Fluid Protocols

In the Fluid Protocols, emphasis is on style and “intent” rather than precise execution. Allowances are made for sudden changes of situation and the demands of address and posture are somewhat minimal. In general the Fluid Protocols are less formal and exacting.  

Punishment will not be given for failing to act in accordance with fluid protocols, and correction will be limited to a verbal reminder.

Downtime – Downtime is invoked automatically by Sleep or Aftercare unless otherwise specified, and can otherwise be called. Downtime is a Protocol which has no requirements other than “general respect for the Master.” There are no restrictions on posture, on address, or any other behavior.

Downtime is invoked automatically by:

  • Sleeping – once the Master has kissed the submissive and said “good night” she is on Downtime unless she has been told otherwise.  She remains on Downtime until either her scheduled waking time, until she is obliged to wake her Master, or until her Master awakes.  She may return herself to Low Protocol from Downtime. If she has not been told “good night” but is given no instructions to maintain protocol, Downtime begins as soon as she is asleep.   This protocol allows her to get water, take medication, or should she be insomniac, work a crossword, or whatever else is necessary to get back to sleep without breaking protocol.
  • Aftercare – once the Master has said “it’s over” or “we’re done,” after a Scene, Downtime is automatically invoked for aftercare. Downtime, continues until the girl is given a direct order, such as “Stand up.”

Downtime can also be invoked by specific command at any other time. Since there are no standing orders for Downtime, the following requests pertain:

  • Appropriate use of Downtime – Downtime may be used, or even scheduled, to allow for personal business (cellphone calls, e-mail, etc.) during times when the submissive is kept collared for a long period of time. However, Downtime which is allowed for sleep or aftercare should not be used for activities which do not conform to the basic pattern of the submissive mindset. Thus if insomniac, doing a crossword, or watching an old movie would be perfectly reasonable, however playing a multi-participant online game, or calling an old boyfriend would be less acceptable. The guiding principle is that activities may distract, but should not create new focuses which take the mind entirely away from the submissive condition.
  • Masturbation – In general Downtime is not sexual, and her sexual fulfillment should come from her Master. There may be rare exceptions such as insomnia that would justify masturbation, but it is a general request that she not seek sexual gratification during Downtime.

Public – Public Protocol is invoked automatically when in Low Protocol if there are “average citizens” present. It can also be specifically called. Public Protocol is the Protocol that is used when going out into a public situation among other people. This is done for two reasons. The first is to make the submissive more comfortable in going out. The second is to obey the general caveat that we do not inflict scenes on other “non-scene” people – on “average citizens.” Specific orders, usually arranged by advance negotiation, may override Public Protocol. Being collared is being collared, and the submissive is still expected to obey direct orders/instructions.  

Public Protocol and Low Protocol are linked. When in Public, all conduct towards the Master which cannot be overheard by others should be conducted in Low Protocol. Likewise when not being observed, the girl should default to Low Protocol. The arrival of a “normal citizen” in scene space automatically allows for a drop to public protocol.  This is intended to cover a situation where say, room service is being delivered to a hotel room, and the bellman enters the scene space. It would be awkward to the bellman for the girl to behave in High Protocol.  

Low Protocol – Low Protocol is the default Protocol if no other Protocol has been established. It is invoked automatically when the “Relax” command is given in High or Formal Protocol. Low Protocol has a specific interaction with Public Protocol, described above. When there are “average citizens” present, Low Protocol may lapse automatically into Public Protocol. In general in Low Protocol there are fairly few rules of behavior.  There is some formality of address and an attention to bearing, and some basic requirements for movement, but the protocol is mostly a relaxed one.

Club Protocol – Club Protocol is always “called” explicitly by the Master. Club Protocol is a very special set of variant protocols designed to deal with “informal” leather situations where a strict protocol might be too glaring or obvious, and create a negative impression, but a lack of any protocol is not desirable either. Club Protocol is similar to Low Protocol but has its own specialized positions and rules. The focus is more on appearance and movement and less on address or formalities.

