Protocols in Dominant/Submissive Relationships

Protocols in Dominant/Submissive Relationships:, Mistress/slave, Domme/Sub…Power based relationships stimulate the mind and the libido. But how do we maintain that erotic charge through the scene and between scenes?

Life comes with bills, the flu, dishes, and laundry, getting the car serviced, taking the trash out, going to work and so much more. Plus then add in kids if you have them and then you have less time. And everything keeps going no matter if you are in a D/s relationship. It means there is no 24/7 bondage, S&M and sex. It means living life the best we can do and trying to add in things to keep that focus of the power exchange. It is keeping it real within reality.

I think people think that when you are in a Femdom it is all about sex and S&M. But as you know we live in the real world and we make our lives fit within reality of the world or it will makes us fit in it.

The only thing that is needed for a Femdom is the power exchange. In a relationship she controls and he serves and obeys. And that is all that is needed. And those things can fit in anyone’s life with bills, projects or even if you have kids.

Some people believe that if the vanilla quicksand them that they have to start their D/s relationship all over OR that they are being vanilla.

Many of people look at their lifestyle and just see the toilet overflowing, the stack of dishes, the pile of book bags and the laundry heaping up. They think we are not doing S&M because of all that “vanilla stuff.” Instead of looking at it that way, look at the foundation…the power exchange and see that the D/s is still there or it can still be there without S&M. By no means are we saying to take out the S&M or we don’t “need” it. But make sure the foundation of the power exchange is there.

A big mistake I think that people make is separating D/s and non-D/s activities such as everyday vanilla life. They say, “Well our life is too vanilla” or “We were just so vanilla yesterday.”

What I want you to think about: Dominants do you still have the desire to control and have the power in your relationship? When in a vanilla setting would your submissive obey a comment? I am not necessarily talking about telling your submissive strip down at a PTA Meeting, but how about being in a mall shopping and commanding her to try something on for you. Or just even stopping and telling him to kiss in the grocery store….seems like vanilla things, but it isn’t if the power exchange in your foundation. So do you have the power and control in all situations – vanilla or not?

Submissives do you have the desire to serve and please even in vanilla situations? Do you defer to your Dominant in vanilla settings as well as private? Would you obey and serve in a vanilla setting?

Also do you have protocols or rituals that go beyond a private setting? If you have protocols and rituals then you have those always too – no matter if in a D/s setting or non-D/s setting.

Those things don’t go away just because we are in a vanilla setting. They are a part of our power exchange so in essence a part of whom we are always. So why separate non-D/s or vanilla activities and D/s activities because they are there all the time even if not overtly dominating or overtly submitting.

This quote really sums this up well…Although written for a female sub it is great advice:

The goal should be to incorporate your dominance and her submission seamlessly into your lifestyle. It should be intertwined so that just about anything you and your sub/slave do together could be construed as D/s. In other words, don’t complicate your lives by categorizing aspects and activities into “D/s activities” and “non-D/s” activities.“ ~ RebelGent

A process of protocols and rituals have allowed us to enhance our D/s foundation. These protocols and rituals can be as innocuous as the way oz sits next to me as extensive his daily wardrobe.

The key is to find a set of protocols and rituals that can work – as everyone’s tastes, likes/dislikes are all subject to change from one individual to the next. There are varied degrees in which to conduct protocols and rituals from the basic to the incredibly high protocol where you almost have to ask permission to breathe.

As with everything in the lifestyle, some of these ideas may or may not work for you. The level of “micro-management” or just “management” can be controlled and be completely unique. Each Dominant has their personal tastes and preferences – so it only makes sense to personalize the combination of protocols and rituals being applied to your relationship.

I think what is helpful in making the D/s fit into the real world is establishing adaptable protocols and rituals instead of specific rules. It gives more flexibility and does not put such a strain on your relationship.

