“But Isn’t It Automatic?” (Learning in High Protocol)

“But isn’t it automatic? After this long, at least?” 

“Yes… and no,” I say. We’re lingering over dinner, talking about protocol and what goes into remembering it, or doesn’t. 

Mistress is distracted, going upstairs to get something and coming back before I can finish my answer. But I’m not, and I can’t be—which is part of my answer. While she’s gone, I, too, rise from the table, but am alert, knowing that if she comes back before I sit again, I’ll need her permission for the chair, which I’m not actually allowed to ask for, and she’ll probably order me back into Waiting Position first, which is how I wait behind my usual seat before meals, after I hit the pager transmitter button to inform her food is ready, at the two assigned times each day. 

I also know that her leaving and coming back ends the interaction, even though I was basically mid sentence. Under the speak when spoken to rule, once she speaks to me, I can speak for the rest of that interaction—until one of us leaves (her at will, me with permission, asking first if there’s anything else I can do to be of service, then asking for the permission, then curtsying and going) or we’ve both been quiet for a while—back and forth like normal, without another direct question or prompt or permission. So I remember to keep my mouth shut now, even when she comes back, until she prompts me for the rest of my answer. 

While all little things, that adds up to a lot to bear in mind. 

When I’m able to finish my answer, I elaborate. 

There are several factors that affect how automatic a protocol is for me. 

The first—which she easily identified and is perhaps relatively obvious—is how long it’s been in effect. Our oldest protocols are four and a half years old now. But we add and tweak things frequently. Things got added and tweaked just this morning, based on the recent development of me getting my driver’s license. Older protocols are more likely to be automatic. But that can take years, depending on the other factors. 

Another factor, though, is how frequently it comes up. Now, most of our protocols come up rather frequently. 

I typically use five of our eight codified slave positions multiple times per day. Kneeling (used frequently when in her presence in lieu of the furniture), Waiting (for both meals I serve daily), Inspection (for both daily inspections, plus after showers—taken with permission—mostly checking on the shaving rule), Leashing (for morning unleashing and nighttime leashing for sleep, where I sleep on the floor, nude), Curtsying (every time I leave her presence, after the asking if there’s anything else I can do and obtaining permission). Another is Speech Request Position (to obtain permission to speak if I really need to and she hasn’t prompted me), which I use slightly less because I frequently just wait for her to speak first. The other two are primarily for maintenance discipline (weekly) or punishment (rare), though sometimes they come in handy for other things. I still practice many of these on my own in the mirror to check in on them. Not rocket science, but I like the bar high. 

Likewise, my uniform is exactly the same every day, and hasn’t changed significantly in a solid year and a half. Being basically the only clothing I own at this point—a few copies of each item—it’s not hard to remember, though I still double check I have small items, like my pager, and store any rare exception items separately.

If a protocol super rarely comes up, we often cut it. Still, there’s a range. The more I do it, the faster it becomes automatic. 

The factor that was less obvious to her was if the protocol was a do or don’t, if it was an if/then or a don’t/until, if there was a cue to start it or a cue that released it. Our more specific speech protocols have cues. She, in a way, initiates them, like a ritual. If she gives me an order, I say, “Yes, Mistress.” If she grants a permission or denies it, I say, “Thank you, Mistress.” If she gives me a compliment or a critique, I say, “Thank you, Mistress.” These all have cues to begin. If, then. 

But, speak (only) when spoken to isn’t an if, then. It’s a don’t, until. Don’t speak until prompted. Do not do this common thing until the cue. And there is no reverse, no don’t speak cue, just silence and existence. And that makes that one trickier. I must always, with no cues, keep it in mind, until the cue that I’m allowed to speak, creating my own cues for it. 

A lot goes into all of that until it’s automatic. 

Practice. Like the hours of checking positions in the mirror. 

Journaling, habit tracking.

Reminders everywhere. (She sprang the no using the bathroom without permission—if she’s awake, and we’re both home or out together—rule on me on my birthday, minutes before my mother—vanilla company—arrived to celebrate, leaving little time to think it through. I quickly left a large reminder note for myself in the master bathroom, which I use most often and guests don’t usually go in, which I took down a few weeks later. She didn’t come up with a way for me to subtly ask for the bathroom permission in vanilla company for over another six months.) 

Then there’s meditation. Lots of kinds of meditation, and lots of it. As a habit, and in the moment as needed.

Managing all of my emotions around protocol.

And a now yearly total silence vow for a day or weekend, resetting my awareness of my words. 

In some situations, I sit and review all applicable protocols before proceeding. As mentioned, I’m new to driving, so I still take a moment and sit in the car when I leave or arrive somewhere, remembering new or recently modified rules like always notifying her when I’m leaving the house and when I’m returning (if I’ve been gone longer than twenty minutes), asking permission to drive anywhere, though I can walk to get the mail and go on my required morning walks without permission, keeping her informed of my general plans, making sure she can track my location via my phone (ensuring it’s with me, and WiFi/cellular is on—for me, that’s far from a guarantee, otherwise), and parking in the shade and refueling at a certain level if I can, and taking all of my things back out of the car. Plus, like, remembering how to drive, safely. 

And almost any time we interact, I count protocols on my fingers. 

