Creating Your Own Rules
by Aramock Nanuck
A subject that has been talked about many times before, but I felt the need to add some points that I don’t see made often. I don’t believe in telling new Dominants what rules to make. It’s your job to come up with rules. A Dominant mentor I knew once said: “if you cannot come up with your own rules, punishments, and names, you don’t deserve to be anyone’s Dominant.” Remember your submissive is yours, and not anyone else’s - it’s your job to take care of them, and if you aren’t capable of doing that, you haven’t earned the right to call yourself their Dominant. For this reason, I don’t believe in pre-made rule lists and example rules for beginners. Here are some tips to make sure your rules are good.
Drawing a line
I believe the first step in creating rules is to ensure your submissive’s can comprehend, understand and carry them out.
Structure your submissive’s life step by step.
A sub who’s always sleepy needs a bedtime rule.
Procrastinating subs can use a strict schedule.
Subs that feel guilty about needing you could get rules on how and when they must contact you.
Draw a clear line that says, “Inside here; you are safe. Do not cross.”
Rules for your enjoyment are secondary to those who actually provide guidance and form the basis of structured living.
The bulk of the rules must be observable, enforceable, and meaningful if they are to be considered real.
Look at the problems your submissive faces; things that they’re bad at or feel uncomfortable doing, things they can never seem to remember or purposefully forget.
First, address the points that most necessary, prioritize and discriminate.
Sometimes rules are impossible to follow and cannot avoid being broken.
Rules that solely exist to give a dominant (sadist) a reason to punish.
A rule is meant to let your submissive know what to do and how to act. The worst kind of rule is one that fails to do that basic job. Ambiguous rules like “you must take care of your health” or “you will eat well” are no rules at all - they still put the responsibility in the submissive hands. “Take medicine X every day after breakfast” and “eat a minimum of 1500 calories every day” give them clear expectations. Be concrete and clear. Make sure your expectations are known by your submissive.
Less is More
Never allow the list of the rules to be too long to remember. If the list is too long, no one will ever be able to remember or follow all of them. Your submissive should be able to name your rules from the top of their head. They should serve as general guidelines.
However, this doesn’t really hold for Master/slave dynamics. M/s has a heavy focus on formalities, protocols, rituals. In a relationship where all control is in the hands of the Dominant, you can’t really get around having many rules. That is why the minimal duration of slave training is usually considered to be around two years.
Your rules have to be realistic. If they are too difficult to follow consistently, they make your submissive’s life harder, not easier. It might seem like a good idea to tell a sub who’s terrible with money to always ask permission before making a purchase, but having to call or text you and wait for a reply every single time they’re in a store isn’t practical. “Don’t spend more than X per month” is far more reasonable.
Your rules are the basis of your power exchange. Your submissive should be able to rely on them at all times, so they can safely give in to them. Remaining consistent and predictable in your expectations puts your submissive at ease. Changing them around on every whim would mean your submissive can never be sure what is expected of them, which will only create anxiety and stress. And changing them around with each of your submissive’s mood swings means you are not the one in charge. Being consistent means your rules are true today, tonight, tomorrow, next week, and until the end of time unless you make the calculated decision to make a change.
Conflicting with the Law
As a dominant, sometimes you will consider rules which you know will conflict with the law of the land; you won't at other times. One of the basic tenants of the law is that "ignorant legis neminem excusat," so no one is excepted from the law for not knowing it. Another tenant of the law is that "just following orders" is also not excusable. So any rules you issue you and your slave follows, you will be liable. The dominant is more culpable than the submissive if there is the suggestion of duress or mental conditioning. So be aware that if you impart rules that contravene the law, it is ultimately your responsibility, and you may face prosecution if anyone raises them to the authorities.