Consensual M/s and D/s relationships aren’t about forcing a bunch of rules. Because given enough time almost anyone will obey if forced. Consensual M/s and D/s relationships are about making the Dominants will your will. It is about wanting to serve and please that person that it aches inside when you don’t. It is about obeying because you want and need too.

Here are some protocol and ritual lists just to give you some ideas and wet your appetite and maybe spark off some self thought, some are more extreme than others.

There will be levels of protocol, as defined below. When we enter, we will be in the “normal” level until and unless specified otherwise. After a scene, we will be in the “casual” level until and unless specified otherwise. You may consult this paper as necessary.


  • You will wear your collar.
  • You will offer me drinks and food when we arrive.
  • You may get drinks and food for yourself without asking permission.
  • You may mingle freely, but will notify me if you intend to leave the room.
  • All of our regular rules/protocols (“Yes, Mistress”, handing protocols, cursing, etc.) apply.
  • You will remain alert to possible signals from me (such as hand signals from across the room, or me saying “insert name!”) – I should not need to “hunt you down” in order to change protocol levels or give you an instruction. (If you’ve given me notification that you will be in another room, that’s a valid exception.)
  • There are no restrictions on speech, eye contact, socializing, furniture use, etc.

The basic idea of this level is that we are a happy couple casually attending a social function together in a kink-friendly atmosphere.


  • You may not use furniture (except ottomans and tables) or walls.
  • You will remain close enough for me to reach out and touch you at any time.
  • When standing, you should keep your arms behind your back in your normal posture stance.
  • Otherwise, you retain freedom of posture, movement, gaze, etc., but you should strive to remain symmetrical and graceful in your positions. You will keep enough attention on me to respond to my voice, gestures, etc., without my having to purposely get your attention. (This is very important. Lapses will be punished.)
  • You may not make sustained eye contact with me. Fleeting contact is acceptable.
  • You should strive to please me with actions like foot kissing, leg rubbing, or whatever you anticipate would bring me pleasure (while realizing that this is not a test and you may ask me what would please me if you are not sure).
  • You will not use the name of a deity as such, nor any even mild curse words like “damn” or “bitch.”
  • The basic idea of this level is that, while you will not be unduly restricted, your main attention and focus should be on pleasing me as my slave.


  • You may not use any furniture.
  • When instructed to assume a position, you will remain in that position until told otherwise.
  • You will keep your head pointed forward and down at all times.
  • You may not ask questions, but you may otherwise speak to me freely, consistent with striving to please and obey me.
  • You may not speak to anyone else unless either (a) I indicate that you should, or (b) it would be rude to remain silent (e.g., Christine asks you a question).
  • You will begin all lines spoken to me with the word “Mistress.”
  • I will begin all statements to you with “My * slave.” (You will respectfully notify me if I fail to do this.)
  • You will focus your attention solely on me unless instructed to interact with another person or object.
  • The basic idea of this level is that you are under my total control and are completely focused on pleasing and obeying me as my slave.


  • No protocols outside of our general rules apply.
  • You will do your best to obey me, subject to your responsibility to help us both remain safe and sane.
  • We will both accept that I will risk your failure to obey me by giving you instructions that may be too difficult to obey completely. This is part of the scene and not considered a failure of your submission to me. Failure is not “actually” punishable although consequences may be part of the scene.
  • This protocol level is considered to begin when I ask you to remove your clothing at the start of a scene, and to end when you have put your clothing back on; it does not need to be specified.

