deep loyalty to any one Mistress. They will flit from Domme to Domme and it makes no sense at all for a Mistress to waste her time/energy on protests; feeling betrayed by this is just silly.
Common but not universal
There are other protocols which aren’t universal but are quite common. These might include rules like ‘furniture is for Mistress; slaves sit on the floor’ and ‘slaves speak only when spoken to’. Forms of address – i.e. whether you should call her ‘Mistress’, ‘Goddess’, ‘Domina’ or whatever – are another very common D/s protocol. Making sure Mistress comes first is an extremely good example of a common protocol. This can apply to everything from serving her dinner before you eat to making sure she has her orgasms (or gets paid that cum tax) before you even think of cumming yourself. Obviously this is not an exhaustive list but you get the idea.
Less common bdsm protocols
Some good examples of less common protocols include things like the slave keeping his eyes down at all times or the notorious capitalization rule that gives rise to statements like “W/we went to the most amazing party last weekend.” The capitalization rule gets a lot of flack for awkward grammar, but it certainly works to keep a slave’s mind focused on his inferior status! More graceful examples of unusual D/s protocols include things like the slave eating his meals from a bowl on the floor or kissing his Mistress’s cup before handing it to her when he serves her a drink.
What is ‘high protocol’?
You may see ‘high protocol’ noted in event descriptions. Generally it means that the event rules require most or all of the protocols described here, plus any others the organizers care to include. Many of the most fun (and most elegant) events are high protocol. It gives all of us a chance to live the porn fetish fantasy even if we’d find such rules tiresome in regular life. ‘High protocol’ can also describe your own need for protocol. And if you’re the kind of slave that craves high protocol this certainly should be written in to any slave contract or training program you commit to.
Protocols require work for both parties. The Domme exerts herself in choosing, communicating & enforcing her protocols. And the submissive must work at following these rules for his behavior even if they’re arbitrary & uncomfortable. But D/s protocols are a big part of the structure of any Mistress/slave relationship. They help keep both parties in their respective headspace and are often a big part of the fun. For many slaves the idea of protocols they must follow is the very essence of slavery.