Navigating 24/7 Dominance and submission
(Original article from http://kinktoychest.com/index.php/castle-realm-archives/94)
Sometimes I don't feel submissive or Dominant. Does that mean I'm not one?
One question that Jade and I have dealt with often is how to handle with those times when we just do not feel especially dominant or submissive. Some seem to think that if you don't feel that way every moment of your life, you are not really a "true" dominant or sub. Hogwash. We are all human beings and we all have ups and downs in our emotional states. We experience stress, illness, and fatigue. All of those things can influence just how "dominant" or "submissive" we feel at a particular moment. But the fact that one is feeling too poorly to be little-miss-perfect-sub or Master-of-All-They-Suvey does not mean that they are not just as dominant or submissive as they were yesterday or will be tomorrow. It is a condition of the heart, a fundamental aspect of one's personality and those things are stable over the long term, despite ebbs and tides. This question was posed on our bulletin board and illustrates the notion. Jade and I have both responded from our perspectives.
Do you have down times and up times, times when it is stronger than others?
Do you just wait it out or do you try to combat it?
I would like to hear from experienced Doms and subs about how they keep up the interest in this lifestyle.
I understand that for some of you, it is a matter of expressing who you are.
But surely there must be times when your Master says:
"please do ______" or "I'm going to make love to you tonight" and you just want to say something profane in response.
Or when subbie asks
"What would you like me to accomplish today" and Master just wants to say, "God, leave me alone and figure it out for yourself!"
Lord Colm's Perspective
A very common question, in fact. I suspect that it stems from the misconception that BDSM is all about whips and chains and sex. For some, I suppose it is a role that they take on and put off as the mood comes and goes. For others, being dominant or submissive is as much a part of our nature as being male or female is.
For us, it's more than kinky sex or spanking or dressing up in cool leather, latex, of PVC. It is our life. It permeates every aspect of our relationship with our mate and is always there as an undercurrent, even if we're emptying the cat's litter box, doing yard work, or relaxing with vanilla friends for a game of Hearts. The love, respect, and ownership are still there, even when not overtly expressed.
Yes. We are in a long-term relationship. We're real people and we both have bad moods from time to time. There are times when I need to deal with stress from work by spending time alone in my study or just "vegging out" watching some inane TV show. Likewise, Jade is entitled to be a human being too.
We both understand that there are times when she or I need to give the other some space to resolve our internal issues. We communicate that to each other clearly. Both of us are mature enough to understand that it's not a rejection of the other. We also freqently engage in hobbies, both individually and together. Sometimes, we just go to the mall and watch people for the fun of it.
I suppose all the hype and mysteriousness of the lifestyle presented online doesn't really address the more mundane aspects of life, but they certainly exist. We, like other couples in happy relationships, share things that have nothing to do with sex or role playing. Most times, we're just people. People who love each other dearly and respect each other profoundly.
We've gone so far as to agree on who does what chores around the house. I'm not some pompous, lazy man who sits around on his throne (the recliner) with the TV remote while Jade slaves away taking care of everything. Real relationships require real equitable arrangements (whatever the couple considers as equitable).
I suppose it might surprise some folks that 24/7 D/s relationships don't involve 24/7 scening. Even in such a relationship, we do what might appear to be distinctly non-D/s activities.
What differentiates 24/7 from some other arrangement is that Jade is always my submissive, and I always her master, no matter what we are doing. It's not something restricted to the bedroom.
I am her master when she is at work, when she is doing the laundry, and I'm even her master when I am washing the dinner dishes. It's what's in the heart and the mind, not just what we do. It is an attitude, a demeanor, a thought process. It filters all our actions to some degree, though it isn't always readily apparent. We just...are.
Perhaps I can shed some light on this issue from a submissive's perspective. Yes, there certainly are times when one or both of us have periods when we need a break from the usual level of our power exchange.
It happens for many reasons: family situations, work stress, illness, mood swings, hormonal shifts, and a zillion other things. Master and I both need time-outs occassionally; as He said, we're human. When pressures of school or work have drained Master's energy level to a low point, He goes to His "cave" to recuperate.
We're both very honest about our feelings in all things so it isn't out of character for Him to come home after a long, stressful day of dealing with decisions and problems and make an annoucement, "I'm going to my cave. Please tend to things without me for awhile." I know what is expected of me as far as behavior and can easily decide what I should or should not do while Master has taken a break.
I would never use this as an excuse to act out or do things I've been forbidden to do. It simply means Master trusts me enough to not have to stand over me with a cat o' nine tails and beat me into submission every minute of our lives. Even resting in His cave, He's still Master.
I have periods where I feel less submissive than other times. Sometimes I'm struggling with feelings I need to sort out or I just plain don't feel good and I need a more relaxed structure than our daily routine. Master is very good at sensing my needs but He's no mind reader, so I tell Him that I'm not feeling myself or something is bothering me and ask for some space.
He doesn't feel threatened by my request nor does He think my submissive nature has taken a turn for the worst. He lets me know He's there to help when I'm ready to hand it over to Him and He gives me the space I need to deal with things. Even when I'm in my own space I know I belong to Him and I'm safe to withdraw for awhile until the mood has passed and I'm ready to take my place at His feet and settle into our natural state. We deal with these times in our lives by being open and honest about our feelings and needs.
We don't see it as a personal failure, a weakness or short-comings in our dominant or submissive nature. We live a real life, not a fantasy where everything is perfect all the time. Everything in nature ebbs and wanes: the moon, the tides, and the flow of power between us. We trust in the strength of our bond, relax, and roll with the flow.
To come to the point. Yes, it is normal to feel the way you described. If someone tells you they never feel a little less dominant or submissive at times they're not living in a real world, they're not being honest with you, or perhaps themselves.
My only concern would be the frequency this happens. If it is a daily occurrence and you both seem to be having an endless struggle in remaining within the limits of your own definitions of your power exchange there may be other problems and you need to redefine your roles. Not everyone is willing or able to deal with a 24/7 type of lifestyle.
Trying to push yourselves into a mold you are not competely happy or comfortable with will only cause the relationship to suffer in the end. Decide what works for you and you alone, and to heck with what someone else says.
A note from Master's lovely: I love this! My Master and I don't live together but I never stop belonging to Him and being His when we are not physically together. Every 24/7 relationship will be different for everyone!