Correctness in Public and Private
A slave will always act and respond in such a way as to make the Master’s orders look ‘right.’ A slave will never give the appearance that he thinks a Master has made a mistake, whether by facial expression, body language, or verbal challenge. Masters are not perfect, but whatever They order is ‘right’ because it is their will. It is the Master’s will that the slave submits to, not his correctness. If the slave feels that she has information the Master is lacking, or sees a better possibility that He has not considered, the slave may – within the limits of the protocol – ask whether Master wishes her to convey such information or to make a suggestion.
In like manner, Master will refrain from publicly pointing out or making an issue of a slave’s service gaffes. It is embarrassing to both the slave and to bystanders, and it can interfere with the slave’s slaveheart, resulting in further deterioration of service. Any correction will be done in private, away from others’ eyes and ears. The slave is consensually owned and her feelings must be taken into account.
If the situation involves potential or imminent peril to the life, health or safety of any individual, then the slave must act immediately and without regard to protocol.
Additionally, Master may not force the slave to commit any unlawful or patently unsafe act.
Reliability Builds Trust
The business world speaks of “defined repeatable processes.” I expect the slave to perform her tasks the same way each time. After all, what else is a Protocol?
For the slave, following requests, directives or Instructions combines many positive attributes, including faithful obedience, respect, dedication and trust. My orders are not questioned; clarification may be requested if appropriate.
I expect my slave to exhibit the attributes of honesty, punctuality and dedication.
- Honesty – Being honest at all times will maximize our understanding of one another. The slave will avoid passive- aggressive behaviors, as these combine two unattractive traits: dishonesty and unwillingness to communicate directly.
- Dedication – By nature, this is destined to be an intense relationship. It takes dedication and commitment to keep it going.
- Punctuality – Naturally this applies to any commitment, but particularly to promptly returning phone calls and email.
- If we are meeting in town, the slave will take care to arrive early; she is not to keep Master waiting and will be corrected for so doing.
- If the slave suspects that she will be unable to keep a time commitment, the slave must reach Master by phone to explain the delay and recommit to a revised arrival time.
“Being on time” is one of my core values. It is an expression of respect, an expression of one’s personal integrity – one’s ability to keep one’s word. One of the very few areas that will make me angry involves “being late” without notifying me ahead of time and revising her expected arrival time.
My slave is expected to continue to grow emotionally and academically. From time to time, Master will enroll her in outside coursework meant to broaden her outlook on life and/or her skills.
Slaves exist without privacy or defenses. What they are, whatever they do, and even what they think and feel must be open for inspection at all times. slaves should always carry themselves with dignity, whether naked and in chains or out in the workaday world, and their appearance and behavior should always reflect positively on their Master and their slave brothers and sisters.
Availability – Cell Phone Contact
The slave is to be available 100% of the time, 24/7 by cell phone except during such times the slave has petitioned a proposed “period of unavailability” for Master to consider. There is simply no “normal time during the day or night” that the slave is to be unreachable. This includes times when Master and slave are out together, for instance, in different parts of the same store. Master must be able to contact the slave whenever he so desires. Failure to keep the cell phone on the slave’s person at all times will result in a Consequence. This point is important in my life. I am busy and focused. If I need to reach my slave, I need to reach her NOW. I do not want to have to add a “re-contact slave” note to my list of tasks for the day. This is one of the few areas wherein I permit no latitude. To avoid becoming stressed over this point, I have instructed my slave to notify me of any times during the day that she cannot be reached. Typically, this includes her exercise period and before she begins any meetings at her workplace.
When in Play, Master will employ RACK (rather than SSC) standards.
When NOT in play, the slave will use Master’s given name as an emotional safeword. That is, if the slave is in a conversation with Master and encounters an emotional landmine, using Master’s given name will be interpreted by Master as a conversation-stopping event. It is interpreted as calling “RED.” When the slave is permitted to play with other Masters, Dams or Tops, she is required to play under SSC rules unless express permission has been granted by Master to play under RACK rules. The slave should not expect that such permission would ever be granted.
This is not a trivial point. I agree with those within the Community who feel that the “Safe, Sane and Consensual” rules give scene-control to the bottom. After all, use of safewords in the SSC setting suggest that the bottom knows better than Master what’s good for him/herself. There are a number of “problems” with this setup. First, when a bottom goes into subspace, it is unlikely that he or she can even call “red.” So the whole structure is defeated. Second, in Leathersex, much of the play is intended to produce catharsis. The bottom is unlikely to be able to move to that state if he/she has to monitor whether or not the play is getting too intense to be processed. Again, the SSC structure fails.
