That being said, I occasionally receive questions from people new to D/s, and I have noticed similar veins in many of their questions. Thus, this page was born. Keep in mind that I have never claimed to be exceptionally knowledgeable on the subject of D/s--I am just flawed little me. With lots of opinions.
In order of appearance, the subjects on this page are:
Dominance and submission
Sub Frenzy--I Want it All Now
Relationships Based on Power Exchange
Bringing D/s into an established Relationship
Forming A New D/s Relationship
Master and slave, or, M/s as I Know It to Be
In the future, this page may be edited or modified.
Dominance and Submission
Quite simply, Dominance and submission is whatever the two of you want it to be. I see a lot of "if you don't do it like this or you're not like that, then you aren't in a real D/s relationship. It has to be 'just so,' etc." Personally, I think that's a crock.
Everyone has their ideas of what constitutes a D/s relationship and in the beginning, it's easy to fall into the belief that yours should mirror that of another. But really, it doesn't matter what works for me or what someone else thinks--it matter what works for you and the person you are with. Their opinion matters more than mine or anyone else's because they are the one you are exploring with. And at the end of the day, you are the ones who define who you are and what takes place in your relationship.
That said, weekend visits or an online relationship does not a slave create, just as weekend rentals do not an owner make. Or, as Alpha says in the case of ownership, just because you rent a Lamborghini for the weekend, does not mean that you can then go around saying that you own a Lamborghini.
Be realistic about what you want/need, and are willing to live with, and be honest with yourself about what works best for you and your life. Do not try to make yourself something you are not, only to find out that you do not want to be what you have become.
Dominance and submission can be a delicate dance, and while it may not be a typical relationship, it is still a relationship. Dominants are human with weaknesses and fears just like the rest of us, just as submissives are people with their own valid thoughts and ideas.
Like any relationship, one revolving around power exchange requires patience, communication, honesty, and trust; perhaps even more so.
D/s is about reaching for an unparalleled intimacy and stripping away layers until you know each other for who and what you really are. And it can be the ultimate battlefield of love and war, a dance of extremes, life in technicolor, and a feeling of really living that nothing else can offer, if this is the way you are wired.
I think it's important to acknowledge that fantasy and reality are not always compatible. What we think we want is not always as we thought it would be when said want comes into existence.
It is extremely important to evaluate the possible consequences of your actions before you act. Especially as a Dominant. It is not always about getting your way, and there may be times when you get your way, that it will not be at all what you thought you wanted.
Dominance is not just about exerting control over another human being--it is about taking a huge amount of responsibility for their life and looking out for their welfare at all times. Before diving in, it is important to assess whether or not you are willing to take on that amount of responsibility.
Controlling another human being is tricky business. First and foremost, it is based upon your control of yourself--if you cannot control yourself, you have no business in even attempting to control someone else.
This starts with you--your control of yourself, your expectations of yourself, the rules you follow yourself, the standards you hold yourself to, etc.
Control can be taken, but for D/s to survive over time, a submissive must surrender to your control of her own free will.
Be confident, but remember that you are not omnipotent. While competence is ultimately far more important than confidence, it is extremely difficult to obey and follow someone who is not confident in their actions and the path they choose to lead us down.
On the other hand, you are human, and you will make mistakes as humans do. The impact such events have on your relationship is largely based on how you deal with them--an admission of being wrong, and an apology go a lot further towards restoring trust than pretending that nothing went wrong in the first place.
Be consistent! I don't think that can be said too much.
Don't take her to task for something one day, and then let the same thing go unnoticed the next. Because she will notice. Promise. In the beginning especially, us subs often like to put a toe or two over the line in order to establish the validity of the line's existence. If a directive is not important enough for you to be consistent about, it is not important enough for her to follow.
She will test where exactly the boundaries are, and if those boundaries are constantly moving, she is not going to respect them.
Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
I think that this is very important--don't make threats that you are not willing to follow through on, don't make statements that you are not willing to back up with actions, and do not make promises that you cannot keep.
If you are going to control her, or hurt her, or do whatever your idea of D/s is, she must be able to place a great deal of trust in you. Trust isn't (and shouldn't), be given blindly. There has to be a basis for it--one which shows that submitting, for all its danger, is safe.
Base your Dominance on respect, not fear. Be someone that inspires the desire to submit.
Personally, I think that fear has its place, but...You don't want her to submit because she is afraid of you--you want her to submit because she respects you and you are worthy of that respect. And hopefully, because she discovers that she wants/needs it too, and has a desire to please you.