First, I usually press one finger into my palm as a reminder for speak when spoken to. This is also a reminder to wait in the doorway if entering her office, to not go farther, to wait to be beckoned in, then move, kneel in position if it’ll be a more than a minute. 

Once spoken to and in place, I release it, replace it with three fingers—permissions, feedback, orders—for the speech protocols I mentioned above. Permissions also covers the rule on asking—making sure to use may, please, and Mistress. 

If things get quiet, I switch back to the one, for speak when spoken to. If I’m thinking about leaving, I also switch to one, for our exit protocol I mentioned. 

The positions mostly get assumed before she comes in, or on demand, or as part of the things above. 

Even what is basically automatic, I want to be sure of; I want it to be done well—and that’s largely on me to figure out. The counting part is mostly automatic by now.

I have very little punishment immunity—there is no safe period for a new protocol, there is no automatic forgiveness for small accidents, there is no real time off from protocol, just not scaring the vanillas and such. 

We’re careful in our protocol design and tweaks because of how inflexible it is once in effect. And once it is, Mistress pointed out that she almost forgets it’s there, views it more as automatic code switching for her (interacting with me versus anyone else), and she views our dynamic as casual and relaxed because the protocol doesn’t really affect her actions as much, though she has to check on some things, like at inspection times (a job I appreciate).

I, however, have to handle what I call the protocol fatigue that definitely flares up now and then from keeping it all in mind, several years into 24/7 high protocol, on top of a full time job’s worth of service, and the effects of lifestyle masochism with irrevocable consent. 

And it’s definitely worth it. While I am service oriented and strive for useful more than anything else, I also want to be simply pleasing, elegantly bent to her every whim and preference, obviously obedient, adherent to every detail. My mind can’t frequently wander too far from her, with all of those things to keep in mind (and I’m not allowed to be answerable to anyone else—like having a job). The detailed training and behavior modification fulfills my desire to be as close to perfect as possible—for one person, because you can’t please everyone.

So is it automatic? Yes and no. It’s complicated. Some are easy, automatic now. But they don’t need to always be. I’m willing to put in the work when they’re not. 

I’m looking to teach others about that process, too—writing this, launching my How to Learn Protocols class—because there’s definitely more to it than meets the eye, whether it’s automatic now or not. I’m passionate about the process and the results both, and love living it, and discussing it with Mistress over dinner, or teaching it in a Zoom webinar, or writing about it in a blog post.

Maybe that’s part of why it doesn’t become automatic more quickly for me. I just love thinking about it too much. 

Day in the Slave Life: Last Thing at Night

9:35 PM.

My reminder alarm goes off as always.

I’ve probably had one eye on the clock, so it’s simple to wrap up the writing or whatnot that I’m doing, most of the time. 

I see to my final evening tasks. Write the nightly turndown card with tomorrow’s reminders, meal plan, and weather forecast, place it in its spot. Turn down the bed. Fill the humidifier. Lay out my blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed (slave furs). Little things.

9:40, my pager—slave bell—gives its “goodnight” auto off buzz. 

I strip out of my daily uniform as required, shivering a little—slaves don’t touch the thermostat, or so I’m told around here—and give myself a once over in the mirror, freshen up.

9:44, I get into Inspection Position. Standing, legs spread, hands clasped behind my head, head and eyes up, back straight. I can hear Mistress going down and up the stairs, checking on tasks I did earlier downstairs—cleaning the kitchen after serving dinner at 6, preparing the coffee machine for tomorrow, shutting down the house. 

Back upstairs, she comes in and looks the room, then me, over, circling me, prodding—the usual mix of caresses, slaps, squeezes. 

I’m silent, waiting for her to speak first. Speak when spoken to. My arms ache and tingle a little. 

She tells me I did well, lavishes me with praise. 

“Thank you, Mistress.” The required response. I mean it. And even though it goes this way ninety-nine percent of the time, there’s always an element of relief. 

“You may get me lotion.” She sits on the end of the bed, lying back. I get out of position, grab the lotion, and rub it into her elbows. The nightly default is at least that. She rubs it in a little more and rubs the excess into her hands. “You may do my feet, too. And rub them a little.” 

“Yes, Mistress.” The you may is no matter—it’s an order. Yes, Mistress. So I do as told. 

When she seems content with that, she sits up. I get into Leashing Position, kneeling, knees apart, big toes crossed in back (right over left), my leash across both of my palms, hands resting on my thighs, tossing my hair out of the way, checking that the collar o-ring is in front, that my back is straight. She takes the leash clip from me and clips it to my collar. Gives me a few more pats on the head, says goodnight, and goes, off to do a few more things and then settle into the bed and sleep. 

I settle into my blanket, seeing to a few final-final things. Set my alarms for tomorrow. Plug in my devices. Write my slave journal entry. Take my meds. Message my mom, Goodnight, I love you. More. Most. Seriously, goodnight. And shut my laptop.

And then it’s time for sleep.

Day in the Slave Life: First Thing in the Morning

This is how I wake up pretty much every morning.

My alarm goes off.  8:10 as required. I shut it, blink myself awake.  I hit the pager transmitter button that will make Mistress’ pager buzz with the message for a leashing related request. My pager—slave bell—unbuzzed by this particular alert, sits nearby. 

