You should never be afraid to ask a question of your Dominant, however, in certain circumstances, there are inappropriate ways to ask questions and inappropriate questions.

First, and I have a hard time at this one too, you shouldn’t question a Dominant’s orders. It is not a submissive’s position to know why a Dominant wishes something or the reason behind it. As hard as it may seem, we should just do it and trust our Dominant with that decision.

There are instances where a submissive should question a Dominant’s request. You should question the Dominant...

  • When the new request contradicts a previous one.
  • When a request puts the Dominant, submissive or someone else at risk.
  • When a command is illegal or may have legal repercussions.
  • When an order violates the verbal or written contracted negotiations within the relationship.

A submissive should always ask questions to clarify a request of the Dominant so that the order can be carried out correctly. There is no excuse for a job done incorrectly if you know exactly what is expected of you. You should not fear to ask these types of questions.

Typical questions in lower protocol situations:

“Is there anything I can get you, Sir?” “May I be excused to use the facilities, Ma’am?” “How would you like your steak prepared tonight, Master?” “Could you clarify what you mean by scrub the floor properly, Sir?”

In more formal relationships or situations, it may be proper for a submissive to ask if they may ask a question. In these situations, it is common to ask simply, “May I ask a question/ask for clarification, Sir?”

These formal relationships also have a special way that questions need to be formulated. They should be concise and to the point without a lot of extra chatter. Formal questions always begin with an apology.

“Pardon me...” “Excuse me...” “My apologies...” “I am sorry Sir...”

Norische shares a formal oriental style manner for asking a question:

"Please forgive this worthless creature for interrupting your most esteemed self. I beg that my ignorance does not shame my most honorable Master. I am ashamed that my ignorance is inconveniencing you in any manner, but I must beg for clarification on a command given to this worthless creature. Please I beg you Master, if you so desire and that I may serve you to the best of my ability, please inform me how you wish your slave to dress for the dinner party tonight?" Normally a question presented in such a formal manner is done so while the slave is on his or her knees with head bowed in humility. (Speech Training 8: Asking a Question)

As with all good communication, if you need clarification you can rephrase the Dominant’s request or ask for specific clarification on points mentioned.

Asking too many questions is a sign of inexperience or lack of confidence in your abilities. However, it is always favorable to ask questions than to make a mistake because you did not understand the request.