By the same token, if she believes that submitting to you means losing the respect you have for her, this road is probably going to lead to a dead-end. There are reasons that you love and live with this woman--you (hopefully), like her mind and respect her as a person. This has to show in your interactions.
Remember that you can do irreparable damage--both to your relationship, and to your partner.
Physical damage is a danger if you "play rough". But it is fairly easy to avoid with diligence and some gentle experimentation. The last thing you want to do is end up breaking her neck (I'm not joking. It has happened). Know your own strength, your "toys," and her physical limitations.
Psychological damage is more difficult to avoid, can be harder to immediately recognize, and has results that can be far more devastating than physical markings. If you damage her mind, you have done something with serious repercussions--you can't just put a band-aid on it and move on.
This is one of the reasons that taking things slowly is usually the best approach. And there's really no substitute for knowing someone well.
The submissive chooses over and over again to submit to the will of another, because that is what she desires/needs. Submitting isn't about obeying some omnipotent being because they make you do so, it's about yielding to the will of another because you have an inner compulsion to do so.
Choosing to be someone's submissive means that you will be submitting to the will of another. A concept that looks fine on paper, but which can present some challenges when put into practice.
Submission means that you will not be getting your way, it means that what you want is not, and never will be, of utmost importance. Submission is not about feeding your wants--it is about feeding his needs and desire. In return, your needs are met, and your being fulfilled to a previously unimaginable extent.
One cannot claim the title of submissive and question his every move, one cannot say that this is what they want and fight every step of the way, one cannot ask a man to Dominate them and refuse to submit.
While submission requires yielding to the will of another, it is a choice that does not absolve us of all personal responsibility--everything that goes wrong is not his fault, every time you stumble as a sub, you cannot lay the responsibility for your shortcomings at his feet.
If you do not communicate with him, he can't make an informed decision that is in the best interests of you and you relationship. The things he does or doesn't do, which you find to have an adverse impact, are not his fault if he doesn't have all the facts he needs in order to make the best decision possible.
Have reasonable expectations of yourself and your Dominant. He is not an all-powerful mind reader, and remember--if you cannot submit, he cannot Dominate.
To be submissive is to focus ones being on pleasing another. It is taking the desires of self and letting go of them in the interests of surrendering to the will of another. It is looking so deep inside yourself that you are afraid your demons will eat you. Then opening up the door and letting another human being walk inside and explore the secrets so dark that you're afraid to admit them to even yourself.
Often there is this feeling...The need to be conquered, overwhelm, overpowered, and taken beyond where one would normally be willing to go on one's own. And that's okay, but one cannot make their Dom fight for every little acquiescence--that is topping from the bottom, and is little more than paying lip service to the concept of submission.
A submissive yields with the goal of surrendering to her Dominant.
Sub Frenzy--I want it All Now
There is often something that happens when a woman first discovers that she has an interest in D/s--she wants it, she wants it now, and she wants it all. Now.
Sub frenzy is a craving, hunger like nothing ever felt before, an all consuming need for the experience of being consumed. It's like realizing that you have spent your whole life in the desert, and there's an oasis just beyond your grasp that could change the meaning of your very existence on this earth.
Know why you can't have that oasis right now? Because it takes time. The oasis is created one seedling, one grain of sand, cycle after cycle of day and night, one drop at a time. No matter what you think, or how you feel in this moment, you still have to learn how to swim before jumping into the water.
The oasis is soul-wrenchingly beautiful, and it harbors creatures as yet unknown and unseen. It will call to you and haunt your dreams, whispering of your true nature and the desires chewing at your soul.
In the beginning though, the oasis is merely a mirage. Making it a reality takes time.
Relationships Based on Power Exchange
To have a relationship based on an exchange of power, means that the big picture is much more about what happens in the mind than it is about what happens in the body.
Her mind is the prize, and ultimate goal.
It's easy to tie someone to a bed, it's simple to tell someone what to do, it's not difficult to fuck a woman to orgasm.
But that is because those are matters of the body.
It is not so easy to have the amount of control in her mind, that she will hold still without chains, that she will do as she knows you want because it has become part of who she is, that she cannot cum without your permission.
If you overlook her mind in your pursuit of physical activities, she might submit, but she will never actually surrender herself--because we are all made of more than just physical components.
The truth is, we have to live and function within reality. When you have kids and bills to pay and a job to go to, it's not practical to stay home all day and meet your Dominant at the door completely naked or spend your days chained to the bed.
Living D/s is about finding a way to successfully meld power exchange with the rest of one's life, in a way that works for both Dominant and submissive.