I move towards Unleashing Position.  Kneeling back on my heels, knees spread, big toes crossed right over left, back straight, with my hair and head out of the way, collar o-ring and thus leash clip in front, leash resting on my upturned palms at the tops of my thighs. 

Some mornings, I’m not quite there yet when she comes in, but she’ll unleash me anyway. Other times, she waits. I like it when she waits.

As I move, my blanket slips from around me. I sleep leashed on the floor at the foot of the bed; my blanket—slave furs—is warmth, a bit of padding, and my primary bedding, though other things—like an extra blanket, a pillow—phase in and out. It’s pretty comfortable.

Today, air hits my skin as the blanket slips; I’m required to sleep nude and I’m not allowed to touch the thermostat, so I frequently feel a little chilly.

Mistress unleashes me for the day with greetings and asks if I have any questions for her.  Since she’s prompted me, I can speak to answer (speak when spoken to). I ask for permission to use the restroom (required if she’s awake and home/with me), in the required format—using may, please, and Mistress.  She grants it.  

“Thank you, Mistress.” The required response for permission answers, and real gratitude. The same goes for feedback. Unless it would be disruptive to the conversation.

“You’re welcome, slavegirl.”  The usual response, and real amusement. 

I usually wait until she leaves to get up.  If I want to leave when still in her presence, there’s the asking if there’s anything else I can do to be of service—doing it—then asking for permission to leave, curtsying before exiting.  If she dismisses me, “You may go,” or such, I can just curtsy and exit.  That and the speech restrictions only shut off with rare need in vanilla company.

But once she leaves, I’m free to just head for the restroom.  I’m not allowed to lock the door unless there’s company, but I don’t mind.  

After that, I go to dress in my daily Uniform and see to my required morning tasks.

… 

Now, that can be a lot to keep in mind from the contract before I even get dressed in the morning, in the first few minutes of being awake.  But I love it, and several years into our dynamic, slowly adding things with a lot of investment in practice, training, and experience, it’s actually pretty automatic, feels natural, and is harder to stop than to do.  Some things are easier than others.  

It does require being always “on” to an extent.  No weekends, no holidays, no hours off from protocol.  And Mistress always has to watch for it. 

In all ways, my dynamic has to be my top priority.  Here, that means I’m not allowed to have a job.  That means figuring out the finances. That means a full time job’s worth of service, always on call.  That means no no, no safewords, no limits, no rights, no way out.  That means her deciding what’s best without limitations. It means a lot, and I don’t, shouldn’t, can’t, take it lightly.

But, we live this way every day—first thing in the morning forwards—and we love our dynamic and each other, and that’s what counts.

What Protocol Really Says, Again

Dinner is on the table at six as always.  Lemon chicken and corn, lemons courtesy of the neighbors and their tree.  I send the requisite, Dinner is ready, Mistress, and wait in the standard position.  (Since then, we’ve gotten a pager system that covers this message.) 

Now that the house is silent after the bubbling of things on the stove and the hum of the oven, I can hear what sounds distinctly like the breathing of a sleeping person upstairs.

None of the usual sounds of motion come in response.

Still, I hold the required position and wait for several minutes in case I’m wrong.  Legs together, back straight, head and eyes down, hands behind my back, hands clasped right over left, right thumb over left thumb—every detail down. 

But eventually, feeling sure enough, I do a quiet check upstairs. Mistress is fast asleep.  Presumably not wanting to be woken. 

I go back down and eat, have moved from the table and cleared only an item or two when Mistress comes downstairs and sits.  So I approach; she grants, “You may sit,” and I do; she starts to eat and after a moment or two orders, “Entertain me.” 

So I start to tell her about whatever comes to mind, prep I’m doing for classes I’m teaching soon, things I’m adding to my website.  

She says, “You may get me more coffee,” and hands me her coffee cup.

I say, “Yes, Mistress,” to the order, and go do so, return.

“You may sit.”

So I sit and continue. 

She eats most of the corn and a few bites of chicken, stands and starts to wander off while I’m still talking, so I cut to the (at the time) requisite offer of a post dinner snack to have at hand upstairs.

She says yes, requests some of the cookies I made from scratch yesterday, ice cream with shell topping and sprinkles, and continues upstairs.  “Yes, Mistress.”  I prep the tray for her and bring it up, set it on her desk.  

“Would you like to go places?” she asks, offering permission to leave. 

I nod.

“Come give me a kiss; then you may go places.”

So I do.  As I draw back, her eyes drop a little, to about my hands, unnecessarily prompting the curtsy I always have to offer before leaving, and I go see to cleaning up dinner as required. 

… 

This is a real example, and an average enough night for us, just one interaction of many that I’ve written down in detail, as the writer in me tends to do.  

But while I’m happy with this, I’m aware it’s the sort of thing other people sometimes cringe to watch.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of overt deep connection in that above conversation to them.  

But it’s definitely there—that little flick of her gaze, waiting for the final exit protocol, the curtsy—says and means more to me than ten I love yous.  There’s a lot of ritual and protocol—conscious connection—built into that conversation, that speaks volumes, whether it’s where someone’s gaze moves to or an honorific or a service or a slave position—especially in our mutual quiet expectation of it.  

And, at times, obviously, conversations look different—more overt deep connection in the form that most people look for: what they call love.  The Hallmark movie kind. 