Rigid Protocols

Rigid Protocols are D/s oriented Protocols with an emphasis on movement, address, and obedience.  These protocols are typically invoked only when the submissive is wearing a normal collar, not a “Going Out” collar. Having average citizens present does not mean there is an automatic drop to Low Protocol, however the Standing Order that “Behavior should not attract unwanted attention, or public criticism,” may justify exceptions to strict obedience if there are average citizens present.  

High Protocol – High Protocol is invoked automatically on occasions that include being collared with a Full Collar, or when it is specifically called. High Protocol is the classic and standard form of interaction between a disciplined submissive and a Master. It involves forms of address and speech restrictions, positions, movement and rules.

Formal Protocol – Nothing other than a direct or standing order ever triggers Formal Protocol, which is a show protocol which adds a few elements of strong discipline  including eye contact, and a more complex formal address.


For Protocol purposes, anyone presenting as a woman is considered to be a woman. Anyone who is presenting an ambiguous gender is considered to be a man.


A submissive gives her body and her will to her Master, under whatever circumstances. Thereafter, preserving her body and mind becomes an act of loyalty to her Master.  

She is obligated at all times to undertake any action which are necessary to protect her from incidental substantial or consequential physical or mental harm.

Substantial harm would be a broken bone, chipped tooth, or worse injury. Consequential harm would be a stubbed toe.  Even though this would not in any way jeopardize her life, it might render her unable to walk gracefully which would impair  the Master’s use of her body.

Mental harm is more subjective, however again, any situation which rendered her useless to the Master because of mental incapacity or too distracted to focus on her duties and obligations can be construed as diminishing her value to  the Master .

In all Protocols the obligation to act in her own self preservation is paramount and takes precedence over all other issues. If it causes her to ignore a rule, or appear to misbehave, she is to issue a brief, polite, apology “this girl is sorry for dropping  the Master’s hand, but she needed to avoid stepping in the hole.”

In Scene, her obligation and permission to act in her own self preservation is limited to:

  • Clear, present, and unmistakable danger (a falling object) over which there is no time to negotiate
  • Calling Red to stop the scene and discussing the danger with  the Master .

This is actually a safety issue. In Scene she may be under considerable duress, and could for example be restrained in a way she was not fully cognizant of. For her to freely take action if she was alarmed but not in obvious clear and present danger might actually create a greater hazard of which she was unaware (for example knocking over some dangerous or heavy object due to dragging a rope).

Acting Physically or Verbally on the Master

The one circumstance in which she is explicitly allowed to act physically on the Master without explicit permission (pulling, grabbing, knocking down) is one in which the Master is in clear and present danger which she perceives and he does not, and which there is no plausible time to communicate.  

Warnings involving physical or mental danger also allow a contravention of speech rules.  For example if the Master is discussing a subject that she knows is very sensitive to another Master and that Master is approaching the Master from behind she would be acting within her charge to say “behind you!” even without an honorific.  In this case she is acting to protect the Master from mental harm.

It is not her job to act as a protector, but it is to be presumed that her loyalty is such that she should not be enjoined from doing so if by some chance it becomes the case that she has the opportunity.

Disruption in Orders/Communications

It may occur that the submissive is in a situation where she is unable to contact  the Master , and feels that she is under orders, but is not clear what the intent of her orders is.  

Likewise it is  the Master’s intent that if she is to be subject to gross physical or mental duress, including lengthy inactivity or boredom, she will be informed of it, or at least informed that she should have no expectations and prepare herself for anything.

Therefore if she finds herself in a situation where she is either unable to figure out what orders to follow, or where obeying orders seems to be pointless she may consider her line of communication to be disrupted.  At this point, her primary duty becomes to re-establish communications with the Master , and obtain further orders.

Concurrent with this, it is her duty to obey the laws and protect her own person.  

She should attempt to contact the Master by ordinary means (cellphone, etc.) within fifteen minutes of his non-arrival or unexpected/unexplained departure.  If this is successful there is no need for further concern.

Likewise if there is some regular source of news (late arrival announcements at a train station or airport, metro traffic, etc.) she should consult that within fifteen minutes to see if she can develop some reasonable surmise as to the reason for delay.

