:: BDSM Transitions

This page will ramble around a few of the dynamics about transitioning to a D/s relationship.

:: D/S & MARRIAGE

A while back, I read a post about a wife saying her marriage being more important than any single aspect – in other words, if her and their D/s changed what was most important was the relationship they had.

I couldn’t agree more. Kasai is my wife and my best friend. Her relationship means more to me than any other. Through the years we have had good and hard times and through the fire we are stronger now than ever. Though we are apart now, we both know we aren’t meant to be anywhere else than in each others presence.

In my experience, D/s complements our marriage, just as we do naturally anyways. When one of us is down, or having a low, or impatient about something, the other is motivating, strong, and brings perspective.

Our D/s interacts in almost every phase of our relationship, though it is not our relationship. Yes, we are very sexual, but our sex doesn’t define us. Our relationship defines us. But our D/s compliments it – it has deepened our trust and intimate knowledge of each other. Through it, we have opened up in new and meaningful ways with each other.

But through it, there is still life – sometimes one of is having a hard time dealing with something or just having a bad day. Life happens. There are shitty days. People get sick. Kids, family, and friends need to be dealt with.

If one went off of books, D/s is all glorious and never messy – but this isn’t the case. A D/s dynamic doesn’t take the life out of life. But it can bring new shades of meaning to the things once taken for granted – it can help open our eyes, ears, and hearts towards the other.

In a book or BDSM porn, the Dom would simply say “Just do as I say” or something similar to deal with issues – but in real life things don’t work like that. And actually, that type of response can make things more difficult in a relationship because it often ignores the root issues.

A more elegant response would be for the Dom to continue being a leader with their finger on the pulse and not being quick to make rash decisions. Remaining calm, keeping eyes on the bigger picture. This is true for any mature relationship, and in a D/s – the roles should compliment that.

Another side issue is the matter of consistency. Through the different changes and stages of day-to-day life, a couple needs to be consistent in how they interact with each other. A submissive needs their Dom to be their Dom and visa versa. When life happens, some of that interaction may incarnate itself differently, but the needs don’t change.

Over the past several months, Kasai has had to deal with life alone – some serious issues with our oldest, the car breaking down, issues with the house, and the list continues. She is a very strong and able woman and has managed all of them with grace and strength and I couldn’t be more proud of her. What she really wanted (and me too) is to not have to deal with these alone – but she has. Being submissive doesn’t mean that she is a weak woman who can’t manage life issues. But through the lens of our dynamic, I have witnessed her strength in new ways.

I realize that in every marriage the D/s dynamic is going to be different – but I think one of the key points in my response to your question is that it’s important to not lose who you are as a couple. Kasai is strong willed and sassy – we play a lot and are snarky with overtones of sarcasm throughout a lot of our relationship. Together we are best friends, we love each others presence, though I sometimes suck at it, we talk about everything and nothing. We have a deep love for each other that grows stronger with each passing day.

Our D/s hasn’t taken away from who we are as individuals or as a couple; rather, it is built in these things and brings out the details in a new light. Though we connect on a much different level, we are not “different’”.

DEMONSTRATING DOMINANCE & SUBMISSION

Most relationships go through cycles where one person transfers decisions to the other. Sometimes, a guy will seek to please his wife/girlfriend by shifting decisions to her – think “Whatever you want” – most of the time, this is done to please their partner. Other times, a woman might be more comfortable in letting her partner make decisions.

But most of the time, there is an ebb and flow. That is to say, that the decision point shifts from partner to partner over the years. In other cases one partner may make more decisions in some areas, while in other areas the other partner makes decisions.

In any degree of D/s there is an exchange. Whether it’s sex only or inclusive of other areas. Regardless of what the specifics are, the Dominant has the responsibility to lead the couple in those areas.

To do that, the Dominant needs to exercise their decision making on a consistent basis. Whatever areas you have dominance over – be dominant. Make decisions and be assertive. Most importantly, be consistent – nothing will cause confusion faster for a submissive than an inconsistent Dom.

