When I was going through a divorce, seven years ago, I happened to meet my first dominant online. I thought that he must be a whip-toting freak living in a basement with a dungeon. This was my first instinct. Now, I have three dominant/submissive relationships (though I've also had vanilla relationships) and can honestly say that each one has taught me profound lessons about myself, my body and even my life.
There is so much misinformation and controversy out there about D/s, which I have written about before. I want to give you a peek into the real world of D/s. These are some of the most common questions I have been asked.
What are you most excited about D/s?
The most appealing thing about me is the intense cerebral connection my mind has with me and the emotions it invokes in me. (The brain is, afterall, the largest sex organ). His words, orders, reprimands and tone are all what I love about him.
Then I hear my own reactions that shock me, from being mouthy and completely inappropriate to meekly pleasing or having no air in the lungs at all. The anticipation, fear, exposure, his control, protection, desire, love, and power that I feel all the time are feelings I have with my whole body, mind, and heart. Through the D/s dynamic, I not only feel more alive and aware of my sexuality/sensuality, I learn and own more of myself.
I have heard that "punishment" and "discipline" are used in D/s relationships. What does this look like?
This is how I see it.
My personality is diverse. I am a straight-laced person. I am responsible, hard-working and kind. Perhaps it's my good-looking, upper-middle-class upbringing at work.
Some parts of me want to push the boundaries. These parts are aggressive, sly and daring. "Delaine The Brat", the D/s partner, is here and she loves to push.
It brings me great joy to poke at my Dom, test him, and try to undermine his masculinity in some way. It's almost like glee. If he catches it and I always kind of hope he will I need to know he will 'put in my place' through some kind of "punishment/discipline" that we both somehow, on some level, enjoy. It's a turn off for me if he fails to rise to the challenge.
This is where S&M can be useful for some people. Others may resort to bondage, spanking, or kink. Sometimes it can even mean humiliation or standing in the corner as a berated child. It is impossible for the submissive to know exactly what her Dom will do, and it can even be sexually rousing to have a slight fear of the unknown. She should know that she is safe, and will not be pushed beyond her physical, mental, or emotional limits. She can ask for a mutually agreed-upon "safe word" if this happens.
For me, it is best to ignore me than to make me do things.
Why would you behave this way as a mature woman?
It doesn't happen all the time. The exact reason is unknown. Why is it that you crave tomatoes on rye bread but I prefer grilled cheese on white? It doesn't matter if we enjoy good food and both feel satisfied at the end.
I do know that I am attracted to men who are strong, determined, creative, and powerful. This is a topic for another article. It makes me feel more feminine and sexually confident when I am around that energy. It's not like I don't think I'm all those things, but I find that something in me is soothed and awakened by being with my partner.
Why didn't your divorce decree allow you to explore D/s?
All I can say now is that my desire to sex was stifled by the monotony of having three children within a predictable and stable household. At 37, I was single again and realized how much my sexual desires are triggered when my imagination and mind are constantly challenged. I can have that with a D/s partner.
What are the most important things women need to know about D/s?
While D/s is an essential part of any relationship, it is not the only thing that matters. To have a successful relationship, you must be compatible in many other ways than D/s.
Second, when you love your partner deeply, D/s is like a private, special journey that allows you to discover yourself and each other in intimate ways. Sex is more of a continuation of this journey, a vehicle, if you will. It allows you to ask, dare and receive, give, and explore aspects about yourself and others that you didn't know existed. It almost feels like you are in a cosmic relationship with your partner. It is almost as if you are attached to each other, like muscle on bones.
Are you suffering from psychological problems?
In real life, I'm a mom, a professional and a mother. I am capable, creative, independent, and self-reliant. As a woman, D/s speaks directly to a deep and intimate part my soul. I want to be loved, taken care of, and led by one man.
Not everyone can be a Dom and claim me. A ferocious Tiger guards the entrance to this sacred part of me.
It is something I encourage women to do.
Does D/s only concern whips, chains and blood?
No. D/s should not be confused with S&M. This is sadomasochism. S&M refers to a dynamic in which one person (the sadist), enjoys inflicting sexual pain on another (the masochist). Some people may include some S&M in their D/s dynamics, but it is more common to see mild to moderate S&M. It can take the form of spanking (which, let's face it, many "vanilla” couples have tried).
Please note that BDSM can be divided into three areas: BD for bondage and discipline, DS for dominance and submission, and SM for sadomasochism. Each couple will decide what they want to combine and how they do it. Many couples simply don't categorize themselves as such and call actions like blindfolding and handcuffing "kink".
Do you think D/s is primarily about sex?
D/s is a dynamic energy flow between two people. The Dom plays more of a leader, guide, enforcer and protector while the sub assumes the role as a pleaser, brat and tester, baby girl and/or servant. Most couples limit D/s to the intimate sexual play of the bedroom. However, D/s can be extended and used in new and exciting ways.
A Dom might create rules that are simple but not unusual for his subordinates, like requiring her to ask him permission to masturbate if he's away. The dynamic could be more complex and involve many tasks and stricter rules that give him greater control over her mind, body, and behavior. Here is where D/s becomes Master/slave. This is a more complex and more lifestyle-oriented line.
Is the Dom the only one with all the power, while the sub is a mere doormat?
No. This is the greatest myth about D/s. True D/s relationships are based on the needs, wants and desires of the sub. She sets the boundaries and flows of the relationship. The Dom's role is to listen to her and ask questions. Sometimes, her boundaries are gently pressed.
Trust, communication, respect, and honesty are the four pillars that make up a D/s partnership. If one of these pillars is missing, or starts to crumble, the relationship can become stunted and even end in disaster.
Delaine Moore.com has more information.
This article was first published November 2016.
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