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. 

Real Life Examples

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

Zhembolet is expected to kneel at the feet of their dominant partner whenever they sit down to watch TV together.

Crotilda requires that her partners say “mother-may-I?” before achieving orgasm

Common Practices

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

Got a beef with our definition?

Of course we don't speak for everyone! If you feel we are missing additional info, context, facts, history, or data, please email us and let us know!

While we can't promise every suggestion will make it, we'll always be working to keep this glossary thorough and inclusive!