I was replying to a comment this morning when I started thinking about the symbiosis of D/s, or I guess, any healthy relationship really (I am not trying to say that all D/s relationships are healthy, because I do not believe that they are).
To me, D/s, and S/m are expressions of symbiosis. If they aren't, then the relationship is not mutually beneficial.
I think that is one of the reasons that some people struggle so much in relationships where one partner identifies as Dominant or submissive, and the other partner attempts to fill the role created by the other's identity (I swear if you drink copious amounts of coffee and cross your eyes twice, that will probably make sense).
I thrive on Alpha's Dominance. It feeds my submission, which in turn increases my submission which feeds his Dominance and around we go. It makes us...Good.
Alpha has said that he wouldn't enjoy giving me pain if I didn't get off on it. And it's a funny circle itself because I can see it from a couple different angles of experience--in the beginning, I liked receiving pain and he would give it. But only because I liked it. Not because he enjoyed inflicting it. Then as time went by, he discovered that he liked giving it.
And I think that created a bit of internal conflict for him because we are taught that it is wrong to inflict pain on the people we love. And his sadistic streak turns out to run a bit deeper than either of us had previously thought. Though happily, we both find the control aspect of ttwd to be more attractive.
The thing is, it changed completely when he began to allow himself to enjoy giving the pain I wanted to receive. It became...Better. Like a form of symbiosis, my pleasure receiving fuels his pleasure inflicting pain, which in turn makes being on the receiving end far more expansive and enjoyable.
He doesn't like inflicting pain if it's not turning me on. I don't get as turned on unless he's getting off on giving it.
Some posts should probably not be written before the second cup of coffee...
If there was not some sort of symbiosis, ttwd would not be healthy. Any relationship that is not symbiotic loses its beneficial aspects. I think that's one of the key differences between abuse and BDSM (though that's a half written post of it's own)...