Protocols (pt2) – Ritual
As stated in my prior article, Protocols are a system or framework of rules that help guide modes of conduct and methods of behavior to be followed under specific circumstances. In general, the goal of protocol use is to help establish and solidify roles; create a successful environment with consideration to the needs of both parties; provide a means to ensure stability and success by (1) setting reliable & consistent expectations, (2) allowing for communication and clarifying questions, and (3) are flexible enough to adjust or tune as the need arises.
This post continues the discussion by presenting an example of a ritual – a systematic blending of a variety of protocols with heavy focus on intention, deliberate actions, and focused mind.. It is an extension of protocols in that there are prescribed actions and behaviors with a desired expectation. It is ritual in that it is based on a single or highly specific circumstance and designed to produce a very specific outcome… That goal is similar to that of protocols, foster bonding and recognition of power exchange and submission. However, the main difference from that of protocols is that Rituals are explicitly described and precisely designed for a very focused intended effect.
As with any of my writings, what follows are from my experiences, ideas, practices, and the stories of others. They are in no way in only way, the right way, the one way. DO not follow, learn and develop your own style; make your ownership or your submission your own. It is in the practice of making things our own, internally dwelling within and integrating it, that what we learn becomes our practice and our art… our expression of our love or devotion and touch the soul of the other.
Note: I will use terms like Dominant, Owner, Master, or Him, etc as well as submissive, slave, owned, pet, girl in order to make the reading somewhat generic. To me, its all the same thing when I know the person I am with. I’m assuming you know the person you are with.
Transference of Power
Since many relationships now have a genesis in long distance, it is not uncommon for a lot of training to have two main components – the remote “knowledge training” of reading, writing assignments, tasks, etc., and the in-person practice of ritual and forms of both service and play. Of course, this is outside of regular communication and time just spent as friends and creating a bond across the spectrum of interests and interactions that make the relationship compatible.
It necessitates that, with time having passed, the Owner and owned make every effort to engage and reconnect. Appropriate acclimation is required to change gears, leave worries or commute distress behind, and remember this is The Now.. right here in this moment we make our choices to foster the relationship and our roles. As such, we need to transition into the mindset for connection, role, training, behavior, discussion, review, etc. It requires Active Dominance as well as Active submission to be brought forth and decided upon, now.
It should be said that this is not only in long-distance relationships an issue, but rather in this situations can be all the more critical a program is developed, introduced, discussed, and then Practiced as reliably as possible. The importance with any training is the element of continuity and leaving the outside behind so you focus on the life within. This is done in any good school, dojo or kwoon, yoga studio, gym, or the Household.
The importance of changing roles should therefore be well established at the very first opportunity of a visit. There should be a ritual of submission and acceptance at the outset, as well as a ritual of transition back to the “daily” life so the owned can carry out their personal responsibilities and not feel left “hanging” when Owner and owned part.
These relationships are difficult enough without confusion about roles, or empowerment, or creating other conflicting messages which can confuse everyone involved. As a result, what appears below is something I believe provides a guideline for these moments of transition when a couple reunite and allows them to be distinctly aware of the dynamic in the Present.
The Ritual of Transition
At Start: submission & collaring
- Baggage is appropriately stowed and coat hung
- submissive kneels before the Dominant in obeisance posture
- submissive declares her submission and devotion of service
- Owner accepts the submission with a declaration of responsibility and ownership
- submissive kneels upright in collaring posture for collar to be secured
- Master secures the placement of collar
- submissive accepts with another deep obeisance bow kissing boot/foot and waits for instruction
After the transference of power, the relationship conducts itself as intended. The time together is spent as seen fit or as per prior arrangement made (e.g. for specific training time or quality together time). Depending on the environment and purpose, there may be three or so modes for the submissive to practice or engage in:
- High protocol – very formal D/s structure with subsequent use of honorifics, 3rd person self, approach/withdraw postures, silent kneeling, all permissions required, etc
- Relaxed protocol – blended between formal and more day to day; including use of honorifics, 3rd person self, conversational kneeling, some permissions required, etc.
- Low/Public protocol – focus on subtlety; term of endearment versus honorifics, no 3rd person, no kneeling, limited permissions required, etc.
The above are very high level or summarized ideas of how different protocols might look and under what circumstances. For example, in high protocol a submissive may not use furniture of comfort (chairs, couches, etc) without express permission or invitation by the Dominant. If use is desired, begging (use of both verbal request and posture) may be required, such as deep kneeling on obeisance while asking “Sir, may this girl please join you on the couch, Sir?” .
- slave kneels before Master in Obeisance
- He thanks girl for her submission and returns it to her until next meeting
- submissive accepts her submission and thanks for opportunity to serve
- she kneels upright in collar posture and awaits removal of collar
- Master removes the collar and directs to stand
- girl rises – where they both hug and kiss
- Ideally, some additional time is available to spend reflecting on time spent
- Final hugs and parting
While the above is fairly generically written, its meant to be. The idea is you are supposed to use your words to make it your own. The framework, the idea of using a ritual to create a delineation between when people assume their roles and also return to daily life, is what is important. While perhaps less critical in 24/7 total power exchange (TPE) relationships, this delineation is important when those new the lifestyle need to “swap masks” from their Dominant/submissive selves to their family, work, or public selves. It also helps both to remember that this time is within a bubble, a time of their own and their connection, and that when it ends we must be fully capable people enabled to conduct our lives.
To those that know their folklore – we always find ourselves where we need to shape-shift a little, and it helps to have it mutually recognized.
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