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High protocol is a formal set of rules governing acceptable behavior for submissives within the BDSM community. Dominants enforce high protocol. High protocol is most commonly used during formal dinners and during periods of submissive punishment. While what constitutes high protocol varies from couple to couple, but high protocol is always restrictive.
While the rules as to what constitutes high protocol vary, there are often common similarities. For example, high protocol typically restricts the way submissives speak at formal events. They may need to be silent for the entire event, perhaps request permission to speak, or only speak when they are spoken to first. In most cases, submissives will need to use specific forms of address, such as “Sir, yes, sir!” during these formal occasions.
High protocol also typically involves submissives acting in an extremely respectful way towards their dominants. They shouldn’t turn their backs on their dominants, and they might need to kneel and keep their heads bowed. They may also need to ask permission to use the bathroom or leave the room for any reason.
When high protocol is practiced, submissives are usually even more focused on their dominants and their needs than usual. They’ll need to respond immediately to any commands, for example, and always put their dominant's desires first.
Adhering to high protocol can be difficult for submissives and dominants. While submissives might struggle with the need to adhere to rules, dominants might struggle to enforce them. There are also some couples who love high protocol because it reinforces their relationship roles and gives them a clear structure to work with.
As with all aspects of BDSM relationships, the rules for high protocol should be discussed and agreed upon between the dominant and submissive before they’re enacted.