Protocols aren't for everyone..
Some people find them to be tedious, while others see them as the very essence of D/s. For those of us that do enjoy protocols, they can be a powerful tool for creating a deep bond between Dominant and submissive.
What are protocols?
Protocols are a set of agreed upon rules, behaviours and rituals that are significant to those participating in them.
Protocols are created, taught, and enforced by the Dominant, and agreed upon and honoured by both Dominant and submissive.
There are different types and levels of protocol. Some are as simple as sending a good morning or goodnight text. Some are very common across the BDSM world like kneeling and the wearing of a collar by a submissive. Some Master and slave couples live by strict and refined high protocol as a part of their every day life.
A few things that are very important to remember about protocols are:
Your protocol is YOUR protocol. There is no standard model. Your protocol is significant and specific to you, your house, or your dynamic. That being said, there is nothing wrong with borrowing a protocol that you see in someone else's dynamic and adapting it to your own.
Absolutely no one has to follow your protocol that has not agreed to do so.
There is nothing wrong with not having any protocols in your relationship.
Why have protocols?
Aside from being sexy as hell and a whole lot of fun, there are a few other good reasons to employ protocol as a part of your D/s dynamic.
Protocols create structure. Structure re enforces the Dominants sense of control and creates a calm and relaxing environment for play. The submissive can relax knowing that by following protocol she does not have to constantly be worrying about what she should or should not be doing.
Having every day protocol keeps your dynamic at the forefront of your minds. The rituals re enforce your romantic connection to one another and keep you from slipping into a boring vanilla life style.
Developing your protocol
Keep it simple in the beginning
Protocols need to be taught. They need to be learned. You can't just roll out a 200 foot long scroll full of rules and etiquette and say "Okay go!"
Chose your protocols carefully. Your protocols should serve a purpose and be deeply personal to you.
teach your protocol slowly. Don't add a new protocol until the previous one has been mastered.
Don't set your submissive up for failure. If your submissive has a day job in an office setting than instructing her to send you a nude selfie every 20 mins is really impractical.
Honour your protocol
Regardless of what your protocols are, honour them. They exist for a reason. I can't think of anything more aggravating to me as a Dominant than having my protocols ignored or dismissed. In my world there are few things more deserving of swift punishment.
Likewise if you do not enforce your protocol, it's significance is deeply diminished. Your submissive may feel a lack of structure and a lack of Dominance from you.
Protocols take time and energy to develop, but if you have the patience the reward is truly a beautiful thing.