Your Protocol Isn’t My Protocol, but Your Protocol is Okay

feminine person kneeling while wearing a collar and leather cuffs in a studded leather bikini as part of submission in D/s protocol

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing D/s “right.”

For the record, after consent, communication, and safety/risk-awareness, there is no “right.” But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have an idealized version of my own D/s relationship living in my head. The one that looks more like what John Brownstone and I started when we were still long distance. The power exchange of rules and tasks, rituals and routines. The one we had when I worked part-time as a freelancer and had more time than I knew what to do with. (With no appreciation of what I had.)

These days, from the outside looking in (and hell, from the inside looking in) our D/s is much more flexible. Not, I think, because that’s what he wants. But definitely, because it’s what our lives currently demand.

How can I work up to 12 hours a day, build multiple businesses and (in my best Brain voice) try to take over the kinky world — and still keep up my submissive schedule of old? I can’t.

How can I give John Brownstone my raw, powerful opinions on what we ought to do next and where our business ventures ought to go in a submissive way? I can’t. Maybe you can, but I’m not built that way.

The idealized version living in my imagination doesn’t even match the real version of back-then. It’s the hazy memory and wishful thinking version. It’s what inevitably happens when you look back across multiple years and see it as a simpler time. (Though in the moment I was doing what I do now — the best I can with all the stressors of living life, looking back to even simpler times. Which is the lie of this thinking. It always looks better in the distance than it did at the moment. And it makes you think you’re missing something so you don’t enjoy what you have now.)

I try to be careful of missing “what was” because I know it’s actually “what I wanted it to be/what I still remember of it” which isn’t the same.

But at the same time, I also know I resist any and all efforts to bring back routines and rituals, no matter how much I say I want that life back.

Strict protocols don’t empower me like they once did or fill me with submissive mojo. They stifle. They make me feel crowded and harried in an over-crowded life that I desperately want to slow down. And at the same time, desperately want to speed up to get to the “finish line” of whatever goal I’m striving for at any given moment.

Except that I haven’t run out of goals in over 40 years, and I don’t see it happening anytime soon. So will there ever be room for new protocols in our power exchange? Will I ever feel anything but stressed by the idea of one more thing to remember, to do, to think about?

It’s about priorities. It’s about flexibility and balance.

John Brownstone is always, every single day, my Daddy Dom. He’s the one I turn to for counsel. In our relationship, he’s the ultimate Decider™. That makes us 24/7 without a single major protocol in sight. Without adding new routines and rituals, new things to do and remember, the pressure to be submissive in a very specific way.

I know it, believe it, feel it down to my bones. After I give unvarnished, fiery opinions, say what’s on my mind however I feel it (in a respectful tone, of course), I sit back and let him choose the path forward. I yield, willingly, happily, becoming a softer version of myself for him. Knowing I could live another life where I choose, I decide, I control it all. But I don’t want that life. I want this one.

Even without the idea of rules and tasks, routines and rituals that feel (in my head) like the “right” kind of D/s life.

I saw this prompt come through from Kink of the Week (click the lips for more) and didn’t think I was going to write anything although it’s completely my thing. And then I read Molly Moore’s post, and I was inspired to say the real (but slightly scary) things I think about my own power exchange protocols.


About the author

Kayla Lords

I am a sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, international speaker, kink educator, and all-around kinky woman. You can find me online sharing my innermost sexual thoughts and experiences, teaching other bloggers how to make money writing about sex, and helping kinksters have happy healthy BDSM relationships. I'm also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom and business partner, John Brownstone. Welcome to my kinky corner of the internet!


  • I so relate to this! Not the live-in part but the part about trying not to over idealize. It’s tricky, and like anything else our personal versions are usually the best versions, but it can still be hard not to get caught up in what could be/have been.

  • I so relate to this! Not the live-in part but the part about trying not to over idealize. It’s tricky, and like anything else our personal versions are usually the best versions, but it can still be hard not to get caught up in what could be/have been.

  • I totally relate to this. What I’d like is to be higher protocol and have more rules but being out of the house 14 hours a day (well in the before times) and then performing acts of service when I got home just didn’t work. The house needs to run as a partnership where I can ask for help when I need it, or better still him see things that need doing and just do them when I’m too exhausted.

    So we had to readjust our expectations and form a new ‘us’ that worked and didn’t give me all the additional pressure that didn’t facilitate a healthy head space.

  • Circumstances change and we change with them. I think it’s okay to be adaptive in this changing world. At the same time, you need to be able to appreciate the current moment, otherwise you might not notice that life has passed in pursuit of a goal, like a carrot on a rope in front of your nose.

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