What’s a D/s relationship truly like? I want to know if it’s purely bondage and kneeling at someone’s feet. What should a master truly be like? Can you not be boyfriend and girlfriend if you’re master and pet? What about marriage? Is it superficial to give rings if you already have the collar and key? What are the basics of a contract? Is love involved in a D/s relationship? Is it purely physical? Please help. I’m trying to understand what a master and submissive relationship looks like in the real world outside of a dungeon. What does a couple look like?
-Confused Dominant Mistress
Well, CDM, a D/s relationship involves as much or as little bondage and kneeling as the participants desire or can physically tolerate. The basis of a relationship between a Dominant and submissive is power exchange. The activities that power exchange couples enjoy together are meant to enhance the feeling of control that one partner has over the other, either literally–with restrictive bondage–or symbolically–with a collar. The goal is to choose fetishes, activities, and tools that allow the Dominant to feel dominant and the submissive to feel submissive. When both of these things happen, a really intimate bond is formed.
This bond will look different for every unique, kinky couple, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that no two Masters look alike either. New Tops in the scene might follow the lead of more experienced players or popular stereotypes, but regardless of how cool they look in the dungeon, they probably won’t feel completely ‘dominant’ until they discover their own style of play and a partner who is eager to accept it. Not every Master wants to be called ‘Oh Most Worshipful One’ 24/7 either, especially in front of, say, her mom and dad or vanilla coworkers. It’s ok for Master and pet to enjoy and share their lives outside of kink together, or for the level of power exchange to ebb and flow depending on mood and context. It’s also ok for relationships to exist in a kinky context only, but both parties should be fully aware of these boundaries and the limitations of the roles they will play in each other’s lives.
For this reason, giving wedding rings as tokens of marriage might not be superficial at all. True D/s relationships vary greatly, from individuals that merely scene together, to life partners who raise a family together. A balance of freedom and fulfillment is needed to achieve a D/s relationship that exists outside of the dungeon, and it can be achieved through a huge amounts of respect and communication. Oddly enough, these are key ingredients for falling in love as well. Romance is honestly not so different on the kinky side!! It just hurts better.