Q&A - Is There a Difference Between Submission and Love?
First, thank you for writing this blog. I’ve been picking through your essays, and they have truly helped clarify so much for me in a new D/s relationship I’m exploring. We’re making mistakes, as all people do in all situations, but we’re doing well by each other. My question is this. Is there a difference between submission and love, in the vanilla sense of the word? How would you characterize it?
Thank you for the thought provoking question. I have to admit that I needed to ponder this for a few days before bringing myself to answer. My immediate reaction was that of course there is a difference between submission and love! Then I began to think about submission in the context of my own D/s relationship and began to question the distinctions I was drawing in my mind between the two. In my relationship, submission is a very palpable manifestation of the love my Muse has for me. But is submission in and of itself a form of love? Is love always submissive? In trying to wrap my head around this question I have to confess that I went down some pretty existential paths.
When we submit to a higher power such as a god, religious icon, power of the universe, whatever you choose to call it, we are placing faith and trust in something we cannot see or touch but in our hearts can feel. Do we love this higher power, simply submit to it, or both? I think the answer is different depending on who you ask and the nature of their faith. Can we say to that higher power, “your will, not mine be done” without having love for that higher power? Is there submission out of anything other than pure love? Perhaps respect? Even Fear?
Submission is a conscious act of letting go of self and surrendering to the authority, discretion or will of another. I say that it is a conscious act (not something you will see in any dictionary) because humans are in my view naturally self-centered beings. We see the world from the vantage point of our selves and relate to that world based on our individual experiences and perceptions. We do not view the world objectively from above but rather from our self-centric vantage point. Therefor, everything we experience and all of our interrelations with the world and people around us is from the perspective of self.
To submit, truly submit, is a remarkably selfless act. It is placing one’s faith and trust completely in the hands of some higher authority in the belief that no matter what happens to self, it is for the greater good and that all will be well in a grander sense than self. That is a very difficult proposition for human beings to undertake. It is the basis of most every organized religion on the planet, of many spiritual practices, and ultimately on a human scale of D/s as I choose to live it. Not that I view myself as a god or minor deity mind you. In the D/s instance I am a very fallible human being who serves as a higher authority to another human being by her choice; my Muse.
I personally do not have a specifically religious conception of a higher power for myself, however I do believe and submit to something you might think of as a power of the universe. It doesn’t have a face or even a name that I can think of, but I accept freely that I am not the center of the universe, did not create any of this around me, and that I am far from alone here. I accept that the universe is an incomprehensibly large and expanding place within which I am but a tiny speck, on a tiny planet, in a tiny solar system, among billions of solar systems within a tiny galaxy which exists among billions of galaxies, and who knows what beyond that. My life, while rather important to me, is of little or no consequence in the grand scheme of things in my town, on this planet, let alone in the universe. Every day I submit to that power of the universe in the belief that whatever happens is out of my hands beyond that immediately within my reach and for which I am responsible for the effort, not necessarily the outcome. In other words, I do my best to have a positive influence on that which I come into contact with, but beyond that, the outcome is largely out of my hands. I submit to the belief that I am part of much larger forces at work and accept my place and fate in that.
I tell you all of this to point out that I experience submission without any particular love. It is acceptance, not really love. Now someone else might experience that completely differently and have a deeply loving relationship with their higher power. Still others submit to a higher power out of fear. Is there love in fear? Some would argue that fear is an absence of love.
So back to your original question, is there a difference between submission and love in the vanilla sense? Like submission, love in its purest forms is also a selfless act. The dictionary reduces the word to mean an intense affection or attraction, yet that does not even begin to embody the idea of love in the selfless sense. I may be intensely attracted to someone but would I selflessly give my life for them? Not always. There is something more than attraction and affection in pure love. There is a giving of self, an intense empathy, a melding of spirits and souls. In love there is a sense that I not only know and am attracted to but also feel a part of. For me, love for someone else is when they become an extension of self. Not a matter of living through someone else but rather when they become a part of self, as integral to my being as my own beating heart. At least that is how it feels. But is this a conscious act of selflessness? Do we have control over who we love and do not love? Personally, I have found that I do not.
I can love someone and not submit to them. I love my child, but I do not submit to him. On the other hand, I would give my life for him, perhaps the ultimate submission. I dearly love my Muse but I do not submit to her, though I respect her immensely and treat her with deep care and affection. She is an extension of who I am, there is no doubt of that. When she is unhappy I do my best to accommodate her out of love, which some might say is a form of submission, and yet on a practical level I do not submit to her. Complicated, yes?
