Protocol. It can be a scary word if you are new to submission. In a relationship, it is likely that you will have some protocol established to control your behavior. So, what is protocol? Simply defined, a protocol is the set of special rules that you follow for defined situations that remind you of your place in the relationship. Every relationship is different and will have a different level of protocol. One of my first protocol rules was to call my Dominant 'Master' when in private and lifestyle event situations. It was a simple change in my normal behavior and a reminder of my place in the relationship.
As the protocols developed I was so excited to finally be doing what I had dreamed about and read in so many BDSM fiction books. I was living with rules and protocol and my mindset thrived. I felt so good about my place in the relationship and the happiness that Master displayed at my success. The pleasure I felt wasn't just sexual it was like a part of my soul was finally being satisfied.
It didn't last. After a few months, I started to feel less happy about my protocol. It felt less like bliss and more like a chore. I had lost the attachment to WHY the protocol was in place, to begin with; the reminder of my place in the relationship. The honeymoon period was over. Things got really rocky in our relationship because the effort involved in doing the protocol got more and more difficult for me, and the stress he experienced was just as bad.
I lost focus for why the rules and protocols existed in the first place. I stopped feeling my submission when I obeyed and began rebelling with what I had gotten so used to doing for joy. I started looking to those fiction stories I've read for some sort of answer to my loss in vision. Why couldn't I make the fantasy my reality? I was very stuck with that thought.
So what did I do?
Talk about it: I first approached my Dominant and explained to him how I was feeling and expressed that I didn't like what had happened to me and us. We have a very open communication stream and it didn't come as a surprise to him that this conversation was occurring. We talked about how long I had been feeling off task and also some ideas of what I could do to get back on track. It wasn't an easy conversation as the fault, which is hard for me to take, was all mine.
The fantasy was just that; fantasy. I had to find my own reality in the protocols. I had to seek the happiness I once had and hang on to it. I started reviewing my rules on a daily basis. I developed a meditation routine to do to keep my submission blossoming. I learned how to self-correct my behavior before it became noticeable.
Most importantly, I made it a priority to create my own reality; one that would work better than trying to live a fantasy. It's a constant work in progress and I still have my bad and good days. I know it will get better. One day I will be living as I've dreamed and the peace that I strive for every day will find me.
If you are interested in reading more about protocol here are some essays online that might help you explore: