A woman's perspective of the D/s lifestyle
(Original article from http://kinktoychest.com/index.php/castle-realm-archives/82)
What is D/s?
After spending some time online and seeing the listings on the web as well as listening to talk on IRC, it might be easier to say what D/s "isn't." It is not about whips and restraints, nor pain and humiliation. It isn't even about a leather or latex fetish. Although all these things can be incorporated into D/s and be quite nice enhancements, they are not what forms the foundation of the D/s lifestyle. D/s is not about abuse or force and it pains me greatly to know that the majority of people outside this lifestyle tend to have this view. What it "is," is a relationship between two or more people who have come to grips with their natures as Dominants and submissives and entered into a power exchange. The submissive, who by nature desires to serve, willingly relinquishes his/her own personal power to a Dominant, who by nature wants and needs to accept the gift of this power. Without this willing exchange, there is no true D/s relationship.
One often sees BDSM used as an interchangeable term for D/s. BDSM (bondage/discipline&sadism/masochism) is not necessarily a part of D/s. Both can exist independently of the other; however, you are most likely to find some elements of both in each lifestyle. Each person's definition is different, just as each person's nature and needs are individual.There are many variations on this theme, but I can only speak from the perspective of a female submissive in a monogamous relationship with a male Dominant. Just as there are many variations in the partnerships formed, there are even more levels in the depth and intensity of such relationships. For some, it's only an occasional bedroom scene; for others it's a 24/7 situation, meaning full-time. Some require strict and rigid rules; others find satisfaction in a less-defined role. Each couple must decide what works best for them and live within the constraints of their own existence.
Many D/s couples enter into a contract (see samples) before beginning this lifestyle to save needless hurts and disappointments later on and I feel it's the wisest thing they could do. Knowing before-hand what is expected within the partnership is the only way a D/s couple can hope to form the type of bond required for it to be a mutually-beneficial relationship. When it works, it's one of the closest bonds known in our society.
What makes a D/s relationship work?
There are several things that make a D/s relationship work and just as many that will cause it to fail miserably. Trust and communication are probably two of the most important. Within a D/s relationship there must be much more communication than is found in most conventional "vanilla" partnerships. The health and success of a D/s relationship hinges on both the Dominant's and the submissive's ability to voice not only their dissatisfaction and disappointments, but also their pleasure and satisfaction with things within the partnership. The trust required of a D/s couple is difficult for people outside the lifestyle to comprehend. This trust could be compared to the trust of a child who jumps happily from a high place, knowing that the loving parent below will safely catch them. Should that parent fail, the child would be injured and that child's trust destroyed for a lifetime.
So it is with a D/s couple. One must literally put one's life in the hands of another. Such a step should never be taken without long consideration. Respect is another prime ingredient. Mutual respect must exist between the Dominant and submissive in order for each one to completely fulfill their obligation to the other. One is not more important than the other, for neither could exist alone. They are halves of the whole, each fulfilling and completing the other. Without submission or surrender there is no D/s relationship. Without trust there can be no surrender. Without respect there can be no trust. Without communication there can be no respect. So you see, it becomes a "chain" of things that make it work. Each link of this chain is held together with love and, in my heart, there can be no surrender without love. But I have heard it argued that it's not that way for everyone. Each person must find fulfillment for their needs in their own way. I have found mine: He is my Master.
My own feelings on being a submissive female.
I'm not weak, nor am I incapable of controlling my own life; I simply chose not to. I have found a better way, a safer and gentler way, for me to live my life. I've entrusted my care and well-being to the hands of another, my Dominant. In doing so, He has become all things to me: my protector, care-giver, lover, teacher and my master. I look to Him for guidance and support because I know He has my best interests in His heart. He has earned my trust and respect by being who and what He is and, in turn, has lead me to discover who and what I am. His guidance is gentle but strict, wanting only the best I can give and settling for a little less than perfection because He knows I'm not perfect.His control gives me freedom.
No longer do I have to struggle with decisions that overwhelm me. My spirit is set free under His dominance and my heart soars above the earth with His love under my wings lifting me to new heights each day. His strength makes me strong and yet allows me to be the soft, gentle soul my inner nature demands. I no longer need to fight for a place in life for I've found my place at His feet. His guidance takes me places I would never have gone on my own and I revel in the challenges this journey has brought. His bonds have released me from the chains of fear, prejudice and ignorance that were wrapped around me by society's teachings and expectations of me as a woman. His protection gives me peace, for I know in His care I am safe and sheltered from the things I dread most. His training and teaching have given me knowledge to help me meet the demands often made of me by life, but most of all, He has taught me about myself. In serving Him I have been honored with His gifts. In my surrender I have been set free. In kneeling I have reached the sky and danced among the clouds. In loving Him I have been loved beyond my dreams. We have formed a symbiosis of giving and taking, Yin and Yang, soulmates, and a perfect fulfillment of our inherent natures. He calls me "His treasure." I call Him "my Master."
All rights to "Chains of Love, a Woman's Look at the D/s Lifestyle
A note from Master's lovely: The b/d and s/m part of BDSM is like a side dish to the main Power Exchange that exists between a Dominant and submissive. Maybe it should be DSbdsm. I really love this writing and the chain concept, and I love this woman's verbalisation of how she feels being her Master's submissive. Very beautiful!