So the short answer to your question is that I see definite distinctions between love and submission in both the vanilla and D/s sense of the word. I know submissives who submit to Doms with whom they are not in loving relationships at all. The need to submit and feel submissive on the part of a sub can be a deep internal longing not necessarily reliant upon a primary or even secondary loving relationship. Again, it comes down to a conscious act, a decision to submit to another. But that is not necessarily love. And there can be love without submission. That same submissive who bows to a near stranger Dominant might also have a deeply loving relationship with another, or even a vanilla partner.
So as I alluded to earlier, perhaps it comes down to conscious intent. I cannot make myself love another but I can make a decision to submit to them. I can choose who and what I will submit to, but in my experience I have not been able to choose whom I love. Love has just happened with or without me wanting to go along for the ride.
Now that said, my personal brand of Dominance and submission relies heavily on developing a deeply loving, respectful, trusting, and enduring relationship. Therefor, love and submission are deeply intertwined for me. One is a manifestation of the other. In submission there is love, and in love there is submission; even to some degree by the Dominant who is also a deeply giving part of the relationship, though it may not appear to be so on the surface. My Dominance is an act of love that I cannot simply exert upon or give to just anyone. My Muse does not submit to anyone else and her submission is a profoundly deep manifestation of the love she has for me. For us, submission and love are deeply interwoven and perhaps even confused a little at times. However, I think I can argue that they are not the same thing at all, we just choose to make Dominance and submission a part of our otherwise loving relationship. But that is a choice. I would love my Muse even if she were not my submissive.
So no, after all of that I do not believe that love and submission are synonymous, but they sure work beautifully together.
“I am learning much from her words and most of all that it is possible to live so beautifully as this.” - referring to something Cat wrote.
And another: “Does it really exist? These connections you speak of?”
And: “Your words and hers give me hope that this really exists.”
I have encountered a similar sentiment a few times here, expressing apparent surprise that people actually live ‘this thing’ in the way Cat described it, in the way I try to describe it. In the way we lived it.
No, not everything you read is fantasy, though I concede that Tumblr might make you wish otherwise at times. And yes, there is certainly a lot of fantasy and wishful thinking around. Making the distinction can at times be difficult, especially for someone new to the ‘lifestyle’.
Yet there are normal people out there who actually live ‘so beautifully as this’. The realities, of course, are not always as glossy as the pretty pictures on Tumblr might suggest. Rather more mundane even, as Cat also pointed out so eloquently. And at times a lot messier too.
On Tumblr and elsewhere on the internet, D/s is at times treated as cheap entertainment. Quotes from E.L. James, 9/12 weeks and John Norman’s Gor novels on the same page in an apparent belief that they are somehow related. D/s reduced to fictional soundbites and cliches. One might almost think that emulating the dreaded inner goddess is somehow the same as being kajira. And one could easily believe that being Dom or Master, slave or submissive is nothing more than putting on boots or fancy lingerie for the evening and learning a few lines, or beating the hell out of someone until they beg for mercy and beyond.
Yes it is frustrating at times, because I care deeply about a ‘lifestyle’ I’ve been exploring and living for more than 25 years, and for those who explore it seriously. And I care that misconceptions and caricatures are perpetuated ad infinitum, feeding the kind of prejudice and idiocy some of us have been fighting for decades.
And yes 50 shades of kinky fuckery has caused damage. While bad fiction about D/s is nothing new, the popularity of these ‘novels’ has caused numerous people to get hurt, and others to step up proclaiming the new ‘truth’, straight from the fictional lips of a psychopath and an inner goddess. Instead of learning what it’s really about and enjoying the true beauty of D/s. People getting hurt. Not very fictional at all.
Truly living D/s is not a life of trite cliches or fuck-me heels and airbrushed asses. Or for that matter, 24-hour whippings. Or a list of rules. Or a man ordering a stranger around because she calls herself a submissive.
It’s infotainment, and people expecting this to work in the real world will be sorely disappointed. Not in the least by the amount of hard work and careful building of long-term trust it takes to experience D/s in all its glory.
Yes, in the physical world, there are Doms and subs and Masters and slaves living and breathing ‘this thing’. Real people, consenting adults living their lives in a D/s dynamic, yes 24/7, yes as Master and slave.
In the physical world, these are connections forged over months, sometimes years, not in a few pages of rules over a glass of wine. And to the outsider, many of these connections might look just like non-D/s relationships. The reality is, for most people, far removed from the fiction of a Dom and his 24/7 ‘dungeon’, or a whip-yielding slave Master buying his chain-gang chattel in the auction house. Or the millionaire in his penthouse dishing out ‘punishments’ with questionable consent at best.
