Missy at submissy.com recently published an interesting and thought provoking post on expectations in a D/s relationship. While she feels expectations are “a great thing” that allow you “to set standards and to measure where you are in terms of meeting your targets,” she equally speaks of “experiencing the downs of D/s” as a result of unmet expectations. And she is correct in assuming that she is “not alone” in the confusion that periodically accompanies unmet expectations due to the complexities of life and the varying wants and needs of two individuals trying to fulfill each other’s expectations while achieving their own. And she was interested in hearing from others on this issue. Continue reading “Expectations on the D/s journey”
Every individual and couple is different. Not only do they have different desires, needs, and goals, the subs equally have different pain tolerances, and the Doms have different skill levels. And there is one area that is predominantly overlooked by Doms within the D/s community, their sub’s primary learning process (to be discussed in a future post). Therefore, it is beneficial for each D/s couple to establish a Personal Spanking Plan. Continue reading “D/s: Personal Spanking Plan”
Although what I have to say can benefit all, I am primarily speaking to Doms.
There is something good to be said about traditional values when it comes to relationships, yes, even with D/s relationships. And while I have constantly mentioned a strong foundation of love, communication, and trust (among others), I would like to stress a couple more that I see lacking so much in modern-day relationships: consistency and respect.
I come from a line of very proud men, men of their word, and men of integrity.
My maternal grandfather was Native American. He endured a lifetime of cruelty and disadvantages because of a corrupt system, and was eventually sent off the reservation during the so-called “New Deal” in the system’s attempt to make him a non-Indian. But no matter what the system did it could not break his spirit. He was a man of his word, a man of integrity, and he eventually overcame all obstacles laid in his path. He became successful on his terms, not theirs. And he never had to sacrifice his word, integrity, or honor.
My paternal grandfather was the son of a soldier. His father was a hero who gave his life defending his country during World War II. And when his widowed mother ran away with every man that would show her a good time, my grandfather (as the eldest child) had to take care of his five siblings in war torn England. It was a responsibility he took very seriously. And he passed it on to my father, who taught me.
I was taught that my word is my bond, a bond far superior to ink on a piece of paper (which lawyers continually find ways around). And I was taught my actions solidified that bond. And a man is not a man if he breaks his word, shames his honor, or loses his integrity.
Though I am specifically dealing with males in this post, the continued loss of honor and integrity in our society in each successive generation takes its toll in all areas, including relationships.
My life-mate and sub, kat, is the most special person in my life. She is more compatible to me than anyone I’ve ever known. Our communication level is about as flawless as two imperfect beings can be. And I love her unconditionally. But that does not imply that we have not had bumps in the road to overcome. And the predominant reason has nothing to do with how I have treated her, but how she has been treated by other males before I came into her life.
The mistreatment by males from her past has kat constantly questioning my motives, even though she’ll be the first to admit I’ve never given her cause to question me. She knows that when I make a promise I keep it. She knows that when I say something I back it up with my actions. And she knows that honor and integrity are extremely important to me, because that’s how I was raised by male role models I loved and respected.
Unfortunately, what has happened to kat by males in her past is a common occurrence with many women. Males breaking promises, not true to their word, and saying anything just to get what they want. There are too many males that disrespect their women in numerous ways. Too many males that speak of pride, but it’s a false pride, for they lack integrity, and have no honor.
Is it any wonder that many women have trust issues? And yes, I know that many men can say the same thing for the present day lack of integrity in females. But it is our responsibility, as Doms, to fulfill the wants and needs of our subs while keeping them protected and safe. So it is imperative that we gain their trust or they will never truly feel protected and safe. And without feeling protected and safe, they will never truly open up and give all of themselves to us and the relationship. And that’s what the D/s dynamic is all about, allowing both Doms and subs to open up and freely be who they are.
Inconsistent and Disrespectful
One of the quickest ways to spot doms that are novices, wannabes, or posers is to see their inconsistency and disrespect toward their subs. And you see this far more with those drawn to the public outlets and play sessions than for those that make it their lifestyle (for obvious reasons).
Consistent and Respectful
Mature and experienced Doms understand their responsibilities as the dominant partner, and take those responsibilities seriously. They know that consistency is a critical factor in building trust with their sub. They will go out of their way to make sure their actions mirror their words. And if they do not feel they can fulfill a promise, or cannot honestly guarantee that they can fulfill a promise, they will not make the promise. In those situations, they may simply promise to do the best that they can—which subs should also do when led into an area that’s new to them (like kat does when I introduce her to a new area within the D/s world, since this is her first D/s relationship).
Mature and experienced Doms likewise show respect to and for their subs at all times; and that includes relationships where subs yearn for, and agree to, humiliation during sessions (because it is the Dom’s responsibility to fulfill the sub’s wants and needs). Subs are always to be treated with respect within the agreed upon parameters.
