I love the internet. Well, that’s not entirely true. I love the amount of research one can do on any subject. What I don’t very much love is that the stuff you really need to know is often difficult to find.
There are gazillions of articles on BDSM. Everything from gorean slave positions to the proper way to “do rope” to recommendations for scene negotiation and safewords can be found with just a couple of googled phrases. There is a plethora of information to be found on any subject relating to BDSM. This is the good part.
But what always comes up in many of my conversations is something that not many people talk about. It’s one of the hidden secrets of D/s, which in my opinion, happens more frequently and causes more anxiety within that relationship than any other single thing. It’s a malady that is usually talked about in hushed whispers, if it’s talked about at all. And it’s one that is almost impossible to find out how to handle from reading on the internet. In fact, this is one of those times where reading anything to do with BDSM on the internet ends up making the situation worse. Most often, people end up feeling very much alone when this happens- as if the lack of information on the internet confirms their suspicions that this thing has happened to nobody else. The symptoms of this affliction are insidious, often sneaking up on you before you even realize you’re suffering from it.
So what is this mystery malady? The one that happens so frequently, yet is hardly ever talked about?
It can be most simply stated as “I thought when we started living together, that our kinky fun times or our D/s relationship would become stronger, yet it seems like they’ve almost disappeared”.
Everyone who has suffered from this malady can breathe a sigh of relief. This does happen to other people. And despite what you read about on the internet about all the sexyfun times that everyone else seems to be having non-stop, I’m going to tell the truth. Even in a 24/7 D/s relationship it is impossible for nearly everyone to maintain the same level of kinky interaction that you enjoyed before you started sharing a mailing address. Or closet space.
There are lots of reasons for this phenomena. One of the basics is that much of what kink space is concerns fantasy. It's truly easy to put on the D/s roles when you're talking a few hours or days at a time. It's much harder to maintain those boundaries when you're trying to get the kids out the door, deal with the oil man, find that permission slip and try to remember to say "yes, Sir" after every phrase. Even for those in D/s relationships- much of what goes on in our heads is about creating a “world” where the roles each have chosen are clearly defined and nothing is left to circumstance. But what we forget is that circumstance always happens. What we forget is that sometimes things just have to "give". And very often- it's the kinky part of our interactions. Who really just hasn't felt too damned tired at the end of a long day, a long commute, or a really shitty meeting to even make a serious effort to do more than sit in a chair and be left alone?
The other thing that we often forget is that the people in our kinky D/s relationships are just- people. They’re not “The Dominant” or “The Submissive”. They are people with needs, wants, emotions, and more often than not- baggage. I am not talking about luggage here. You know what baggage is- it’s the ex wife who has done a number on your guy’s self-esteem; it’s the identity that they had in their work which was shattered when they got laid off; it’s the history of really awful dates you’ve had with yet another wanker; it’s the things we grew up with; it’s the responsibilities we all have to family, work, school; it’s our personalities and moods; and it’s all of those things that we each took away from relationships with others. Dealing with each other’s baggage is perhaps one of the most unsexy things that happens when you move in together. Learning to find where your own limits are with each other’s baggage is difficult. And trying to fit in a kinky time when you're dealing with yet another interrupting annoying call from the ex; or holding on to your own submissive head space when you'd like nothing better than to bitchslap someone is an exercise in futility.
We often forget is that when exploring a kinky relationship with someone- the energy that is exchanged in the first phases of it, is really not that much different than any other new activity we take on. How many times have you picked up a new “hobby”, bought all the accouterments to do it well, read all the books about it, got so into it, and then- a few months down the road- find it rather mundane. You might still do that hobby once in a while, but you don’t really get that first thrill that you had when you were first learning about it. Kink is no different.
And finally, I think that in a D/s or S&M relationship in particular, especially in a hetero one, where the man is the dominant and the woman is the submissive, what more often than not comes into play is simply that you love each other (I’m assuming that’s the case or you may wish to rethink this whole “moving in together” thing). When that happens weird shit goes on in a D/s- S&M relationship. The guy often starts to get creeped out about actually -hurting- someone he loves (society norms are never very far from the surface for most loving sadists) . The guys often take on more of a protector role and less of a bastard role. They actually (OMG) say thank you and please! Their submissive is combined with their lover, their companion, their partner and their friend (Madonna/Whore is not just a roleplay in this case). Roles get messy and confused. When loving emotions get mixed into a D/s-S&M relationship- it gets really difficult for the dominant to put those feelings aside and make his submissive really cry. And when a submissive loves her dominant, we really do (at least I’ve made this mistake a few times) see him through a rose-colored glass. I know that I tend to overlook “undominant-like” actions as an aberration. I get so wrapped up in my own role sometimes, that it is difficult to remember that he really just can’t beat me up the same way he did when we didn’t know each other very well. It still makes his dick hard to beat my ass, but now- the flavor is much different.
So, what’s the cure for this ailment? The unfortunate thing is that there really isn’t a single foolproof cure. But there is maintenance and some tricks I’ve learned that might work for others. And in the coming days- I’ll be posting about some strategies you might want to try. Nothing can cure this malady. But between the alternatives- being in a loving relationship and learning how to “do kink” a new way within that; or giving up on long term relationships in order to constantly refill the adrenalin pool- I’m a sucker for the first one every time.