Remember that your sub wants to submit – they want to be led. They want to know the details of what you want, what you like and how you like it. So demonstrate your leadership and tell them. Provide instruction, guidance and training.

For submissives, you need to trust your partner and yourself as you follow your Doms lead. Because of some peoples background, they may feel uncomfortable with the word “submit” – but really, what we are talking about is trust and following your partners lead. Regardless of what you want to call it, you just need to exercise it.

If you are submissive concerning sex, learn what pleases your partner and work on your proficiency in those areas. Learn more about your protocol, rules, positions, etc. Look for ways to exercise initiative to give to your Dom your submission.

The couple need to discuss what areas the exchange will include; is it sex only, other aspects of sexuality, include day-to-day elements? This takes conversation and open dialogue. Once these areas are established, it’s paramount that in those areas the Dominant leads and the submissive submits – but it’s also equally important that in other areas the couple maintains their arrangement.

In other words, if the couples power exchange is their sexuality, the Dom shouldn’t try to dominant decisions regarding their children, or friendships. The Dom shouldn’t use their dominance to make the sub feel subservient. While sexuality touches many areas of life, it isn’t inclusive of everything.

In fact, by demonstrating a more open dialogue in areas outside of the exchange, the Dom has the ability to incarnate and reflect a degree of trust and appreciation that will further deepen the couples bond – both in their D/s and outside.

A lot of subs who don’t exchange every aspect of life often are concerned about this very thing – “what if we change” – “what if my Dom pushes into other areas” – etc. These are valid concerns that even though the both may think is unlikely, it will remain until the experience proves otherwise.

When the exchange includes more than sex, I also feel it’s important for the Dom to still allow a degree of decision making to the sub. As I mentioned, the sub needs consistency. As I mentioned earlier, sexuality reaches so many areas all by itself, including things like sex itself, health & fitness, appearance, physical contact, and so many others. The point is – sexuality is so large of an area, you can’t (and in my opinion shouldn’t) attempt to directly control all of these areas.

The sub wants to please in these areas and submit to the overall desires. They typically don’t need to be micro-managed (which usually leads to resentment) – they need freedom to grow in their submission. Sometimes, the Dom may have to take a more active role, especially in training. However, outside of a specific instruction, task, assignment, or training, the Dom will do better by allowing the sub the freedom to make decisions.

As an example; Kasai knows I prefer her in a dress – but I don’t tell her how to dress, and she doesn’t need my approval. Time to time, I will tell her what I want her to wear though – again, this demonstrates our D/s. But on a day to day basis, there are simply too many variables that affect life – I know and trust Kasai, and happen to love her style. I also have a standing rule that she wears her day collar or a necklace everyday – again, I don’t tell her which one to wear each and every single day, though from time to time I will instruct her to wear something specific.

Kasai makes most day to day decisions regarding our kids, and I don’t attempt to push my dominance into this area. We are life partners and best friends – and since this area is outside our D/s dynamic, we work together to handle issues as they come up – but because of my work schedule, she typically makes decisions and we talk about things as they come up.

I guess the point is, it’s important for a Dom to demonstrate their dominance in the areas agreed to, to respect other areas outside the arrangement, just as it’s important for the submissive to respect the exchange and grow in those areas. It’s also paramount for the couple to maintain open communication lines about their D/s.

:: KINKY SEX

I don’t mean to suggest that kinky sex = a D/s relationship in this post; only that this is one element typically found within BDSM that is probably the most common among those entering in. On the outset, a lot of people might equate the two, after all that’s what movies and erotica tell us – of course, people who are in a D/s dynamic realize there is more, but I digress.

Now, I am actually going to divide this aspect into two parts (and posts) – kinky sex, and kinkier sex.