But to me, love is written all over that conversation in exactly the things I mentioned above.  Connection.  Those services and positions and honorifics are the result of countless hours of research, conversation, contract drafting, reaching, understanding, training.  The expectation of those things is built upon sometimes years of habit, routine, co-existing, obedience, consistent service, trust.  

None of those things happen without us talking to each other, understanding, adapting, learning, observing, caring, and deliberately carving the power dynamic out of the even ground we met upon.  It is the private language we build between us to say exactly what we want to say.  I love you.  I respect you.  I notice you.

Every protocol we have is thoroughly thought out.  

There might be research on practicalities.  (I didn’t learn to cook overnight.)  There might be conversations on what it means to us.  (Not being allowed on the furniture, with not being allowed to ask for it, either, waiting for the permission?  A whole talk on my views on being offered permission—generously—versus asking for it—a loaded question.) There might be her training me on how to do it properly, or me practicing alone, or both.  (That curtsy?  Those positions?  Hours in the mirror.)  There might be adapting it situationally, and figuring out when and how we need to do so.  (Cut the titles, positions, permissions in the rare vanilla company, say.) I have to do it consistently. (Thus, setting that expectation).  She has to notice and enforce it.  (Whether it’s offering a clearly desired permission I can’t ask for, creating service opportunities, or punishing accidental slips.)  

That’s a lot of connection behind the tiniest of protocols. 

And if commitment to each other and the language we deliberately build between us isn’t love—no matter how untraditional the results appear—I don’t know what is. 

“But How Do You Just Hang Out?”: High Protocol in 24/7 Dynamics

“But how do you just… hang out?” 

Outside of maybe but how do you remember all that (a great question for another day), it’s probably the number one question I get when I talk about high protocol in the context of my dynamic, which is 24/7, live in, just two of us in the house and neither of us works outside the home; being a slave is my only full time occupation.   

Well, let’s look at an example.  This basic example happens on average multiple times a day and is probably our most typical interaction outside of a few other more specific rituals.

I enter Mistress’ office to talk about something.  I wait for her to acknowledge me, silent until she does so, not barging in already talking.  She’s doing something on the computer.  When she does look up a moment later and asks, “What’s up?” I kneel next to her, trying to be graceful about it, lowering to both knees at once without my hands.  There’s a recliner right behind me, but I’m not allowed to sit on the furniture in her presence or to ask to do so; she grants the permission pretty much only for meals.  We’re already talking as I do so, position not noted. 

We talk.  After a while, my legs are going numb.  I’m to hold the specific position until I ask and get permission otherwise (that, I am allowed to ask for).  I’m kneeling, sitting back on my heels, knees apart (big toes crossed, right over left), hands behind my back (hands clasped, thumbs crossed, both right over left), back straight.  Subconscious by now except for straightening my back now and then.  At whatever natural brief lull in the conversation, I ask, “May I stretch?” and she says, “You may,” as almost always.

Usually, permission grants (or denials), are answered with, “Thank you, Mistress,” but for ones that take a matter of seconds to complete, it’s waived, so I shift slightly and the conversation quickly resumes without it that time, though it may be sprinkled elsewhere in the conversation.  Orders, answered with, “Yes, Mistress,” have the same exception built in for practicality. 

When we’re about wrapping up talking, I ask as required to before I ask if I may go, “Anything else I can do?”  

“You may get me coffee.” 

An order (intention, not phrasing, which matters when deciding to respond with the thank you or yes) like that counts as permission to leave, so I don’t ask that part, but I do say, “Yes, Mistress,” stand, again trying to have hands free grace about it, and offer a quick curtsy, the final part of the little leaving ritual, head down, thumbs and forefingers grasping the skirt like hem of my long shirt—which is a uniform, part of the only, really specific outfit I’m allowed to wear, but looks like pretty normal attire—and placing the ball of my right foot behind my left heel for the quick little bob down and up, grab the drink, and exit. 

I bring her the refill—exactly as she likes it—and this time she simply says in acknowledgement, “You may go,” cutting the need to ask about anything else or permission to leave, so I curtsy again as required and exit. 

Clearly, I have to focus on the protocol oriented bits of this interaction to explain it, but you’ll notice that there’s a lot that and then we talk can encompass and how much of it is sheer habit at this point and/or completely unnoted.  Granted, when others witness it for the first time, they often quickly notice elements that we barely pay attention to at this point, if they don’t find it straight up jarring.

(“You may get me coffee,” was something from Mistress’ side that once disturbed a new guest who was aware of our dynamic but not of the details, as an order at once both incredibly direct—not softened up as a question or with please or thanks, but also phrased as a permission.  To the outsider, it looked demeaning, the, “You may do as I tell you/serve me.”  But it is, also, genuinely a permission; service is definitely a privilege, and one that I enjoy being granted, and the guest was reassured of this after I happily said, “Yes, Mistress,” and got the coffee.) 

But there’s a lot of just hanging out in there and the protocol is normal for us at this point.  It’s not weird, so to speak, that, say, I’m kneeling (usually, later sitting) on the floor the whole time.  I actually prefer the floor and Mistress often finds me sitting on the floor when she comes to find me even when I’m not in her presence and thus not required to be there.  I’m writing this post sitting alone on the floor of my office right now.

