Tag Archives: protocol

Control Triptych: Glance

Three Layers of Control: Touch, Voice, Glance

This is the third part in a three part series.  When I am training a new submissive, I rely on three of the five senses to keep her where I want her.  My pieces on Touch and Voice were just previous to this and you may or may not wish to read those before continuing with this.

Glance: a much more subtle approach to the same.

Let me explain a bit about what I mean when I refer to ‘glance’ in this piece.  I really mean any indicator that I give to a submissive that I want her to do something (or not do something) that depends entirely on her seeing me make some sort of visible gesture which is not accompanied by a vocal command or a tactile manipulation.  More often than not, this takes the form of me glancing at her, catching her eye, and then moving my glance towards the position that I wish her to take or the action that I wish her to perform.

This is both the most difficult form of control to get to from a consistency standpoint, and also one of the more dramatic ways to show off the time spent in training and working together.  

Apart from control, which is difficult, the stare can be used to great effect in lots of different ways.  It can be both calming when offered with compassion, or it can ignite the fires of desire if it is made with confidence and intention.

The actual actions involved here are not terribly complex.  In fact, with the right personalities involved, causing action with mere glances is not terribly difficult – it just requires a little bit of mind-reading.

“Saywhatnow?” you ask – I can tell.  

Yes – I am atheist and a technologist and a while there are many other ‘-isms to which I subscribe, I do not believe that actual mind reading is possible.  However, with the right person or the right training or both, you can achieve something that is very close.  The key is to know the person that you are trying to control with your glance.  You can attempt to employ the same techniques against the unknown and they may or may not work – a certain amount of the emotional context with which you will attempt these things is universal – however they will be completely ineffective on the unwilling.  In fact, if you attempt to stare down an unwilling person, you’re more likely to annoy them than anything else.

The idea here is that you need to meet the gaze of your target and do your best to project the thought that you want to convey, and then follow it with some sort of physical cue to reinforce the thought and spur the other party to act.  A stare with no follow up action (which might simply be to briefly look away or smile) will just be interpreted as a stare and is likely to just make people think that you are creepy.

The simplest command that can be issued with the eyes only is the, “come here” or “come hither” stare.  This is more often attributed to women rather than men, and that has a lot to do with the way our society is structured, but I don’t want to be pulled into another feminist rant, so I’ll leave that lay for now.  

The “come hither” stare is exactly what it has been made out to be in popular culture – movies, television shows, and most especially, books.  

Because of this pervasive commonality, a woman can get the attention of nearly any man by simply staring at him, demurely looking away, and then bringing her stare back to the same place.  Most men are going to be almost helpless in their reaction – society has baked this one in for us – at least in the Western world.  They will find themselves compelled to move towards the woman and interact with her.  Depending on the social graces that particular man is endowed with, this may or may not be a good thing.

Again, thanks to the commonality of the above, the reverse is also generally well understood – the ‘go away’ look that can stop a man in his tracks and get him to rethink his move.  

Confident women will often employ both of these together to pick a man out from across the room, hold his attention, and then get him to buy her a drink and try to chat her up.  She’ll pick out the one guy she wants to talk to, give him the ‘come here’ stare, but end up attracting him and both of the guys next to him, necessitating the ‘go away’ stare to the two undesirable candidates.

Most of the glance-based commands that I will give are trained, but they build on the above interactions as a foundation.  The above are things that nearly everyone can understand, and because of that fact, they allow for extension in some ways that are not obvious and many of those things really do feel a bit like mind reading.

The ‘come here’ look has to be modified a bit for my purposes because I’m a man.  I do not think that I am a good enough actor to pull of the demure look-away, but I can do the next best thing… I will lock stares from across the room, hold it for just a bit longer than seems reasonable, and then smile.  Usually that is enough to prompt her to do the demure look-away all on her own.   In the span of mere seconds, without a word, we’ve already begun negotiations.

When I’m working with a submissive who is actually submitting to my Will, I will often employ this to begin – the stare and smile, though sometimes the smile can be a bit more mischievous when given in this context.  I will then follow with a gesture that implies what I desire.

