The other day I realized that I had no specific post about the kind of bond that I talk the most about: The Domination/submission relationships, so I started to think about it. Most of us that live or have lived a relationship of this kind are aware that what the internet shows rarely reflects what happens in real life. So, forgetting about myths, we find some relationships that work, few of them, and others that after an initial enthusiasm melt like ice. So… what fails when so much energy is spent in making them work?
Basically, for me a D/s, stricto sensu, is a relationship that establishes a bond and a hierarchy between the Dominant and submissive roles, that accept some commitments, obligations and duties that require reviews from both sides without forgetting, obviously, that it’s the Mistress who guides, dictates, orders, controls, supports… and where the ellipsis are extensions for what this relationship considers important and determinant.
In my revision about BDSM aspects, I’m getting further and further away from the paternalistic idea of binding relationships and of the Mistress influence. It is however true that this must be understood only in relationships between consenting and physiologically independent adults, which is not always true. All kinds of people arrive to the BDSM, with different deficiencies and needs of dependency that would require for this Mistress role to extend to more aspects and areas of behavior. If it works for both of them, good for them. I personally would grow tired of this. For example, I remember discussing with a submissive that was asking to have his way of dressing, whom he could see or not, what he could eat,
what he could do at each moment of his day to be strictly controlled. A Mistress is a Mistress, she does not need to be a mother, but if both like it, then there’s nothing more to add.
Before talking about the errors that I have organized into 10 headings without any particular order, I want to add that I absolutely do not want to be dogmatic nor impose my way of understanding D/s relationships. I’m also not trying to say that those who live it in a different way are doing it wrong. What is wrong to me could be right for another person, and I congratulate myself if this is satisfactory for their relationship. Each couple is different, and only the partners in the relationship know the kind of agreement and the commitment level they have. It’s a private thing that only matters to the partners, and if they are fine and feel fulfilled then there’s nothing to be said, even if outsiders would not understand what we see about their relationship.
First Error: Rushing the collaring.
For a D/s relationship to have good foundations, there is a need for clear commitments, limits, fears, desires, fantasies… For this reason, to build a relationship of this kind there is a need of tranquility and patience because aspects of the personality and sexuality that are not always visible at first are on the line. The individual personality could get overwhelmed by the role, of the appearance of the role. This is why it is complex to get to
know the person before establishing a binding relationship. Complex and slow. We know that in BDSM we do things that push into the light aspects of ourselves we did not though as being possible when everything seemed normal. Aspects that we might not be ready for, don’t know how to handle, and that we could have foreseen if we had been more cautious, without the rushing of personal and social triumph of collaring someone.
Second Error: Lack of flexibility.
This kind of relationship is based on agreements between its members. Agreements that satisfy everyone, based on a consensus of practices and ways. And those agreements must be revisable from time to time. It’s from this base than the dynamic and the hierarchical relationship is established. A relationship where the Mistress has the authority and the submissive obeys. That there are agreements do not mean that we need to be inflexible. Being inflexible does not make oneself a better Mistress. The Mistress needs to really understand the acceptable and intolerable concepts. Submissives have good and bad days and the Mistress should take this into account. To listen and modify agreements does not make oneself weak, but human. If She considers that being human is more important that the role, which does not always seem to be the case. Thus, the most important thing is that the Mistress knows what She desires, what She wants, and how far She is willing to go to get it. Nobody said that being a Mistress is something easy, and if someone thinks that, I do think he should reconsider. Does the Mistress being flexible really imply a lack of authority? It will depend on how She acts, and how She considers the submissive arguments. Let’s see an example. Let’s imagine that I desire to force my submissive to forced bisexuality (obviously this “to force” needs to be put into the context of BSDM, where everything is agreed, so even this “to force” is a relative word here), and that when the day arrives, he backs down. If our understanding of BDSM is that the Master/Mistress has to be absolutely obeyed, then this backing down would be understood as an act of disobedience and would imply unpleasant consequences,
probably for both, because the Dominant would also feel questioned. I personally think this kind of relationship is childish. We are adults, I would talk to my submissive and see why his desire to satisfy Me has been truncated: for fear, for shame, for prejudice, because he just isn’t yet ready. There could be a lot of reasons to say “no” to an agreed session, not only disobedience, brattiness or trying to top from the bottom. The intelligence and empathy of the Master/Mistress has to elucidate what the underlying reason is and what to do from now on. A D/s relationship is not supposed to constrain us in a pre-set of rules of clear cause-consequence determinism. We have a lot of nuances and each relationship has its
own set of choices and agreements that only the members have to know and respect.
Third Error: lack of direction in the relationship.
Both the Mistress and the submissive need to know what they want as individuals, what they want to obtain from their fantasies and how far they are willing to go to while sharing them. It’s the only way that they will be able to work together that’s worthwhile for both of them. If the Mistress does not have a profound understanding of herself, She will not be able to guide anyone else. There is nothing worse than the boss of a business that does not know what to do what are the objectives for his subordinates. Here is the same. The Mistress decides, if She does not know what to decide is easy for the submissive to get lost because he will perceive the lack of authority and this will produce either distress or they will see it as in invitation to take control themselves.
Fourth Error: excessive role idealization.
This can happen at several levels: the submissive doesn’t know if he is a good submissive, if he is up to the idealization of what a submissive is supposed to be. The submissive can also doubt the She is a good Mistress because She does not follow the stereotype that he sees
on porn videos or magazine images.
On the other hand, the Mistress can feel that the submissive is not surrendering like She expects as the passive subject that She believes he must be, coming from the idealization of the good masochistic and accommodating submissive, that as we all know, are not always. She can also doubt of her authority because of the femdom images that portray perfect, efficient and merciless Mistresses. This generates self-stem problems, insecurities, confusions and errors in both of them. Nothing better than communication in this respect and… what a lack of communication is
seen on those supposed relationships of surrender.
