A few days ago, Talllover64 wrote a post titled, Nurturing the Bond of Submission. One of the comments on that post was that it seemed as if he was saying that the responsibility for nurturing the relationship fell totally on the submissive. As written from his point of view, he was indeed saying that the submissive had responsibility for nurturing the relationship; however, he was not saying that the submissive had the sole responsibility. The dominant does have responsibility to nurture the relationship as well.
I intended to write a corresponding post from the dominant’s perspective; however, many of the points raised in the original post are as valid from the dominant side. Therefore, I will borrow heavily from his original post. All sections in italics are from the original writing.
In a D/s relationship, a strong bond can develop between Dominant and submissive partners that is founded on mutual trust and shared experiences. This bond is like nothing else I have ever felt between myself and another. It is a beautiful, wonderful and sensual connection between two persons that is indescribably joyful.
Something that is key to me here is the foundation of mutual trust. It is often mentioned that the submissive must trust their dominant. That is not a one way street, however. The dominant must also trust the submissive. We can do everything in our power to ensure that our submissive is happy and healthy, but we have to trust that they will let us know when something is amiss. Many of the things that occur or can occur within a d/s relationship are things that we, as dominants, know others may judge us for. Sadism, humiliation, control, possessiveness, etc. We trust that our submissive will not judge us as less human for engaging in these things once we have their consent.
Shared experience: For me, that is how the mutual trust is built. Some level of trust can be given from the beginning. It is what allows us to pursue a relationship, a friendship, a flirtationship. Any level of positive interaction with another human being require some initial investment of trust. As we share our past experiences through communication, and we make new experiences with each other, that trust either grows or is chipped away.
I view trust like bricks in a wall. Walls, in the context of a relationship, are usually used as a metaphor for something negative, something to keep someone out. Yes, walls do keep things out, but they also keep things in. Things like warmth, safety, security. If we view trust as bricks, then we bring the first bricks to the relationship. Our shared experiences can serve either as mortar or as a hammer. As the frequency of our interactions increase in a positive manner, we are cementing together the bricks, strengthening our wall, adding new bricks as we go. If the interactions are negative, they act as a hammer, knocking bricks off the wall.
As a submissive, I forgot that I have responsibilities in the relationship. I forgot that I need to act and not just react to my Dominant partner. The lesson I learned is that as the submissive you have a responsibility in ensuring the success of the relationship. The bond of submission must be nurtured and cared for, and it must be nurtured and cared for by you.
While written in the context of a lesson learned from a past relationship, Talllover64 was spot on with this….except the paragraph could be just as easily written with the roles swapped. As the dominant, I have a responsibility in ensuring the success of the relationship. The bond must be nurtured and cared for by me. If I am contributing more bricks and mortar to the wall, and I am checking for cracks, and flaws, then I am doing my part. If my submissive is also doing the same, then we ensure our best chance for a strong wall. If my submissive stops helping me build the wall, I have a responsibility to call this to their attention, to find out why they have stopped.
However, to a submissive entering into the world of kink for the first time, exploring my submissive self for the first time, engaging in a D/s relationship for the first time, and trying to please a Dominant partner for the first time, nothing was obvious, and nothing seemed normal.
I was a new dominant almost a decade ago, and nothing was obvious to me either. I got focused on the things…all the things. Restraints and paddles and toys, oh my!! I forgot to nurture trust and share of myself. I forgot to grow in my dominance with my submissive.
To those contemplating entering into a D/s relationship as a submissive and to those already in a D/s relationship as a submissive, don’t forget to about your bond with your partner. This bond is precious. This bond sustains and grows the relationship. As a submissive, there is no better feeling in the world but to know the deep joy that fills you when you please your Dominant partner.
Nurture this bond through communication with your partner. Nurture this bond by telling your partner everything. No matter how stupid, no matter how inane, no matter how trivial, say it. Tell your partner like your relationship depends on it because it does.
To those contemplating entering into a d/s relationship as a dominant and to those already in a s/s relationship as a dominant, don’t forget to about your bond with your partner. This bond is precious. This bond sustains and grows the relationship. As a dominant, there is no better feeling in the world but to know the deep joy that fills your submissive when they feel safe in your dominance. When, no matter how hard you push them, they find peace in your arms.
Nurture this bond through communication with your partner. Nurture this bond by telling your partner everything. As a dominant, it is your responsibility to make sure that your partner is in an appropriate headspace to process what you are telling them. Don’t abuse their subspace. Keep their headspace safe. But do tell your partner what is on your mind. Tell your partner like your relationship depends on it because it does.