D/s Protocol Ideas For You To Try

When I started in D/s relationships (12+ years ago, now!), I was so thrilled to have someone who would say that they would do what I told them to do, or who was interested in having more protocol, feeling like their behavior was being dictated and controlled, and having tasks to do for me. I felt like a kid in a candy store!

But the problem, immediately, was: what protocol do I do?

It has taken me a long time to figure out my own sense of protocol, what works for me, what doesn’t, what works for my particular submissive, what doesn’t, and what is just too much work. I wouldn’t say I’m lazy (not sure I believe laziness exists, really), but I definitely want a high return on my investment, and if it isn’t worth it, I lose interest quickly.

When I started thinking about protocol, I just wanted to peruse a big list of brainstormed protocol to get my mind going, but I didn’t find anything like that. It really helped to figure out the areas of control that held the most interest, which became the key to brainstorming protocol within the different areas — but I still could have used support to specifically come up with protocol.

rife made a “protocol mad libs” worksheet a few years ago, which can be helpful to think about the structure of protocol, and might help with brainstorming some specifics.

Protocol Mad Libs includes these fill-in-the-blank sentences:

  • Every time you _____, do ______.
  • Daily 5 minute meditation on ______.
  • Wear ______ every day.
  • Set an alarm to remind you of ______.
  • Each day, ______ before bed.
  • No ______ without permission.
  • When you wake up, ______.
  • Make sure to ______ whenever you ______.
  • ______ [Journal / make art / voice memo ] daily.
  • No ______ in the house.
  • Text [person] ______ daily.

Hope those are helpful structures to create some protocol for yourself or your partner!

But now, for the big announcement …

Recently, rife and I made two decks of protocol cards. The idea is to use them with the Protocol Game structure, but honestly, you can use them however you want.

I love how they turned out! (rife is an amazing designer.) There are two different decks, one purple and one orange. The purple deck is the basic, with 52 different protocols on different cards, and some blanks. The orange deck has blanks like the protocol mad libs, above, which have duplicates, and you can build your own set of cards by filling in exactly what you want.

This is the list of what’s in the basic purple pack:

  • masturbate daily
  • take a sexy selfie daily
  • record a sexy fantasy in a voice memo
  • set an alarm to go off twice daily with an affirmation
  • edge every day, but do not orgasm
  • give or receive a massage
  • take extra time to pamper your body daily
  • find an erotic story that turns you on
  • find porn that turns you on
  • wear sexy underwear daily
  • make your own kink toy from household items
  • write a kinky or sexy affirmation and put it up somewhere you will see daily
  • draw or journal about a scene you have had
  • draw or journal about a scene you want to have
  • try a new toy or position during sex or self-pleasure
  • find & complete a Yes No Maybe checklist
  • research local or online kink groups you could join
  • spend one hour researching or practicing a new kink skill
  • make a conversation date with a kinky friend
  • watch an online class about kink [QR leather couch
  • find a place in the kink community to volunteer
  • research the hanky code and note your top 3
  • visit the Leather Archives & Museum, POCKLE, Carter-Johnson Library, NCSF, or other kink community resource websites
  • go to and watch 3 free videos
  • make an erotic bucket list
  • read a chapter of a kink book every day
  • make a wishlist of your ideal sex and kink toys
  • watch a kinky movie
  • journal about an important moment in your kink journey
  • update or create your Fetlife profile
  • explore your asshole in the shower
  • wear only sexy underwear or an apron while you do housework
  • wear something that reminds you of your kink every day
  • give someone a compliment daily
  • think about kinky things as you brush your teeth
  • listen to a kink podcast every day
  • make a playlist of your favorite sexy songs
  • clean and organize your sex or kink toys
  • flag with the hanky code every day
  • try bootblacking your boots, shoes, or leather
  • write something kinky on your body in a secret place
  • groom your pubic hair in a new way
  • repeat an affirmation each morning when you wake up
  • create a coming home from work ritual and do it every day
  • research submissive positions and note which you like

Want to buy copies of the Protocol Game Card Decks? Get ’em in the Sugarbutch shop


You can buy them individually (basic set | fill-in-the-blank set) or you can buy them both and save $5.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

One thought on “D/s Protocol Ideas For You To Try”

  1. Chris says:

    Very helpful ideas thank you :)

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