Part 3

PROTOCOLS AND RITUALS Michael:
A process protocols and rituals have allowed us to enhance our M/s foundation. These protocols and rituals can be as innocuous as the way danae sits next to me as extensive her daily wardrobe.

For us protocol means standard procedure that becomes a learned behavior and habit. It might have consequences set with it. Such as if the submissive is suppose to ask permission to go to bed, but does not then there is discipline administered. Rituals are typically ceremonial based and do not need to be consistent or occur on a regular basis.

Where rituals are more of a spiritual mindset or intimate in enhancing the D/s bond, protocols are based on learned behavior where the act or mindset is automatic.

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.

Danae:
I don’t even consider the protocols we have in our life anymore because they are just a part of my life. I don’t have to think about them they are just a part of who I am…and so it at times can seem very vanilla from the outside because it is seamless.

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. We have all see the 101 rules of a slave; (actually it’s now up to 128 basic rules.) Now do you know any Dominant that really wants to remember 101 rules? And what if rule 29 does not work in our relationship…then what? They are impractical and part of a fantasy based D/s 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.

Michael:
Even right this minute, danae is in a level of protocol that we do day in and day out. I happen to be hearing impaired on one side – so if I were to hear her, she needs to be on my right side. Consequently, whenever we walk somewhere, she’s always on my right side, half a step back – that way, even if she turns her head, I’m more likely to hear what she’s saying. So from a practical standpoint – it’s something that was not just necessary, but by itself, it became a protocol that she follows for me.

While you may be sitting there thinking “gawd, it’s so vanilla, yeah, so what??” That’s precisely the point. The way she walks, the way she sits are all rendered completely invisible by the vanilla masses outside this room. That’s the point we want to make – is that protocol can be invisible, yet the meaning is clear and obvious to those who know about it or see it first hand.

Danae:
Some protocols and rituals enhance our relationship:

Eating

    • When out to eat – 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.

Michael:
Dressing

    • I have a preference where danae 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.

Danae:
Permissions
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 favorite…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 make things fit into your lifestyle – don’t force something to fit because it might have adverse affect. Dominants think about what turns you on and what will enhance your life and make it into a protocol. Many of these protocols are just the basic of what we have done or do currently but Master often adds more to it or makes it very stripped down. Such as sitting on the furniture at one time, I had to kneel before Master and beg to sit on the furniture. Make the protocol into what turns you on and fits in your life.

Michael:
Sleep

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.

Danae:
Privacy
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 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 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?”

Michael:
Other Rituals

    • Inspection time – where I critique danae’s 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 – danae 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.

Danae:
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 M/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” I knew that he still was in control and I was 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.

© within Reality: Michael and danae 2004 – all rights reserved