If there is a clear reason for the delay she should take whatever action is most appropriate under the assumption that the Master will continue to attempt to reach her, and will need any transportation resources she is responsible for providing.

Domestically she should re-order any food preparations or inasmuch as possible any reservations based on her knowledge.

She is also free to undertake any other reasonable measures to contact  the Master . Reasonable would mean any public means of communication that would not constitute a major embarrassment or hassle. For example, calling a scene friend who might have better cell access, or has access to SMS is reasonable. Calling a disapproving ex-partner would not be. Paging the Master at a hotel or airport would be reasonable. Calling the Metropolitan Police would not be (unless she has some legitimate reason to believe that the Master may in fact be in significant danger).  

She may assume that the Master will undertake the same measures to contact her.  

Waiting Places

After fifteen minutes she is free to go to any public location that is nearby and serves food and drink or allows patrons to sit. Upon arrival the Master will begin a canvas of local restaurants and bars in the immediate proximity.  She should tell the hostess she is expecting a friend and give the Master’s description. She should attempt to sit facing the door, and maintain some vigilance.

Likewise if she is late, the Master will go to any public location that is nearby and wait.  If she arrives late and the Master is not present she should begin a canvas of local restaurants and bars.  

By keeping in mind the same factors, it should be fairly easy to arrive at the same location even in a situation such as a mall where there are many choices available.

Physical proximity to the meeting point.  Within reason the closest place should be chosen.  The exception would be that it is either very pricey, requires exceptional attire, very noisy or has no clear lines of sight.  In this case the next location should be chosen

Line of Sight – the point with the best line of sight to the meeting place should be chosen.  

Noise level/Staff cooperation. A place where there is little noise (to allow for phone contact or paging) and where the Staff is more likely to immediately recognize someone arriving is de the Master able.


After the requisite wait she should go home, or to wherever she is staying.  There she should attempt to make herself available to contact by telephone, cellphone, or e-mail as is practical. She is not obligated to further service but should be aware and receptive.

Outside Authority

The Master is not the only authority in her life. She is responsible to the following other parties in all situations.  

These relationships take precedence over even explicit orders:

Blood Relatives, or agreed upon “adopted relatives.”  This presumes an overwhelming emergency (sister taken ill) not “taking a call to shoot the shit with Uncle Joe.”

Other Partners who have a relationship with the submissive which is acknowledged to be stronger or more direct than her relationship with  the Master . Abuse of this may be a basis for terminating the relationship but occasional issues are to be understood.

Duly constituted Civil authority (Police, fire, EMT), or military authority on a military base or in any other situation where they act in lieu of civil authority.

She may act advisedly against Orders or Standing Orders on the advice of her Medical Professional including any Therapist or professional Counselor.

These relationships take precedence over any standing orders or requests, and are a basis for breaking any non-explicit orders.

In a dungeon/club/house that is owned by another, the DM (Dungeon Monitor) or Host

Authority figures with a legitimate claim on authority (Parking garage officers, Hotel managers, etc.)

The reason for this exception is that the quality of hosts, DMs, Managers, etc. is not uniform. In the absence of explicit orders from  the Master , he expects her to obey them. However a request from a minor authority figure does not automatically free her from obeying explicit orders. For example in a particularly badly run club or irregular situation, the Master might instruct her to stand firm and ignore a junior DM while he goes to seek a host or senior DM who  he feels needs to be consulted.

Likewise she might be instructed to ignore a hotel security guard while the Master seeks a General Manager. the Master might also instruct her not to answer questions of a Hotel Manager if he knew for example that the manager carried sexual prejudices and that answering his questions would compromise her security or that of other guests.

These reasons are generally far fetched and unlikely. In the absence of direct orders to the contrary, she should obey anyone who seems to be in a position of legitimate authority where that obedience does not do any severe and lasting harm.

Likewise, she should obey any authority if she feels that she is actually threatened.  

In the case of such a situation she should get the Master if she knows his location, or return to a neutral visible area, their lodging place (hotel room, etc.) or car if she does not.  

