Posted 1 month ago
Online D/s Relationships - A Personal View
Some of the most common questions I receive surround online relationships between “Dominants” and “submissives,” whether they work, and how to go about having one. Before I launch into this I should preface my comments with the knowledge that I am personally in a long-distance D/s relationship that began with online interaction, grew into a real-life relationship, but that due to time and distance is sustained in-part by online interaction. So if at times I sound critical of online D/s relationships please realize that it is viewed through the lens of someone who is in one and is quite content with it. First lets examine what you can and cannot do and accomplish with online interaction.
The advantage of online interaction between a potential Dominant and submissive is that the anonymity afforded by the electronic medium allows people to open up and expose a side that might not otherwise come out in person. People seem to feel more comfortable allowing themselves to be vulnerable than they otherwise might in the perceived distance and safety of online communication. Somehow digital communication does not feel as real or as threatening as trying to approach topics of sexuality and social taboos such as Dominance and submission in person. People feel less judged.
But the anonymity that makes online D/s interaction perhaps more approachable is also its greatest pitfall. The distance and anonymity allows people, whatever their motivation, to be something other than their true selves. Whether it is outright lying about who and what they are or what their life circumstances might be, or just stretching the truth or fantasizing about how they might like to be, online interaction has an element of fantasy to it that can cloud what are perceived to be genuine interpersonal interactions. The obfuscation does not have to be maliciously intended to be deeply hurtful. So while online interaction allows us to be more open with others it also allows us to be something we are not, though perhaps unintentionally, and that hurts people.
Many in the D/s lifestyle look down their noses at online relationships in part because the preponderance of participants have no real experience in BDSM and in part because by their very nature, online D/s is more fantasy than reality. There is no doubt that online interaction between a Dominant and a submissive can be very mentally and emotionally stimulating and indeed the feelings they engender are very real. A person can indeed experience online some of the endorphin highs associated with romantic love and pornographic kink. I can also assure you that the pain of failed relationships or abusive behavior can feel every bit as real online as it does in person as well. People become very deeply emotionally invested in their online relationships and perhaps due to their fantasy nature they can take on an almost addictive quality. This is both the good and bad. One can have an intensely emotional relationship online but it can also be built on a mountain of falsehoods, misrepresentations, and the words of people who frankly do not even understand themselves.
In real life more than 80 percent of all interpersonal communication is non-verbal. We formulate opinions about others and what they are saying largely by things other than their words. In online interaction we remove 80 percent or more of our communication tools and rely only on what is being said without the benefit of tonal inflection, body language, eye contact, and other kinesthesics. Words can be misleading or deceiving, intentionally or otherwise, and it is words we have to rely on in online relationships. More than ever, words really matter here. So online relationships hold the potential for great pleasure and great pain depending on the intentions, honesty, ability and knowledge of the participants. It all comes down to character, but then being a Dominant or submissive is all about character.
Finally, we have to acknowledge that online interaction can only go so far. You can fantasize online with a D/s partner all you want about the scenes and BDSM play you might want to engage in but I assure you that telling someone how you would go at them with that particularly nasty 24-inch cowhide flogger has nothing in common with actually doing it…and especially receiving it! While you can achieve a certain level of submission and devotion through online interaction it is not the same as having a real live breathing person kneeling at your feet and the awesome responsibility carried with it. Trust me on this one. Many can talk about BDSM and pretend to do it online but when it comes to actually leaving the fantasy world and living it in person they find the intimidation to be too much. It is amazing how often I hear that a thriving online relationship comes to a screeching halt when a face-to-face meeting is planned. Being a Dominant or a submissive is both far more rewarding and far more difficult and challenging in real life than online. So let’s be honest, while there is a lot to be had in online D/s interaction, it is a fantasy experience compared to real life interaction, though I assure you that it can at times feel very, very real, both good and bad.
Online D/s is a bit like trying to have online sex really. You can talk about it all day long and even fantasize about it with another person, but nothing in that online communication can compare with the intimacy, vulnerability, sensation and yes even fumbling around of having actual sexual intercourse with a real person. In our online D/s fantasy, the rope is never too tight, limbs never go to sleep, skin is never unintentionally broken, pain is only imagined and not felt, the toys and devices always work, and the orgasms are perfectly timed and executed. Guess what folks? It aint that way in real life. It takes a lot of practice to be proficient in the arts and skills of BDSM and frankly it takes a fair amount of experience as partners together before things really click consistently. Reality is much more difficult and awkward than fantasy.
Okay so all of that said, there is not doubt that online D/s relationships can be a great deal of fun, can be very stimulating, intimate and rewarding, and can lead to a wonderful real life D/s partnership. I am living proof of that. I have never felt more intimately close to a person than I do with my Muse. So how does one go about finding someone who is capable and worthy of such an interaction, especially with so many wannabes, posers, narcissists, users, and even abusers out there? How does one ascertain that a so-called Dominant actually is dominant and not abusive and has some successful experience in the world of BDSM and D/s relationships? How does a Dominant determine that a submissive is indeed submissive and not someone who has been deeply damaged by life events and seeking love and acceptance in unhealthy ways? It is a minefield out there and because of the limitations of the online communication medium it is very difficult if not impossible to get it right the first time, or the second or third. Caution, patience, knowledge and self-awareness are keys to success.
So in evaluating would be or wannabe submissives and Dominants online my suggestion is that you think about how this dynamic might look in person. Approach this as though you were in a BDSM club or at a BDSM munch (non-play social gathering). Think about the types of people in the room and how they might behave and the cues you might use in evaluating one another as potential partners. It is quite similar online really, only a lot more difficult and time consuming to ferret out.
Lets look at finding potential Dominants. Clearly what a submissive is seeking is someone who is in control of and responsible for themselves and has the potential to project that same level of control and responsibility onto an other. A submissive seeks a trustworthy and respectable set of hands in which to place their submission. Someone who is both capable and firm, yet caring, has good social skills, and can empathize with and respect the power that might be handed to them.
So think about the kinds of Dominants that might be milling around the hypothetical social BDSM gathering. Would you go for the Dom who has all the most expensive leather attire complete with studs, body art and piercings who blusters around talking of their conquests and superior dominant abilities? Would you look to the Dominant who without preamble or prior relationship with a submissive begins ordering them around or touches them without permission? How about the Dominant who trundles his roller bag of toys and implements from submissive to submissive looking for a random play partner or unsuspecting newbie? Would you look to the Dominant who already has a collared submissive and seek to displace them or try to be another submissive in the harem? How about the Dominant who already has a submissive with them at the party but trolls around looking for more action? Or would you look to the Dominant who is chatting amiably with other Dominants and their submissives who perhaps looks at you and nods an acknowledgment without interrupting the conversation that they are already engaged in? Perhaps that subtle acknowledgement leads to a plain vanilla chat later in the party or perhaps a conversation at a future event?
In case you didn’t get it, the final answer is the correct one.
A submissive represents a significant investment of time, energy and mental effort on the part of a competent Dominant. They are not going to jump at the first person that comes along, are not going to act at the first encounter, and are definitely not going to respond favorably to a submissive who throws themselves at their feet. They know that such a submissive who kneels without knowing a Dominant will no doubt kneel for anyone. This is not worth having and a sure sign of a potential toxic relationship.
A competent and experienced Dominant will stand back and observe, assessing whether a submissive is worthy of the significant investment they would make. They know this is a long-term commitment and work to ensure that the chemistry, psychological and emotional makeup and desire is compatible, that there is indeed a spark, and that there is potential for the long haul. The method by which they do this will look rather vanilla in its approach. They will want to get to know a potential submissive, talk about all sorts of things having nothing to do with BDSM or D/s. They might even look like a vanilla friendship in the making long before any conversation turns to BDSM. They are sizing a submissive up and determining if there is a match. It takes time, patience, and repeated interaction. That is how a submissive and Dominant come to be D/s partners in real life. It should be the same online.
Looking at the other aforementioned Dominants at the hypothetical party, it is clear that one is a domineering and controlling narcissist, one has no consideration for social norms of the BDSM lifestyle or respect for submissives, one is just a player looking to get his rocks off, and the other displays no loyalty or respect for the submissive they already have, why would they respect another submissive? These are a few examples of the very same types of “Doms” commonly encountered online and ought to be avoided. You can tell them by their manner of communication with followers, other submissives, and how they present their public persona. To those who are experienced in BDSM the signs are obvious and perhaps a little obnoxious. 
Now lets look for a moment at the submissives at that same hypothetical BDSM social gathering. As a Dominant would you be attracted to a submissive who sits in the corner unable or unwilling to talk with anyone? Would you be interested in a submissive who approaches every dominant in the room seemingly physically or emotionally throwing themselves at the feet of each one? Would you look to the submissive who goes from conversation to conversation seemingly challenging the leadership or authority of each Dominant or attempting to upstage existing collared submissives in front of their Dominants? Would you be attracted to attention seeking or wallflower behaviors? Or would you look to the submissive who chats amiably and respectfully with both Dominants and submissives, who carries on intelligent conversations on both vanilla and D/s topics, appears at ease and comfortable with themselves? Perhaps that person makes eye contact a couple of times accompanied by a slight smile before bowing their head and averting their gaze.
If you missed it this time, the latter is the correct answer again.
A competent and experienced Dominant is not looking for a dishrag, play toy, sparring partner or show piece. They are looking for a healthy, independent, capable person to develop a relationship with. They want someone whose submission is of value. They want a relationship that is unique in that person’s life; they want to be the One and only One to whom that submissive would surrender. They are looking for a well-rounded and confident person who is interesting and engaging to be around. They are looking for intelligence and well-spoken interaction. They want to be impressed by the person who would kneel before them.
These are some of the hallmarks of successful interactions between would be D/s partners. The key is to forget the kink and potential play time for a while and focus on one another as people first. If someone fails to do that and jumps right to talk of kink or giving orders or promising training and collars and the like, they are suspect in my book as either a Dominant or submissive.
So how does one go about actually having an online D/s relationship? I can only share my personal experience.
The woman who eventually became my Muse approached me with a series of questions about D/s relationships to which I responded. That resulted in some additional correspondence back and forth on the topic of D/s which also strayed into some vanilla topics. The result was some ongoing messaging back and forth about life, interests, family, background, and a whole host of other non-BDSM topics. This went on for weeks and eventually became a daily correspondence. We became friends. After a month or two we eventually opened up with our identities, locations and pictures of ourselves. But at this point we were just friends who occasionally talked about fetishes and kink among all our vanilla conversations. It was a matter of months before any recognition dawned that we might actually like to pursue a D/s interaction with one another.
Once that dawning came for both of us, discussion ensued on how that might happen, how we would proceed, what that might mean. It was agreed that we would try an online Dominance and submission relationship. She physically knelt for me and asked if I would take her as my submissive to which I agreed. We began with small tasks. Things like taking pictures of herself (clothed and partially clothed initially) telling me what she sees in each that she likes most about herself and what she likes least. I would then respond with what I saw. The effort was geared toward teaching her to see herself as I see her, a beautiful and desirable woman, and for her to become more comforatable with herself and with being open and exposed emotionally and physically to me. It was an exercise in building trust.
Next we went on to sharing fantasies and fears. Eventually I had her complete a BDSM questionnaire and compared her answers to my own, openly ascertaining interests, mutual kinks and limits. Tasks were added over time including daily devotion pictures, a monthly video, learning positions and presentations, carrying out domestic tasks, etc. Often the tasks were in written form but physical tasks required verification or documentation in the form of pictures. We established a protocol of activities and behaviors governing our interaction. We corresponded daily and then hourly, then seemingly minute to minute. We became an integral part of each other’s days and nights. The tasks became more challenging over time and more sexually oriented. But underlying it all was a solid friendship and ongoing vanilla interaction that over time started to become something more. A matter of the heart.
Eventually it was determined that we needed to meet face-to-face and see if the chemistry we felt online could be translated into a real-time, real-life interaction. Our initial meeting was a success, and while it was extremely intimate it was in no way a D/s interaction. As with all things, we took our time and progressed slowly and with caution. Eventually, on future encounters with one another we began introducing more BDSM play into our intimacy and the hallmarks of a true power exchange relationship became manifest in the way we interacted, addressed one another, and went about our days. Our power exchange deepens with time, and the level of sophistication of our protocols and rituals grows with it. But everything has come slowly and methodically. We are growing together as Dominant and submissive and our bond grows ever stronger in the process.
Today my Muse wears my training collar and we are on a path of learning and training that it is hoped will lead to a permanent collar some day. But that is a long way off; not weeks or months, years. We have a hybrid relationship now, partially real-time face-to-face and partially online. Time, distance and life complications conspire to keep us in these circumstances for the foreseeable future. There is no preconceived outcome and we live each day with one another with intensity, gratitude and in the belief that we are on a permanent path together. We are loyal and devoted to one another.
That in a nutshell is how I approach online D/s interactions and some of the things I look for in a potential partner. It seems that I could write endlessly about this topic and frankly these are only a few of the high points, but I hope that it illustrates some the benefits and pitfalls of online communication and relationships. I have also written about precautions that should be taken when contemplating meeting face-to-face for the first time in an essay entitled "An Unshakeable Anger and Sadness" and recommend anyone take a look at this before actually meeting that online acquaintance for the first time.
Online D/s relationships can be intimate and exciting to the degree that they are carried out by responsible and honest people. At the same time, they should not be confused with or compared to real life BDSM interaction between healthy and caring adults. There is little comparison. However, in my experience the two can be used together as a hybrid real-time/online relationship that can be deeply rewarding and profoundly intimate. It all comes down to knowledge, character, honesty, desire, and communication ability. It is not easy, and sadly there are more wannabes than true devotees of D/s to be found, but it is possible and very worthwhile when done correctly and with integrity.
Best of luck on your own D/s journey.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive
Image Credit Unknown

Online D/s Relationships - A Personal View

Some of the most common questions I receive surround online relationships between “Dominants” and “submissives,” whether they work, and how to go about having one. Before I launch into this I should preface my comments with the knowledge that I am personally in a long-distance D/s relationship that began with online interaction, grew into a real-life relationship, but that due to time and distance is sustained in-part by online interaction. So if at times I sound critical of online D/s relationships please realize that it is viewed through the lens of someone who is in one and is quite content with it. First lets examine what you can and cannot do and accomplish with online interaction.

