tagReviews & EssaysRules & Rituals in D/s Relationship

Rules & Rituals in D/s Relationship


All the D/s (Domination/submission) relationships I know of, and have read about, have rules and rituals that the submissive must follow. I am sure that those not involved in D/s must think that such regimentation would stifle any relationship and make it unbearable on the submissive. I am sure that many men and women who are just discovering their submissive side, and who are thinking about embarking on a D/s relationship, find reading about others’ rules and rituals rather daunting.

However, rules and rituals can be liberating – freeing the submissive from having to constantly worry about what may or may not be expected, and enabling them to serve their Dominant with joy and in peace. The submissive, following well chosen rules, can, once the behaviour becomes almost second nature, not only gain joy from deepening their submission but also feel a lightness of spirit safe in the knowledge they are pleasing the One they have chosen to submit to.


Rules need to be introduced a few at a time. Anyone faced with a page or more of rules would find it almost impossible to memorise them all and follow each and every one. D/s is often likened to a journey into a new world – and like any journey, it is better to go slowly and therefore not miss something important, than it is to rush along to see what might be over the next hill or round the next bend.

Rules can cover any aspect of life, or any situation. There may be rules on a way a submissive dresses themselves; rules concerning the behaviour of the submissive; bathroom rules; bedroom rules – you name it … and there could be a rule made to cover it. The most effective rules are those that are there for a purpose – even if that purpose is simply because it pleases the Dominant. I have found that when a new rule is to be introduced, it is helpful for a dialogue to have taken place. The Dominant can then state the proposed rule and ask for comments from the submissive. This also gives the Dominant an opportunity of explaining exactly why They wish the rule to be followed.

Among my first rules were the following separate, but connected rules:

-you will be clean shaven from the neck downwards

-you will not wear panties unless given specific permission to do so

-you will ensure that after using the toilet, you are washed and clean

All three were introduced at the start of my journey into submission, and I gladly accepted them – even though the no panties rule made me quake a little at the thought of being outside with no underwear on. My Master explained that my body was His to use as and when He wished – and He wanted quick access to it whenever He so desired. This simple explanation made it much easier for me to follow, not to mention the thought of being used at any time made me quite hot! Many would think that this would be the end of the matter as far as the Dominant is concerned. They have made the rule - the submissive follows it. Simple? Not so! The Dominant must always ensure that a rule is being followed. If adherence to rules is not periodically checked on, the submissive will soon begin to question the point of following them. This is another reason for introducing rules just a couple at a time – they are designed to make the life of the Dominant easier … not more burdensome!

Once a rule becomes second nature to a submissive, it may be time to add a new twist to it, or extend it slightly. This makes the submissive acutely aware of just who is in charge, and makes them think of even a most mundane task to ensure that they are following the rule. One Domme I know had a rule that Her submissive always wore black socks. One day, She suddenly tells the submissive that he is to wear navy blue socks today. Later, when getting dressed, the submissive had to check his automatic behaviour of reaching for black hose, and this bought his Mistress sharply to the forefront of his mind. Why change the rule? Because it pleases the Dominant to do so – and makes the submissive think about Her whenever he catches a glimpse of his socks that day.

Obviously, where there are rules, there are also sanctions for breaking that rule. Sanctions and punishments must fit the crime, and a caring Dominant might first ask themselves why a rule was broken or not followed. It could be that the submissive was unable to follow a rule because of outside factors. A rule that the submissive always has a cold beverage waiting for their Dominant when they come in from work may be broken because the submissive is called away, or that the electricity failed. In such cases, the submissive will probably be punishing themselves enough, and a word or two expressing disappointment will be enough of a punishment.

However, a major breach of a rule requires a sterner action. Imagine there is a rule that the submissive may not chat in a sexual way with another, unless having been given prior permission or is under direction from the Dominant at the time. For the first breach, a submissive might expect a stern lecture followed by some form of corporal punishment; a second breach of this rule would almost certainly spell banishment.


Rituals are used to add a depth to the D/s relationship. Ritualistic behaviour gives a submissive an opportunity of showing their love and devotion to the One they have chosen to serve. Almost anything can be made into a ritual – from serving a meal or a drink, to getting ready for bed. Rituals can be as simple or as complex as the participants wish them to be. What works for one D/s couple, will not work for another. What must be remembered is that, just as no two people are exactly the same (even identical twins have small differences) then no two relationships will be identical – this goes for D/s relationships almost more than non-D/s relationships.

Rituals may also serve to show a submissive just how much the Dominant cares for them, for most rituals require the participation of both people.

Rituals may grow over time as the relationship deepens and matures. They may also be adapted to suit a variety of surroundings. This enables the Dominant and submissive alike to share a private moment in a very public place, which, in turn, confirms the Domination and submission.

One such ritual my Master and I have in place is the serving and eating of food. At home, I will always serve Him first, ensuring that food is presented pleasingly; that the correct cutlery is to hand; His favourite condiments are available for Him to use if He so wishes. I will not season or taste my food until He has taken the first mouthful and given me permission to eat. When we are alone, there is the added ritual that I serve Him naked, and wait by His chair until told otherwise. When we are with the family I am obviously clothed, but will not seat myself until given the signal to do so. When out at a self-service restaurant, I ensure that all the necessary items are on the table and wait to begin eating until the given discrete signal. In each circumstance, the small ritual being followed serves as a reminder and reinforcement of His Domination and my submission.

Any submissive has free choice to submit. It is a precious gift they give to the Dominant. Rules and rituals can be a small way for a Dominant to show that They care enough to give the life of Their submissive the structure and direction the submissive yearns for. They are also the building blocks for the relationship on which it might grow and flourish. Just as strong foundations in a building will allow for extensions to be added later, a firm foundation in any relationship will allow both people to grow together. Rules and rituals form the foundations – the sexual scenes and playtime are the icing and decoration on the cake.

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