For those, like kat and I, who do not pretend or merely participate in the play sessions, but include the D/s dynamic within our lifestyle, respect is crucial. She is not merely a play thing brought out for sessions; she is my soul-mate, my partner, my best friend, my confidante, my muse, and so much more. And she has grown to trust me because she has continually seen my actions mirror my words, my promises (big or small) are always kept, and I respect her at all times in all areas.
Traditional values often receive a bad rap in a progressive society. But when it comes to honor, integrity, and being true to your word, men with traditional values outshine the alternatives hands-down. They treat women with respect and take their responsibilities seriously. And if you want to be a proper Dom always be consistent with your word and respectful to your sub. It will earn the trust that’s needed for a good D/s relationship to succeed.
The Sanctity of a Relationship
I have learned through personal experience, observation, and psychological studies just how important guarding intimacy is within a loving relationship. Too many couples fail to see the hazards until they find themselves on the outside looking in, and wondering, how the hell did we end up like this?
Intimacy within a loving couple’s relationship encompasses every area of their life: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually (and that doesn’t mean strictly religious, but does include it for those who are). And to borrow a spiritual term, this area of the relationship should be considered sacred, for the sanctity of the relationship remains intact when the couple guards their intimacy from any and all outside influences. This should be done in all relationships, but is extremely important in D/s or L/s style relationships because of the overwhelming misconceptions within society.
Outside Influence = Inside Interference
When one or both partners in a relationship begin to vent to relatives, friends, co-workers, or any Tom, Dick, or Harriet that will listen, they immediately corrupt the intimate communication between themselves while opening the doors for outside influence to create inside interference.
There are also times when that interference is not sought by either partner, it comes through relatives, friends, and others who do not understand the D/s or L/s dynamic, and believe they are acting on their loved one’s behalf. Predominantly this type of interference occurs by those who believe the submissive or supportive partner is being taken advantage of by the Dominant or Leading partner because they have bought into societal misconceptions.
However, it doesn’t matter how good the intentions are, if the outsiders are not professionals trained to view both sides objectively, it will inevitably cause more conflict.
How prevalent is the problem?
Personal Coach and Relationship Expert, Chris M. Lyon, and author of Leading and Supportive Love: The Truth About Dominant and Submissive Relationships, asked the respondents to her study what were the biggest problems they experienced with their L/s relationships. She said, “The overwhelming answer—nearly 80%—answered that issues with people outside of their relationship caused the most problems for the relationship.”
This figure is similar to every psychological and academic study I’ve seen regarding the topic: anywhere from 70 – 90%.
What about support networks?
It is all well and good to have support networks in the form of family, friends, etc. However, those networks should be utilized for areas other than you and your mate’s intimate life (unless there truly is abuse going on, and then you should not be with them anyway). You don’t do you or your mate any good by bringing outside influence into your intimate space—and that means all areas of intimacy, not just the bedroom.
Kat and I continually stress communication between partners on this blog, along with other key factors for maintaining a solid relationship foundation. This is just another area where open and honest communication shines. It is a mature couple’s best weapon to guard and maintain their intimacy from outside influences as well as internal problems that may arise between themselves.
Problems or potential problems can only be dealt with when they are out in the open. Never hold back from your life-partner.
Any worthwhile relationship needs to be maintained, and D/s relationships are no exception. However, as long as I’ve been aware of the D/s lifestyles, and even during my psychological studies concerning D/s, along with personal experience, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend that complicates D/s relationships that can easily be fixed if more couples spent as much time maintaining their communication, trust, and intimacy levels (all intimacy not just physical) like they maintain the sub’s behavior through maintenance spanking or corrective punishment.
Do not misunderstand; there is nothing wrong with maintenance spanking or corrective punishment, and I am a firm believer in them within the D/s dynamic if both parties agree. Unfortunately, many couples seem to feel that maintaining the sub’s behavior is the only area that needs constant maintenance. And that is woefully inadequate.
Key factors of a successful relationship, D/s or otherwise, are as follows: a solid foundation of unconditional love, compatibility, open and honest communication, trust, respect, and intimacy. Yet many couples, especially those new to the D/s world and couples that haven’t been together very long, quickly get off-track by spending most of their time and effort worrying about the sub’s behavior and subsequent punishment or simply exploring all the variations of the kink. Thus, the relationships often take a backseat to the arousal and pleasure they find in the D/s lifestyle, until one day they realize the rest of their relationship is a mess.
I have never heard of a relationship breaking up over a lack of maintenance spanking or punishment. They fall apart over a breakdown in communication, lack of trust, incompatibility, disrespect, and a loss of intimacy that corrode and weaken the foundation of love to a point it can no longer sustain the relationship. That should tell you what areas of the relationship should be considered priorities for maintaining.
If you’re willing to devote a time every week to maintenance spankings or dole out punishment whenever a behavior infraction occurs, you should equally be willing to devote a time each week to communicate with each other as well as take action whenever an issue arises before it can become a full-blown problem. If you maintain trust, respect, and intimacy through constant communication you will prevent corrosion, cracks, and weakening in your solid foundation of love.