Integrating The D/s Lifestyle Into Everyday Life…
With thanks to Master Arcane for allowing us to republish his article (Source: http://arcaneadvice.com/all-lessons-a-z/integrating-the-lifestyle-into-everyday-life/)
A submissive new to the idea of Living The BDSM D/s Lifestyle wrote to me asking how one “integrates” the various profound elements of Living The Dominant-Submissive Lifestyle alongside the ordinary demands of society, work and otherwise daily life. I describe what it is like by drawing parallels to living in several different “Modes,” some more intense and some much lighter, and how switching between these modes is more the reality as opposed to any stoic misconception perpetrated by, say for example, most 2-dimensional Hollywood films full of nonsense. I briefly show how, in truth, Living The D/s Lifestyle is actually quite smooth and easy, and a wonderful reality if it’s right for you.
Like you I am a chameleon. I think the best way to help you understand integrating The Lifestyle into everyday life is to describe what it is like to live as Master and slave living a 24/7, even if this is not your personal current situation.
The most common misconception about Living The D/s Lifestyle is that The Master is always in some stern, commanding, stoic role… Always “ON,” and the slave is always walking or crawling about with her eyes down and saying nothing but “yes Master… Yes Master.” These 2-Dimensional roles are the way most of the insulting Hollywood film like to falsely portray living the D/s Lifestyle. Well I am happy to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
What DOES happen is far different, and far more integrated into living a Normal, Healthy, Happy Life. The best way to understand this is to think of there being several “Levels” or “Modes” in which The Master-slave couple operates:
— At the deepest level there IS a Mode where The Master and slave are absolutely In-Role quite profoundly. You will see this when you see a 24/7 couple in the middle of a scene at a fetish club, or equally the couple will be in this extremely deep Mode when they are in private in the middle of a night of passionately connecting BDSM activity.
— At a Mode slightly lighter than this, you might find a more conversational tone added to this otherwise very strict Mode, wherein the slave still maintains her best D/s Etiquette, replies by using the Honorific “Master” (or whichever honorific they have chosen as their mainstay), etc, but there is more back and forth between The Master and the slave. An example of this might be when The Master and slave are at a fetish club and the slave is still fairly deeply In-Role but they are socializing with friends, or equally at home during a more formal Training Session going over techniques and reviewing D/s Protocols, which is not the same as a full-on BDSM scene (i.e. they are a bit more conversational).
— The next level lighter than this would be perhaps specialized rules for being at a NON-fetish event / vanilla party where The Master wants the slave to maintain certain elements of D/s Protocol, which in many cases can be so subtle that the surrounding world does not even realize that D/s is occurring. The couple is still celebrating their D/s Connection, but as they are amongst vanilla peers, etc, they might use secretive signals to convey only to each other their D/s interactions. Otherwise they appear perfectly normal and social.
— Even lighter than this might be a kind of Mode wherein the slave is pretty much relaxed and doing her own thing yet she still consciously maintains a certain Attentiveness to The Master’s needs in case something comes up. She otherwise goes about her day normally, kind of Lightly-In-Role. She does her own thing, and enjoys her relaxed time as she sees fit. Should the Master require her services in any aspect she will stop what she is doing and attend to Him.
— Still lighter than this is the completely relaxed state of being effectively “At Ease” where the slave simply does whatever comes naturally, conversation between The Master and the slave is open and flowing, basic etiquette is maintained (e.g. there is never an appropriate time for rudeness), the Honorifics are used at least enough to show awareness of their shared D/s, though usage is relaxed enough such that normal conversation can flow.
If you think about these 5 Modes described above as a measure of how deeply In Role The Master and slave can be at any moment, you can see that it is kind of like a thermometer, where At Ease would be a perfectly comfortable 19-20 degrees Celsius (70-72 Fahrenheit – heh), and every Mode more In-Role than that would add 2 degrees C (4 F) of quite blissful “heat.” Part of what makes someone attracted to the various levels of the Lifestyle and BDSM is how much we all seriously enjoy that “heat.”
Now here’s the main point. Depending on what was Negotiated…
Yes, a Master in a 24/7 CAN call his slave at work and tell her to go to the bathroom and remove her panties….
Yes, a Master in a 24/7 CAN tell his slave to sit silently with her back straight and hands in her lap while they watch a movie together….
