Different Strokes For Different Folks
In life, everything is subjective. There are very few things that are absolute or black and white. Almost everything you stumble across under the sun has some grey to it. Why would it be different in BDSM? We are a unique breed of humans, but not that unique. I am going to cover the basic D/s types of relationships.
What is the R-Word?
A relationship is the way two people regard or behave together or an emotional or sexual association between two people. Do you see how both definitions are similar yet very different? Emotional doesn’t mean sexual and sexual doesn’t always mean emotions are involved. Intimacy between two people is simply “closeness”. I never understood why people always relate that word to sex. Thank our public school system.
Romantic – Butterflies and Love
I cannot define anyone’s conception of romance. My conception is pretty twisted, in the most fun kinky way possible. To keep it open, a romantic relationship is “committed”. It may or may not be monogamous, that depends on the couple. Romantic BDSM types carry over from the bedroom or the scene to everyday life and interactions with each other. Just take the idea of normal love and romance and tie the knots of rules, discipline, dominance and submission. This is a dynamic based on love and commitment to each other. Sometimes this includes marriage, living together or traditional “dating”. Some of these dynamics are built online and physical contact is not a factor. The trust and intimate connection are fulfilling enough for them.
Some D/s couples may switch. Romantic relationship involves a deep-rooted sense of love and trust. They carry over the dynamic into their daily lives. The Dominant partner is “in charge” of the relationship. Depending on what the couple has agreed to, the Dominant partner may make the major decisions, decide what the submissive partner wears, what time they go to sleep, when they can use the bathroom, what they can watch on television, they may keep the sub on a set daily routine, they may lay out what the submissive is allowed to do or not do. Typically, there is a written agreement covering rules and consequences and commitments. Thats called a contract, my friends.
Not all romantic relationships are contractual. However, boundaries, limits and parameters should have been discussed and set.
This is where a lot of kinksters find their way. I always knew I became more “interested” in being committed to person when they displayed dominant qualities sexually. These qualities would peak my desire for a long-term commitment. As I got older, I learned that I enjoyed an “alternative” lifestyle, all the time. The desires stemmed from a sexual foundation and curiosity.
For some people, this may just entail domination and submission in a sexual fashion. Kinky play partners may just meet up for play time and the stipulations and negotiations of the dynamic stay in the bedroom and they resume normal life after their meeting, and all is well.
A lot of “normal” couples find they enjoy the D/s in a sexual fashion. They start small and before you know it, they end up like us. They may engage in power play when having sex and stop there. They will carry on their relationship with no particular person being “in charge” of the relationship.
Yes, this is in fact a thing. This is a relationship between two people that enjoy a D/s dynamic without romantic or sexual pretenses. They may enjoy doing scenes together or spending time together in D/s fashion, involving different act of “service”, admiration or care. Once again, this factor depends on the partners. The connection between platonic partners should not be discredited, because it requires the same level of communication, trust and vulnerability as people with romantic or sexual dynamics. In my opinion, it requires a little more trust than a romantic or sexual, but that’s just my opinion.
When platonic partners pre scene it’s still a very personal and intimate experience. There is a sense of care and connection associated with the act of Dominance and submission. One person may feel safe, relaxed and cared for while engaging, while the other may enjoy providing that form of attention or they may just enjoy the power behind it. Once again it depends on the partners. This is basically a form of a dynamic that involves some D/s just minus the romance or sex.
Your relationship with your person is simply that, yours. There doesn’t need to be a label so don’t stress yourself out over trying to determine what you have, if you don’t need to. Just hapily and consensually exist.
Some people don’t understand the difference between D/s roleplay and real-life D/s, this is just a simple and brief breakdown to help people better understand what they may want or are looking for.
I have known many “subs” get into a relationship fulltime with a Dom and flip out when the rules come down. They didn’t want a REAL TPE D/s relationship. They wanted submissive roleplay. Both partners didn’t discuss, negotiate or put boundaries up before making agreements. The submissive flakes out and leaves the Dom feeling like an ass.
For any type of D/s relationship there are three words I live by, TRUST, communication, and respect. Consent is a given, but the other three are the building blocks of me giving consent. If you do not trust the person you are playing with, it is probably not a good idea let them have you in vulnerable or compromising situations. How you determine if a person is worthy of trust is something you have to find on your own. Someone you may trust, very likely would be someone I don’t. (No offense- I just don’t trust most humans) So there is no way for me to teach you how to trust someone. I can suggest one thing, pay attention to the persons actions. By watching a person’s actions, in relation to what they say, you can determine if they are behaving in a way that one would consider trustworthy. Thats me though, part of not hearing well, means you have to become a skilled observer.
If there is no communication, you may get yourself into something that you don’t want to be in. I highly doubt any of us want to be Topping someone and accidentally cause emotional or physical harm to the person on the bottom. Accidents happen, but a lot of things can be avoided with concise conversation.
Speaking about things on an ongoing basis or directly up front will prevent that. Being vocal and expressing your needs or concerns is not being needy, it is being assertive and having value for yourself. If a person has a problem with that, politely tell them to “fuck off”. I know, I am ever so graceful and eloquent.
I aways say submission is a gift and should be treated with care and respect. If you know something bothers or hurts and person, don’t do it, no matter what their role is. If a person is giving you their body in any form, treat them with the care they deserve, before, during and after. It’s common decency. Respect is defined as: a deep admiration for a person, attentiveness, thoughtfulness and courtesy. I think that covers both roles view of D/s.
On the flip side, if someone is giving you the things you desire and crave, provide them the care they deserve before, during and after as well. Show your appreciation the best way you can within the limits and restrictions of your dynamic. Both roles deserve to feel attended to and cared for regardless of the “type” of dynamic they have.
Consent is always the foundation, but for me personally, the trust, communication, and respect are the building blocks. Without those things, your dungeon comes crashing down.