And lest we forget, in the real world D/s is not a game. For some people a bit of back and forth role play online is a bit of fun, for another it may be a devastating first experience, taken entirely seriously and causing real, devastating hurt.
In the physical world, these relationships are hard work, but we don’t see it much. Because most of it happens behind closed doors. Maybe we don’t hear of the good news and the beautiful, lifelong bonds so much because these people are quietly, happily living their lives. And perhaps hiding their own reality, because of prejudice and misconceptions.
Yes there are real people out there who live D/s, and who know from experience that it *can* be ‘as beautiful as this’. I personally hope that those who come looking have a chance at finding and living the beauty of D/s.
How Does A Submissive Ask for Something from Their Dominant?
Hello! I hope you’re having a nice evening. I saw your post about misbehaving to get spankings and I completely agree, I think D/s relationships are about trust and not about manipulating people into what you want, topping from the bottom isn’t acceptable. I just wanted to ask, if a sub feels they need a spanking, what is an appropriate way to ask/ communicate that desire to their Dominant, but in a submissive/ respectful way?
There are indeed times when a submissive feels that they need the attention of their Dominant and this can take many forms including among other things a spanking, cuddling, kneeling, sexual gratification or just plain attentive reassurance. Sometimes a submissive feels that they have gone off the rails and need to be centered by their Dom. Whatever the case, submissives have needs and a positive and loving D/s relationship should have a means or protocol built into it for open communication by the submissive with their Dominant. There are different ways to accomplish this, even differing ways for various circumstances.
I believe that any D/s relationship from play-partners to 24/7 TPE and everything in between should have a means for taking a time out and discussing matters of concern or addressing unmet needs. This is the ultimate pause where we step out of the power exchange for a time and discuss our difficulties or needs as equals. This would be reserved primarily for pressing needs or systemic issues in the relationship that need to be addressed. A less obtrusive and more commonly used approach would be simply to ask to speak or make a request. Something alone the lines of, “If it pleases you Sir, your (substitute whatever title you use) is feeling (insert mood) and I could use (insert need or request).” The specific syntax is not all the important as long as it is respectful and requesting in nature rather than demanding. The form of language and method of interaction used is between a submissive and their Dominant and entirely unique to the couple. The Dominant may or may not meet the request or may substitute a differing course of action. But no matter, the need has been expressed and heard.
I personally am leery of Dominants who present themselves as so omnipotent that they do not permit open communication from their submissive. Even the most ardent adherents to 24/7 M/s TPE have some method for communicating needs; desires maybe not so much. But the bottom line is that partners in D/s and M/s relationships need to take the time and make the effort to establish a communication protocol along with hard limits, safe words and other protocols and expectations. Being able to communicate needs and make course corrections is vital to the long-term health and survival of any relationship.
For The Love of a Submissive - 10,000 Followers - Thank You!
I am really not sure what to say about this except that I am utterly astounded that so many people have an interest in BDSM and D/s relationships and a sufficient desire to learn more about them to actually follow my blog. Eighteen months ago when I started writing the For The Love of a Submissive story comprising the first 480 posts of this blog I really had no idea where I was going with this. At first it was just a lark, my half-hearted response to “50 Shades of Grey” which I thought was an abominable portrayal of D/s relationships, and a desire to present a somewhat different perspective. Over time my observation of people here on Tumblr and the many questions I was receiving lead me to change course and abandon the fictional story in favor of writing more nonfiction informational posts about BDSM and D/s relationships. I also took to posting things that I found around Tumblr that were in harmony with my views on the topic. And so FTLOAS morphed from being fictional entertainment to becoming more of a resource for people curious about D/s and a place for me to express my personal views, opinions and practices. It continues in this vein today.
When I made that switch I assumed there would be a mass exodus of followers who had an interest in the entertainment value of the story but would be put off by the heavy discussions and dissertations I was posting. Much to my surprise the opposite occurred and the number of followers steadily climbed. This has continually come as a surprise to me because I do not in any way consider myself to be a guru of all things D/s and in fact there are many people here on Tumblr with vastly more experience than I have in this realm. I simply voice my views and opinions and share a few of my personal experiences in hopes that someone actually gets something useful or valuable from my efforts.