Fifth Error: Abusing Punishments leads to relationship fatigue.
It’s not the same to discipline from time to time, than to always need to be correcting or acting non-stop. To always be punishing is very umbersome, and unnecessary, if it’s not part of the game. If the punishments are for real, they wear out both parties instead of making them progress to the common shared objective, that should be clear and agreed by both of them. If brattiness is something appreciated or not should be discussed from the beginning. Punishments only work if they are rare and with a clear intent. Submissives get tired of being continuously punished and not knowing the reason for an excessive harshness, even if they can find stimulating some “cruelty” from Her part, and they are happy to be firmly guided. This can lead to confusion for inexperienced Mistresses that think that the harsher the punishment is the more the submissive will surrender himself. Being a Mistress does not mean doing whatever we want with him, without taking into account his emotions and without respecting him. Being a Mistress is not a synonym of being a narcissist, so we should not send this image of ruthless that comes from porn while what we want is another thing, especially when we are aware of the role we freely assume.
Sixth Error: the feeling that the implication is not equal.
It’s something quite usual but not widely discussed unless in private settings that one of the members is putting a lot more effort into the relationship and the other is barely doing anything. This often arrives in real-life relationships, not in the online fantasies where everything is wonderful, that have already lasted sometime, because at the beginning the emotions cloud the mind. And this happens on both roles. I have heard submissives that talk about bad relationships where they did not feel rewarded by their dedication and Mistresses that work their heart out just not to see a corresponding dedication from the submissive, or only when it suits him. This is more common in formalized bindings with
persons that live BDSM as a second life, separated from their vanilla relationships. To match timetables is not always easy and it’s common that those constraints frustrate meetings and practices because no marks of any kind can be left. This puts conditions in the Mistress freedom and the submissive surrender.
Seventh Error: Fear of losing the D/s.
Anyone that ignores the difficulties, deceptions, frustrations that we encounter in BDSM, that is anyone that it’s outside of BDSM, could think that we are all crazy because we are afraid of losing a D/s relationship. We Mistresses know that to find a submissive with a connection, with a feeling, that gives feedback is a great treasure. To lose him, let’s be honest, worries, overwhelms and hurts us. It hurts us a lot. Submissives feel the same. Thus, the possibility that even as the relationship continues the submissive disappears is sodding… even if he is still our partner. paradoxical? Maybe, but it is real.
This fear of losing can make the relationship lose its own nature and thus lead to its exhaustion.
Eight Error: jealousy.
As in any conventional relationship, they can appear independently of the appearance of love. The feeling or need of ownership of the other is quite common. It really reflects insecurity but it’s quite common. In a controlled way, in small quantities it is not harmful, but in a pathological way it destroys the relationship. One of the pillars of the D/s relationship is the mutual trust. Jealousy signals failures in this trust.
About love. D/s relationships with individuals that feel equal outside of the role are those that have a harder time if love appears in a relationship initially constructed around Domination. If love appears, the need for intimacy and equality, complicity and equilibrium in what each member brings to the table make the D/s in danger of sinking or being lost. The appearance of the love partner status curiously and paradoxically destabilizes the hierarchical bonding that’s the base over which the foundations of the relationship were established.
Nineth Error: To think that a D/s is an erotic novel.
And this not only happens to women, be aware, because seeing the B&W photos it’s obvious that there are a lot of romantic men in BDSM, and a lot that pretend to be romantic. Those people expect that the arrival of this Master or Mistress will change their life for the better, their vision of the world, and make them a better version of themselves.
They put their lives into the hands of Him or Her because they know They will finally give meaning to their lives. Bad idea. Nobody rescues anybody if they don’t want to be rescued, and even if they want, they may not succeed. The problems will still be there, probably, and the Mistress is not a psychologist, nor a therapist, She is not some kind of goddess or a magician that will make see what the other person was not even capable of perceiving. Be realist, please, and do not fool yourselves. There are a lot of drones swarming on the net in all the roles, they are not gods, nor divine creatures or semi-humans.
Tenth Error: bad praxis.
That this is the last mistake does not mean that’s it not the most basic one. A bad praxis can trash relationships that are otherwise fantastic, with all things clear and all the agreements in place. The moment of truth, this is how sessions should be named. A simple security error can generate mistrust and insecurities that are difficult to solve from this point on. To think that everyone takes the basic things into account is an error that I make, that is why I only remembered at the end to talk about bad praxis. To put yourself in the hands of someone that does not master the required techniques is a complete absurdity. To put all of the responsibility into the hands of the Dominant, even if it is Her responsibility, is an
error. It appears as the submissive should be blind in front of the Mistress and this is not true. The submissive must also be aware of the different practices and their security aspects, it does not mean that he will question the Dominant but he must have the necessary security knowledge. A lot of practices are potentially dangerous, but the biggest danger is not knowing in what hands the submissive is putting himself into. A dominant
must continuously learn, search information, observe the necessary precautions, be scrupulous with the submissive security and not let Herself be carried away with the passions, which does not mean being cold. The Dominant is who’s dominating Herself, isn’t She? Sometimes it is not so clear. As you can see, to forge ahead a D/s relationship seems like a titanesque enterprise, while in fact it is as easy or difficult as flowing with the role and the person we are with, enjoy and live with confidence, honestly and willingness. With the same dedication employed in any other couple, in reality. With ups and downs and a lot of effort problems can be overcome. The excess of intensity can burn out the relationship, but the boredom and monotony can make it languish. But this if for another history.
Thanks for reading Me.
(translation by @ouimadame )