What Is D/s?

Author: Raven Shadowborne © 1997

D/s stands for Domination and submission. It is a relationship between two people that includes what is known as a power exchange. The submissive consentually grants the dominant the authority to exert control over him/her. It is a mutual relationship. It is based on trust and comittment. The necessities of such a relationship are communication, trust, respect, knowledge, awareness of self, and ideally love. It is a very complex and varied lifestyle, with each relationship differing from another.

 Communication is a major key in a successful D/s relationship. The people involved must be able to talk with each other openly and share their thoughts, feelings, ideas and fantasies. This type of communication is difficult to achieve and requires work to maintain. But without it, the relationship will not survive. The goals of both participants is the pleasure of the other. Neither participant can meet that goal if they do not know what pleases the other participant. Communication can take many forms, bedtime snuggle talk, notes, letters, even stories can relate your needs, and emotions to your partner. The important thing is to talk with each other, honestly and in an open manner.

 Trust is another major key in a successful D/s relationship. Trust is earned, not forced. And it must go both ways. the submissive must trust the dominant with their very life. Trust is earned by the behavior of both participants. Open communication and honesty help to build the trust within the relationship. Respecting the limits of your partner will build trust. Accepting all aspects of your partners personality will also build the trust. Within life trust is a tenuous thing, within D/s it is even moreso. It is easy to break the trust in a D/s relationship, and very hard to repair it.

 The participants within a D/s relationship need to respect each other. Their partner's needs, wants, fears, doubts, achievements and abilities should all be respected. Respect is another earned aspect of D/s. Your actions will dictate whether or not you are deserving of the respect given within a D/s relationship.

 The participants in a D/s relationship should have at least a basic knowledge of what they are doing. Of what the outcomes of their actions could be. How to use the various toys and equipment associated with the lifestyle. A basic knowledge of the emotional needs within the relationship. and a good working knowledge of each other. It takes time to know that much about D/s, and each other. Take the time to learn as much as you can and your relationship will work better.

 those within D/s should have at least a basic awareness of themselves. By this I mean a person should know what is in themselves. Know their own personal needs and limits before they can make the informed choice of whether or not to submit, or whether or not they have what it takes to be a dominant. This is a long process and takes some time  to accomplish, though it never is finished. They should also be aware that despite the close bond which forms in such a relationship, that they are in fact individuals also. The people in the relationship should never forget that they are indeed people, and should give room for human error. Everyone is human and no human is perfect. Expecting perfection is the easiest way to be disappointed.

 Ideally a D/s relationship should include love. Though this is not a necessity for a satisfying relationship, it does strengthen the bond between the two people. From experience I have learned just how close a D/s relationship becomes. With enough time, patience and communication, there is literally no secrets left. Love itself is hard to define and each person has their own definition, to me it is an emotional bond between two people. There are varying degrees of love, my opinion is such that ideally in D/s, unconditional love should be present. It makes the relationship so much more emotionally satisfying when love is present.

 Such a relationship is indeed a very complex one. The exchange of power from one person to another can be a frightening thing to think about. There are varying levels of such exchange of power. ranging from those who play every once in a while, to those who mutually consent to a slave arrangement and give total control to another. What each person, no matter their level of involvement, should also remember is to respect their partners limits. those within the lifestyle should be tolerant of the differences between their relationship and another's. There are no set rules for what constitutes a "proper" D/s relationship. And those of us who are within the lifestyle should accept this fact. I believe that so long as the participants are happy and each person's needs are met consentually, then the particulars do not matter.



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