I have no illusion that every one of the now more than 10,000 people who follow this blog actually read the things that I write. In fact, proving that more people are in it for the pictures than the words, my companion photo blog, that has been in existence a lot less time than For The Love of a Submissive now has more than 12,600 followers. OK, so a lot of people are only it for the pictures I get it, but to those of you who actually take the time to read my missives, repost them without stripping out the words, and even comment on them, I am particularly grateful for your follow. It is for you primarily that I put the effort into this blog and I hope that you continue to find things of interest and value here.
For The Love of a Submissive is the first blog I ever wrote and in fact I had no idea what blogs were until stumbling onto Tumblr quite by accident. It has been an interesting and engaging experience thanks to all of you and I just simply want to say “thank you” for your interest, attention, questions and feedback. I hope that something you have read or seen here has helped you in your own life and/or personal relationships. Above all, thank you for giving me a forum to explore my own thoughts and gain ideas for continually improving my relationship with my beloved Muse who is indeed the inspiration for everything I write here.
Humbly I thank you again. Be well and be good to one another.
Good evening, may i ask your thoughts on a healthy, long-distance D/s partnering? The two parties have met, will meet again, are consenting adults; both have been around the block a time or two but are not able to be geographically near. This is my first foray into D/s; it is not His. Thank You.
This question prompted an interesting and somewhat surprising discussion between my Muse and I who are engaged in just such a relationship under somewhat similar circumstances. Our relationship is evidence that a long-distance D/s relationship with periodic face-to-face interaction can work and even work well but there are a number of caveats that we would place on this.
Both the Dominant and the submissive have to be in the relationship for the same reasons, have complimentary communication styles, complimentary interests and limits, and be equally committed to the relationship and its success. If one party is interested in a committed relationship and the other wants to simply get their rocks off, the rocks is exactly where both will be headed. If one tends toward serious sadism or masochism and the other completely averse to pain or the suffering of another then things simply will not mesh. And clearly if one is looking for a monogomous and committed long-term pairing and the other only interested solely in scene play, polyamory, or just some online sexual intrigue, trouble lies ahead. It is important in our minds to know what it is you want from the relationship and compare notes early and often as interests grow and tastes expand.
So what this all boils down to, the very first thing out my Muse’s mouth when I posed this question to her is, “communication, communication, communication.” Oh, and trust.
One of the things that has taken my Muse by surprise, and of which I am also keenly aware, is the degree to which there are profoundly deep feelings involved in our L/D D/s relationship, both positive and perhaps more negative. There are tremendous highs and very deep troughs as well. In addition to the profound bond of love, trust and devotion that we share and I often write about, there are also a host of other less healthy feelings that creep in and can occasionally swamp one or the other of us. These includes feelings of depression, jealousy, anxiousness, and deprivation, an extreme feeling of wanting what one cannot have. We manage our way through these occasional troughs by communicating as openly as possible our feelings and needs to help overcome them. Most importantly, we both work to modify our behavior or actions to help assuage the others feelings where possible.
So a lot of what I am describing is of course applicable to any relationship, long-distance, D/s, or otherwise. But one thing my Muse and I both agree on is that a D/s relationship has all the positives and negatives of a vanilla relationship but intensifies everything and thus takes even greater commitment to communication and each other than it might otherwise. The rewards, in the form of the dedication we both have to the relationship, the strength and breadth of our bond, and perhaps even the more profound sense of need we have for one another is greater than any other relationship either of us has experienced. With that comes all the emotional, physical and spiritual highs but also equally deep lows. It is living with intensity…which is not to say living with drama. Both of us abhor drama and work to keep it out of our lives so the highs and lows I speak of are not artificially induced drama but acknowledgement of genuine intense feelings. That is, after all, what we are in this for.
But it is not for everyone. Our long-distance D/s relationship takes constant care and feeding to keep strong and to grow. Stagnation is an easy trap to fall into. Boredom or the temptation to be continually lured to something new is a problem for some. The tasks and arrangements we have can get old or stagnant. It takes constant creativity and genuine thought to establish and maintain a constant presence of Dominance and submission in an L/D relationship.
Then there are the matters of the heart. My Muse and I have come to love one another deeply. Not in some superficial online tryst manner, but rather as people, lovers, daily companions, as well as Dominant and submissive. And when I say daily companions, I mean it. Daily. Hourly. Sometimes minute to minute. Even with thousands of miles and several time zones between us we are part of each others lives from first waking thought to last conscious awareness before sleep. We live this loving D/s life every minute of every day. And that my friend takes considerable commitment and effort. And we have not just done it for a few intense weeks or months but well over a year and counting.