The below was originally written for a female Submissives, but the ideas are transferable and have been sourced from various places on the Internet (I have lost the original source of this document, if you own it could please contact admin)

Some protocols and rituals enhance our relationship:

  • Eating
  • When out to eat – Mistress/Master orders for me. We have found that since we do this all the time even around vanilla friends and family they just learn to know this is just part what we like or who we are…that my “significant other” knows me so well that he just orders for me. I usually don’t even open a menu.
  • I don’t eat until Master gives me permission and often that permission is just a nod of the head after we sit down to eat or if out at a restaurant after I am served. I will in the presence of others at times get my napkin situated or take a drink until he gives me permission with that nod.
  • That protocol started differently at first. When we first started eating protocols, I just needed to wait until Master began eating. Then I was able to eat. That also went very un-noticed by vanilla friends and family.
  • If we are at a restaurant, sometimes he will push his coffee mug over to me and signal me to get him more – prepared the way he likes it (of course).
  • When I serve Master his meal, I serve Him first before getting my plate together. I also always give my Master the best piece of meat, the bigger baked potato and so on.
  • My eating and food intact at times is controlled. At times, I need permission to eat anything. That works for us because Master has a job where it will not disturb him if I need to call to have a snack or lunch (on the rare days he is not coming home for lunch too). I have to always call and ask permission to have a diet coke as it was an addiction in the past and Master has slowly weaned me off of them


  • I have a preference where xxx does not wear pants. In addition to wearing dresses or skirts, I like her to wear panties, tights and hose – which literally flies against what most Dominants prefer. It works for me – but may not necessarily work for anyone else.
  • I do not control what she wears everyday, but when I have a preference I tell her. Such as some days all I want her to wear is a pair of pantyhose or just a blue stain lingerie set that is very beautiful on her. Mostly she just dresses to please me. We talked about what I like on her and she dresses accordingly.
  • Each evening when I come home from work though, she is dressed slutty for me. Before she gets ready for bed, she asks permission to take off these articles of clothing.
  • My girl is not allowed to wear cotton undergarments. I like the way satin and silk feels and so that is the only materials she is allowed in undergarments. It is a standard for her.
  • My girl has an outfit that I enjoy her wearing and she abhors. I could make it a ritual that she wears it more and that she thank me for the privilege of wearing the outfit although she hates it. It would humble her. And show her it is a privilege that she is allowed other types of clothing and outfits. The mindset involved would make it a ritual instead of a protocol.


  • There are permission protocols in our relationship. When we’re together, I ask permission to go to the bathroom or when I want a diet coke. When he is at work, I don’t call him if I can go to the bathroom, but I still call when I want a diet coke. I ask permission to sign online, to call someone, or to lie down.
  • Permissions do not need to be overt – but done in an invisible manner. Such as the one I mentioned earlier…if we’re eating at a restaurant or with family or vanilla friends, I still do not have permission to eat until he say it’s okay. Usually after my plate is served, we make eye contact which is followed by a gentle nod which allows me to begin eating.

Other permissions we have used or have in place are:

  • Permission to sit on furniture or restrict the use of furniture.
  • Permission to go out with friends. Having curfew when going out.
  • Permission to leave the room or house. Master controlling the keys and my drivers license is in his wallet.
  • Permission to go bath and Shower
  • The old favourite…permission to use the bathroom.
  • Permission to speak with others in a D/s setting. Controlling protocol while at a bdsm event…such as having me in “high protocol.” That is when I am quiet, unobtrusive, and usually do not speak until spoken too. Or having to seek permission for almost entirely everything. It’s difficult to maintain high protocol for an extended period of time and realistically – how many phone calls does a Dominant want at work to ask permission to go to another room, ask for a sip of water?


Again sleeping rituals or protocols that we have used or are currently using:

  • Kneeling before entering bed – doing some meditation before going to bed is a ritual.
  • Asking permission to enter the bed is a protocol
  • Having a bedtime is a protocol
  • Being chained to the bed or sleeping in cuffs could be made into either.