Yes, a Master in a 24/7 CAN stop his slave in an instant in a shopping mall and tell her to stand a certain way and whisper a command into her ear….
HOWEVER, what ACTUALLY TENDS TO BE THE REALITY is that, of the 365 days of the year…..
65% of the time the slave is At Ease
20% of the time the slave is Lightly In Role
5% (or less) she is under special “vanilla party rules”
5% (or less) she is more deeply in role while socializing at a fetish club or training at home
5% (or less) she is at the deepest level of being in role while in the middle of an actual scene with her Master.
(*these are rough approximations of course and will vary somewhat with the individual style of the Dom, and of course with whatever the two initially Negotiated.*)
To give some perspective, given an average of 6 hours of sleep a night, 5% of a year is still over 325 waking hours. Imagine giving 55 minutes to Extremely Deep D/s, the Deepest Mode, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR – that would be about 5%, and I personally do not know a single Dom who actually lives that way, which is why I say “or less.” Amongst couples Living The D/s Lifestyle it is far more the case that you might have 2-3 hours of Amazing BDSM activity one or two week nights, and even less of the most intense Modes on a few other days or nights of the week, even in very hardcore 24/7 D/s relationships. The other Modes are interspersed amongst the free, waking hours of the week. Of course when a slave is being “initiated” into the style of her new Master, there may very well be a two week period (some more, some less) wherein the slave is held to the absolutely strictest, deepest Level or Mode, but again that depends entirely on the Dominant’s style, and this introductory, extra-intense period is a contained time and NOT something that goes on every single day of the year.
Personally, when I am training a brand new slave in that introductory phase I STILL have “down time” wherein she will drop to a lesser, lighter Mode so she can relax and integrate the day’s lessons and talk more freely about her progress. All slaves need down time and the time to relax (which of course that is never an invitation for bad behavior). More important than How Much Time is spent in a given Mode, is the submissive’s ability to smoothly and quickly transition from At Ease into a Deeper Mode, and from a Deeper Mode back into a Lighter Mode, as per the commands and needs of the Dominant at any given time.
Therefore, all that “At Ease” time equates to all the normal everyday activities of a person – job, play, shopping, working out, watching TV, laughing in a movie together, etc. Even when “Lightly In Role,” most of the same occurs albeit with a touch more Attention To Detail in regards to any possible needs of The Master — for example a slave shopping with her Master might be more conscientious of asking The Master if he needs anything to eat or drink, or if she can help him find a particular item, etc (asking of her own volition – very important). THUS, it is only about 15% of the time – if even that – where The Master and slave are more obviously and actively in a Mode in which it would be apparent to the outside world (except for the subtle aspects of “vanilla party rules”).
FYI, I address this entire concept of the Different Levels or Modes of Being In Role quite extensively in the first book from The Crow Academy, “IGNITING THE FIRE: The Art of Romantic Submission.”
Part of what makes the Power and The Passion of The Master and slave in a 24/7 so exquisite is that they both KNOW that At Any Moment The Master CAN issue a command that will make the slave suddenly go more deeply into Role. For example the moment in the shopping mall when The Master whispers a command that makes the slave stop in her tracks, stand up straight and, titillated by this reminder of the 24/7 reality they are choosing to live, pay profound attention to whatever The Master says next. This may happen only once in a blue moon, but the KNOWLEDGE that it can happen at any time is a Major Part of the Buzz and the luxurious Electricity of Living a 24/7 Lifestyle. Of course moments like these can also happen during non-24/7 D/s interactions, such as when a couple is in-role for a weekend during a Collar-On experience.
Extending this outward – and to more directly answer your question – anyone who lives the D/s Lifestyle will probably find similar percentages of their time, some more obviously devoted or involved in BDSM and Lifestyle activities, and at other times equally find a large degree of their day to day life to appear quite ordinary to the outside world. Another way to think about it is that Living The D/s Lifestyle is like being of a slightly different species than normal humans – we look the same, we act the same, we eat the same, we breathe the same air, we work the same jobs (well, mostly, heh), we enjoy the same entertainment, we love / laugh / cry / exalt and seek just like our vanilla peers (though WHAT we seek may be quite different…). However, beneath the surface, on the inside, we work in a different way which is far more fulfilling for us – natural to us – than the inner lives of our purely vanilla friends and associates. Inside we live, surf, sail, and often thrive on the experience of D/s and BDSM.