So perhaps the hardest part of a L/D D/s relationship is not about BDSM questionnaires, contracts, protocol manuals, challenges and tasks, guidance, training, correction and punishment; all of which play an integral part of our D/s interaction. The real challenge lies in the management of expectations, constant dedication to meaningful and continual interaction, sensitivity to the feelings of the other even at great distance, and honest, open communication. Things that get taken for granted in a face-to-face relationship must be aired out and addressed consciously because the time and distance can allow unidentified problems to fester and exacerbate even more so than in person. Misunderstandings must be caught and addressed early and often.
So what about the D/s part? Well, I strongly suggest that if one of you has experience and the other other doesn’t that the one without the experience do some hefty research sooner rather than later (and ideally both of you should together). Read up on what D/s and BDSM relationships can mean and the forms they can take. A good place to start is “The New Topping Book” for would be doms and “The Bottoming Book” for subs by Dossie Easton. These short books do a good job of framing some of the “what’s in it for me and why” thoughts and also bring some understanding about “what’s in it for them” as well. It is advisable to go into this really understanding what Doms and subs are looking for, get from their part in the relationship, and need for the relationship to be successful. Once you digest those, there are a host of good books out there, some of which are listed in “The Reference Room” on this blog to which there is a link in the right hand column.
Then both of you should consider completing and comparing a BDSM scene questionnaire such as the one contained in the book, “Screw The Roses, Send Me The Thorns” by Phillip Miller and Molly Devon. This sort of comprehensive review of likes, dislikes, interests, curiosities and limits can help unveil areas of common interest between the two of you and also point out areas to be avoided. It also sheds some light on things that might be off limits right now but might be fodder for exploration later as trust and understanding grow and boundaries potentially expand.
Above all, communicate honestly and openly your desires and needs to one another, not just about BDSM play but about fundamental relationship expectations. One of the most common problems I see in online or mixed real-life/online interactions is a lack of understanding and commitment to the level of communication that is required. A submissive can be a very needy animal (and so too are some Doms). I often hear of submissives who feel abandoned or uncared for because they do not hear from their Doms frequently enough. Sometimes it sounds like outright abandonment which is tragic and extremely hurtful for a submissive. Decide between you how much interaction is enough and how to keep that interaction alive.
Finally, as my Muse said to me this afternoon when discussing this topic, “Just when you think you are ready for this kind of relationship and all that it brings, good and bad, think again.” Part of D/s is continually living just beyond your comfort zone. As one cute Tumblr graphic says, that is where the magic is. And it is true. Part of a Dominant’s job is to guide a submissive beyond their comfort zone into new experiences, emotions, feelings, and intensities, physical and otherwise. It is not an easy path. If it were easy perhaps more would be doing it and doing it more successfully than I observe here. The success of any D/s relationship, long-distance or otherwise is dependent as my Muse says, “on just how badly you both want it.”
My Muse and I want it very, very badly. We need this in our lives. Our D/s relationship completes us and we know it. And thus we make the sacrifices necessary to reap the rewards. We would not have it any other way.
These last several months have been a trial in my professional life and have taken me away from this blog for extended periods. The number of new posts have been few and the inbox has been overflowing with unanswered questions and comments. For this I apologize and promise I will get to them soon.
However, for the next couple of weeks I am quite literally going off the grid to a wild and rocky coastline where there is no Internet access to speak of and barely any cell phone coverage. I am going to charge my personal batteries and quite literally give the batteries of my smartphone and notebook computer a break. Time to exchange the electronic tools of the modern age for the traditional tools of rural life; a chain saw and wheel barrow, tractor and fishing boat, shovel and rake. I have some land that needs tending to and a brain that needs a break.
I will be back in a few weeks and look forward to rejoining you here and perhaps finally getting to all the backlog of mail in my inbox.
This is effectively a response to this comment from an anon, presumably related to my post about respect: I dunno why some anon-Doms think you can’t recognize a sub as an equal person. Setting aside how exactly they came to the conclusion they were superior in the first place, isn’t it more impressive or meaningful to have an equal submit to you than someone who is less than equal?
Let’s be clear: when entering a D/s relationship it should always be as equals. Regardless of the dynamic that eventually rules that relationship, we start of as equals, with an equal right to see our needs and desires fulfilled.