If I look at you, keep my eyes on you, but begin to lower my head – while keeping my my eyes on you – and then nod at the floor in front of me, I expect you to come and stand in front of me.  

If, once you do that, I further nod my head towards the floor at my feet, I expect you kneel for me.

If I glance to my side, I expect you to move to that side of me and lean on me if I’m standing, sit next to me if I’m sitting, or follow me on that side if I’m walking.  If once you reach my side I then nod towards the floor, I will expect you to kneel for me there.  If I nod towards a chair or couch, I expect you to sit there.  If I am sitting and I pat my knee, I expect you to sit on it.

See?  Simple – easy – mostly intuitive.

With some training, it’s easy to turn cue almost any action with nothing more than a glance.

Even taking things further.. If you are my submissive, I may draw you to me with my eyes, put you on your knees in front of me, and then with a more insistent nod, indicate that I want you to remove my belt, unzip my pants, and start sucking on my cock.

It is quite satisfying to be able to get into someone’s head so much that I can get her to give me a blowjob without ever saying a word, I must admit.

 

Just what the heck is protocol anyway?

I have been accused of being an ‘old-school high protocol Dom’ a few times in my life.

I’m not sure that the statement is entirely accurate, but I suspect that there may be two reasons why this is being applied to me.

1) No one really knows what ‘protocol’ means anymore
2) Anyone who expresses any sort of structure as a part of the BDSM relationship seems to be getting classified this way lately.

So, let’s begin by addressing the first part of this.

What the heck is ‘protocol’ anyway?

It’s a three syllable word that basically means ‘rules.’

People think that because I use contracts and limits lists that I’m a ‘high protocol’ Dom.  And while there is no definitively correct answer for what ‘high protocol’ means, I tend to think of the emphasis on the ‘high’ in that phrase as indicating an emphasis on enforcement.

I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen the label of ‘low protocol’ or even ‘ordinary protocol’ applied to anyone.  It seems that within the context of the BDSM world, the two words are inextricably linked.  If you practice ‘protocol’ at all, you are automatically a practitioner of ‘high protocol.’

I’m fairly certain that I actually do NOT fit that definition.

Yes, I set rules.  In some of the contracts that I’ve held in the past, these rules can be rather strict, and failure to follow them can be met with some pretty significant consequences, but whereas I exerted a singular level of control in my earlier days, I haven’t the time or inclination to attempt such things anymore.  I don’t think I’ve necessarily grown softer – because when I decide to correct something, I can still be pretty rough, but my need to be in absolute control has waned as I’ve picked partners that are more capable and have a greater internal strength themselves.

This is not to say that I don’t invoke protocol in-scene, or even just in that nebulous ‘in the bedroom’ space.  Often I will bark commands in the midst of sex or play, and I fully expect them to be adhered to.

Bondage with ropes or straps is incredibly effective, sexy as hell, and sometimes exactly what I want or need, but sometimes I don’t have ropes with me, or I just don’t want to go through the time and effort to tie them properly – and I’m enough of a safety nut that I’d never half-ass that job.  So, I might give instruction like, “do not move except when I move you,” or “leave your arms in this position,” or even, “you can fight me on this, but if you do, I’ll hurt you.”

And you know what? The words in those cases can be even more effective than physical restraints and even sexier in the proper context.

Does this make me a ‘high protocol’ Dom?  I don’t think so.

When I used to require my submissive to walk three paces behind me, not to make eye contact, and to speak only to or through me.. that was ‘high protocol.’

And to be honest, while there is some pleasure to be derived in the novelty of it, and while it certainly does appeal to the control freak in me to have complete control over another person’s words and actions if not her thoughts, it’s exhausting to be so much in control for more than a short span of time.

Hell, I find it difficult to remain in control of just my own self from time to time.  To have to be in control of someone else, to monitor her every action and to punish or reward them as appropriate.  It’s just not something that I have time for anymore.

Protocol has its place.  It’s a wonderful thing when used properly, but it’s often misunderstood to mean something far greater than it needs to be.  You can claim to be introducing ‘protocol’ into your relationship by doing something as what I’ve described above.  Give your sub a rule to follow, and then follow up and make sure that she understands and obeys.

Isn’t that what D/s is all about anyway?