The advantage of online interaction between a potential Dominant and submissive is that the anonymity afforded by the electronic medium allows people to open up and expose a side that might not otherwise come out in person. People seem to feel more comfortable allowing themselves to be vulnerable than they otherwise might in the perceived distance and safety of online communication. Somehow digital communication does not feel as real or as threatening as trying to approach topics of sexuality and social taboos such as Dominance and submission in person. People feel less judged.

But the anonymity that makes online D/s interaction perhaps more approachable is also its greatest pitfall. The distance and anonymity allows people, whatever their motivation, to be something other than their true selves. Whether it is outright lying about who and what they are or what their life circumstances might be, or just stretching the truth or fantasizing about how they might like to be, online interaction has an element of fantasy to it that can cloud what are perceived to be genuine interpersonal interactions. The obfuscation does not have to be maliciously intended to be deeply hurtful. So while online interaction allows us to be more open with others it also allows us to be something we are not, though perhaps unintentionally, and that hurts people.

Many in the D/s lifestyle look down their noses at online relationships in part because the preponderance of participants have no real experience in BDSM and in part because by their very nature, online D/s is more fantasy than reality. There is no doubt that online interaction between a Dominant and a submissive can be very mentally and emotionally stimulating and indeed the feelings they engender are very real. A person can indeed experience online some of the endorphin highs associated with romantic love and pornographic kink. I can also assure you that the pain of failed relationships or abusive behavior can feel every bit as real online as it does in person as well. People become very deeply emotionally invested in their online relationships and perhaps due to their fantasy nature they can take on an almost addictive quality. This is both the good and bad. One can have an intensely emotional relationship online but it can also be built on a mountain of falsehoods, misrepresentations, and the words of people who frankly do not even understand themselves.

In real life more than 80 percent of all interpersonal communication is non-verbal. We formulate opinions about others and what they are saying largely by things other than their words. In online interaction we remove 80 percent or more of our communication tools and rely only on what is being said without the benefit of tonal inflection, body language, eye contact, and other kinesthesics. Words can be misleading or deceiving, intentionally or otherwise, and it is words we have to rely on in online relationships. More than ever, words really matter here. So online relationships hold the potential for great pleasure and great pain depending on the intentions, honesty, ability and knowledge of the participants. It all comes down to character, but then being a Dominant or submissive is all about character.

Finally, we have to acknowledge that online interaction can only go so far. You can fantasize online with a D/s partner all you want about the scenes and BDSM play you might want to engage in but I assure you that telling someone how you would go at them with that particularly nasty 24-inch cowhide flogger has nothing in common with actually doing it…and especially receiving it! While you can achieve a certain level of submission and devotion through online interaction it is not the same as having a real live breathing person kneeling at your feet and the awesome responsibility carried with it. Trust me on this one. Many can talk about BDSM and pretend to do it online but when it comes to actually leaving the fantasy world and living it in person they find the intimidation to be too much. It is amazing how often I hear that a thriving online relationship comes to a screeching halt when a face-to-face meeting is planned. Being a Dominant or a submissive is both far more rewarding and far more difficult and challenging in real life than online. So let’s be honest, while there is a lot to be had in online D/s interaction, it is a fantasy experience compared to real life interaction, though I assure you that it can at times feel very, very real, both good and bad.

Online D/s is a bit like trying to have online sex really. You can talk about it all day long and even fantasize about it with another person, but nothing in that online communication can compare with the intimacy, vulnerability, sensation and yes even fumbling around of having actual sexual intercourse with a real person. In our online D/s fantasy, the rope is never too tight, limbs never go to sleep, skin is never unintentionally broken, pain is only imagined and not felt, the toys and devices always work, and the orgasms are perfectly timed and executed. Guess what folks? It aint that way in real life. It takes a lot of practice to be proficient in the arts and skills of BDSM and frankly it takes a fair amount of experience as partners together before things really click consistently. Reality is much more difficult and awkward than fantasy.

Okay so all of that said, there is not doubt that online D/s relationships can be a great deal of fun, can be very stimulating, intimate and rewarding, and can lead to a wonderful real life D/s partnership. I am living proof of that. I have never felt more intimately close to a person than I do with my Muse. So how does one go about finding someone who is capable and worthy of such an interaction, especially with so many wannabes, posers, narcissists, users, and even abusers out there? How does one ascertain that a so-called Dominant actually is dominant and not abusive and has some successful experience in the world of BDSM and D/s relationships? How does a Dominant determine that a submissive is indeed submissive and not someone who has been deeply damaged by life events and seeking love and acceptance in unhealthy ways? It is a minefield out there and because of the limitations of the online communication medium it is very difficult if not impossible to get it right the first time, or the second or third. Caution, patience, knowledge and self-awareness are keys to success.

So in evaluating would be or wannabe submissives and Dominants online my suggestion is that you think about how this dynamic might look in person. Approach this as though you were in a BDSM club or at a BDSM munch (non-play social gathering). Think about the types of people in the room and how they might behave and the cues you might use in evaluating one another as potential partners. It is quite similar online really, only a lot more difficult and time consuming to ferret out.

Lets look at finding potential Dominants. Clearly what a submissive is seeking is someone who is in control of and responsible for themselves and has the potential to project that same level of control and responsibility onto an other. A submissive seeks a trustworthy and respectable set of hands in which to place their submission. Someone who is both capable and firm, yet caring, has good social skills, and can empathize with and respect the power that might be handed to them.

So think about the kinds of Dominants that might be milling around the hypothetical social BDSM gathering. Would you go for the Dom who has all the most expensive leather attire complete with studs, body art and piercings who blusters around talking of their conquests and superior dominant abilities? Would you look to the Dominant who without preamble or prior relationship with a submissive begins ordering them around or touches them without permission? How about the Dominant who trundles his roller bag of toys and implements from submissive to submissive looking for a random play partner or unsuspecting newbie? Would you look to the Dominant who already has a collared submissive and seek to displace them or try to be another submissive in the harem? How about the Dominant who already has a submissive with them at the party but trolls around looking for more action? Or would you look to the Dominant who is chatting amiably with other Dominants and their submissives who perhaps looks at you and nods an acknowledgment without interrupting the conversation that they are already engaged in? Perhaps that subtle acknowledgement leads to a plain vanilla chat later in the party or perhaps a conversation at a future event?

In case you didn’t get it, the final answer is the correct one.

A submissive represents a significant investment of time, energy and mental effort on the part of a competent Dominant. They are not going to jump at the first person that comes along, are not going to act at the first encounter, and are definitely not going to respond favorably to a submissive who throws themselves at their feet. They know that such a submissive who kneels without knowing a Dominant will no doubt kneel for anyone. This is not worth having and a sure sign of a potential toxic relationship.

A competent and experienced Dominant will stand back and observe, assessing whether a submissive is worthy of the significant investment they would make. They know this is a long-term commitment and work to ensure that the chemistry, psychological and emotional makeup and desire is compatible, that there is indeed a spark, and that there is potential for the long haul. The method by which they do this will look rather vanilla in its approach. They will want to get to know a potential submissive, talk about all sorts of things having nothing to do with BDSM or D/s. They might even look like a vanilla friendship in the making long before any conversation turns to BDSM. They are sizing a submissive up and determining if there is a match. It takes time, patience, and repeated interaction. That is how a submissive and Dominant come to be D/s partners in real life. It should be the same online.

Looking at the other aforementioned Dominants at the hypothetical party, it is clear that one is a domineering and controlling narcissist, one has no consideration for social norms of the BDSM lifestyle or respect for submissives, one is just a player looking to get his rocks off, and the other displays no loyalty or respect for the submissive they already have, why would they respect another submissive? These are a few examples of the very same types of “Doms” commonly encountered online and ought to be avoided. You can tell them by their manner of communication with followers, other submissives, and how they present their public persona. To those who are experienced in BDSM the signs are obvious and perhaps a little obnoxious. 

Now lets look for a moment at the submissives at that same hypothetical BDSM social gathering. As a Dominant would you be attracted to a submissive who sits in the corner unable or unwilling to talk with anyone? Would you be interested in a submissive who approaches every dominant in the room seemingly physically or emotionally throwing themselves at the feet of each one? Would you look to the submissive who goes from conversation to conversation seemingly challenging the leadership or authority of each Dominant or attempting to upstage existing collared submissives in front of their Dominants? Would you be attracted to attention seeking or wallflower behaviors? Or would you look to the submissive who chats amiably and respectfully with both Dominants and submissives, who carries on intelligent conversations on both vanilla and D/s topics, appears at ease and comfortable with themselves? Perhaps that person makes eye contact a couple of times accompanied by a slight smile before bowing their head and averting their gaze.

If you missed it this time, the latter is the correct answer again.

A competent and experienced Dominant is not looking for a dishrag, play toy, sparring partner or show piece. They are looking for a healthy, independent, capable person to develop a relationship with. They want someone whose submission is of value. They want a relationship that is unique in that person’s life; they want to be the One and only One to whom that submissive would surrender. They are looking for a well-rounded and confident person who is interesting and engaging to be around. They are looking for intelligence and well-spoken interaction. They want to be impressed by the person who would kneel before them.

These are some of the hallmarks of successful interactions between would be D/s partners. The key is to forget the kink and potential play time for a while and focus on one another as people first. If someone fails to do that and jumps right to talk of kink or giving orders or promising training and collars and the like, they are suspect in my book as either a Dominant or submissive.

So how does one go about actually having an online D/s relationship? I can only share my personal experience.

The woman who eventually became my Muse approached me with a series of questions about D/s relationships to which I responded. That resulted in some additional correspondence back and forth on the topic of D/s which also strayed into some vanilla topics. The result was some ongoing messaging back and forth about life, interests, family, background, and a whole host of other non-BDSM topics. This went on for weeks and eventually became a daily correspondence. We became friends. After a month or two we eventually opened up with our identities, locations and pictures of ourselves. But at this point we were just friends who occasionally talked about fetishes and kink among all our vanilla conversations. It was a matter of months before any recognition dawned that we might actually like to pursue a D/s interaction with one another.

Once that dawning came for both of us, discussion ensued on how that might happen, how we would proceed, what that might mean. It was agreed that we would try an online Dominance and submission relationship. She physically knelt for me and asked if I would take her as my submissive to which I agreed. We began with small tasks. Things like taking pictures of herself (clothed and partially clothed initially) telling me what she sees in each that she likes most about herself and what she likes least. I would then respond with what I saw. The effort was geared toward teaching her to see herself as I see her, a beautiful and desirable woman, and for her to become more comforatable with herself and with being open and exposed emotionally and physically to me. It was an exercise in building trust.

Next we went on to sharing fantasies and fears. Eventually I had her complete a BDSM questionnaire and compared her answers to my own, openly ascertaining interests, mutual kinks and limits. Tasks were added over time including daily devotion pictures, a monthly video, learning positions and presentations, carrying out domestic tasks, etc. Often the tasks were in written form but physical tasks required verification or documentation in the form of pictures. We established a protocol of activities and behaviors governing our interaction. We corresponded daily and then hourly, then seemingly minute to minute. We became an integral part of each other’s days and nights. The tasks became more challenging over time and more sexually oriented. But underlying it all was a solid friendship and ongoing vanilla interaction that over time started to become something more. A matter of the heart.