For these reasons, we play by RACK standards: RACK stands for Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. Within the Community, it’s assumed that you’re very experienced before you will play with someone under RACK rules. Playing by RACK standards assumes that the Master knows the slave (or other bottom) so well that Master can read body language and other non-verbal cues and will take the necessary actions to avoid causing harm. There are no safewords in the RACK schema.
Requests, Orders and Instructions
The slave will attend particularly to the word “Instruction.” An “Instruction” is a special term in our Relationship. An Instruction is a Command that brooks no interference. If I am so focused on the slave doing something that I issue an Instruction, be assured that the slave is wide awake and taking notes. An Instruction usually carries with it a requirement to report progress to me. Consequences for failure always accompany an Instruction. This is not at all true for a “request” and seldom true for an “order.” (Note: a “consequence” involves a “correction,” not a “punishment.” As I’ll discuss later, punishments are only invoked for contract violations, not for protocol violations.)
Here are some examples of each form:
- Request: “Please bring me some coffee.”
- Order: “I’d like you to be Dressed and ready to entertain our Guests at 7pm tomorrow night.”
- Instruction: “This is an Instruction: you are to keep the interior of your car completely free from clutter and keep the outside of your car washed. At no time will I enter your car if there is clutter in the passenger compartments.”
I’ve had a love-affair with words my entire life. I am particularly attentive to the connotation of certain words. For example, one talks to a class or group of people and speaks with an individual. In my world, “talking” is rather one-sided; “speaking” is two-sided. This section sets forth distinctions that are vital in my M/s Relationship with my slave. For example, much of what I do with my slave when she is in service involves “talking to,” in the sense that I am not inviting comment or conversation from her. On the other hand, when she is fulfilling “Courtesan” activities, we are very much speaking with one another.
Required to Comply
Regardless of the closeness of the relations between Master and the slave, this slave is admonished to remember always that she is still a slave and subject to Master’s will. In that light, the slave is required to comply with our Contract and with my orders and Instructions.
There is a distinction between correction and punishment:
- Correction is the opportunity to understand more fully the importance Master places on a Protocol or behavior. Typically, correction is administered when the slave is learning a task or a procedure and – despite a few reminders – doesn’t get it right.
- Punishment is administered for failure to comply either with the Contract or with the policies and procedures in this document when that failure is due to willfulness or negligence on the slave’s part. Punishment is the opportunity to atone for failure. The incident that gave rise to the punishment will then be forgiven and not be spoken of again following the punishment debriefing. The slate is wiped clean.
For example, if the slave is a passenger in my car and forgets to wait for me to come around and open the door for her, the slave should expect to be swatted on the ass. Of course, when she wants to be swatted, she simply opens the car door, but that’s another story. At any rate, I endeavor to make “corrections” light-hearted and fun. The intention is to get the slave’s attention and focus.
In our relationship, I’m interested in catching my slave “doing right,” not doing wrong. Following from that, most of my “corrections” are light-hearted. By contrast, Punishments aren’t fun and certainly aren’t funny.
Willful or Negligent Failure to Comply
The rare instances where the slave acts in a willful or negligent manner will result in punishment.
No punishment will be undertaken when Master is angry.
Before administering punishment, the slave will have the opportunity to fully explain how this Failure occurred.
Master will ask the slave to recommend her Punishment.
Master will listen to the slave’s proposal and, after consideration, determine the correct course of punishment. Master will inform the slave of his decision. Master will use the minimum influence necessary to compel the slave’s compliance with the policies and procedures the slave previously agreed to.
Bearing in mind that Master wishes the Relationship to continue, there are no limits to the nature or extent of punishment that could be ordered as a result of the slave’s act of willfulness or negligence so long as no crime is committed (battery, death). In reality, in our relationship, punishment takes the path of restrictive Instructions about the use of slave’s time and/or withdrawal of the slave’s Time with Master.
After punishment has been administered, Master and slave will sit down and discuss changes that may be needed in the relationship to ensure that such a breach does not occur again.
An underlying assumption of the M/s dynamic is that the slave is in Internal Enslavement and will do everything possible to serve and obey to the best of his or her ability. Thus, a willful or negligent action must be taken for what it is: a cry for help by the slave. That is, the slave must be trying to get your attention through bad behavior, having failed to get your attention any other way.
In the world of BDSM M/s theory, it is generally agreed that one doesn’t punish with toys used for play. That is, if you normally spank or flog or whip the slave for play, it’s not appropriate to use those same instruments for punishment. On the other hand, you can purchase special floggers or whips or canes that are ONLY USED for punishment.
Psychological punishment is more effective than physical punishment and this Protocol reflects my belief.