By kinky sex I am insinuating some light bondage and an intro to impact, anal or role play. In other words, stepping out of the typical “vanilla sex” – but not venturing too far.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of couples who experience this form of kinky sex is higher than what most think; however, most don’t jump right in. On the first couple dates, a guy is going to be hesitant to ask the girl if she likes to be fucked in the ass or spanked with a paddle. In reality, most people don’t talk about sex at all until after they have had sex.

Sexual encounters of couples who just met are often described as hot, steamy, and passionate. There is a newness to the lust factor that compels the couple to have a lot of great sex. But the experience is typically pretty vanilla – sure they fuck in a few different positions and locations, but they aren’t likely to go too far.

But at some point in time, the two will begin to explore more and more of their sexual appetite. Be it from reading articles in magazines, or through some slight conversation. The girl may put her ass in the air hoping that he will spank it. The guy might begin some minor anal play hoping to advance further.

Eventually, these activities will lead to some form of dialogue. But it’s not the easiest conversation to initiate – because neither one wants to feel rejected. The trust is still building, even after years of being together. But this conversation is typically the introduction of BDSM into their relationship.

And normally, it’s the sexual element that begins it. And it’s kind of easy to understand why. Kinky sex is amazing. The bond and level of trust between the two seems to mystically compound as they delve into it.

The conversation might begin by going to sex toy website and just browsing around – each one noticing how the other reacts to different toys and maybe asking “What do you think about this one?” Truth be told, this is probably one of the easiest and less stressful ways of initiating the conversation – because it’s very non-instrusive. It’s non-demanding. And it allows for a fun conversation.

After a little experimentation, the two begins to become more and more comfortable with this level of dynamic.

The conversation grows, and becomes a little more open. They find it easier to come out and say what’s on their mind, what they want, and how they want to experience it. One of the partners typically will begin to become more dominant.

:: KINKIER SEX

What happens after kinky sex can vary, it may lead to kinkier sex, or it may lead to a more defined Dominant and submissive relationship (which more often than not includes sex….really great kinky sex). But with the hope of breaking down the transition into several elements, I am going to segregate this next step as kinkier sex.

What is kinkier sex? I’ll define it as anything that probably isn’t talked about in Cosmo or Mens Health. While these types of popular magazines might have articles about anal, blow jobs, new locations or positions, they pretty much end there. But there is something beyond these things.

If you Google the phrase “kinky sex”, it will take you a while to find anything really kinky – in fact, it’s not the best phrase to use for good results. What you will find are about what magazine articles will talk about. You might have a list about light spanking, or being a little aggressive. There may be talk about oral sex.

But your not going to find much of anything about wax, breath play, shibari, water sports, face fucking, use of paddles, crops, or floggers, fucking machines, nipple clamps, electro stimulation, sexual torture, and the list continues…….

What generally happens, is that even those who enjoy kinky sex, it can be difficult to move into anything else, let alone a fetish. To go from using an Adam & Eve vibrator to a fucking machine or to move beyond some light playful spanking to using a cane and leaving some beautiful marks is a lot for some. For many, it can feel like you’re ‘coming out’ to talk about water sports, because you might be concerned about the reaction from your partner.

Typically, the conversation for kinkier sex is the same one for any level of power exchange. And while it can be difficult to find the words, you need to. Because many of these acts are on a different level – some are S&M – and it’s not wise to inflict pain on your partner without discussing it. Others are fetish related, and the conversation needs to happen.

Like with kinky sex, there are ways to initiate it. Go to website that sells toys beyond your standard vibrator or cock ring, and browse there for a while and have the same conversations “It would be great to try this”….”You would look amazing in that”….”I’d love to use this on your”….etc.

But once the door is open, you need to continue the conversation. Look through Tumblr accounts, read articles on the different activities together – become more educated. Many find it useful to use a pre-built checklist or you can create your own to help in the dialogue to help you and your partner figure out where and how far you each want to go.

What’s more is you need to figure out where each of you DON’T want to go and what happens if something gets pushed too far.

Don’t misunderstand me, this isn’t a one time conversation. Kasai and I still talk about these things. As your getting started, it’s going to be important to talk about these activities after you have experienced them to see how each other felt about it. Doing so will continue to generate pleasure by tweaking this or trying that.