Eventually it was determined that we needed to meet face-to-face and see if the chemistry we felt online could be translated into a real-time, real-life interaction. Our initial meeting was a success, and while it was extremely intimate it was in no way a D/s interaction. As with all things, we took our time and progressed slowly and with caution. Eventually, on future encounters with one another we began introducing more BDSM play into our intimacy and the hallmarks of a true power exchange relationship became manifest in the way we interacted, addressed one another, and went about our days. Our power exchange deepens with time, and the level of sophistication of our protocols and rituals grows with it. But everything has come slowly and methodically. We are growing together as Dominant and submissive and our bond grows ever stronger in the process.

Today my Muse wears my training collar and we are on a path of learning and training that it is hoped will lead to a permanent collar some day. But that is a long way off; not weeks or months, years. We have a hybrid relationship now, partially real-time face-to-face and partially online. Time, distance and life complications conspire to keep us in these circumstances for the foreseeable future. There is no preconceived outcome and we live each day with one another with intensity, gratitude and in the belief that we are on a permanent path together. We are loyal and devoted to one another.

That in a nutshell is how I approach online D/s interactions and some of the things I look for in a potential partner. It seems that I could write endlessly about this topic and frankly these are only a few of the high points, but I hope that it illustrates some the benefits and pitfalls of online communication and relationships. I have also written about precautions that should be taken when contemplating meeting face-to-face for the first time in an essay entitled "An Unshakeable Anger and Sadness" and recommend anyone take a look at this before actually meeting that online acquaintance for the first time.

Online D/s relationships can be intimate and exciting to the degree that they are carried out by responsible and honest people. At the same time, they should not be confused with or compared to real life BDSM interaction between healthy and caring adults. There is little comparison. However, in my experience the two can be used together as a hybrid real-time/online relationship that can be deeply rewarding and profoundly intimate. It all comes down to knowledge, character, honesty, desire, and communication ability. It is not easy, and sadly there are more wannabes than true devotees of D/s to be found, but it is possible and very worthwhile when done correctly and with integrity.

Best of luck on your own D/s journey.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive

Image Credit Unknown

Posted 1 month ago

The Faces of D/s

These two images have been sitting side-by-side on my computer desktop for some time now waiting for me to formulate my thoughts around them. I had placed them there because the juxtaposition of the two spoke to me in some way that I could not quite put my finger on. However, as so often happens, a conversation with my Muse coalesced the essence of where my mind was with these seemingly unrelated images. The faces of D/s, and how dependent they are one another.

Many curious newcomers to D/s are initially attracted by the lure of kink and the perception of power. In effect they are drawn by the BDSM play depicted by the likes of the bottom image. There is nothing wrong with this in principle, for there are many people who participate in the leather scene who are scene players but not particularly interested in having a deeply intimate relationship with anyone. But frankly that is the minority of the leather community in my experience. Most are interested in something far deeper and intimate, for some even spiritual; the intense bond between two people that can occur within a power exchange relationship.

D/s, like most everything else, is a compromise. It is also a collaboration, and an agreement. Few are the submissives who will throw themselves at the feet of anyone and everyone desiring to tie them up, flog them or have kinky sex with them simply because the sub has an undeniable urge to do so. That’s really not how this works and yet that seems to be the fantasy with which many would be Doms approach D/s. The reality is something much more complex, something that takes much more work. You don’t get something for nothing.

The reality is that while D/s, among other things, may be an agreement between two partners to exchange power to one degree or another, there is something (often many things) given in equal measure in return. At its core, regardless of how it may be dressed up and disguised, what the Dominant gives the submissive in return for power is trust, acceptance, and devotion. Above all, trust.

Trust; even the most devoutly submissive among us cannot tap their well of submissiveness without it. It is trust that allows vulnerability and vulnerability that enables submissiveness. And it is not just trust that a submissive will not be harmed physically in kinky play, it is real trust; emotional trust. A submissive needs to feel that they have a physically, emotionally and spiritually safe place where they can be comfortable exposing their most secret and fragile selves, break through social barriers and sexual taboos, and just be who they are at the very core of their being.

This is the ultimate intimacy where a submissive’s walls, armor and battlements, consciously and unconsciously erected over the course of lifetime in reaction to hurts and harms, are methodically torn down. They are emotionally stripped and laid bare in utmost vulnerability; the physical manifestations of bondage are but a metaphor for the deeper emotional vulnerability that lies beneath. Their very core is exposed and raw. Here, in this profoundly vulnerable state a submissive can be either healed and grow or be destroyed; it can be a transformative and cathartic experience or a life shattering one. In many respects, a submissive’s fate literally rests in the hands of a Dominant. 

The power exchanged in D/s is not just the power to command in overt and kinky ways. Indeed the real power that is exchanged is the power to probe and delve deeply into the heart, mind and soul of a submissive. The power to be allowed to touch all those emotional and spiritual cuts and bruises, explore them, play with them, and perhaps even heal them. It is the ultimate trust.

So the hard work of the Dominant is to continually build the trust that enables the vulnerability and thus the deepest submission and exchange of power. We do that through acting with unwavering honesty, consistency, and selflessness. We create structure and order and not only demand compliance but live it ourselves. We act with integrity and show undying devotion. We accept and never ridicule. We encourage and praise. We seek the greater good for our submissive even at the sacrifice of ourselves. In doing these things, doing them well and consistently, we exude love, acceptance, devotion and above all we earn trust. The better we do these and many other things as Dominants, the deeper the submission and the greater the power vested in us.

So look to the images above, they could so easily be of my Muse and I and the faces of our relationship. There is trust and love and devotion. There is power and vulnerability, sensuality and intimacy, sexuality and kink, command and obedience. All the colors of the emotional and sexual rainbow are there in vast quantities. But it takes the intimacy and trust of the top image to be able to have the vulnerability and obedience of the bottom one. It is after all a power “exchange” not a power “gift.” The more we as Dominants give selflessly of ourselves, the more we get in return.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013

First Image © Elizabeth Messina

Second Image © TheTrainingofO.com

Posted 1 month ago
First Things First - A BDSM Checklist
Recently I have received a series of private messages and asks from submissives outlining circumstances in which they are uncomfortable with, or in some cases downright frightened by something their Dominant has done or asked of them. The specific circumstances are not important but in all cases they are beyond the comfort zone of the submissive and at times have lead to some most unfortunate outcomes. These misfortunes range from physical harm to emotional anguish to damage of physical property. In nearly every case there is wreckage of some kind left behind and were it not for some good fortune and providence the circumstances and outcomes could have been far worse.
Are these unfortunate, uncomfortable and sometimes tragic instances simply a matter of bad Doms behaving badly? Sometimes they most certainly are. Other times they are a matter of ignorance and miscommunication. Still others result from a mismatch between the Dominant and their desires and the submissive and their comfort zones and desires. Sometimes these instances are the product of what I would consider to be an abusive or manipulative person thinking themselves to be a Dominant paired with a hungry and craving submissive with little or no knowledge or understanding of what constitutes a healthy D/s relationship. In any event, the outcomes can be tragic and it is painful and difficult to stand by and watch objectively and without judgement.
One of the most common threads I hear in the description of these unfortunate circumstances might go as follows: “I am a submissive and am collared by my Dom. We have been together for a few months and I am deeply in love with him. But recently he did [insert uncomfortable or unsafe act] and told me to do [insert additional uncomfortable or unacceptable act] and it resulted in [insert unfortunate and unnecessary disastrous outcome]. I don’t know how to feel about this and I know that my Dom is always right and that I should be grateful for his guidance, but this just does not feel good. Should I be mad? Am I allowed to be mad? Should he take some responsibility for the outcome? How can I talk to my Dom about this? When I try he gets angry and tells me that I am to do as I am told or can find another Dom.”
Sound familiar? If it does, you should be concerned. Very. There are so many alarm bells in that short description it is difficult to know where to begin and yet I hear similar tales over and over again.
Let’s begin with the description of the relationship itself; a submissive that has been with their Dom for a few months and is collared. Right away this tells me that neither the Dom nor the submissive have much experience in the BDSM lifestyle and are shooting from the hip. As I have said in my post on collars and collaring, having someone physically strap a collar around your neck does not make them a Dom and you a submissive. The process that leads to a permanent collar and the powerful relationship it embodies is a long, difficult and involved one. It takes years, not weeks or months.
Second, a Dom is not omnipotent and not always right. They have a deep responsibility to communicate openly and effectively with their submissive and listen and weigh concerns carefully. Even in a 24/7 TPE where all authority is ceded to the Master, there must be an effective means of raising issues and concerns and addressing them. “I am the Dom and you do whatever I say” is not the way this works and is a sign of a controlling and domineering person and not a competent and caring Dominant. A Dominant is granted tremendous power by a submissive but with it comes equally tremendous responsibility. You don’t get the power for nothing.
One of the first things I ask of the submissive writing me about these circumstances is whether the unacceptable action or demand on the part of their Dominant was within the scope of what had been previously agreed to under a pre-scene or BDSM questionnaire and subsequent agreement. Was the action or circumstance within the hard limits established within the relationship? Were your known boundaries exceeded or broken? The answer I almost universally receive is as shocking as it is tragic and goes something like this: “I am collared by my Dom and he is training me now. We have not gotten to the point where we have discussed hard limits or developed any agreement but I am sure we will in time.”
STOP! HOLD THE PHONE!!! CEASE AND DISIST!!!!!
You mean to tell me that you are putting your safety and life in someone else’s hands, a person who apparently has little or no experience in the BDSM lifestyle, and you have not examined or discussed your interests, desires, fears, concerns, and established hard limits? You are just blindly expecting that this “Dom” will always do the right thing as you see it and will never exceed your boundaries when none have been set? You are going to let someone do whatever they want to you (apparently out of their own self-interest) in the name of “training” and then sort it all out later? Does this even make sense?
Lets then look at what happens under the scenario above when the submissive goes back to this “Dom” and tries to communicate their concerns about what has happened. They are shut down. Worse, and perhaps possibly most tragically, their worst fear as a submissive is played upon and they are threatened with rejection and abandonment. This is not dominance, it is manipulation. And it is tragic.
There is so much wrong in this overall scenario it is difficult to cover it in a short blog entry. So I am going to focus on one thing that might help prevent some of these events from happening and might weed out some of the most ignorant or self-serving of would be Doms; the BDSM Checklist.
The BDSM Checklist
Before anyone, anywhere, engages in any form of power exchange or BDSM activity, a thorough BDSM checklist should be completed by both parties and the contents openly and honestly exchanged and discussed with one another. It is only through this exercise that both the potential Dominant and submissive can understand where each other’s desires, fears, demands, and limits are. It is here where mutual kinks will emerge and more importantly where significant mismatches may become apparent between the desires and demands of one and the fears and limits of the other. From these mismatches emerge the most important of boundaries and hard limits.
For example, one serious mismatch of expectations where no limits had been discussed and the result was near tragedy involved a “Dom” who demanded that his submissive go unaccompanied to a bar, find a random male, and sleep with them. This was done as a “punishment” for some unspecified offense because “slapping your ass does not seem to be doing the job.” The submissive dutifully followed through despite the fact that she was absolutely opposed to sleeping with someone else, especially a random person entirely unknown to her and unsupervised or protected by her Dom. Predictably the outcome was not good. When she attempted to discuss the matter with her “Dom” he shut her down and took no responsibility for the outcome.
There is much that is wrong with this scenario from a safety, common sense, and responsibility standpoint. But for the purposes of this discussion I want to focus on the fact that the notion of introducing others into the D/s relationship in question, let alone random strangers, had never been discussed let alone agreed to. Indeed, there had never been an effort made to examine any likes, dislikes and limits between the Dom and submissive despite the fact that they had been together for months and engaging in obviously significant power exchange activities in the name of “training.” Folks, this kind of behavior is wrong, it is dangerous and will end in broken hearts, damaged psyches, and possibly physical harm or death.
A BDSM checklist is crucial to understanding the boundaries of the playground a Dominant and submissive intend to romp in. Without it they are quickly going to find themselves playing out in the street in the middle of traffic. They will get run over eventually. In any potential D/s relationship, once an interest between two people is established one of the very first things they need to do is complete a BDSM checklist and walk through it item-by-item, honestly and openly comparing outcomes with one another. The purpose is to come to an understanding of the things each person likes/loves, the things they have never done before, where they might like to explore more, things that should be avoided, triggers that should be considered and avoided, limits that need to be established, and practical matters like STDs, birth control, involvement of others, what will be done in public versus private, personal security and anonymity, safe words, considerations for family and childrearing necessities, and a host of other matters. These things MUST be identified, discussed and agreed to BEFORE ever exchanging the first iota of power or playing the first mild scene together.
As a Dominant I would never consider “stepping into the ring” with a submissive for even a time-delimited play session, let alone a long-term relationship without having undertaken this exercise. It is just about the first thing I do with a submissive who has expressed interest in giving herself to me. This is not only for her protection but for my own peace of mind and ability to be effective. If I do not know what turns a submissive on, what she is curious about but too shy to try, what scares her, what life traumas might lead to an in-scene trigger, and what hard limits I need to avoid, I am stabbing blindly in the dark and hoping for the best. My chances of success as a Dominant are slim. After all, the greatest role a Dominant plays is in exploring the mind of a submissive, for it is there that her submission stems. If I have no insight whatsoever into how that mind thinks, I have no tools with which to work. I literally have both hands tied behind my back.
Every competent and respectable Dominant and Master I have met uses some form of process to examine these important facets of their submissive and share their own perspectives as well to arrive at a mutual understanding and trust as the basis of their relationship. I am not sure how a consensual and informed BDSM relationship can exist in the absence of such an undertaking.
There are many sources of good BDSM checklists both in print and online. One of the most readily accessible and comprehensive is the checklist contained in the book “Screw The Roses, Send Me The Thorns” by Phillip Miller and Molly Devon. Another is contained in the recently published book “BDSM - The Naked Truth” by Dr. Charley Ferrer. I personally use one that I have adapted and expanded based on the Screw The Roses checklist. These lists can be long or short, and many pre-scene questionnaires used in lifestyle clubs and the like are fairly brief but then it is assumed that experienced players will be involved so they tend to only cover hard limits. This is not enough for a relationship. I recommend that for less experienced devotees and those desiring to engage in a D/s relationship that the more extensive the questionnaire the better. There is no way a newcomer can possibly anticipate everything that should be considered on their own and this is where some of the more extensive checklists become invaluable in getting one to think about and contemplate things that might never have occurred to them before.
Use these checklists, think hard about the issues they raise and how you feel about them. Check your egos at the door and take the time to understand your likes and limits and those of your partner. It is important to point out that limits are not just things you won’t do, but also things you have no experience in. As a Dominant, if you have no training or experience in various risky activities, do not use you submissive as a guinea pig. Seek guidance from experienced devotees and practitioners. Investing the time, care and energy in this simple but crucial step will greatly enhance the likelihood of a successful and pleasing D/s partnership and reduce the possibility of misunderstanding, pain and hurt. And frankly, anyone claiming to be a Dom who does not feel the need to take these important steps should be viewed with some additional scrutiny and concern. If they are not willing or even aware of the need to communicate at the outset, it is unlikely they will communicate openly and fairly when the chips are down and there is pain and suffering all around. Above all, do not place your safety and life in the hands of someone who has no idea of your needs, desires and limits and does not display the care to find out.
Be careful, be diligent, communicate, set boundaries and live by them.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013
Image Credit Unknown

