Our Definition

refers to rules and behaviors that establish and enforce a hierarchy between partners in a dynamic. For example, a submissive may be unable to sit in certain areas and must refer to their partner by a title such as “Your Grace,” “Sir,” “Mistress,” or other honorific.

Common Practices & Experiences

Everyone is different! You'll see this repeated throughout our website and glossary. Common practices involving protocols include, but certainly aren't limited to:
  • Use of honorifics or titles
  • Ritualized practices, either physical or linguistic
  • Consequences when a protocol is ignored
  • Varying degrees of formality

Kyle prefers to be referred to in-scene as “Chef”

Skylar is expected to kneel at the feet of their dominant partner whenever they sit down to watch TV together.
Isabella requires that her partners say “mother-may-I?” before achieving orgasm

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Real Life Examples

We're gathering short anecdotes on this topic from experienced kinksters!
If you'd like to be quoted in our glossary, please email us a single paragraph describing the practices you'd like to share, along with whatever name you'd like to be credited with.
If your definition differs from ours, tell us how and why! We want to illustrate as many sides of kink as we can to both normalize kink and the diversity within it.

Recent Glossary Entries


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