S.M.A.R.T.  Rules

by Aramock Nanuck

     June 2002

The following was an adaptation of a standard approach to rule design for the fetish community.

Specific  Measurable   Attainable   Realistic   Timely



A rule has a much greater likelihood of being complied with than one subject to interpretation. To set a specific rule, you must answer the six “W” questions:

  • Who:           Is involved?

  • What:          Is to (or NOT) be done?

  • Where:        Does this occur?

  • When:         Is it to be started/finished?

  • Why:            Is this required?

  • Which:         Punishments WOULD be applied for non-compliance?


EXAMPLE:    A general rule would be, “Maintain your shape.” But a specific rule would be, “You will exercise 20 minutes doing callisthenics on the front patio each morning before 7 am to maintain your physical appearance; failure to do so will result in a diet  of only staples which excludes sweets or treats.”



Establish concrete criteria for measuring adherence to each ruleset. Critical to this is some method of observing or recording the execution of instructions occurs. If there is a scoring (demerit points) mechanism, then an additional and tangible punishment must be applied when exceeding the demerits limits. Additionally, a process must be in place for a person to reclaim or remove demerits.


To determine if your rule is measurable, ask questions such as

  • How will it be regulated/observed?

  • How will it be recorded?

  • How will an authority figure (dominant) know when it a rule is accomplished or defaulted?



Unless your goal is to punish, then the adherence to the rules continuously must be attainable. Rules are designed to develop the skills or habit that is positive and inhibit practices or habits that are deemed contrary to the dominant wishes. The formulation of rules must be in such a way that the submissive can adhere to them. Failure to do so will fail to have the submissive become the model of expectations.


Rules should start simple and be added to as they become regularly adopted. Training a submissive to respond should not overwhelm them. Adherence should never be out of reach but fully attainable to build a self-image. They should pressure them as new ones are added to force the submissive to stretch themselves to maintain a standard. Coupling attainment with a value assessment of the dominant promotes the traits and personality that please their owner.



A realistic rule must define a state or activity which is either possible to complete or avoid. A rule that is based on difficult tasks is possible so long as it is but still attainable. It is up to the dominant to determine if the submissive could follow the instruction to be realistic. Some of the hardest jobs ever accomplished seem easy simply because they were a labour of love.


Rules must fit within the daily routine of a submissive and not span more than one day. The assignment of the time to complete a task must be measurable and reasonable to the responsibility set before the submissive. The defined mandate must be attainable within the time allotted and measured regularly.