First Things First - A BDSM Checklist

Recently I have received a series of private messages and asks from submissives outlining circumstances in which they are uncomfortable with, or in some cases downright frightened by something their Dominant has done or asked of them. The specific circumstances are not important but in all cases they are beyond the comfort zone of the submissive and at times have lead to some most unfortunate outcomes. These misfortunes range from physical harm to emotional anguish to damage of physical property. In nearly every case there is wreckage of some kind left behind and were it not for some good fortune and providence the circumstances and outcomes could have been far worse.

Are these unfortunate, uncomfortable and sometimes tragic instances simply a matter of bad Doms behaving badly? Sometimes they most certainly are. Other times they are a matter of ignorance and miscommunication. Still others result from a mismatch between the Dominant and their desires and the submissive and their comfort zones and desires. Sometimes these instances are the product of what I would consider to be an abusive or manipulative person thinking themselves to be a Dominant paired with a hungry and craving submissive with little or no knowledge or understanding of what constitutes a healthy D/s relationship. In any event, the outcomes can be tragic and it is painful and difficult to stand by and watch objectively and without judgement.

One of the most common threads I hear in the description of these unfortunate circumstances might go as follows: “I am a submissive and am collared by my Dom. We have been together for a few months and I am deeply in love with him. But recently he did [insert uncomfortable or unsafe act] and told me to do [insert additional uncomfortable or unacceptable act] and it resulted in [insert unfortunate and unnecessary disastrous outcome]. I don’t know how to feel about this and I know that my Dom is always right and that I should be grateful for his guidance, but this just does not feel good. Should I be mad? Am I allowed to be mad? Should he take some responsibility for the outcome? How can I talk to my Dom about this? When I try he gets angry and tells me that I am to do as I am told or can find another Dom.”

Sound familiar? If it does, you should be concerned. Very. There are so many alarm bells in that short description it is difficult to know where to begin and yet I hear similar tales over and over again.

Let’s begin with the description of the relationship itself; a submissive that has been with their Dom for a few months and is collared. Right away this tells me that neither the Dom nor the submissive have much experience in the BDSM lifestyle and are shooting from the hip. As I have said in my post on collars and collaring, having someone physically strap a collar around your neck does not make them a Dom and you a submissive. The process that leads to a permanent collar and the powerful relationship it embodies is a long, difficult and involved one. It takes years, not weeks or months.

Second, a Dom is not omnipotent and not always right. They have a deep responsibility to communicate openly and effectively with their submissive and listen and weigh concerns carefully. Even in a 24/7 TPE where all authority is ceded to the Master, there must be an effective means of raising issues and concerns and addressing them. “I am the Dom and you do whatever I say” is not the way this works and is a sign of a controlling and domineering person and not a competent and caring Dominant. A Dominant is granted tremendous power by a submissive but with it comes equally tremendous responsibility. You don’t get the power for nothing.

One of the first things I ask of the submissive writing me about these circumstances is whether the unacceptable action or demand on the part of their Dominant was within the scope of what had been previously agreed to under a pre-scene or BDSM questionnaire and subsequent agreement. Was the action or circumstance within the hard limits established within the relationship? Were your known boundaries exceeded or broken? The answer I almost universally receive is as shocking as it is tragic and goes something like this: “I am collared by my Dom and he is training me now. We have not gotten to the point where we have discussed hard limits or developed any agreement but I am sure we will in time.”

STOP! HOLD THE PHONE!!! CEASE AND DISIST!!!!!

You mean to tell me that you are putting your safety and life in someone else’s hands, a person who apparently has little or no experience in the BDSM lifestyle, and you have not examined or discussed your interests, desires, fears, concerns, and established hard limits? You are just blindly expecting that this “Dom” will always do the right thing as you see it and will never exceed your boundaries when none have been set? You are going to let someone do whatever they want to you (apparently out of their own self-interest) in the name of “training” and then sort it all out later? Does this even make sense?

Lets then look at what happens under the scenario above when the submissive goes back to this “Dom” and tries to communicate their concerns about what has happened. They are shut down. Worse, and perhaps possibly most tragically, their worst fear as a submissive is played upon and they are threatened with rejection and abandonment. This is not dominance, it is manipulation. And it is tragic.

There is so much wrong in this overall scenario it is difficult to cover it in a short blog entry. So I am going to focus on one thing that might help prevent some of these events from happening and might weed out some of the most ignorant or self-serving of would be Doms; the BDSM Checklist.

The BDSM Checklist

Before anyone, anywhere, engages in any form of power exchange or BDSM activity, a thorough BDSM checklist should be completed by both parties and the contents openly and honestly exchanged and discussed with one another. It is only through this exercise that both the potential Dominant and submissive can understand where each other’s desires, fears, demands, and limits are. It is here where mutual kinks will emerge and more importantly where significant mismatches may become apparent between the desires and demands of one and the fears and limits of the other. From these mismatches emerge the most important of boundaries and hard limits.

For example, one serious mismatch of expectations where no limits had been discussed and the result was near tragedy involved a “Dom” who demanded that his submissive go unaccompanied to a bar, find a random male, and sleep with them. This was done as a “punishment” for some unspecified offense because “slapping your ass does not seem to be doing the job.” The submissive dutifully followed through despite the fact that she was absolutely opposed to sleeping with someone else, especially a random person entirely unknown to her and unsupervised or protected by her Dom. Predictably the outcome was not good. When she attempted to discuss the matter with her “Dom” he shut her down and took no responsibility for the outcome.

There is much that is wrong with this scenario from a safety, common sense, and responsibility standpoint. But for the purposes of this discussion I want to focus on the fact that the notion of introducing others into the D/s relationship in question, let alone random strangers, had never been discussed let alone agreed to. Indeed, there had never been an effort made to examine any likes, dislikes and limits between the Dom and submissive despite the fact that they had been together for months and engaging in obviously significant power exchange activities in the name of “training.” Folks, this kind of behavior is wrong, it is dangerous and will end in broken hearts, damaged psyches, and possibly physical harm or death.

A BDSM checklist is crucial to understanding the boundaries of the playground a Dominant and submissive intend to romp in. Without it they are quickly going to find themselves playing out in the street in the middle of traffic. They will get run over eventually. In any potential D/s relationship, once an interest between two people is established one of the very first things they need to do is complete a BDSM checklist and walk through it item-by-item, honestly and openly comparing outcomes with one another. The purpose is to come to an understanding of the things each person likes/loves, the things they have never done before, where they might like to explore more, things that should be avoided, triggers that should be considered and avoided, limits that need to be established, and practical matters like STDs, birth control, involvement of others, what will be done in public versus private, personal security and anonymity, safe words, considerations for family and childrearing necessities, and a host of other matters. These things MUST be identified, discussed and agreed to BEFORE ever exchanging the first iota of power or playing the first mild scene together.

As a Dominant I would never consider “stepping into the ring” with a submissive for even a time-delimited play session, let alone a long-term relationship without having undertaken this exercise. It is just about the first thing I do with a submissive who has expressed interest in giving herself to me. This is not only for her protection but for my own peace of mind and ability to be effective. If I do not know what turns a submissive on, what she is curious about but too shy to try, what scares her, what life traumas might lead to an in-scene trigger, and what hard limits I need to avoid, I am stabbing blindly in the dark and hoping for the best. My chances of success as a Dominant are slim. After all, the greatest role a Dominant plays is in exploring the mind of a submissive, for it is there that her submission stems. If I have no insight whatsoever into how that mind thinks, I have no tools with which to work. I literally have both hands tied behind my back.

Every competent and respectable Dominant and Master I have met uses some form of process to examine these important facets of their submissive and share their own perspectives as well to arrive at a mutual understanding and trust as the basis of their relationship. I am not sure how a consensual and informed BDSM relationship can exist in the absence of such an undertaking.

There are many sources of good BDSM checklists both in print and online. One of the most readily accessible and comprehensive is the checklist contained in the book “Screw The Roses, Send Me The Thorns” by Phillip Miller and Molly Devon. Another is contained in the recently published book “BDSM - The Naked Truth” by Dr. Charley Ferrer. I personally use one that I have adapted and expanded based on the Screw The Roses checklist. These lists can be long or short, and many pre-scene questionnaires used in lifestyle clubs and the like are fairly brief but then it is assumed that experienced players will be involved so they tend to only cover hard limits. This is not enough for a relationship. I recommend that for less experienced devotees and those desiring to engage in a D/s relationship that the more extensive the questionnaire the better. There is no way a newcomer can possibly anticipate everything that should be considered on their own and this is where some of the more extensive checklists become invaluable in getting one to think about and contemplate things that might never have occurred to them before.

Use these checklists, think hard about the issues they raise and how you feel about them. Check your egos at the door and take the time to understand your likes and limits and those of your partner. It is important to point out that limits are not just things you won’t do, but also things you have no experience in. As a Dominant, if you have no training or experience in various risky activities, do not use you submissive as a guinea pig. Seek guidance from experienced devotees and practitioners. Investing the time, care and energy in this simple but crucial step will greatly enhance the likelihood of a successful and pleasing D/s partnership and reduce the possibility of misunderstanding, pain and hurt. And frankly, anyone claiming to be a Dom who does not feel the need to take these important steps should be viewed with some additional scrutiny and concern. If they are not willing or even aware of the need to communicate at the outset, it is unlikely they will communicate openly and fairly when the chips are down and there is pain and suffering all around. Above all, do not place your safety and life in the hands of someone who has no idea of your needs, desires and limits and does not display the care to find out.

