How Using and Enforcing D/s Protocol and Behavior in the Boardrooom Can Promote Better Gender Balance

Published: APRIL 4, 2019 | Updated: AUGUST 29, 2021
D/s protocol could provide a clue as to how to improve gender balance across the spectrum.

Here’s a rather immodest proposal: The solution for creating “balance for the better” in our gender-based social interactions worldwide involves women-led spaces and the inclusion of female domination protocol within them. If you're thinking this is a cheapened redux of "Secretary," the Steven Spielberg-directed film that examines the relationship between a male, dominant lawyer and his female, submissive secretary, that’s related. But in so many ways that is absolutely not what is being discussed here. Ultimately, by getting the top five percent of the top one percent of businesses and their employees to adopt and adapt to D/s protocol and behavior, we could feasibly create a world with far better gender balance.


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No matter how cool it might look in your head, I am not here advocating for literal female domination and widespread engagement by C-suite businessmen in the lower-case half of D/s relationships as an absolute necessity. Rather, I am here to advocate for the idea that women in executive roles initially, studying the notions advanced in D/s protocol - as well as creating community defined by positively acknowledging and refining each other’s use of D/s created protocol - could create a wave of “balance for the better” in the world’s most economically and sociopolitically powerful rooms, a balance that trickles down into middle-class homes and blue-collar workplaces, worldwide.

My thoughts regarding protocol emerged when contemplating the idea that during Barack Obama’s two terms as the 44th President of the United States, female staffers engaged in the use of “shine theory,” or more specifically, “amplification,” in meetings. “Shining a light” on their fellow female staffers included the idea noted in Time Magazine that, “[w]hen a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution - and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own.”


Upon reading this, all of my kinky bells were rung simultaneously. There’s ritualized behavior, consensual speech, enforced denial, mindfucking, what could best be described as “intellectual flogging” - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! While the benefits for the men who were introduced to/endured this “scene”/”play” for eight years has not been scientifically quantified, it’s entirely possible that they “think twice” before speaking before a woman does in mixed company, as well as responding with humanity and decency. We can only hope they're exercising some level of restraint or awareness in conversational engagement in general. As far as advocating for women to have increased or shared roles in social and professional settings? That could be a positive byproduct too.

These issues are important and reflect a dire state of affairs because of two years of news cycles highlighting the sexual improprieties of everyone from Bill Cosby and R. Kelly to Harvey Weinstein and Ryan Adams are not solely significant because they spotlight a failure in men to behave in a manner consistent with traditional norms of sexual decency. Rather, more significantly, they are important because of how they underscore the notion that there is a gender imbalance in society in the professional realm that stresses the importance of men as decision makers, while solidly entrenching women in a second-class position. This is, of course, not a good thing. But given that women’s suffrage took 125 years to achieve, it's likely that a gender imbalance will continue to exist.

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At present, only five percent of CEOs at Fortune Magazine’s 2018 “Fortune 500” list of top revenue earning corporations in the U.S. are women. Those corporations employ somewhere in the range of 30 million people. That’s a number that is roughly one percent of the world’s adult population. Ideally, a woman-led professional surrounding is an ideal place to institute the use of D/s inspired protocol to create rules of engagement that err on the side of “balance for the better.” The trickle-down from the boardroom to the shop-room floor could portend significant evolution. Moreover, the idea that these companies exist in areas that are major American population and economic hubs like Boston, New York, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles is helpful, too. Well-amplified “amplification,” aided by women in power having access to professional Dominants in well-established kink-positive and sex worker traveled communities, could create the ability to develop safe, sane, consensual and sustainable ways to entrench protocols for communication and behavior into America’s boardrooms.

These procedures may seem either fanciful or extreme. But consider that R. Kelly engaging in female grooming, Bill Cosby drugging potential sexual partners, and Harvey Weinstein and Ryan Adams exerting personal and sexual control over women via promising professional favors in return for their advances are pretty extreme too (if not uncommon). Plus, 95% of America’s top 500 companies being run by men who influence millions of people worldwide (there is an 1800% difference between the number of male and female CEOs, a number that has changed only marginally in the past decade) shows just how far the process needs to go in order to achieve any kind of sizable change. Adapting more, well, titillating concepts into the methods used to create effective professional protocol may be able to change the tide much quicker than current, ineffectual methods of disengagement.

It's just a thought. D/s protocol to create “balance for the better?” As it turns out, it's actually not an immodest proposal at all.


Marcus Dowling

Marcus K. Dowling is a journalist, broadcaster and entrepreneur. Recently, he's had a role in concept development, marketing, and promotion for Rewind and Decades, two wildly popular retro-themed entertainment venues in downtown Washington, DC. In the past ten years, Marcus has written for VICE, Pitchfork, Complex, Red Bull, Bandcamp, Mixmag, ESPN's Undefeated, and more. As well, he's the CEO of professional wrestling startup company Capitol Wrestling.

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