What Is a “Protocol”?
In the BDSM community, a protocol refers to the rules and behaviors governing any type of BDSM relationships. This agreement dictates the proper behavior and attitude and determines the relationship’s interpersonal dynamic and rituals.
Protocol’s Function in BDSM
In the BDSM relationship, the Dominant is usually the one who lays down the protocols and the submissive partner follows them faithfully. This can be a negotiation or simply the submissive agreeing to the terms set out by the Dominant partner. Doms crave to have control over someone’s life, actions, or body as it stimulates them sexually. Inversely, following the protocols set out by the Dom or Top and being praised and/or rewarded pleases and satisfies the submissive.
Protocols can be strict or loose. They will often vary in type and severity depending on the relationship’s dynamic. While protocols should be respected, they should also allow for flexibility and benefit all involved. Protocols may look different from own relationship to another; what may work as protocol or rules in one dynamic may not in another, depending on the desires or needs of the players. They serve as a base and foundation on which a play can be built upon.
Dos and Don’ts
- In BDSM, setting clear protocols is essential because these define the hierarchy between the dominant and submissive partners and the specific behavior that both are expected to obey.
- The sets of protocols in the BDSM community vary but have one thing in common: the use of honorifics.
- Honorifics are words or expressions that portray respect when a submissive addresses or refers to the dominant partner.
- Some of the most commonly used honorifics when referring to a male dominant are: Sir, Dom, Master, Grand Master, and Daddy.
- When referring to female dominant partners: Miss, Mistress, Goddess, Lady and Mommy.
- A ritual, on the other hand, is considered a solemn ceremony and consists of a physical action that is specifically associated with that ritual.
- Some of the typical rituals in a BDSM relationship are greetings, opening doors, drink service, collaring, leashing, and chanting a mantra.
Related Practices and Fetishes
High protocol, on the other hand, is known as the formal set of rules that the submissive follows. These rules are usually enforced by the dominant partners and take in effect during formal dinners and when the submissive is punished.