Be careful, be diligent, communicate, set boundaries and live by them.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013

Image Credit Unknown

Posted 2 months ago
Thoughts on Forgiveness in D/s
Recently I wrote a post expressing some thoughts on correction and punishment and the need for Dominants to be measured and circumspect in their approach, particularly when a submissive recognizes the error of their ways and already harbors deep regret for their actions. Submissives are deeply and intrinsically motivated by a desire to please their Dominant and little else hurts more than the realization that they have failed to do so, or worse, have done something to displease or hurt. A submissive can experience deep feelings of guilt and shame for having failed (in their own eyes) their Dominant. These feelings, while being a motivator for change and prevention of future errant behavior, can become a serious matter and very destructive when guilt and shame become internalized as inadequacy, rejection, or worse, abandonment. Forgiveness is a crucial element in the completion of correction or punishment. Without forgiveness, the correction or punishment is never ending for the submissive because they are left to drown in their own feelings of inadequacy and sense of rejection. This is not acceptable.
Even in correction and punishment there must be love and devotion. Indeed, in the context of a D/s relationship both correction and punishment are acts of love in the sense that they should be geared toward the growth of a submissive and not ever be simply punitive in nature. Correction or punishment should be tied to a specific errant action or act with clear, measurable, and achievable expectations for future success. A submissive should never be set up for failure in the sense of feeling trapped by ever changing rules or impossible goals for achievement. But when a submissive does fail to meet expectations through action or omission, and correction or even punishment is warranted, the corrective action must be delivered deliberately, with purpose, clearly tied to the errant behavior, timely, and be left behind when complete. The element of leaving the event behind is forgiveness and it must be communicated timely, effectively, honestly and completely.
And even more important than expressing forgiveness is living it. Simply saying that all is forgiven then skulking around in obvious discontent or resentment on the part of a Dom is a mixed message at best, and more to the point a disingenuous act. A submissive intuitively sees through this and knows that despite any words to the contrary, they have not in fact been forgiven. This is a form of emotional torture that is patently unfair, immature, and frankly undermines the credibility of the Dominant. Forgiveness must be both expressed and lived.
One of the intriguing things about a D/s relationship, particularly one where correction and punishment are an element of the interaction, is the ability to openly and quickly address areas of tension in the relationship. Properly done, D/s affords us the opportunity to set clear boundaries and expectations and establish accountability and culpability for their exercise and successful completion. When an infraction occurs we are able to clearly agree that a line has been crossed that both knew was there all along and address the matter promptly and completely. We are able to exorcise the bad feelings that have been created through correction and/or punishment, forgive the transgression, and move on with the matter completely addressed, harboring no ill will, resentment or misunderstanding. It is over and done with. No need to be revisited again.
However, the terminating act of correction and punishment is forgiveness; genuine and heartfelt forgiveness expressed with honesty and love. Without that, the ability for D/s to rapidly and mutually address errors and omissions and move on comfortably with life is indelibly undermined and a cancer begins to grow within the relationship. Resentments are born and nurtured, feelings of inadequacy and rejection take root, and fear of abandonment takes the place where love once flourished. While is may not be seen this way in the heat of the moment, it is indeed the beginning of the end of what had once been beautiful.
In addition to strength, consistency, and timeliness, a Dominant must also be loving and compassionate in addressing errant behavior on the part of a submissive. Ultimately that compassion must come in the form of immediate, complete, and honest forgiveness. Without it, a submissive is not only corrected and punished but is in fact committed to a life sentence that ultimately can lead to the demise of the trusting and devoted relationship so carefully nurtured.
Be slow to punish, timely to correct, and hasten to forgive.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013
Image by Hazim Haidaryan  Model: Valentina Zalyaeva

Thoughts on Forgiveness in D/s

Recently I wrote a post expressing some thoughts on correction and punishment and the need for Dominants to be measured and circumspect in their approach, particularly when a submissive recognizes the error of their ways and already harbors deep regret for their actions. Submissives are deeply and intrinsically motivated by a desire to please their Dominant and little else hurts more than the realization that they have failed to do so, or worse, have done something to displease or hurt. A submissive can experience deep feelings of guilt and shame for having failed (in their own eyes) their Dominant. These feelings, while being a motivator for change and prevention of future errant behavior, can become a serious matter and very destructive when guilt and shame become internalized as inadequacy, rejection, or worse, abandonment. Forgiveness is a crucial element in the completion of correction or punishment. Without forgiveness, the correction or punishment is never ending for the submissive because they are left to drown in their own feelings of inadequacy and sense of rejection. This is not acceptable.

Even in correction and punishment there must be love and devotion. Indeed, in the context of a D/s relationship both correction and punishment are acts of love in the sense that they should be geared toward the growth of a submissive and not ever be simply punitive in nature. Correction or punishment should be tied to a specific errant action or act with clear, measurable, and achievable expectations for future success. A submissive should never be set up for failure in the sense of feeling trapped by ever changing rules or impossible goals for achievement. But when a submissive does fail to meet expectations through action or omission, and correction or even punishment is warranted, the corrective action must be delivered deliberately, with purpose, clearly tied to the errant behavior, timely, and be left behind when complete. The element of leaving the event behind is forgiveness and it must be communicated timely, effectively, honestly and completely.

And even more important than expressing forgiveness is living it. Simply saying that all is forgiven then skulking around in obvious discontent or resentment on the part of a Dom is a mixed message at best, and more to the point a disingenuous act. A submissive intuitively sees through this and knows that despite any words to the contrary, they have not in fact been forgiven. This is a form of emotional torture that is patently unfair, immature, and frankly undermines the credibility of the Dominant. Forgiveness must be both expressed and lived.

One of the intriguing things about a D/s relationship, particularly one where correction and punishment are an element of the interaction, is the ability to openly and quickly address areas of tension in the relationship. Properly done, D/s affords us the opportunity to set clear boundaries and expectations and establish accountability and culpability for their exercise and successful completion. When an infraction occurs we are able to clearly agree that a line has been crossed that both knew was there all along and address the matter promptly and completely. We are able to exorcise the bad feelings that have been created through correction and/or punishment, forgive the transgression, and move on with the matter completely addressed, harboring no ill will, resentment or misunderstanding. It is over and done with. No need to be revisited again.

However, the terminating act of correction and punishment is forgiveness; genuine and heartfelt forgiveness expressed with honesty and love. Without that, the ability for D/s to rapidly and mutually address errors and omissions and move on comfortably with life is indelibly undermined and a cancer begins to grow within the relationship. Resentments are born and nurtured, feelings of inadequacy and rejection take root, and fear of abandonment takes the place where love once flourished. While is may not be seen this way in the heat of the moment, it is indeed the beginning of the end of what had once been beautiful.

In addition to strength, consistency, and timeliness, a Dominant must also be loving and compassionate in addressing errant behavior on the part of a submissive. Ultimately that compassion must come in the form of immediate, complete, and honest forgiveness. Without it, a submissive is not only corrected and punished but is in fact committed to a life sentence that ultimately can lead to the demise of the trusting and devoted relationship so carefully nurtured.

Be slow to punish, timely to correct, and hasten to forgive.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013

Image by Hazim Haidaryan  Model: Valentina Zalyaeva

Posted 2 months ago
Thoughts on Correction
Far from being the weak doormats their detractors might label them, submissives are often feisty and willful. They tend to have strong minds of their own and have a tendency to act on them, sometimes without regard for the rules, protocols and desires of their Dominant. More often than not the infraction is a matter of self-will and self-seeking rather than a spiteful disregard for their Dominant. It is usually a case of getting wrapped up in the moment and forgetting themselves and their commitment and devotion. More often than not when a submissive deviates from the desires of their Dominant and it is pointed out, they are shocked to have made the mistake, ashamed of having let their self-will overtake their devotion, and deeply regretful for having done so.
The fact that submissives have a tendency to beat themselves up over their own mistakes should be taken into account when addressing a failing or misstep; the focus being more on correction rather than punishment. That said, infractions should not be overlooked entirely either. A submissive looks to their Dominant for direction, leadership, structure, authority, as well as devotion, honor and love. While it may not always be appropriate to severely punish for an infraction when the submissive clearly recognizes the error of their ways, it is crucial that a Dominant be consistent in adherence to standards and rules and that infractions not be permitted to go by unnoticed or unaddressed in some fair and reasonable manner. Failure to do so will only serve to confuse a submissive and leave them feeling unsure of where their boundaries are. It will also serve to undermine in very subtle ways the authority and legitimacy of the power exchange.
A submissive craves being under the firm hand of a competent and consistent leader. They do not want to be permitted to run amok and do not want to serve a doormat.  Though they may test the boundaries from time to time, at heart they do not want to be given the room to “top from the bottom” by being permitted to bend the rules or break them without notice or consequence. At the same time they desire to serve a Master who is consistent, fair, and reasonable. From that comes respect.
All too often, Dominants feel the need to operate with a heavy hand as though respect and devotion can come from fear and blind obedience. They do not. A prudent and competent Dominant will be consistent in the application of their rules and the expectation that they be followed, but will be circumspect in how they deal with infractions. Willful disregard of protocols, rules, and desires must necessarily be met with swift and solid response. Inadvertent infractions or regrettable lapses of judgement should also be addressed just as swiftly but the response should be measured with an eye toward pointing out the regrettable error and establishing that it is neither acceptable nor should be repeated. It is a  reminder and a warning of sorts, a correction of errant ways, not retribution or punishment. However, should the inadvertent actions continue, a sign that there may either be a lack of clarity over the rules or lack of respect for their adherence, clearly either the rules need to be clarified or punishment may be warranted.
The bottom line is that a Dominant should be firm and consistent but not cruel and impulsive. Punishing out of anger or frustration is neither productive or conducive to building respect or future obedience. When a submissive is already aware of the error of their ways and regretful of their actions, a measured and restrained response by a Dominant speaks louder than a harsh abrasive one. Sometimes it’s what is not said and what is not done that speaks louder and garners greater respect. The best leaders are not only firm and consistent but also compassionate.
Address errors, disobedience and other matters of concern swiftly and relevantly but always exercise the sort of self-control that is expected from a Dominant who is masterful of themselves and those around them. Doing so will not only gain further respect and deeper devotion from a submissive, it will also serve as a stronger reminder against future infractions and a deeper incentive for a submissive to want to please their Master and never fail them.
Be firm, be consistent, be compassionate. Devotion and obedience will surely follow.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013
Image © Ken Marcus

Thoughts on Correction

Far from being the weak doormats their detractors might label them, submissives are often feisty and willful. They tend to have strong minds of their own and have a tendency to act on them, sometimes without regard for the rules, protocols and desires of their Dominant. More often than not the infraction is a matter of self-will and self-seeking rather than a spiteful disregard for their Dominant. It is usually a case of getting wrapped up in the moment and forgetting themselves and their commitment and devotion. More often than not when a submissive deviates from the desires of their Dominant and it is pointed out, they are shocked to have made the mistake, ashamed of having let their self-will overtake their devotion, and deeply regretful for having done so.

The fact that submissives have a tendency to beat themselves up over their own mistakes should be taken into account when addressing a failing or misstep; the focus being more on correction rather than punishment. That said, infractions should not be overlooked entirely either. A submissive looks to their Dominant for direction, leadership, structure, authority, as well as devotion, honor and love. While it may not always be appropriate to severely punish for an infraction when the submissive clearly recognizes the error of their ways, it is crucial that a Dominant be consistent in adherence to standards and rules and that infractions not be permitted to go by unnoticed or unaddressed in some fair and reasonable manner. Failure to do so will only serve to confuse a submissive and leave them feeling unsure of where their boundaries are. It will also serve to undermine in very subtle ways the authority and legitimacy of the power exchange.

A submissive craves being under the firm hand of a competent and consistent leader. They do not want to be permitted to run amok and do not want to serve a doormat.  Though they may test the boundaries from time to time, at heart they do not want to be given the room to “top from the bottom” by being permitted to bend the rules or break them without notice or consequence. At the same time they desire to serve a Master who is consistent, fair, and reasonable. From that comes respect.

All too often, Dominants feel the need to operate with a heavy hand as though respect and devotion can come from fear and blind obedience. They do not. A prudent and competent Dominant will be consistent in the application of their rules and the expectation that they be followed, but will be circumspect in how they deal with infractions. Willful disregard of protocols, rules, and desires must necessarily be met with swift and solid response. Inadvertent infractions or regrettable lapses of judgement should also be addressed just as swiftly but the response should be measured with an eye toward pointing out the regrettable error and establishing that it is neither acceptable nor should be repeated. It is a  reminder and a warning of sorts, a correction of errant ways, not retribution or punishment. However, should the inadvertent actions continue, a sign that there may either be a lack of clarity over the rules or lack of respect for their adherence, clearly either the rules need to be clarified or punishment may be warranted.

The bottom line is that a Dominant should be firm and consistent but not cruel and impulsive. Punishing out of anger or frustration is neither productive or conducive to building respect or future obedience. When a submissive is already aware of the error of their ways and regretful of their actions, a measured and restrained response by a Dominant speaks louder than a harsh abrasive one. Sometimes it’s what is not said and what is not done that speaks louder and garners greater respect. The best leaders are not only firm and consistent but also compassionate.