  • Privacy is another area controlled in our dynamic. When property, nothing is yours anymore so to show that….taking away privacy is a way to get that message home loud and clear.
  • In our household, Master does not allow me to close doors – bathroom, bedroom and so on. Now if we had kids I am sure this would change. And it does get modified when we have visitors also. I have friends that don’t allow their kids in their bedroom. They can stand at the door and talk to them when the door is open, but are not allowed in the bedroom. And when the door is closed, they are not to knock at that door unless it is an emergency. It is explained at adult alone get away from the kid’s time. And their kids have gotten so used to that rule they just obey it without question or arguing now. Also when my friend goes the bathroom she goes the Master bathroom and can’t close the door – no kids can look in but no doors are closed on her Master. And it is similar here when we have company as no one can see into our Master/Mistress bathroom when Master’s bedroom door is open.
  • I have to ask to go the bathroom and that takes a way a sense of personal space privacy. I have to even tell my Master if I am urinating or having a bowel movement and it most certainly is embarrassing (still after all this time) but it does give me that knowing everything I do he knows about – Everything I am he knows
  • Some other privacy protocols we have used: Master/Mistress has all access to my emails, chat logs, all snail mail – letters, packages, bills, personal or non-personal mail. We both admit that a lot of people out there want to keep their privacy – which is understandable, but for our dynamic it works to help keep the focus of I am property and he is the Owner of said property.

Daily Schedule

This is something that ebbs and flows with us. At times, it is loosely control and other times it is very strict. Sometimes I am told what I will do each day. Other times I just need to inform Master what I have on my plate that needs to get done. And yet other times he does not worry about it my schedule at all. Again, Master changes things to meet his needs if it is not working.

  • My Master had me work out a schedule for the week on what I want to do each day of the week regards to housecleaning and He approved it. He now knows on Tuesday I clean the kitchen and what I do to clean the kitchen. But if I have extra projects, I have to let him know…like with the holidays I had baking, decorating and gift-wrapping. So, I had to tell him about those things so he could put them into my schedule. Or maybe he wanted me to do something and thinks that is priority and has me drop something. He controls the schedule ultimately.
  • Master tries to work into my schedule time for me to meditate or journal. A journal can be helpful in talking about even just daily events – places that were hard in the schedule, concerns and what not. It has worked good when face to face time with Master is a premium, as he can look the journal over to see where I am at and how things are progressing.
  • As schedules become more complex – it’s almost easier to plan ahead when there’s an available 30 minutes in a weekday. I have friends that take that time during the middle of the day or time when they can send them to their grandparents to have some alone time. And sometimes scheduling alone playtime is needed.
  • Scheduling is another way of holding together structure. Making the schedule rigid can suffocate the relationship – making the schedule too lax and that raises the question: “why have a schedule to begin with?”

Other Rituals

  • Inspection time – where I critique xxxxx appearance (i.e. whether they are to wear their hair a certain way, underwear check, paint on her toe nails, correctly shaved.) – having her prepare for this time is very much an intimate mindset.
  • Our ritual shower – xxxx sits in the bottom of the shower as I clean myself first. I at times urinate on her. The mindset of getting in the shower, having the water I am cleaning myself with flood over her is a very almost Zen like experience for her and re-enforcers her station with me.
  • Urination or masturbation while in the shower can be formed into a ritual.

source: various internet combined pages who’s orginal source has since been lost or taken down.

Protocols and rituals are not needed to have a D/s or M/s relationship. They just are there to enhance the relationship. Some key things to remember when forming protocols is to be flexible, think about why you are doing the protocol, and make it personal. Maybe you start something and it just does not work with your schedule bend it make it work or adopt other protocols to make them fit into your life. We have protocols that are in place that get put to the way side when things are busy or when one of us is ill. Does that mean we are not a D/s couple any more? No way. Our foundation is still there. The dynamic we have is still there even without the protocols and rituals. So, instead of thinking “Oh now we are not doing D/s” she still is in control and he is still serving and pleasing. And lastly don’t let the protocols prop up your relationship – meaning if you take away the protocols and rituals is your D/s or M/s dynamic still there? If yes then that is great! If not then you need to take a second look at your relationship. Build the foundation before adding furniture to your house.

Article MissBonnie © CollarNcuffs 2007

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