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Shannon Reilly

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Member Since: Jan, 2008


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Publisher:  DV8 Publishing ISBN-10:  1440470502 Type: 


Copyright:  January 2008 ISBN-13:  9781440470509

DV8 Publishing

A workbook of practical exercises designed to take the reader step by step through the process of creating a personal protocol for use in structuring a power exchange relationship.

A workbook of practical exercises designed to take the reader step by step through the process of creating a personal protocol for use in structuring a power exchange relationship. 

Professional Reviews

Review by Marcus
Author's note: Because I am an English teacher, I refuse to randomly capitalize words and instead use Standard American English grammar in all of my books. As noted in the forward of Separating Fact from Fiction: The Life of a Consensual Slave in the 21st Century, I mean no disrespect by my refusal to capitalize dominant, etc. I simply adhere to the rules of grammar as I teach them to my students.

It should be obvious to almost any reader of Creating a Personal Protocol that Ms. Reilly is no novice to either the writing arena or the BDSM world. Her style is easy to read and even easier to implement in “real time”. The step-by-step linear structure is also very appealing to someone trying to get an initial handle on how to set up his/her personal protocol.

Being a long-time, Old School/Old Guard style Dominant, I did have a few “issues” with the manuscript. The most problematic aspect of this document for Me was its lack of adherence to the proper formal “grammar” rules of a traditional leather household. In this. I mean that none of the terms referring to Dominants were capitalized (with all subsequent terms associated with submissives being begun by lower case letters, regardless of where they appeared in the text). Having said this, I suspect that most readers would not find this distracting or offensive in the least. I’m not sure as to why this author didn’t follow this tradition, but I suspect it was to not visually distract the less experienced readers who are unfamiliar with this protocol. The only other point of contention, which for Me was far less troublesome than the aforementioned problem, was the author’s suggesting that protocol is often more relaxed in the home than it is in public. For Me and My home, it is exactly the opposite. While I keep a very high level of protocol in both arenas, My highest level of protocol is within My own home with My slaves. The second most high protocol level is at MAsT meetings (if and when My slaves attend with Me), which is approximately the same as it is at leather events. The lowest level is demonstrated in general public venues or in “vanilla” arenas whereby the protocol is modified and lessened so as not to be offensive to the nonlifestyle individuals with whom I come in contact.
Those comments not withstanding, I found this book to be highly insightful and very well thought out and developed. The most appealing aspect of this text for Me was the way in which the author structured it as a “how to” manual. In this, she combines a brief narrative description, then follows it with thoughtful worksheets for the reader to complete. If done with proper forethought and follow through, the reader can’t but arrive at a succinct and behaviorally anchored protocol that is tailored to whatever the reader feels appropriate. In this, this book in invaluable. It accomplishes this in a linear progression that deepens the reader’s understanding of and involvement in a protocol that is personal and appropriate for that reader. In the final analysis, this is what A/all of U/us who follow this lifestyle aim to do. Her definitions and clarifications between terms used in her book were also nice to see. Since terms often mean different things to different persons, this was a great way to start out her book. Everything else followed nicely from this aspect.
As such, I would highly recommend this book as a good starting point for neophytes to the lifestyle and for those simply wanting more information about what it would be like to have a more organized set of rules through which to carry out his/her life. I also feel that Ms. Reilly’s book would be of use to the early intermediate level lifestyler or the BDSM lifestyler wanting to “reinvent” the formal arrangement between Dominant and submissive. As the author rightfully infers, there are few activities more important than knowing what type of eventual arrangement the BDSMer wishes to end up with in living out this lifestyle. There is certainly not “one right way” to engage in this lifestyle, and to do so requires much forethought and planning so that the end result is a desired one. Having a coherent roadmap through which to accomplish this, as well as how to adapt it to the reader’s own personal preferences through self-investigation of desired and undesired end results, is an invaluable tool. This book allows the reader to do just that in an enjoyable, organized, and succinct manner.


Review by James
Defined by its nature, protocol is a set of rules or guidelines established for specific situations or settings. As we use the term in the BDSM community, it is a code of conduct with various degrees of ceremony and etiquette adhered to by those participating in some form of power exchange relationship. There is no universal standard, as tastes and personal proclivities are too numerous to count, so to are the protocols which they use and the methods with which they are invoked. Weather it is a formalized list of deportment or more casual statement of respect and attentiveness, it is usually tailored to the specific participants personal needs.

Shannon Riley's workbook, Creating a Personal Protocol, presents players with a series of exercises that will help them formulate and clarify their thoughts into an organized and structured protocol just for them. Written for those of either dominant or submissive persuasion, or as the author suggests for new partners to both work through at the same time. After a brief introduction of both author and the workbooks purpose, she lays out a few key definitions to help clarify the exercises to follow. Each of the nine exercises helps direct you through an organized framework, brainstorming lists to establishing various levels of protocol for different situations. There are blank forms for you and your partners to fill out as you work through each exercise.

While less intended for novice players, I feel that it will find its audience in those who have a little experience to draw on and for those who need a little structure and orienteering without being bogged down in a multitude of examples.

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