Address errors, disobedience and other matters of concern swiftly and relevantly but always exercise the sort of self-control that is expected from a Dominant who is masterful of themselves and those around them. Doing so will not only gain further respect and deeper devotion from a submissive, it will also serve as a stronger reminder against future infractions and a deeper incentive for a submissive to want to please their Master and never fail them.

Be firm, be consistent, be compassionate. Devotion and obedience will surely follow.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013

Image © Ken Marcus

Posted 2 months ago

Reclaiming my words lifted from the closing paragraph of one of my posts about "Dominance, Submission and Freedom" and reposted on an image as “author unknown.” Frustrating to say the least.

(Source: robswiff)

Posted 2 months ago
Dinner for Two
We sit face-to-face, gazing eye-to-eye in the upscale restaurant surrounded by opulence and overtaken by the scents of fine wine and gourmet cuisine. The illumination is low highlighting your curving features and the straightness of your hair. The day has been full of romance and passion, intimacy and sensuality. Our time together is all too brief and infrequent, but this has been the very day we had hoped for, worth every agonizing minute of wait and anticipation. And now here we are, capping it off with a wonderful meal, in perfect surroundings, our hearts full and minds swirling. But we both know this is not the end. It is merely a transition from the glow of sunlit romance to deeply shadowed debauchery in the darkness of night.
But for now there you are, radiant in your new dress, the color exceptional and the cut accentuating your finest physical attributes. The heels you thought seemed odd in their shape complimenting the ensemble, displaying your shapely legs to perfection. You have never been dressed more beautifully in your life and yet you have never felt more naked beneath my gaze.
You are all too aware that the night is just beginning and of the direction it is likely to take. We have been here before, you and I. You know the meaning of that look in my eye, the upward tick at the corners of my mouth, the deepening hushed tones of my voice. The day passed in loving companionship but with heated anticipation you now await that darker companion who emerges with the night. Indeed He made his presence felt before ever leaving the hotel room. His reminder most evident as you shift in your seat, the ever-present Swarovsky crystal plug a lone sentinel standing watch over your submission, reminding you of your place between us, a simultaneous warning and welcome.
With the first glass of wine and the appetizers behind us, it began. You knew it was coming. It had to. It always does. And yet you’re never certain quite how, quite when, quite what. The change in tone. The shift from amiable conversation to firm direction. It seemed such an innocent thing to do, asking where the ladies room might be. But the response from your Sir is anything but innocent. The pointed finger, the offhand mention that while you are there you might consider removing your lacy panties and bring them back to the table.
You shift in your seat, mulling the politely veiled direction just received and all of its its implications, terrified that removing the panties will result in an obvious and embarrassing dampness to your dress. Sure that the crystal plug, the thought of your own nudity, and anticipation of the night ahead will leave you slick and wet. Indeed you are convinced this is already the case even with the panties on. You dread the walk through the crowded restaurant having been stared at by the lecherous older male clientele since first arriving. But now, with what you are sure will be an obvious wetness in an obvious place, you are mortified.
And yet that is what we do. That is who we are. We challenge and accept. We rise above fears and insecurities in our quest for absolute release and perfect union as Dominant and submissive. Your hesitation is nearly imperceptible but there. Just long enough for an arched eyebrow from your Sir to press you into action. Silently and purposefully you fold the linen napkin and rise, making your way toward the ladies room with a poise and purpose you surely do not feel.
Returning to the table you retake your seat, blushing and grinning sheepishly but mischievously. “Give them to me,” I command and you hold your tightly clenched fist across the table, the delicate lacy thong balled up in your tiny hand so no one might see. I hold out my hand, palm up, fingers straight. You place the white lace ball on my hand hoping I will promptly clench my fist, covering the evidence as you pull your hand away, but I do not. Instead, with our eyes locked, my arm extended across the table, I slowly unravel the covert lacy ball with my thumb revealing its true shape and form to the rapt attention of the lecherous onlookers. You stare into my gaze wide-eyed, afraid to break eye contact, as though by boring a place to hide deep within my eyes you will somehow make the emerging panties in my hand disappear. Your cheeks flush, your lips tremble. The emotions that wash over your face simultaneously say “please stop” and “oh God, this is so hot.” Slowly, without breaking eye contact, I gradually close my fingers around the soft wisp of material, retract my arm and place the warm moist lace into the breast pocket of my dinner jacket. You avert your gaze, swallowing hard, looking down at your hands clenched tightly together in your lap.
The beautiful mauve dress still adorns your stunning body but now you feel more naked than if you wore not a stitch, sure that you are not alone in the realization. The two women you encountered in the ladies room sitting across from us know. The old men at the table beside us know. The waitress who passed as I spread your panties across my hand knows. And above all your Sir knows. Every one around you is surely looking through that dress as though it were not even there. Judging you. Shaming you. Desiring you. Commanding you. All eyes are on you. Or so it seems.
But in fact as you sit there in your discomfort no one is paying the least bit of attention. No one has. It is just your mind playing tricks on you. But then that is precisely what I desire and what you crave. It is part of my pleasure and my reward that you should twist and turn yourself without my so much as laying a hand on you. And yet that is the very thing that you keep coming back for. It is the thrill you seek amid the kind love and affection we have for one another.
But not everyone is ignoring you. Indeed, I have not taken my eyes off you from the moment you sat down. I am gazing past that dress to the familiar yet oh so desirable body beneath. My body. The one that brings me so much pleasure and joy, softness and warmth. The one that writhes and moans, whimpers and sighs, coos and cries at my touch. And it is tonight now mine for the taking. You have given it to me. You have given you to me. When I want. Where I want. How I want. And at the moment, nothing stands in my way but a short hem line.
It is that very recognition and desperate aching anticipation that does you in. Not the crystal plug, not the touch of my hand on your knee beneath the table, not the cool air wafting between your hot thighs. No. It is the all consuming awareness that you are completely covered and yet have never been so simultaneously exposed. It is the realization that your Sir will be taking advantage of this all evening long in the most public and private of ways. Sitting, standing, walking, dancing. The knowledge that He will reach for you, claim you, tease you, perhaps even please you, before ultimately taking you does you in. As the thoughts of lust and trepidation flood your heated mind another hot flood of its own begins and you know there will be no escape from the crowded restaurant unnoticed.
He has done it to you again. He always does. You don’t know how and you don’t know why but he gets to you every time like no one else can. Without saying a word. Without touching a thing. Just a thought. A look. A knowing glance. And the anticipation begins anew. A tingle. An ache. A throb. Warm. Wet. Surrendered.
The main course is served.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013
Image - Dinner Engagement by China Hamilton

Dinner for Two

We sit face-to-face, gazing eye-to-eye in the upscale restaurant surrounded by opulence and overtaken by the scents of fine wine and gourmet cuisine. The illumination is low highlighting your curving features and the straightness of your hair. The day has been full of romance and passion, intimacy and sensuality. Our time together is all too brief and infrequent, but this has been the very day we had hoped for, worth every agonizing minute of wait and anticipation. And now here we are, capping it off with a wonderful meal, in perfect surroundings, our hearts full and minds swirling. But we both know this is not the end. It is merely a transition from the glow of sunlit romance to deeply shadowed debauchery in the darkness of night.

But for now there you are, radiant in your new dress, the color exceptional and the cut accentuating your finest physical attributes. The heels you thought seemed odd in their shape complimenting the ensemble, displaying your shapely legs to perfection. You have never been dressed more beautifully in your life and yet you have never felt more naked beneath my gaze.

You are all too aware that the night is just beginning and of the direction it is likely to take. We have been here before, you and I. You know the meaning of that look in my eye, the upward tick at the corners of my mouth, the deepening hushed tones of my voice. The day passed in loving companionship but with heated anticipation you now await that darker companion who emerges with the night. Indeed He made his presence felt before ever leaving the hotel room. His reminder most evident as you shift in your seat, the ever-present Swarovsky crystal plug a lone sentinel standing watch over your submission, reminding you of your place between us, a simultaneous warning and welcome.

With the first glass of wine and the appetizers behind us, it began. You knew it was coming. It had to. It always does. And yet you’re never certain quite how, quite when, quite what. The change in tone. The shift from amiable conversation to firm direction. It seemed such an innocent thing to do, asking where the ladies room might be. But the response from your Sir is anything but innocent. The pointed finger, the offhand mention that while you are there you might consider removing your lacy panties and bring them back to the table.

You shift in your seat, mulling the politely veiled direction just received and all of its its implications, terrified that removing the panties will result in an obvious and embarrassing dampness to your dress. Sure that the crystal plug, the thought of your own nudity, and anticipation of the night ahead will leave you slick and wet. Indeed you are convinced this is already the case even with the panties on. You dread the walk through the crowded restaurant having been stared at by the lecherous older male clientele since first arriving. But now, with what you are sure will be an obvious wetness in an obvious place, you are mortified.

And yet that is what we do. That is who we are. We challenge and accept. We rise above fears and insecurities in our quest for absolute release and perfect union as Dominant and submissive. Your hesitation is nearly imperceptible but there. Just long enough for an arched eyebrow from your Sir to press you into action. Silently and purposefully you fold the linen napkin and rise, making your way toward the ladies room with a poise and purpose you surely do not feel.

Returning to the table you retake your seat, blushing and grinning sheepishly but mischievously. “Give them to me,” I command and you hold your tightly clenched fist across the table, the delicate lacy thong balled up in your tiny hand so no one might see. I hold out my hand, palm up, fingers straight. You place the white lace ball on my hand hoping I will promptly clench my fist, covering the evidence as you pull your hand away, but I do not. Instead, with our eyes locked, my arm extended across the table, I slowly unravel the covert lacy ball with my thumb revealing its true shape and form to the rapt attention of the lecherous onlookers. You stare into my gaze wide-eyed, afraid to break eye contact, as though by boring a place to hide deep within my eyes you will somehow make the emerging panties in my hand disappear. Your cheeks flush, your lips tremble. The emotions that wash over your face simultaneously say “please stop” and “oh God, this is so hot.” Slowly, without breaking eye contact, I gradually close my fingers around the soft wisp of material, retract my arm and place the warm moist lace into the breast pocket of my dinner jacket. You avert your gaze, swallowing hard, looking down at your hands clenched tightly together in your lap.

The beautiful mauve dress still adorns your stunning body but now you feel more naked than if you wore not a stitch, sure that you are not alone in the realization. The two women you encountered in the ladies room sitting across from us know. The old men at the table beside us know. The waitress who passed as I spread your panties across my hand knows. And above all your Sir knows. Every one around you is surely looking through that dress as though it were not even there. Judging you. Shaming you. Desiring you. Commanding you. All eyes are on you. Or so it seems.

But in fact as you sit there in your discomfort no one is paying the least bit of attention. No one has. It is just your mind playing tricks on you. But then that is precisely what I desire and what you crave. It is part of my pleasure and my reward that you should twist and turn yourself without my so much as laying a hand on you. And yet that is the very thing that you keep coming back for. It is the thrill you seek amid the kind love and affection we have for one another.

But not everyone is ignoring you. Indeed, I have not taken my eyes off you from the moment you sat down. I am gazing past that dress to the familiar yet oh so desirable body beneath. My body. The one that brings me so much pleasure and joy, softness and warmth. The one that writhes and moans, whimpers and sighs, coos and cries at my touch. And it is tonight now mine for the taking. You have given it to me. You have given you to me. When I want. Where I want. How I want. And at the moment, nothing stands in my way but a short hem line.

It is that very recognition and desperate aching anticipation that does you in. Not the crystal plug, not the touch of my hand on your knee beneath the table, not the cool air wafting between your hot thighs. No. It is the all consuming awareness that you are completely covered and yet have never been so simultaneously exposed. It is the realization that your Sir will be taking advantage of this all evening long in the most public and private of ways. Sitting, standing, walking, dancing. The knowledge that He will reach for you, claim you, tease you, perhaps even please you, before ultimately taking you does you in. As the thoughts of lust and trepidation flood your heated mind another hot flood of its own begins and you know there will be no escape from the crowded restaurant unnoticed.

He has done it to you again. He always does. You don’t know how and you don’t know why but he gets to you every time like no one else can. Without saying a word. Without touching a thing. Just a thought. A look. A knowing glance. And the anticipation begins anew. A tingle. An ache. A throb. Warm. Wet. Surrendered.