Bringing D/s Into an Established Relationship
I find a lot of blogs by submissives who introduce the idea of D/s into their relationships. The introduction is usually followed by an outpouring of "He's not doing it right! I wish He was more Dominant, etc." Having a few years to reflect on, I can see how ridiculous it was when I did it. Because hey, maybe He isn't doing it "right", this can be a learning curve for all of us, but we are the only ones who can really help Him figure it out. And more importantly? By doing it His way, He is being a Dominant. That was a really difficult thing for me to accept at first, that we would go His speed, His way. Looking back, the snail's pace He set was the best choice for us.That's not to say that if a "Dom" turns around on day or two and says "gang-bang time," you have to go with it because you asked Him to be Dominant. It's only going to work if the best interests of each of you, and your relationship is kept forefront.
There is also the fact that you have probably been together for a while and it can be hard when we change old patterns. Over time, we develop certain habits and ways of interacting with each other. When the balance of power shifts, we are forced to relearn our old thought patterns and ways of being within the relationship.
Adapting to D/s can be challenging, and it's important to accept that such adaptation takes time, and is not without challenges.
Forming A New D/s relationship
While this is a topic that I am not very comfortable with, given my lack of experience in this particular arena, I thought that it would at least be good to devote a paragraph to the subject.
I think that if one is seeking a power exchange relationship, it is important to search for someone with compatible needs and desires. Someone who hates pain is not going to thrive and be happy in a relationship with a sadist, a Dom who values control above all else is not as likely to find his needs met in a relationship with a sub who gets their rocks off with pain.
Be willing to take your time. D/s is a journey, an experience that improves the more you explore and the better you know your partner. Letting down walls does, and should, take time. It is in the removal of those walls where we make our most wondrous discoveries.
Not all Dominant's are worthy of submission, and not all submissives are capable of surrender.
Master and Slave, or, M/s as I Know it to Be
While every submissive has a little bit of slave in her, and every slave submits, there is a distinct difference between submissive and slave. I happen to have rather strong, and possibly offensive, opinions on the subject.
I firmly believe that one cannot call themselves a slave if they have the luxury of a weekend relationship. Slavery is living your life by another person's rules. It is not a Friday night encounter in a hotel room, it is not an online relationship, it is not the kind of relationship where you take time off or have the option to avoid something just because you don't like it.
Slavery is an agreement between two consenting adults, an agreement that the slave does not renege on or seek to manipulate for her own desires. It is accepting that one's only limits are the one's that he imposes. Being a slave is not about what you want, and you don't get to change the rules as you go.
Being a Master means taking responsibility for the well-being of another life, it is knowing when to put her needs above your own desires, knowing where the line is and can be moved to. It's about taking the time to know her, and having the self control allow power only the most beautiful and glorious of corruption--the kind that enrich both your lives and complete you as people.
M/s is a deeply intimate and personal experience. It is not a game, or an agreement to be entered into lightly. For those of us who live it, M/s is who we are--a cycle of power exchange that is woven through the fabric of our lives. It is accepting your darkest desires and sharing your unbridled truth. Always truth. There is no nakedness like that of a soul bared to the eyes of another.
Slavery is giving all that you think you have, and discovering that you are still required to surrender all that you are.
Alpha requested that I add a bit about what he calls cool down--most commonly known as aftercare. In other words, the importance of what happens after you "Play." This applies to both mental and physical activities.
How you take care of her afterwards will go a long way towards solidifying or damaging the relationship you are building. There can be quite a strong endorphin crash afterwards (for some it is immediate, for others it takes days to set in). Many of us submissives cannot engage in intense BDSM activities and simply walk it off on our own. Well, we can--but it tends to be a rather unpleasant, and sometimes lengthy, process.
If you hurt her, she needs to know that you are capable of kindness; if you humiliate her, she needs to know that you still respect her; if you control her, she needs to know that she has surrendered of her own free will.
It is often more about what you do after, than it is about the actual activities themselves. This is a symbiotic process in which one aspect cannot succeed without the other.
Alpha likens it to the creation of a samurai sword. A great deal of time and care goes into its creation, (we're not talking knock off brands here). The sword is carefully worked and reworked from raw materials into a weapon of unparalleled beauty and strength.
It is a combination of heat and cold that tempers the blade. Too hot, and the blade warps. Too cold, and it breaks.
A molecular change occurs in the tempering--just as with a submissive, there is a bonding and molding process that is essential to success. An exact and delicate combination of heat and cold creates the perfect blade--the cool-down process is critical.
When you take a submissive from "Hot" to "Cold" at the wrong pace, it comes with a mental crash that can take days to recover from.
"To fashion these blades, the smith not only must possess physical strength, but also patience, dexterity, and a refined eye for the limits of the material and the beauty of a finished sword."