D/s Monogamy - Love and BDSM
Recently I was asked by a follower about the nature of D/s relationships as it relates to monogamy between a Dominant and submissive and whether people in such relationships often fall in love with one another. I’ve sat on this question for a while because, while I know what it means to me to be in a monogamous loving D/s relationship, my personal experience and preferences are not necessarily representative of the community of BDSM adherents. I needed to think about my response.
In the world of BDSM as I know it there is great variation in the nature of relationships and the motivations of its practitioners. Different people are attracted to the art of BDSM and the nature of the relationships it can spawn for very different reasons. For some, it is purely a fetish or kink, something to be included in their sexual lives regardless of the partner. Others are attracted to the openness of sexuality and communication enjoyed by the BDSM community. Still others, like me, see it as a means of augmenting a loving relationship or even forming the basis of such a relationship. Another group finds spiritual fulfillment in BDSM through the exploration of sensation, feeling, or inner self. Others seek a place in a pack as it were, fulfilling their needs and desires to fit in a hierarchy of Dominants and submissives; a highly structured sense of belonging. And there are many, many others. Any member of these groups may seek monogamous relationships, open relationships, polyamory, or just have a desire to scene with others of similar tastes with no particular strings attached. Others may just want to share in the fantasy while staying in the closet as it were, as is so often the case in the online realm. The world of BDSM-based relationships is as variable as any other form of human interaction; they depend on the people involved, their motivations and desires.
I am an emotionally driven person whereas others may be more intellectually or sexually driven. I seek close emotional ties with my partner and identify with monogamy as a core tenet of the devotion and service I associate with being either a Dominant or submissive. Therefor I tend toward a loving, caring, committed and monogamous relationship. I choose not to engage with others in a scene, and do not share what is Mine. I am possessive as a Dominant though hopefully in healthy and non-destructive ways. My Muse is Mine! But in that same vein, I am every bit as much hers. In terms of our D/s relationship we are monogamous and exclusive. That is how we choose to be. It is neither right or wrong. It is just what is right for us.
As for love in D/s, I believe this is very complicated. It is clear to me that there are many abuses in so-called D/s relationships both online and in person that argue for an absence of love or even common human decency. But more often than not, those abuses seem to be at the hands of people who are not truly educated or invested in the BDSM community. I think of them as wanna-be’s, posers, or worse, predators. I have seen a lot of damage done, mostly emotional and psychological, but even some physical. This presents a fearful environment to many newcomers and displays a lack of love or even kindness. Frankly, it is abuse. That said, there are many knowledgeable, capable, and qualified people who very legitimately partake and participate in the BDSM community who do not choose to enter into devoted “romantic” relationships. A visit to any munch or BDSM social gathering or club will make that very clear. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Still, the notion of being truly Dominant or submissive toward another is indeed a deep display of humility which could be argued is a profoundly loving action. One can act out of deep love, reverence, even devotion without romance. So then perhaps we fall short in the English language in our ability to describe the various facets of love. One can have a humble, loving and devoted relationship with a god or higher power and not be “in love” with that entity or being in the romantic sense. I think too, many Dominants and submissive can have deeply reverent relationships with one another and not be romantically attached in any way. It is clear to most people that submission is a supreme act of humility but did you know that Dominance is every bit as much a humble act despite all its appearances to the contrary? A Dominant, while clearly enjoying being the center of a submissive’s universe for a time, also and just as equally makes the submissive the center of theirs. Done properly, Dominance (and submission) is not about self; it is about a sole focus on another. That takes humility. That takes a love of another; romantic or otherwise.
My Muse and I both invest our hearts into our relationship every bit as much or more as we invest our minds and bodies. We are not simply in a loving D/s relationship, we love one another deeply on all levels. We have often discussed at some length the notion of BDSM or D/s without a loving romantic attachment and both of us reach the same conclusion for ourselves; why bother? That is not a judgement of anyone else or their desires or beliefs, it is simply who we are as people. We love and are in love. We are solely devoted to one another and it is that devotion that feeds the love and desire. And it is the love and desire that feeds the devotion. My Muse takes the view that she could only have one “master” and perhaps could never bring herself to have another in the future. Similarly, I do not believe myself capable of being the best possible Dominant I can be if my time, mental, and emotional effort were to be spread around. I am not that good, nor will I ever be. It is not how my heart and mind are wired. The power of D/s to me in the strength of the bond between Dominant and submissive. For me, diluting that bond would dilute the experience, so I choose monogamy and a deeply loving relationship with my D/s partner.
So to the original question of whether there is D/s monogamy and do Dominants and submissives fall in love. Yes there is monogamy but there does not have to be and often isn’t. Yes there is love but there does not have to be a romantic attachment, though there often is. D/s can be anything you want it to be. There are no set rules or boundaries other than whatever it is you define between you and your partner(s) being safe, sane, consensual and risk aware.
Above all, whatever you choose, be good to one another.
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