The main course is served.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013

Image - Dinner Engagement by China Hamilton

Posted 2 months ago
Submissive Traits - Service
Submissives often possess a deep desire and capacity to serve. They crave direction and structure, not of a mindless sort, but rather of the kind that promotes service to their Dominant; that supports being pleasing. A Dominant’s rules, protocols and rewards should be designed to enable and encourage this desire to serve, thus providing fulfillment for all involved. But it is important to understand that the desire to serve the One chosen by a submissive does not imply that they are naturally service oriented in their rest of their lives. There is often a stark contrast between the submissive’s relationship with their Dominant versus that which they have with the rest of the world. It is part of what makes the D/s bond so unique and so special that a submissive will serve their Dominant in ways they would never consider doing with or for anyone else.
In my experience submissives can at times be dominant and even domineering in their vanilla lives, including in the home and workplace. It is not uncommon for these would be submissives to be extremely controlling of their environments and the people in them as a standard practice across their lives. Sometimes this can be a reaction to people around them who are not in control of themselves, people who bring with them only chaos and instability. The response by a submissive can be a deeply rooted drive to fill that void by feeling compelled to bring some level of order and control to their lives. They themselves become controlling.
But constantly striving to be in charge and in control is exhausting over a protracted period and can leave a person feeling weary and unfulfilled. Believing you have to be in command at all times leaves no room for surrender, being cared for, pampered, the center of attention, or just able to let go. This is where D/s can be so deeply appealing. It is the one place where a submissive can shed the mantle and burdens of control and just let go for a time. By making their Dominant the center of their attention and focus, the submissive in turn becomes the center of attention for a change. They feel valued, appreciated, needed. Without wanting or meaning to sound sexist, my personal experience is that for some submissive women D/s is the one place they feel truly able to fulfill their most feminine needs and desires.
Service often plays a significant role in making this shift from control of every day life to complete submission. For a time, a submissive is no longer giving orders to everyone around them but instead is falling into their Dominant, surrendering themselves to a higher power of sorts, letting go of self and the control of others and their circumstances. They are simply “being.” Being themselves. Being feminine. Being beauty and sex. Being devotion. Being obedient. Being of service. Being pleasing. Being the epitome of love. Just being.
For a time the noise goes away, the committee between the ears quiets down, the chaos stops. For a little while all of the energy that goes into corralling the chaotic wild herd around them becomes transformed and singularly focussed on their Dominant, who is themselves anything but chaotic. Their Dominant displays control and mastery in their own life and has no need to be controlled or mastered by the submissive leaving room only for service and devotion. 
The interrelationship between Dominant and submissive is complex and rarely the same from one couple to another. The motivations are often different and the manifestations of D/s highly variable. But regardless of the reasons or how they are played out, there are some common threads in these relationships and service is one of them. A submissive need not be a “service oriented submissive” (implying domestic service) to have a high degree of desire to serve. Service takes on many forms and does not have to involve doing dishes and cleaning bathrooms. It also does not have to be explicitly sexualized either, though it often is. Service can be as simple as being attentive, caring, and obedient to a Dominant. It can be signs of affection such as a head on the lap, stroking of fingers, washing a back in the shower, or a shoulder massage. Or it may not involve physical contact at all. A daily picture or note, email or video, or simply being present and attentive. If it pleases a Dominant it is service and can be deeply rewarding to the submissive’s innate drive to be pleasing.
One of the many paradoxes of D/s is the fact that what seems to the outside world like actions and deeds stemming from coercion or even oppression by a Dominant are actually a manifestation of a submissive’s own deeply rooted desire to serve. Service provided by a submissive in a healthy D/s relationship is not demanded but rather enabled by a Dominant. It is not taken from a submissive but rather is given freely and eagerly. None of this makes sense to the outside observer or the uninitiated but it is very real. A solid and healthy D/s relationship brings things out of us that we would never consider under any other circumstances, and not only makes us willing but downright eager to do them.
Service is an outward manifestation of the devotion and desire to please and be pleasing experienced by a submissive in a loving and committed D/s relationship. It is a hallmark of submissive behavior that should be nurtured and respected by a Dominant but never abused, taken advantage of, or taken for granted. A significant reward of service for a submissive is knowing that they are pleasing their Dominant and that their efforts are appreciated on a very deep visceral and emotional level and are treated with the respect and value they deserve. A Dominant’s genuine appreciation breeds an ever greater desire to serve and be of service, please and be pleasing. It is a Dominant’s responsibility to foster an environment that both enables and encourages the fulfillment of this need to serve on the part of a submissive. It is the very essence of Dominance.
The relationship between Dominant and submissive truly changes everything about us in the most remarkable and unpredictable ways. We often find ourselves surprised by what we suddenly desire and will do for one another. No one else draws this out of us like our D/s partner.
Be passionate, be appreciative, be receptive, praise openly and honestly, and a submissive will be of service to their Dominant in ways neither ever imagined possible.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013
Image Credit Unknown

Submissive Traits - Service

Submissives often possess a deep desire and capacity to serve. They crave direction and structure, not of a mindless sort, but rather of the kind that promotes service to their Dominant; that supports being pleasing. A Dominant’s rules, protocols and rewards should be designed to enable and encourage this desire to serve, thus providing fulfillment for all involved. But it is important to understand that the desire to serve the One chosen by a submissive does not imply that they are naturally service oriented in their rest of their lives. There is often a stark contrast between the submissive’s relationship with their Dominant versus that which they have with the rest of the world. It is part of what makes the D/s bond so unique and so special that a submissive will serve their Dominant in ways they would never consider doing with or for anyone else.

In my experience submissives can at times be dominant and even domineering in their vanilla lives, including in the home and workplace. It is not uncommon for these would be submissives to be extremely controlling of their environments and the people in them as a standard practice across their lives. Sometimes this can be a reaction to people around them who are not in control of themselves, people who bring with them only chaos and instability. The response by a submissive can be a deeply rooted drive to fill that void by feeling compelled to bring some level of order and control to their lives. They themselves become controlling.

But constantly striving to be in charge and in control is exhausting over a protracted period and can leave a person feeling weary and unfulfilled. Believing you have to be in command at all times leaves no room for surrender, being cared for, pampered, the center of attention, or just able to let go. This is where D/s can be so deeply appealing. It is the one place where a submissive can shed the mantle and burdens of control and just let go for a time. By making their Dominant the center of their attention and focus, the submissive in turn becomes the center of attention for a change. They feel valued, appreciated, needed. Without wanting or meaning to sound sexist, my personal experience is that for some submissive women D/s is the one place they feel truly able to fulfill their most feminine needs and desires.

Service often plays a significant role in making this shift from control of every day life to complete submission. For a time, a submissive is no longer giving orders to everyone around them but instead is falling into their Dominant, surrendering themselves to a higher power of sorts, letting go of self and the control of others and their circumstances. They are simply “being.” Being themselves. Being feminine. Being beauty and sex. Being devotion. Being obedient. Being of service. Being pleasing. Being the epitome of love. Just being.

For a time the noise goes away, the committee between the ears quiets down, the chaos stops. For a little while all of the energy that goes into corralling the chaotic wild herd around them becomes transformed and singularly focussed on their Dominant, who is themselves anything but chaotic. Their Dominant displays control and mastery in their own life and has no need to be controlled or mastered by the submissive leaving room only for service and devotion. 

The interrelationship between Dominant and submissive is complex and rarely the same from one couple to another. The motivations are often different and the manifestations of D/s highly variable. But regardless of the reasons or how they are played out, there are some common threads in these relationships and service is one of them. A submissive need not be a “service oriented submissive” (implying domestic service) to have a high degree of desire to serve. Service takes on many forms and does not have to involve doing dishes and cleaning bathrooms. It also does not have to be explicitly sexualized either, though it often is. Service can be as simple as being attentive, caring, and obedient to a Dominant. It can be signs of affection such as a head on the lap, stroking of fingers, washing a back in the shower, or a shoulder massage. Or it may not involve physical contact at all. A daily picture or note, email or video, or simply being present and attentive. If it pleases a Dominant it is service and can be deeply rewarding to the submissive’s innate drive to be pleasing.

One of the many paradoxes of D/s is the fact that what seems to the outside world like actions and deeds stemming from coercion or even oppression by a Dominant are actually a manifestation of a submissive’s own deeply rooted desire to serve. Service provided by a submissive in a healthy D/s relationship is not demanded but rather enabled by a Dominant. It is not taken from a submissive but rather is given freely and eagerly. None of this makes sense to the outside observer or the uninitiated but it is very real. A solid and healthy D/s relationship brings things out of us that we would never consider under any other circumstances, and not only makes us willing but downright eager to do them.

Service is an outward manifestation of the devotion and desire to please and be pleasing experienced by a submissive in a loving and committed D/s relationship. It is a hallmark of submissive behavior that should be nurtured and respected by a Dominant but never abused, taken advantage of, or taken for granted. A significant reward of service for a submissive is knowing that they are pleasing their Dominant and that their efforts are appreciated on a very deep visceral and emotional level and are treated with the respect and value they deserve. A Dominant’s genuine appreciation breeds an ever greater desire to serve and be of service, please and be pleasing. It is a Dominant’s responsibility to foster an environment that both enables and encourages the fulfillment of this need to serve on the part of a submissive. It is the very essence of Dominance.

The relationship between Dominant and submissive truly changes everything about us in the most remarkable and unpredictable ways. We often find ourselves surprised by what we suddenly desire and will do for one another. No one else draws this out of us like our D/s partner.

Be passionate, be appreciative, be receptive, praise openly and honestly, and a submissive will be of service to their Dominant in ways neither ever imagined possible.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013

Image Credit Unknown

Posted 2 months ago
Dominant Traits - Affection
Tracing fingertips, a tender kiss, a contented sigh. Is this the act of a Dominant? Absolutely. Affection and care is a hallmark of Dominance every bit as much as bondage, spanking, challenges and commands. Dominance and submission is not simply authority and compliance, command and obedience. It is a bond of mutual respect and adoration. Affection is a fundamental element of a D/s relationship and indeed, when combined with trust, is the bedrock on which the darker pleasures and interactions are built.
There seems to be a pervasive misunderstanding that to be Dominant one must appear overtly authoritarian, gruff, emotionally impenetrable, and fortress like. Nothing could be further from the truth. The respect and trust that must necessarily be earned in order for a submissive to bare and surrender their heart, mind, body and soul comes from a combination of emotional accessibility on the part of a Dominant, combined with a level of power, balance, and control.
To be worthy of submission, a Dominant must be successful in their own rite. This does not mean having a high net worth or achieving financial success. What I am referring to is a level of success and mastery of their own lives such as they are. Rich or poor, highly educated or street wise, professional or laborer, for a Dominant to be considered a Master they must have some mastery of their own circumstances. Whether it is at work, in volunteerism, at home or a hobby, there should be mastery of some sort; having shown the dedication and integrity necessary to be very good at something. They must also have control over their own lives and how they care for themselves and those around them. But this is only part of the equation.
A potential Dominant may be successful in their own rite and worthy of respect for the way in which they conduct their lives, but still not be worthy of submission. For a submissive to desire giving themselves to another, they must not only sense dominance and mastery but also emotional accessibility and security. They need to feel not only desired but also loved, cared for, and protected. It is the combination of power and control, mastery and achievement, love and affection, acceptance and desire, trust and security, that allows a submissive to open themselves fully to their Dominant and fall into them completely. To be a truly effective Dominant, one must successfully strike the balance between all of these traits. Lose that balance and there will be tension in the D/s bond.
My Muse and I baffle people who encounter us. We don’t add up. They cannot figure us out and their heads seem to hurt when they try. It is actually amusing to watch. When we are out in public there are no overt signs that we share a relationship as Dominant and submissive but yet there is something in our interaction with one another that people cannot quite put their finger on. The first thing they notice of course is our age difference, followed by the obvious fact that we are not a couple who live together, and yet we are intimately affectionate with one another. We touch and make a lot of eye contact, we laugh easily and tease one another. Yet there is an underlying dynamic between us of respect and dominance, authority and deference that doesn’t quite compute to those who do not recognize or identify with the underlying D/s foundation. So while our relationship is noticeably different and the vanilla folk we encounter cannot quite put their finger on it, one thing that is often remarked upon is that we seem to be very happy. And we are.
The thing that stands out to others as a hallmark of our interaction is the very obvious and overt level of care and affection we have for one another and openly display. And for good reason, it is the underpinning of our relationship. The fact that we share this deeply intimate emotional bond that manifests itself overtly as affection is in large part the very foundation that allows us to go behind closed doors and act out the darker arts of our bond; bondage, service, challenge, and kink. It is the Yin and the Yang that is us. We cannot have one without the other in proper balance. Fire and water, darkness and light.
So is affection a hallmark of successful and competent Dominants? I absolutely argue that it is and cannot fathom achieving the sort of bond that allows me to express my darker dominant side without it.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013
Image Credit Unknown

Dominant Traits - Affection

Tracing fingertips, a tender kiss, a contented sigh. Is this the act of a Dominant? Absolutely. Affection and care is a hallmark of Dominance every bit as much as bondage, spanking, challenges and commands. Dominance and submission is not simply authority and compliance, command and obedience. It is a bond of mutual respect and adoration. Affection is a fundamental element of a D/s relationship and indeed, when combined with trust, is the bedrock on which the darker pleasures and interactions are built.

