Why Protocol is a Personal Style Thing vs. a Lifestyle Standard


This post is the fifth in a series of posts regarding protocol. Put together, they are really, really long. If you have the reading attention span of a gnat on methamphetamines, then the TL;DR version is this: Protocol exists in nearly every BDSM/Kink partnership, whether occasional play partners to full-fledged TPE relationships. It’s not a question of whether to protocol but whether to add degrees of protocol. There’s also a discussion on why protocol != High-Protocol. If you intend to read all of them in one sitting once published, get some water to hydrate and a snack or two — you’ll need both. Feel free to leave us some comments!

~ angi, g, and mynx.

Why Protocol is a Personal Style Thing vs. a Lifestyle Standard

This should be relatively obvious, especially if you’ve been following along with the previous posts. For those who have trouble understanding why there is no established protocol for the entire lifestyle community it really does boil down to the notion that everyone is different. The community is more like a diverse, multicultural cross-section of the world than it is a military organisation:

  • Not every dominant is the same, so they expect different things than the next. Sometimes a blank canvas can be easier than one already painted.
  • Not every submissive is the same, and may not be willing to ‘train’ in a dominant’s style if they are not compatible in the ways that actually matter.
  • Differing viewpoints amongst the community on what the ‘standards’ are, if any, beyond consent being a must, has illustrated why protocol is based in personal styles.
  • The lifestyle is an ever changing beast with “the thing of the moment” recycling over the years, and can often be led by “the popular” rather than the experienced. Those who have been around for a while are less prone to being led by the outliers who subscribe to a one-for-all type of outlook. To each their own.
  • Both submissives and dominants may have triggers from previous relationships, that will not be acceptable to carry forward together.
  • Both submissives and dominants may have “kinks” or expectations from previous relationships that either will not work with a new partner or will make a new partner feel as though the other person is pining after a previous relationship

Next in the series: High-Protocol is a Dead Internet Phenomena… or Is It?

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