You can also see through that how the vast majority of the overt protocol involved, rather than the silent maintenance of them, is at the beginning and end of the interaction.

This is true in other interactions and rituals, too.  For example, our protocols at meals.

I serve meals at two specific times of the day—brunch at 9:30 AM and dinner at 6 PM.  The timing, obviously, influences the beginning.  When the table is set (properly, according to guidelines) and food is out, I press the button on our pager system’s transmitter to page her/alert her that dinner is ready. Then, I wait behind my assigned chair—the one to her right—as required in the position: legs together, hands behind my back (same details as in the kneeling position), back straight, head and eyes down.  I hold this position, not looking up or around, as she comes down the stairs and approaches me at the dining table until she gets close enough she acknowledges me by offering a kiss and granting table permission with, “You may sit.” 

Then, the meal proceeds usually without overt protocol until the end, when she leaves, and I clean up the kitchen (which, as a rule, has to be done immediately).  On some quieter nights, keeping to the function of eating, we’re done by 6:15 and off to whatever has our minds occupied (after cleanup, for me).  Sometimes we happily get lost in conversation about anything and everything and linger until after 7.  Generally, I assume I will have ample time for my tasks before evening inspection and bedtime. But there is definitely a range, especially with company.

And I suppose that because our protocol never really shuts off (just some overt things removed in the rare case of vanilla company), if you count interactions that do have those protocol bits as not just hanging out, then maybe we just don’t do it, but we don’t see it that way, so it feels like good old quality time to us, with the bonus of moments of reinforcing and expressing our dynamic. 

It’s really hard to explain to people how much you can get used to until they experience it themselves (if they enter such a scenario).  How much becomes second nature and genuinely doesn’t cross my mind as out of the ordinary until it’s mentioned.  I had to glance at our contract while writing this post to make sure I remembered to note certain things as protocols at all, not just habits that slipped my mind to mention in a protocol oriented post. It is truly much harder for me to stop acting on most of our protocols (that vanilla company scenario) than it is to follow them.

So, for us it’s just hanging out, or some kind of equivalent, maybe like a relaxed day at work versus a relaxed day at home for some people, except as a slave, I’m kind of always at work. 

But, it works for us. 

My Typical Day, Told in Slave Positions

Leashing Position: kneeling on the floor at foot of bed, knees apart, big toes crossed in back (right over left), leash across both palms, hands resting on thighs, hair/head out of the way, collar o-ring in front, back straight.  

First thing in the morning. At 8:10 AM, my alarm goes off. I shut it and hit the assigned pager transmitter button to buzz Mistress’ pager with the message for an unleashing request. My pager—slave bell—unbuzzed by this particular alert, sits nearby. I get in Unleashing Position, presenting the leash, shifting on my blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed—slave furs—that I sleep on. The cocoon of the blanket slips from around me, cool air hitting my bare skin. Mistress comes in and unclips the leash for me with greetings and affection, and, as always, asks if I have any questions for her. I, as always, ask for permission to use the restroom, as required if I need to use it. She grants it. 

“Thank you, Mistress.” Also as required, but genuine. 

“You’re welcome, slavegirl.” 

… 

Waiting Position: standing where directed, legs together, hands folded at small of back, right over left, right thumb over left thumb, back straight, head/eyes down.

After my other required morning tasks, I serve brunch at 9:30 daily. I check my table setting one more time and hit the pager transmitter button that lives in the dining room. Then, I get into Waiting Position. I stay there until she approaches and acknowledges me with the usual, “You may sit,” and a kiss. (I’m not allowed to ask permission to sit on the furniture.) So I sit, and we eat brunch and talk. 

… 

Inspection Position: standing in front of Mistress, legs spread, hands clasped behind head, head/eyes straight, back straight.

I clean up brunch immediately after as required, and have a few minutes to spare to see to other things. Then, my alarm goes off to tell me it’s time for Morning Inspection.

I go into the bedroom, and wait in Inspection Position. I hear Mistress going to check on my morning tasks. Then, she comes in. She circles me, checking my daily Uniform, checking me, making assorted comments and having fun poking and prodding me. She tells me I did all of my morning service tasks well, releases me from position. I offer her sunscreen lotion for the day as required and apply it for her.

(We also use Inspection Position when I ask permission to shower and do so—I find her and present for Inspection after so she can check my job of the required shaving, etc.) 

… 

General Kneeling Position: kneeling on the floor where directed, knees apart, big toes crossed in back (right over left), hands folded at small of back (right over left, right thumb over left thumb), back straight.

I spend the day writing, working on SlaveClass, organizing things for Las Vegas TNG, seeing to slave duties, doing butler school coursework, and doing other things. 

At some point, though, I seek Mistress out. I wait in the doorway of her office, silent until she beckons me in, as required. Then, I kneel next to her as always, trying to be graceful about it. We talk. After a while, I get permission to shift into whatever position’s comfortable on the floor.

(This or something close typically happens several times per day.) 

Curtsy: from neutral/standing, back straight, lower head and eyes, grip hem of shirt on both sides between thumb and index finger and pull it slightly out, pinkies extended, place ball of right foot behind left heel, briefly bend at the knees, straighten, release hem, raise head and eyes, place feet back to neutral. 