There seems to be a pervasive misunderstanding that to be Dominant one must appear overtly authoritarian, gruff, emotionally impenetrable, and fortress like. Nothing could be further from the truth. The respect and trust that must necessarily be earned in order for a submissive to bare and surrender their heart, mind, body and soul comes from a combination of emotional accessibility on the part of a Dominant, combined with a level of power, balance, and control.

To be worthy of submission, a Dominant must be successful in their own rite. This does not mean having a high net worth or achieving financial success. What I am referring to is a level of success and mastery of their own lives such as they are. Rich or poor, highly educated or street wise, professional or laborer, for a Dominant to be considered a Master they must have some mastery of their own circumstances. Whether it is at work, in volunteerism, at home or a hobby, there should be mastery of some sort; having shown the dedication and integrity necessary to be very good at something. They must also have control over their own lives and how they care for themselves and those around them. But this is only part of the equation.

A potential Dominant may be successful in their own rite and worthy of respect for the way in which they conduct their lives, but still not be worthy of submission. For a submissive to desire giving themselves to another, they must not only sense dominance and mastery but also emotional accessibility and security. They need to feel not only desired but also loved, cared for, and protected. It is the combination of power and control, mastery and achievement, love and affection, acceptance and desire, trust and security, that allows a submissive to open themselves fully to their Dominant and fall into them completely. To be a truly effective Dominant, one must successfully strike the balance between all of these traits. Lose that balance and there will be tension in the D/s bond.

My Muse and I baffle people who encounter us. We don’t add up. They cannot figure us out and their heads seem to hurt when they try. It is actually amusing to watch. When we are out in public there are no overt signs that we share a relationship as Dominant and submissive but yet there is something in our interaction with one another that people cannot quite put their finger on. The first thing they notice of course is our age difference, followed by the obvious fact that we are not a couple who live together, and yet we are intimately affectionate with one another. We touch and make a lot of eye contact, we laugh easily and tease one another. Yet there is an underlying dynamic between us of respect and dominance, authority and deference that doesn’t quite compute to those who do not recognize or identify with the underlying D/s foundation. So while our relationship is noticeably different and the vanilla folk we encounter cannot quite put their finger on it, one thing that is often remarked upon is that we seem to be very happy. And we are.

The thing that stands out to others as a hallmark of our interaction is the very obvious and overt level of care and affection we have for one another and openly display. And for good reason, it is the underpinning of our relationship. The fact that we share this deeply intimate emotional bond that manifests itself overtly as affection is in large part the very foundation that allows us to go behind closed doors and act out the darker arts of our bond; bondage, service, challenge, and kink. It is the Yin and the Yang that is us. We cannot have one without the other in proper balance. Fire and water, darkness and light.

So is affection a hallmark of successful and competent Dominants? I absolutely argue that it is and cannot fathom achieving the sort of bond that allows me to express my darker dominant side without it.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2013

Image Credit Unknown

Posted 3 months ago
D/s Monogamy - Love and BDSM
Recently I was asked by a follower about the nature of D/s relationships as it relates to monogamy between a Dominant and submissive and whether people in such relationships often fall in love with one another. I’ve sat on this question for a while because, while I know what it means to me to be in a monogamous loving D/s relationship, my personal experience and preferences are not necessarily representative of the community of BDSM adherents. I needed to think about my response.
In the world of BDSM as I know it there is great variation in the nature of relationships and the motivations of its practitioners. Different people are attracted to the art of BDSM and the nature of the relationships it can spawn for very different reasons. For some, it is purely a fetish or kink, something to be included in their sexual lives regardless of the partner. Others are attracted to the openness of sexuality and communication enjoyed by the BDSM community. Still others, like me, see it as a means of augmenting a loving relationship or even forming the basis of such a relationship. Another group finds spiritual fulfillment in BDSM through the exploration of sensation, feeling, or inner self. Others seek a place in a pack as it were, fulfilling their needs and desires to fit in a hierarchy of Dominants and submissives; a highly structured sense of belonging. And there are many, many others. Any member of these groups may seek monogamous relationships, open relationships, polyamory, or just have a desire to scene with others of similar tastes with no particular strings attached. Others may just want to share in the fantasy while staying in the closet as it were, as is so often the case in the online realm. The world of BDSM-based relationships is as variable as any other form of human interaction; they depend on the people involved, their motivations and desires.
I am an emotionally driven person whereas others may be more intellectually or sexually driven. I seek close emotional ties with my partner and identify with monogamy as a core tenet of the devotion and service I associate with being either a Dominant or submissive. Therefor I tend toward a loving, caring, committed and monogamous relationship. I choose not to engage with others in a scene, and do not share what is Mine. I am possessive as a Dominant though hopefully in healthy and non-destructive ways. My Muse is Mine! But in that same vein, I am every bit as much hers. In terms of our D/s relationship we are monogamous and exclusive. That is how we choose to be. It is neither right or wrong. It is just what is right for us.
As for love in D/s, I believe this is very complicated. It is clear to me that there are many abuses in so-called D/s relationships both online and in person that argue for an absence of love or even common human decency. But more often than not, those abuses seem to be at the hands of people who are not truly educated or invested in the BDSM community. I think of them as wanna-be’s, posers, or worse, predators. I have seen a lot of damage done, mostly emotional and psychological, but even some physical. This presents a fearful environment to many newcomers and displays a lack of love or even kindness. Frankly, it is abuse. That said, there are many knowledgeable, capable, and qualified people who very legitimately partake and participate in the BDSM community who do not choose to enter into devoted “romantic” relationships. A visit to any munch or BDSM social gathering or club will make that very clear. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Still, the notion of being truly Dominant or submissive toward another is indeed a deep display of humility which could be argued is a profoundly loving action. One can act out of deep love, reverence, even devotion without romance. So then perhaps we fall short in the English language in our ability to describe the various facets of love. One can have a humble, loving and devoted relationship with a god or higher power and not be “in love” with that entity or being in the romantic sense. I think too, many Dominants and submissive can have deeply reverent relationships with one another and not be romantically attached in any way. It is clear to most people that submission is a supreme act of humility but did you know that Dominance is every bit as much a humble act despite all its appearances to the contrary? A Dominant, while clearly enjoying being the center of a submissive’s universe for a time, also and just as equally makes the submissive the center of theirs. Done properly, Dominance (and submission) is not about self; it is about a sole focus on another. That takes humility. That takes a love of another; romantic or otherwise.
My Muse and I both invest our hearts into our relationship every bit as much or more as we invest our minds and bodies. We are not simply in a loving D/s relationship, we love one another deeply on all levels. We have often discussed at some length the notion of BDSM or D/s without a loving romantic attachment and both of us reach the same conclusion for ourselves; why bother? That is not a judgement of anyone else or their desires or beliefs, it is simply who we are as people. We love and are in love. We are solely devoted to one another and it is that devotion that feeds the love and desire. And it is the love and desire that feeds the devotion. My Muse takes the view that she could only have one “master” and perhaps could never bring herself to have another in the future. Similarly, I do not believe myself capable of being the best possible Dominant I can be if my time, mental, and emotional effort were to be spread around. I am not that good, nor will I ever be. It is not how my heart and mind are wired. The power of D/s to me in the strength of the bond between Dominant and submissive. For me, diluting that bond would dilute the experience, so I choose monogamy and a deeply loving relationship with my D/s partner.
So to the original question of whether there is D/s monogamy and do Dominants and submissives fall in love. Yes there is monogamy but there does not have to be and often isn’t. Yes there is love but there does not have to be a romantic attachment, though there often is. D/s can be anything you want it to be. There are no set rules or boundaries other than whatever it is you define between you and your partner(s) being safe, sane, consensual and risk aware.
Above all, whatever you choose, be good to one another.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2014
Image Credit Unknown

D/s Monogamy - Love and BDSM

Recently I was asked by a follower about the nature of D/s relationships as it relates to monogamy between a Dominant and submissive and whether people in such relationships often fall in love with one another. I’ve sat on this question for a while because, while I know what it means to me to be in a monogamous loving D/s relationship, my personal experience and preferences are not necessarily representative of the community of BDSM adherents. I needed to think about my response.

In the world of BDSM as I know it there is great variation in the nature of relationships and the motivations of its practitioners. Different people are attracted to the art of BDSM and the nature of the relationships it can spawn for very different reasons. For some, it is purely a fetish or kink, something to be included in their sexual lives regardless of the partner. Others are attracted to the openness of sexuality and communication enjoyed by the BDSM community. Still others, like me, see it as a means of augmenting a loving relationship or even forming the basis of such a relationship. Another group finds spiritual fulfillment in BDSM through the exploration of sensation, feeling, or inner self. Others seek a place in a pack as it were, fulfilling their needs and desires to fit in a hierarchy of Dominants and submissives; a highly structured sense of belonging. And there are many, many others. Any member of these groups may seek monogamous relationships, open relationships, polyamory, or just have a desire to scene with others of similar tastes with no particular strings attached. Others may just want to share in the fantasy while staying in the closet as it were, as is so often the case in the online realm. The world of BDSM-based relationships is as variable as any other form of human interaction; they depend on the people involved, their motivations and desires.

I am an emotionally driven person whereas others may be more intellectually or sexually driven. I seek close emotional ties with my partner and identify with monogamy as a core tenet of the devotion and service I associate with being either a Dominant or submissive. Therefor I tend toward a loving, caring, committed and monogamous relationship. I choose not to engage with others in a scene, and do not share what is Mine. I am possessive as a Dominant though hopefully in healthy and non-destructive ways. My Muse is Mine! But in that same vein, I am every bit as much hers. In terms of our D/s relationship we are monogamous and exclusive. That is how we choose to be. It is neither right or wrong. It is just what is right for us.

As for love in D/s, I believe this is very complicated. It is clear to me that there are many abuses in so-called D/s relationships both online and in person that argue for an absence of love or even common human decency. But more often than not, those abuses seem to be at the hands of people who are not truly educated or invested in the BDSM community. I think of them as wanna-be’s, posers, or worse, predators. I have seen a lot of damage done, mostly emotional and psychological, but even some physical. This presents a fearful environment to many newcomers and displays a lack of love or even kindness. Frankly, it is abuse. That said, there are many knowledgeable, capable, and qualified people who very legitimately partake and participate in the BDSM community who do not choose to enter into devoted “romantic” relationships. A visit to any munch or BDSM social gathering or club will make that very clear. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Still, the notion of being truly Dominant or submissive toward another is indeed a deep display of humility which could be argued is a profoundly loving action. One can act out of deep love, reverence, even devotion without romance. So then perhaps we fall short in the English language in our ability to describe the various facets of love. One can have a humble, loving and devoted relationship with a god or higher power and not be “in love” with that entity or being in the romantic sense. I think too, many Dominants and submissive can have deeply reverent relationships with one another and not be romantically attached in any way. It is clear to most people that submission is a supreme act of humility but did you know that Dominance is every bit as much a humble act despite all its appearances to the contrary? A Dominant, while clearly enjoying being the center of a submissive’s universe for a time, also and just as equally makes the submissive the center of theirs. Done properly, Dominance (and submission) is not about self; it is about a sole focus on another. That takes humility. That takes a love of another; romantic or otherwise.

My Muse and I both invest our hearts into our relationship every bit as much or more as we invest our minds and bodies. We are not simply in a loving D/s relationship, we love one another deeply on all levels. We have often discussed at some length the notion of BDSM or D/s without a loving romantic attachment and both of us reach the same conclusion for ourselves; why bother? That is not a judgement of anyone else or their desires or beliefs, it is simply who we are as people. We love and are in love. We are solely devoted to one another and it is that devotion that feeds the love and desire. And it is the love and desire that feeds the devotion. My Muse takes the view that she could only have one “master” and perhaps could never bring herself to have another in the future. Similarly, I do not believe myself capable of being the best possible Dominant I can be if my time, mental, and emotional effort were to be spread around. I am not that good, nor will I ever be. It is not how my heart and mind are wired. The power of D/s to me in the strength of the bond between Dominant and submissive. For me, diluting that bond would dilute the experience, so I choose monogamy and a deeply loving relationship with my D/s partner.

So to the original question of whether there is D/s monogamy and do Dominants and submissives fall in love. Yes there is monogamy but there does not have to be and often isn’t. Yes there is love but there does not have to be a romantic attachment, though there often is. D/s can be anything you want it to be. There are no set rules or boundaries other than whatever it is you define between you and your partner(s) being safe, sane, consensual and risk aware.

Above all, whatever you choose, be good to one another.

Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2014

Image Credit Unknown