I have some qualms about the second point. It could be a matter of the words chosen, but I have a problem with the notion that it is somehow impressive to have someone submit to you, and even more so someone who is ‘more equal’ than others. I have a hard time defining equality in that context. Certainly issues such as intelligence or chosen profession, for instance, are entirely unrelated to the depth or honesty of someone’s submission. It is no more impressive or meaningful for a lawyer or university professor to submit than it is for a cleaner. It is perhaps more impressive or meaningful for a man who has grow up in a male-dominated society to submit to a woman, than vice versa.
But the notion that it is impressive to ‘have someone submit’ to you, could border on an Domly ego-stroking exercise. Which it shouldn’t be. It also reeks of a ‘conquest’, the sub as a trophy, which it also shouldn’t be. We’re not trying to win a war or a contest, we’re talking about forging relationships, whatever form they might take eventually.
D/s is in many ways an equaliser in itself. It doesn’t matter where we were educated, what we do for a living, what the paycheck says at the end of the day. We are Dom(me) and sub or Master and slave. That connection, the honesty and openness in creating that bond is what matters. And of course, in a long-term relationship it is extremely helpful to be with someone who shares similar interests in life. But none of these things make a person’s submission more or less ‘impressive’ or meaningful.
D/s is about following your heart, your deepest desires, fulfilling needs on both sides. It should never be about impressing one another or outsiders even, and it needs only be meaningful to the two (or more) people involved.
Mindfulness, awareness, an open heart and an honest desire to surrender on the one hand, combined with integrity, steadiness, humility, understanding and an honest and humble desire to take that life into your care on the other. Now, that is impressive. Without even trying.
The subject of love as part of a Master/slave or indeed a 24/7 Dom and sub relationship has come up in a number of conversations I have had of late. Perhaps not surprising. What surprised me was a comment/question from one young woman who thought she would not be allowed to feel a ‘romantic’ type of love for her Master and an assertion from someone else that ‘love’ has no place in such a dynamic. And of course there is the stereotype I already discussed of the Master as a cold-hearted arrogant whip-yielding bastard, the man who is above such weakness.
This is nonsense.
So what of love?
A deeply felt connection, devotion, the yearning to be together, complete mutual acceptance, adoration, are these not expressions of love? There is of course a school of thought which states there can be no love between a man and his chattel. But even the most seemingly uncaring of people will express their love for their car. To be clear, I do not personally believe that in the M/s dynamic a slave needs to be ‘merely a piece of property’, I use this analogy in illustration only. There are those of the Dom/Master persuasion who believe they should not express their love for their submissive or slave for fear of upsetting the balance, for fear of showing their weaknesses. But what do we do when we admit our deepest darkest desires to another? Show our greatest weaknesses. Yes, of course, there are D/s bonds where ‘love’ plays little or no role, but that is not the kind of relationship I am speaking of. I am speaking of a close, intimate connection for life.
And having lived ‘this thing’ most of my life, I can say from experience that IF the balance, the dynamic, in a relationship between Master and slave, Dom and sub, is solid, no amount of love will upset that balance.
Even in the most extreme situations I have witnessed in my travels and explorations of D/s, I have seen many expressions of love, at times in the smallest of gestures or smiles. And I have rarely seen more emotion, feeling, passion exchanged between two people than between two partners in a D/s relationship. It is what these relationships are built on. Emotion, feeling, passion, devotion. And love.
And equal measures of love do not necessarily require or create equality in all aspects of life. It is the ‘unequal equality’ I often refer to. This is what much of today’s M/s relationships are based on. It is recognition of the equal underlying need for an unequal dynamic.
Of course, the dynamic between Master and slave, and Dom and sub, should be built on a hierarchy that comes naturally between the two people involved. But the notion that somehow there is no place in all of this for love abhors me. D/s revolves around two (or more) people digging around in their deepest, darkest desires and emotions, exposing themselves to each other (yes, think about it) in the greatest possible sense of the word. And of course the Master’s defences may crumble slightly in the face of his slave completely given and surrendered to him, perhaps smiling, or crying, blissfully under the fresh marks he has left on her skin. This need not be a sign of weakness, in the best of cases it is a sign of acceptance. Mutual acceptance of his dominance and her submission.
We may hammer on about protocol and rules, toys, titles, chains and other paraphernalia, and I am not known for a soft approach or particularly loose view of the M/s relationship or the 24/7 TPE or collar of ownership in general, but lets not forget none of it is worth a thing without the emotion, feeling, passion. And, why not love.
While I personally have no particular taste for the commercial V-day concept of love and its frills, I made sure Cat was aware of my love for her. It did not make me less of a Master or her less of a slave. There is nothing like that very special woman in your life kneeling at your feet in complete and blissful surrender. What is not to love?