Standing Orders for Behavior Towards Others

A set of Standing Orders makes it easier to manage behavior in public.

Behavior should not attract unwanted attention, or public criticism.  

Be helpful to others

Do not be unreasonably importuned  (importune is a word for “request” which typically carries a negative connotation).  “Reasonable” in this case is the best judgment of the submissive. The criteria for judgment is whether or not the benefit to her Master of carrying out a request is equal to or greater than the inconvenience to her Master.  She should consider:

Social reflection on the Master, through the perception of the politeness of his submissive.

The importance and station of the person asking

How legitimately important the request is – a very important request that is difficult might be deemed reasonable.  A ridiculous but trivial request might also be considered reasonable, because granting it is less trouble than explaining why one will not.  

Fatigue and stress, mental and physical, on the submissive.  She must consider that she has a limited quantity of energy. When she uses it on requests for others, less of it is available for her service to her Master.  This does not mean she should not do things which are reasonable, but to do things which are unreasonable is to throw away her energy which during the time she is a submissive is not hers to dispose of.

Acknowledge and cultivate friendships and ties within the Community.


In Public and Low, and Club protocol, the submissive may undertake any normal action without asking permission which does not:

  • Take her out of the Master’s visual range
  • Disrupt the current activity.  The examples of this are myriad, but the best example would be that while the submissive is allowed to use her cellphone, she would not disrupt a conversation with it.  
  • Constitute a “major undertaking.”  For example she could take a compact out of her wallet and check her makeup, but would not take out a pack of cards and start a card game without asking permission.  
  • In Public and Club protocol, she need not ask permission to go to the Bathroom, even if it violates the rule on visual range.  In Low Protocol, she should ask permission but may assume it will be granted.
  • In High and Formal protocol, the submissive may undertake any of the following without asking permission unless actually involved in scene.
  • Take Medicine
  • Eat Food or Drink liquid that is at hand
  • Ask permission to go get a drink or food – this is to avoid a constant double question where she first asks if she may ask a question, then asks if she may get a drink or have food.
  • Ask permission to go to the bathroom – as above, this avoids an annoying double question
  • Ask for the scene to be modified in some way that she feels is respectful and appropriate.  E.g. – she notices that a bright spotlight will be shining in her eyes when she is strapped onto a certain bench, and asks if the Master would be willing to rotate the bench slightly.

Touching BDSM Equipment

In All Protocols the slave is not to touch any device or information which is directly used in the control, discipline, or training of his submissives without explicit permission.  This includes papers and data storage devices (Laptops, etc.)

What the Master puts on, the Master removes.

Anything including clothing, cuffs, hats, or jewelry, which the Master puts onto a submissive is to be left on, unless the girl is specifically ordered to remove it.

Topics of Conversation

The following topics of conversation are forbidden:

Gossip or personal discussion of friends not in the scene, with the exception that in Low Protocol in a Social Setting, she may ‘follow the lead’ of another’s conversation.

In Rigid Protocols, there is no reference to other individuals except in the most specific sense. No gossip, discussion of their lives, motives, etc.  Referencing individuals who have said or done things is fine as long as it is in context.

In general emotional/weighty topics of conversation about real life (money, mortgages, cars, work) are to be avoided.  The exception is where they directly impact the relationship where the conversation should be sharply focused.

Griping, or whining is prohibited in all protocols.

Orgasm Control

For all protocols: The submissive will ask permission to masturbate, or touch herself sexually, even when she is allowed to “relax.”

The submissive will ask permission to orgasm. She will ask it sufficiently far in advance that she is able to stop if she is denied permission, but she will generally not ask for a blanket permission until she feels it is nearing the point where she will.

The submissive will inform the Master when she orgasms. This is the one time that she is not obligated to say “Sir.” The Master expects her to inform him just as she is coming, so he expects to hear the word “coming”,  or some other vaguely intelligible statement.  

Eye Contact

Under Formal Protocol, or when ordered:  the submissive will not make eye contact with the Master’s eyes. This is the case no matter what head position she is in. In the case of positions that have no default or where head position is optional, she will maintain Eyes Downcast.