After we’ve chatted for a while longer, I ask if there’s anything else I can do to be of service. This time, she says no. Then, I’m allowed to ask permission to leave. This time, she says yes. So, I stand, trying to be graceful, curtsy as required, and exit. 

(This or something close typically happens several times per day.) 

… 

Waiting Position (2)

I serve dinner at 6 PM daily. Once again, I check my table setting one more time and hit the pager transmitter button that lives in the dining room, then get into Waiting Position. After a minute or two, Mistress approaches and acknowledges me with, “You may sit,” and a pat on the head or such. So, we sit, we eat dinner, we talk. 

… 

Inspection Position (2)

I clean up dinner immediately as required, and see to other evening tasks. As a few last things, I turn down the bed, lay out the turndown card, fill the humidifier. At 9:20, it’s time for Evening Inspection. I strip out of my Uniform and wait in the bedroom in Inspection Position, wearing only my collar and wedding ring. Mistress checks my evening tasks. She comes in, circles me, looks me over, pokes and prods and slaps and teases. She tells me I did all of my evening service tasks well, releases me from position. I offer her lotion as required and apply it for her. Then, she orders me into…

…   

Leashing Position (2) 

I present my leash, on my blanket on the floor at the foot of the bed that’s been unfolded and set up for the night. She leashes me for the night. We might cuddle and talk for a while, and then it’s time for sleep. 

On Asking Permission vs. Being Offered It

My uniform code specifies no hair styling or makeup or jewelry except my collar, smart watch, and wedding ring; no tattoos, piercings, hair cutting or coloring.  It occurs to me very rarely to ask to shake it up; fashion has never been my thing, especially over convenience.   

There’s a thing or two that’s not my uniform that’s stuck around to be worn on special occasions; Mistress has me wear it to the occasional holiday party or on her birthday.  This past year on my own birthday, I asked to wear a sweater I’d received for the recently passed Christmas before donating it; she said yes.  (The sweater was from her mother.)

Oddly inspired, I recently asked to put my hair in two braids mostly to functionally keep it out of the way and off my neck in the three digit heat when we went out to play tennis; she said yes. It felt like a strangely big thing to ask for without a real occasion.  My uniform hairstyle was a twisted ponytail for about a year until we found out it was causing headaches; it’s been about a year of leaving it down since.  The only time I’d asked for a hairstyle modification previously was that birthday with the sweater. [I am now allowed to put it up in a bun with a clip at will.]

When it does occur to me to ask, I rarely do.  It’s the one percent when I ask of the one percent when I think of it.  It feels… loaded.  I feel like I need a justification, or something that waters it down, like a brief timeframe.  I think of the circumstances and if I’m ahead on chores and what mood she’s in and if she’s busy and what other things I’ve asked permission for recently; I probably ask or gain permission for dozens of things a day, most of them being granted permission to leave her presence or shift from my kneeling position on the floor.  Little things.  But the may I… comes up so often that I don’t want to add to the count unnecessarily.   

Usually, at dinner time, when I’ve just put the food on the table, I send her a message; she has an alarm set for ten minutes before our set time, six, so she knows to wrap up what she’s doing.  My message is a final notification. And then she’ll come downstairs and either tell me I may sit at the table, or tell me first to get her more coffee, more water, something from the kitchen. 

Once, she came downstairs and mistakenly thought I had asked for permission to sit before she simply granted it without the question.  Usually her first words at the bottom of the stairs or edge of the dining room were, “You may sit,” before I say anything. This time, though, she thought I had asked first and seemed a little bewildered.  I had to laugh, a little, because she had previously teased me for not sitting at the table before she got downstairs, leaving me technically alone, thus able to sit on the furniture at will.  Later, I reflected to her that it felt rather like rules lawyering to sit at the table when I was alone but knew she’d be down in a minute at my notification, the thing in the back of my mind that kept me from doing so. 

I brought this up to her along with an idea.  What if I didn’t ask to sit on the furniture?  What if I only did so if she granted the permission unprompted?  As an offer of permission, it’s generous; as a question, it’s loaded.  I explained how much goes on in my head when I ask permission for things and expressed that this seemed like a simple permission to experiment with, because I so rarely have to actually ask, and it’s an easy thing for her to notice I might want.  Once I cleared up one misunderstanding and she heard my explanation, she agreed to give it a shot, noting only the promise of punishment if I complained about an opportunity where she didn’t offer the permission.  

It’s been going well so far, and largely unnoted.  I’ve enjoyed it.  I think I sit on the furniture a little less, which is fine by me.  Headspace reinforcing.  

We shortly thereafter added a position to our repertoire that I wait behind my chair in, after sending that final message: legs together, hands clasped at the small of my back, back straight, head and eyes down.

One friend, visiting and then running a brief errand and returning, came back and found us with Mistress on the couch, and me kneeling in front of her on the floor in my standard position, knees apart, hands again clasped at the small of my back.  He asked if he was interrupting.  “No, no, just having a conversation,” she told him.  He still seemed to be backing away. 

“Not a conversation,” I told him, seeing what he was eyeing; “but like, chatting.  This is just how we talk.” 

Realization or remembering dawned and we proceeded.  

