Protocols Part II — Connecting the Dots for Your Characters

This article provide further information on Protocols and how it enhances the D/s relationship. Ensure to review Protocols Part I to have a better understanding on these rules will affect any BDSM relationship.Whether it’s pick-up play or a full Master/slave relationship, protocols can make or break the union you are trying to build. As you begin to write your stories, take a moment to consider what behaviors are most important to your Dominant characters? How would they react to their submissive in various situations? How do you want them to react and behave? What is the level of respect required? Feel free to change the pronouns around to suit your character’s dynamics.

Let us take a look at some of the typical components of a protocol. Obviously, each Master has his [her] way of having things done, and this exposé is slightly biased towards our own views.

General behavior
The slave lives to please and serve her Owner under any circumstance and at any time. This implies that the slave should always focus on her Master – his safety, needs, and desires. she should put him first in any situation as long as that does not put the slave into any danger. The slave should never show any sign of anger or frustration, crankiness or any disruptive behaviors, emotions or thoughts. she should never show any disagreement with an order or wish from her Owner. All orders should be promptly complied to and diligently executed.

Many Masters are concerned about their slave’s general appearance and therefore include requirements thereof in the protocol. For example, the slave might have to comply with certain hygiene requirements and only be allowed to wear certain approved clothing. General eating or weight restrictions are also common.

Communication
In general, the slave is always expected to speak and express herself in a respectful manner, whether she is talking to her Master or anyone else. Often a slave is required to use proper honorifics in the presence of her Master and other people involved in the scene. The slave might be required to refer to her Master as “Master,” “Sir,” “my Master” or “my Owner,” and herself in third person such as “slave,” “this slave,” “Your property” or simply “she/he/it.” It is also common that the slave has to ask her Master’s permission before beginning any activity. For example, instead of the slave saying “I am going to the restroom” she would be required to express this basic need as a request and use proper honorifics – “Sir, would it please Master if slave went to the restroom to take care of herself, Sir?”

Interaction
When entering into the awareness of her Master a slave might be required to announce her presence by a simple curtsy or present. This present serves to acknowledge the slave’s status and readiness to provide any services her Master may require. Depending on the situation or the location the slave might present either kneeling or standing.

For an Owner, it is practical in public situations to always know where your slave is. Having the slave on one reassigned side simplifies fetching, carrying, or any other type of attending service she provides. It also minimizes bumping into each other while walking or just standing around.

Variations
As pointed out above, there are many variations to protocols. Every Master has his own way of doing things. Some Masters use different protocols depending on the context. A protocol can be location or situation dependent, i.e. depending on where the slave is or who the slave is interacting with, different rules may apply. In public places some of the more formal rules may be changed. Speech patterns using “Sir” or “Master” might be less restrictive in public in order to not draw attention from the surrounding. Similarly, the present might be performed in a different way in public situations. For example, a full kneeling present could be substituted by a subtle head bow accompanied by lowering of the eyes. With some thought and ingenuity it is possible to still maintain a certain protocol even in public. Clearly, it will be less formal (unless you want to get the attention of by passers – or shock them!) but still a protocol is in place enforcing proper Master/slave dynamics.

Implementation
A protocol provides a good way to set a minimum standard for a slave’s behavior, communication, and interaction. Start your protocol from a few simple rules. It is hard to construct a complete or full-blown protocol right away. You and your slave will need time to accommodate new rules and structures, so the simpler the better. Over time modifications and more details can be added. Using an existing protocol developed by someone else for inspiration is helpful.

Make sure that rules and specific positions or tasks are thoroughly understood. Practice them together, make adjustments, and correct mistakes when they occur. This is often referred to as “protocol training” or just “training.” In the early stages, before the slave is proficient with the protocol, it might be very tiresome to correct each and every error. But if this is not done, the protocol will never be properly learned.

Initially, it is important to review the protocol on a regular basis together. Like anything else in an M/s relationship, if your slave is not doing something the way you want it or to your liking, you have to change it. After a while, the slave will start correcting herself and taking great pride in staying in protocol and following the rules. Keep in mind that a protocol is never static. It will evolve and change over time as you and your household becomes more comfortable with it.

Besides knowing how the slave will behave and perform in different situations, the protocol can be an important spiritual part of the M/s relationship. For many it is something that becomes very personal and intimate, sometimes providing a strong symbol for the household.

A protocol is not developed overnight. It takes time and hands-on experience to build and put into effect. Although the real results might not become apparent until after long time use, it is a well spent effort. You and your household will have something unique.

Note: this is a excerpt from Eric Pride’s essay on Protocols which he has graciously allowed us to post here. To review his entire comments and other information about his unique Masters Development Conferences/Workshops visit him at: http://ericpride.blogspot.com

To learn more about the Dominance and submission lifestyle review the book, BDSM FOR WRITERS.

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