of people in the D/s lifestyle place great importance on manners, protocols and etiquette, both at events, and functions,
and also in more private situations.
The dictionary defines Manners as:
- Ways of behaving with reference to polite standards.
- A way of acting, bearing or behaviour
- The socially correct way of acting.
Manners really are important no
matter what lifestyle you lead, it is the basic common courtesies which most people learn as they grow up.
The please and thank you, not speaking
with a mouthful of food, not interrupting a conversation, etc. All things that should apply in all situations.
Protocols and Etiquette - though
related to good manners - are really what many people associate with our lifestyle, and many scene people place great importance
So what is a Protocol, and what
Protocol is defined as:
- A code of correct conduct
- The system of rules and acceptable behaviour used at official ceremonies and occasions:
Etiquette is defined as:
- conventional requirements as to social behaviour.
- the set of rules or customs which control accepted behaviour in particular
social groups or social situations
From these definitions it is obvious
that protocols are more widely recognised as being official behaviour, whereas etiquette is predominantly social behaviour,
but the basic element is the same, they are about correct behaviour in certain situations.
The D/s lifestyle has various situations
which can involve different levels of protocol, for example an informal night at home might be low protocol, having D/s guests
for dinner maybe medium protocol, but a formal D/s dinner would be high protocol.
Low protocol is easy going
and usual in most informal situations or casual stay at home nights. It is also what many D/s couples use if they are in “vanilla
situations” such as family get togethers, where not everyone is aware of the lifestyle. Only to the practiced eye, is
the subtle D/s interaction noticeable, but there is no doubt in the submissive’s mind that it is there.
Medium protocol is basically
just a step up from low protocol. It is still fairly easy going, but there is a bit of an edge to things, and the submissive
is a little more aware of his/her behaviour. It may involve things such as wearing a collar at the table for the evening,
being mindful and respectful to whomever is around you, but being able to speak fairly freely, as long as you are respectful.
If a submissive or slave is “put
on” high protocol, she/he is instructed to behave in a certain manner befitting a high protocol situation -
she/he would have certain rules to follow. High protocol usually means all focus is on the Dominant, and no communication
with anyone else, unless directed, is allowed. The submissive would keep eyes lowered and be quiet at all times, and remain
in whatever position or place she/ he has been instructed to stay in.
Being in high protocol is a very
good way of remaining focussed, and also a good way of lessening stressful situations. As a submissive, on high protocol you
do not think of anything except your Dominant.
A personal example for me, was to
be placed on high protocol for almost a whole day, i wore a chain attached to my collar and was at Master’s side constantly,
doing things for Him and being in His presence. The reason was that it was the anniversary of my mother’s death, and
i needed to focus on something else rather than my sad thoughts.
At the end of the day i was much
more calm and relaxed and able to think of her without the devastating sadness that had overcome me that morning.
Master had recognised that i would
need something to get me through that day, and high protocol was the answer.
Protocols are also in place at such
things as formal collarings, or training workshops, where certain codes of conduct are expected, and should be adhered to
Etiquette is like a set
of protocols or rules for social situations. Many Dominants like the formal side of D/s so they tend to teach their submissives
to use correct etiquette, and to learn what is appropriate and when.
My Master requires different styles
of greetings for me to use depending on which Dominant we may encounter.
For example, for most Dominants
we meet up with, i would be likely to greet them in a fairly informal way, with a hug and a kiss on the cheek…. However
there are one or two for which Master requires a formal greeting from me, that is - down on my knees with my forehead to the
At home, there are rules for how
we greet our guests and who comes first.
When out, there are rules for where
we walk in relation to Master, and where we stand, this is all etiquette – correct behaviour in certain situations.
But to add to this discussion, is
it only the submissives who are subject to protocols and etiquette rules, or should Dominants also follow those guidelines?
For example as a submissive i know
that i must always be polite and respectful and greet any Dominant we meet up with, in the correct manner.
My behaviour is a reflection on
my Master, and i am always conscious of that fact.
But what about Dominants who simply
don’t respond, or who ignore submissives…. Is that really the right thing to do?
What about a Dominant who greets
another Dominant, then goes around the group of people saying hello to each person, but yet ignores the collared submissive
of the Dominant he first greeted.
My opinion of this behaviour is
that it is almost an insult to the Dominant who owns the submissive, is she simply not liked or is she ignored because she
is only a submissive?
If the Dominant in question ignores
all submissives in the group, then it can be assumed that it is normal behaviour for Him/Her, but if it is only one submissive
singled out to be ignored, then it would seem more likely to be a personal dislike. Even if that is the case, it is not a
good example to set to any submissive, or to any upcoming Dominant.
In my own opinion, it gets back
to basic manners and courtesy, whether it be D/s or not, to ignore one person out of a group of people is just plain rude.
What about the Dominant who greets
a submissive before greeting that submissive’s Master or Mistress?
What about a Dominant, who on seeing
a submissive He knows, goes and pats her on the head as she is serving a drink on her knees to her Master?
Incidents like these do happen,
and they are caused by ignorance on the part of the Dominant, not realising or understanding the correct behaviour.
Of course, most people we meet within
the D/s Lifestyle are polite and well mannered, new people venturing out are sometimes ignorant of the etiquette which should
be followed in social situations, but if things are gently explained, there isn’t usually a problem.
In summing up then, it would seem
that basic manners should be a necessity in any lifestyle, but that protocols and etiquette play a big part in the D/s world.
There are many of us who embrace them and incorporate them into our daily lives, but equally many who do not understand the
subtleties of correct protocol and etiquette.
I fully understand that not everyone
places as much importance on manners, protocols and etiquette as Master and i do. For me it is like the icing on the cake - it adds to the quality of my life as a submissive, and helps me to remember my place,
and to focus on Master.
To know that He is proud of my behaviour
in all situations makes me feel proud of myself, and gives me confidence when i need it.
© kim (MJ) 2006