Yes, I guess it can look a little formal, but I often forget what it looks like to a third party.  To us, it’s natural.  It probably does look like we’re having a conversation visually even if we’re audibly discussing the weather or what’s for brunch.  It was barely in my head until it was noticed during that conversation, less notable than the unleashing position I’d assumed early that morning to get out of bed, or the inspection position I’d assumed after my shower, and those weren’t much conscious, either.  It was just, I was wiping down the coffee station, Mistress was sitting on the couch, she said, “When you’re done wiping that down, come kneel over here,” and I said, “Yes, Mistress,” and did. 

But the formality difference might have been somewhere in my head when I hesitated to ask to sit on the furniture, and it feels better to wait for the offer, or not do so at all—to be more at her true whim.  That’s a great feeling. 

Noticing the Fork: How the Little Protocols Add Up

6 PM, and so dinner. 

“You may sit,” Mistress said as she took her own place at the table.  I did.  I was moving my napkin to my lap when she added, “You may also start setting my fork on the right side.”  She moved the misplaced utensil.  

I stared at the fork for a second; I don’t remember now exactly what I said—presumably an apology or, Yes, Mistress—but I remember staring at the fork and running back over how it could have ended up on the wrong side. 

It felt like the stupidest thing to have to be reprimanded for, because it was so simple, and not a new rule.  Something that has been done without incident usually twice a day for a long time.  

The almost funny thing here is that where I had left the fork was technically correct by table setting etiquette.  But Mistress likes her place setting reversed.  Lacking a good sense of direction, I frequently set every place—even if it’s just mine and hers—“correctly” at first, and then go back and completely reverse hers, to not screw up my idea of any of the others and make sure that I don’t reverse something at her place twice or whatnot.  

What happened tonight was that I set every place and before I went back to reverse hers, a timer for what I was cooking went off that I had to see to and I forgot to come back to reverse it.   

The incident, if minor, reminded me of many conversations I’ve had with friends about some of our protocol, mostly the details they know their own eyes skim right over—like which side the fork goes on.  They wonder if those protocols are something that would truly be noticed, let alone reprimanded, or if it’s something that realistically flies under the radar or something that I falsely just think Mistress would care about. 

Mistress commented on the subject with, “They mistake my easy going nature for an easy going nature,” noting that there are a lot of things she’s, in her words, critical about, and that the reality of that easy going appearance is that those things are usually done correctly and so go without being noted; there’s no real reason to comment on them when they’re correct.  

A lot of these things aren’t hard to remember or do.  They do add up, for both of us.   

Much of our messaging history is permission requests to be leashed or unleashed from the bed (twice a day if it’s done via message both times), required notifications of my location (daily incidents including my walk and getting the mail), asking permission to make needed phone calls, or shower, and then asking her to come inspect me after as required, and orders and the obligatory, Yes, Mistress, and other permission requests and the obligatory, Thank you, Mistress.

I remember, once, balancing a mix of simultaneous text conversations, thinking about what in each conversation I was nervous about accidentally sending to the wrong person.  The message I prayed I didn’t sent to Mistress on accident at that moment was simply the informal, Yeah.

We don’t take time off from protocol; the only exceptions widely applied are vanilla company or Mistress not being with me; seeing as we live together with no vanilla people and neither of us have an occupation outside the home, these exceptions are not so common.   

The structure and convenience our protocols provide is something we have never been willing to put on hold, and so they’re in place 24/7/365.  We could not turn off the underlying dynamic if we tried, anyway; it’s who we are, and most of our protocols are deeply engrained habit.  When those rare exceptions do apply, there are frequently near slips.  Some protocols are so affected by internal enslavement I can no longer wrap my head around not following them as long as Mistress wants them.  

And so the little things, if there are a lot of them, every day, add up.  And even one slip is still noticeable.  There are a lot of things that are nearly subconscious now, or are very rarely noted because they’re done correctly, but somewhere, the headspace effects add up, too, and there’s a lot of carefulness involved. 

So in the end, every little thing is worth it

Protocols in a New Place

So, we bought a house and moved somewhat recently.

Now, we moved in together eight weeks after meeting (and concurrently began our 24/7 power dynamic), so basically the entirety of our relationship has been living together in the one location we lived before we moved. 

So for really the first time, we’ve had to see how our preexisting protocols do in a new long term setting.  It’s interesting to notice patterns as we settle in.   

For example, my office is now in the master’s retreat, a little room off the master bedroom separated by French doors that are often open.  Now, if Mistress is in the bedroom, and dismisses me from her presence, and I go to my office, I can sit in the chair at my desk despite the fact we’re still very close by and not separated by anything, because we’re no longer actively engaged and it doesn’t count as using the furniture in her presence.  This wasn’t really a thing with my old office whose door went to the hallway.    

Meanwhile, there’s a wall downstairs with an open interior window and so a ledge one can sit on, and the stairs as we moved to a two story, and so on, and it had to be decided whether or not certain household features count as furniture.  The one story we were in had different features.  

Now that we have a lot more hardwood floors, I’ve found out that kneeling on them is a bit less cushioned but makes my legs go numb a lot slower. Overall, I like it slightly better.