:: SEXUAL D/S DYNAMIC

When a couple transitions to kinkier sex, they normally emerge into some form of a D/s dynamic. While there are several variations, they might be grouped into a Bedroom Only, a Sexuality D/s, or a Total Power Exchange (which also has several variants).

The Bedroom Only dynamic is fairly self-explanatory – the power exchange only exists when a couple is engaged in the act of sex itself.

In a power exchange that involves the couples sexuality – it extends beyond the act and is inclusive of every aspect of the sexual nature between the two.

What is sexuality? It can be defined as the capacity for sexual feelings, or the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. If you type “sexuality” into Google and search for images, you will see a healthy mixture of photos including embraces, holding hands, sex, sexy clothing, kissing, massages….a little bit of everything.

Human sexuality is a very dynamic and inclusive thing. It reaches into nearly every aspect of our lives. Most surveys tell us that both men and women think about sex a lot during the day – we experience things that arouse us in some way – from a simple glance, a spoken word, a caress, a kiss, responding to the way we dress, images, movies, or song. In addition to these areas, there are others that contribute – our health, fitness, and economics all support our sexuality.

In a D/s dynamic where one partner has Dominance over the couples Sexuality – all of these things are considered. The Dominant partner leads the two to experience a heightened capacity for these responses in addition to the actual experience of sex itself.

As a couple transitions to this relationship, the conversation is in depth discussing all of these areas – how will the Dominant have authority in them. What are the considerations for where and when? Will there be different levels of how it is demonstrated?

This dynamic then, is 24/7 – even though there may be different protocols for how the couple interacts with each other depending on if they are alone or around family, friends, others. When alone, it may be extremely overt, yet around others the dynamic may be subtle. This couple also allows the two to have several areas in their life where the dynamic doesn’t engage (major financial decisions, raising children, etc).

:: TOTAL POWER EXCHANGE

For some, when they enter into a D/s dynamic, the exchange of power goes beyond the couples sexuality. Issues may range from how the house is maintained, or day-to-day activities.

This couple typically finds great pleasure through expressions of love generated by acts of service.

I say this to keep this dynamic love based.

And that’s an important element that often goes by un-talked about. Regardless of the dynamic – the couple should be able to flow naturally and be fueled by love. If the TPE creates an environment where the submissive feels devalued it’s not in love.

I see this in a lot of writings – some using christian overtones, others using porn as their ideal. The dynamic (of any shade) should be filled through expressions of a couple madly in love with each other – not where one is attempting to use their power to control the other.

While the TPE might be 24/7, like the Sexual D/s dynamic, it probably has different faces depending on the situation. We might often describe this as ‘protocol’. When alone the level of protocol might be more overt than when in the presence of others.

Creating different levels of protocol doesn’t take away from the dynamic, rather it allows the couple to express their love through free and natural ways.

Sometimes, this dynamic is entered into, because the submissive is tired of the Dominant partner forcing them (the sub) to constantly make decisions. Other times, the submissive genuinely needs and desires more structure, direction, or accountability.

In order to find the right protocol, a lot of communication will be required (before, during, and after). And when talking about the structure, I would invite the Dom to open a lot of it to the sub. As mentioned, sometimes the sub really just needs and wants a little more accountability – so consider the difference between “You will do this” to “What plan do you want to maintain?” – then, tweak if necessary after some discussion, and then follow through.

I’ll write more about it in the near future, but as an example – when I counsel the people who work for me, and we come up with a plan of action – the plan is generated through dialogue with a lot of input from the subordinate. Later, when we sit down to assess the plan – if something wasn’t completed the conversation is drastically different than if I had simply told them what to do.

It goes from “You didn’t do what I told you to” to “You said you were going to do this – but it didn’t happen” – in other words, there is ownership by the sub to the task. It’s not something forces or coerced, it’s something they helped birth.

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