Protocols Part 4: Developing Protocols for Groups

18 05 2009

This is part of my protocol series, which can be found here, here, and here.

I recently had to decide on a protocol for a group I hosted here at the House of Void. There was a diverse group, and I needed to come up with some simple rules of behavior. Fortunately, I had some guidelines that I could use to serve as a guideline, but forming protocols for groups pose slightly different challenges.

As a reminder, the guidelines I use for developing my protocols are:

  1. The protocol should be simple: Easily explained with normal words and no jargon.
  2. The protocol should be practical: It should perform some purpose, even if that purpose is to just be pretty.
  3. The protocol should be accomplishable: The people at my event had to be able to comply with the rules.

Along with those things in mind, I had to keep these things in mind too:

  1. Protocols must be for both roles: Doms and subs are both going to be present at my house, so the rules had to address the roles of both (switches can choose either role).
  2. Protocols must reflect the agenda of the group: Protocols are a useful way to reinforce the purpose of your group, so it is very useful to only have protocols that are required to reinforce this purpose.

My group was focused on discussion, kind along the meetings that the great writers and poets had during the 19th century. I wanted to facilitate discussion, and encourage all to express their opinion. Keeping these thoughts in mind, I formulated the following rules (the actual wording may have varied as I did this on the fly, and frankly didn’t write down my golden words at the time).

  1. All persons, Dom or Master, submissive or slave, top bottom or switch, are allowed to state their opinions without fear of being ridiculed, belittled or interrupted. Please remember to do the same when it is time for another to speak.
  2. Do not speak ill of anyone not present.
  3. If imbibing of adult beverages, be responsible.
  4. What happens at the House of Void, stays at the House of Void.

These were simple, and proved effective.

I found another good example (a bit longer, but still focused, simple and clear) on Kink.com. They have opened up a new area where Dominants and submissives can mix before cameras that stream their actions live over the internet called the Upper Floor.  This presents some unique challenges (such as a need to define protocols for the staff), but I think the resulting rules illustrate what I am speaking of here.  Check it out here.

Have you any thoughts on this?  Perhaps you have had to come up with rules for your own group? If so, please let me know, in the comments.

MV

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