Mistress’ office is much bigger now and importantly, I can access most of it without having to walk directly past her.  We have and have had a protocol that if I come into a room (mostly her office) and don’t make eye contact with her, it doesn’t count as being in her presence and is a signal that I’m just passing through to use an object in there or clean something, and so I don’t need to ask permission (and what else I can do, and then curtsy) to leave again, which would be the entirety of that interaction.  The new layout makes avoiding said eye contact easier, which I’ve noted quickly.  Convenient.    

Little other things—the master bathroom has a separate toilet room and the (also French) doors to the main part of the bathroom don’t lock, meaning the rule about me not locking interior doors gets a little more intuitive when I get in the shower.    

The rule on notifying her when I’m leaving the house kicked into effect for getting the mail, no more slot right in the garage door.  Not a big deal, and I have to remember the mailbox keys, too. 

Of course, numerous tiny service details have changed, too. It all has an effect, for sure. 

It’s been really interesting to adjust, and I’m sure there are still things to discover; I look forward to it.  

Uniforms and Challenges, the Literal and a Metaphor

Our contract is a simply formatted, single spaced seven or so pages, and this one phrase in it sometimes gives me more conundrums than any others: nice, clean, and of an appropriate size.

This phrase is in the uniform section, and the fact is, being a slave, as wonderful as it is, is messy.

Cooking or food prep multiple times a day, untold coffee fetching, cleaning up after the cats—litter, water, fur, other messes—handling dirty dishes, trash, laundry—doing wipe downs, taking care of plants, working with cleaning chemicals, giving pedicures with a splashy foot bath, cleaning toilets…

You get the idea.

A lot of it is pretty easy and mundane stuff.  Stuff almost everyone does.  I might do it a little more frequently as our chore split is basically 100/0, or, as such service is luckily my full time occupation, I keep up with certain schedules and details a little more than typical, but none of it is truly out of the ordinary, and they’re simple things I’m happy to do.

Another factor, though, is that since I wear a uniform, I don’t own a lot of clothes, so rotating the same few days’ worth of the clothes means the same items take the toll of the day’s work again and again, versus the clothes of people who have a longer rotation, or different clothes for different occasions.

The clothes I wear when I’m cleaning, exercising, anything else, are the same ones I wear to parties; a dip in the pool usually just means I remove a few items; I don’t have a summer and winter wardrobe, just layers; I don’t wear pajamas; I wear the same clothes when I’m just kneeling on the floor and when I’m scrubbing at it, and so on.  It’s blissfully simple, but the all in one of it adds up, and I often change clothes multiple times a day.

I’ve gone up and down on the number of sets of clothes I own at once, but never so far up or down it’s seemed to make a huge difference in the amount of time before I have to order more, too many irreversibly stained or whatnot, despite my best efforts with the laundry, or, more preemptively, wearing a pre-approved apron when I’m doing something I know will be messy.

It also means that when I change sizes, everything in that category has to be replaced, no leeway in brands or items or fabrics.  I’d healthily gone down a few sizes since I started wearing a past uniform in Fall 2018 (and since I changed to only one color of it in Fall 2019), meaning everything failed to fit me at once when I crossed that threshold.  The same happened with the uniform I wore previously, which eventually provided a good time to switch.

So, nice, clean, and of an appropriate size provides a small daily challenge.

But I like that.

I recently rediscovered some of my slave journals from 2016, an interesting find as I start reading Slave Patrick’s Slave-ography, which began as a journal.  The fun part of this is that I was unowned in 2016, and really just getting going in the BDSM scene.  They were journals I kept mostly for myself, with the vague idea of showing them to a future partner—writing prompt answers, checklists, experimental erotica, art journaling, resource reading lists, event logs, research notes.  They’re currently on Mistress’ desk for her to peruse.  A lot of it is out of date now, and won’t be illuminating most likely so much as fun, or a marker of progress.

In one of these journals, I found the phrase a challenge to challenge, as something I wanted to be, in an entry on what I wanted to be in the eyes of an Owner.

It was a bit of a side note in that entry, but it caught my eye more than a lot of the rest of it at this point; I reflected on it and found it still true, just a useful phrasing I hadn’t come back to in a long time.

The idea of it is basically the goal of providing poised service—calm, patient, the unperturbed servant trope.  Experimenting with mantras before I found that entry, I had come up with one about serving with patience, poise, and serenity,trying to address struggles in that arena.

The thing with keeping my uniform presentable was a very simple but literal metaphor for that.  After running around cooking dinner, in a hot kitchen with bubbling sauces and such, I try to wait behind my chair in the assigned position for Mistress to tell me I can sit patiently and not looking worn out from the cooking—including wearing a clean set of clothes.  It feels better for me, looks better for her.

It’s trying to give it a bit of magic.  This food?  It just appeared!  With less sense of the behind the scenes chaos of timing all the sides and close calls with spills.  It’s kind of like not leaving the wrapping paper roll next to the Christmas tree, or that moment in shows where a third party comes in and simply enjoys a flawless looking meal, event, so on, after an episode showing all the chaos of getting it that way, and two parties from behind the scenes of it look at each other knowingly.

A bit of undisturbed poise, a bit of magic—since that’s what I’m going for, the uniform is both literally a small part of it and also an easy metaphor for the bigger picture—despite all that messy work, my uniform is magically still clean every time you see me.  Despite all the chaos, I’m put together every time you see me.  Ta da.  Am I perfect at it?  Of course not.  But I can and do try.  That’s what counts.