Matters of the D/s Heart: A Serious and Long Overdue Conversation
In the course of my writing I recognize that at times I paint a rather idyllic and promising picture of what a D/s relationship can or should be. I hear often from followers things to the effect that, “yes, this is exactly how I feel,” or “this is the sort of the relationship I am looking for,” or “what a wonderful description of the relationship I have.” D/s relationships are relatively easy to write about, but they are a much more complicated thing to actually do and do well.
I bring this up because recently I have received a spate of correspondence from followers asking some very tough questions about carrying on D/s relationships under less than ideal circumstances. Questions arise perhaps because one or the other would be D/s partner might be otherwise attached or have family commitments they cannot or do not wish to sever. Perhaps there is a large age gap that seems unimportant in the D/s sense but appears more daunting in the light of day in the vanilla world. Perhaps there is a great geographic distance between the two. Perhaps there is a concern for outside disapproval of one sort or another. Perhaps all of the above and more. The common thread among all of the follower questions though is a concern for becoming emotionally attached to their D/s partner and a fear of being emotionally hurt if or when it does not or cannot work out.
It seems based on these many questions that there is a desire out there to have the close bond I describe between Dom and sub; the great sex, the trust, the comfort, the desire, the devotion, the honor, the power exchange, and the sense of security and belonging without the emotional entanglement that could lead one to getting hurt. Read that sentence again. Does that make any sense on any level? Does anyone honestly believe that one can have the kind of relationship I describe and experience first hand with my Muse without becoming emotionally attached? In the words of my Muse, “no way in Hell!”
I am sure that there are plenty of men out there and perhaps more than a few women too who can engage in casual sexual interaction without emotional attachment. I am sure that some percentage of these folks also has a desire to play with some pretty kinky sex that might on the surface resemble BDSM. But to me, the key to a true D/s relationship lies in the emotional bond between Dominant and submissive. That is where the true power emanates from that can then be exchanged between partners. You have to have power in the first place for the power exchange to be meaningful. The bond IS the power. Anything less is just kinky sex. Or at least that is how I feel.
There is an expression in the world of twelve-step programs that goes something to the effect of, “if you want what we have, you have to do what we do.” If you want the sort of relationship that I describe that my Muse and I have, you have to be willing to do what we do. And that means being vulnerable, grateful, and hopeful, all without expectation or demand of the future. Its not an easy thing to do and it is even harder to maintain.
My Muse and I suffer all of the problems I described above and more. We have distance, professional and personal commitments, attachments, age, and differing life experiences between us. We have much conspiring to keep us apart and no clear path forward for our future. We quite literally have to live for today, hope for tomorrow, and expect nothing. It is hard and it can be heartbreaking. There is longing, there can be times of depression, and moments of jealousy. There can even be fleeting feelings of hopelessness, a sense of why commit so much emotional capital to a relationship that seems to have no clear future?
Because by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to one another, to risk long-term heartbreak, to gamble that one or the other of us does not just throw in the towel one day, is what allows us to be so very, very, close to one another and have the loving, trusting bond of utter and complete devotion that we share. And it is that bond that makes her kneeling submission and my guiding Dominance such a rare and powerful thing. The bond is what completes us as people and fills the hole in the donut that has always seemed to be there deep inside of each of us.
For two years my Muse and I have plowed forward with our relationship without so much as a day of interruption. Against all odds and risking much, we stick to this thing because we stick to one another. We get so very much from each other and this relationship that the scales remain tipped in our favor despite the difficulties, time, distance, and emotional toll. We are profoundly grateful for each other and the bond we share. Sure it hurts from time to time but we also cannot imagine life without it. And we have hope. We opened Pandora’s Box when we went down this path together. There was no avoiding the emotional attachment that comes between devoted Dom and sub. But after opening the box and releasing all the furies, Elspeth (hope) remains nestled in the bottom. We have hope that time will sort out what we cannot see through today. Waiting and uncertainty are difficult and sometimes painful. But we maintain hope in one another.
And to the elephant in the room; affairs. I have been often asked if one can just have a D/s affair while maintaining a primary vanilla relationship without emotional attachment and messiness. I suppose some people can. I cannot. There is a heavy price to be paid for such actions. There is no free lunch. Matters of the heart always creep in. Someone always suffers even when you think you have not been “caught.” The primary relationship partner suffers. The D/s partners suffer. There is guilt. There is shame. There is the pull of right and wrong. There is indecision and fear. If you decide to go down that road, you better do so with your eyes wide open. You are playing with fire and someone is going to get burned…its just a question of who and how badly. I am not here to judge anyone least of all myself. I only caution that taking that road carries with it serious and very real burdens and costs.
And then finally, what really happens if or when a D/s relationship falters or fails and one or the other of the partners cannot or will not commit in a way that satisfies the other? Breakups of any kind are never easy or fun. There is always anger, depression, blame, self-criticism, grieving, and a host of other negative emotions involved. But there is an added dynamic in the breakup of a D/s relationship that must be considered. There is a bond between Dom and sub that takes the normal interdependencies of a vanilla relationship and adds so much more. That is after all the beauty of D/s. But if and when it ends, it can feel more like death not only of the partner and the relationship but also of self. So interdependent are we on one another as Dom and sub for guidance, being needed, support, security and even self-worth, that when such a bond is severed is feels like we ourselves have died. We feel utterly lost. We lose not only our partner but a large and very deeply rooted part of ourselves. This is tough stuff and yet the very thing that we sign up for when we choose to go down the D/s path. This is why it is so very important to choose partners cautiously and wisely and tend the D/s garden carefully.
So can you have the sort of powerful D/s bond that I am privileged to personally experience and write so much about without risking vulnerability, emotional attachment, and possibly heartache or heartbreak? I say no way. But if you find the right partner who is just as committed to the success of the relationship as you are, is it worth it? You’re damn straight. I would not trade it for anything.
Caption © For The Love of a Submissive, 2014
Image Credit Unknown
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