BDSM Domains: Part 2 of 4

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This is the second part of a series which reviews each of “domain” of BDSM.   To review, in BDSM Domains – Part One I introduced the notion that I have found there are often three thematic groupings or Domains within most of BDSM and related alternative lifestyles.  We then examined the first and most common elements of BDSM, that of the Activity.  In this second segment we will take a closer look at the Relationship Domain.

The Domains identified are Activity, Relationship, Persona
The Three Domains

The Relationship Domain

The common ground in any relationship resides in that of the Bond or Connection between people. It is often the sense of connection which draws people together, and the BDSM activities as discussed above serve to engage or facilitate said connection in a variety of ways.  The nature of the connection can be from an immediate response (lust for hotness), intrigue (hmm, what’s going on there), knowledge (wanting to learn or mentor), and so on.  As such, a given connection can be extraordinarily brief and not involve any physical engagement (e.g. a short erotic hypnosis scene), to causal pickup play, steady partners, long-distance, poly, etc.  If you can imagine a relationship dynamic, then it’s out there somewhere.

For many, shorter term connections involving casual pickup or playing with a long-distance but semi-regular individual typically happens at private play parties or BDSM events.  It is also at play parties that the context of expectations are typically set – this is time Outside the daily vanilla world where they can let another side of themselves engage. It’s often the only time parents, or those in distance relationships, might have to get away to enjoy themselves.

While play parties are often the only chance people have access to larger kink activity related furniture or equipment, it’s usually a means to an end. The purpose (as with most kinds of parties) is the opportunity to connect, share, and experience with your partner(s) and other like-minded individuals – even if all you are doing is socializing and mingling.  It is through consensual play that we are sharing an experience, which can enhance or revitalize existing connections. It also provides the venue to experiment with a certain communal eye as to safety and caution. This can lead to discovering more deeply satisfying interactions and nourishing the need of connection within a given relationship.

dominants hand lovingly caressing a submissive
valuing the person and the relationship

It is also worth mentioning that any relationship has some measure of a power dynamic; be it romantic, family, friends, work, etc.  It can be seen in examples of the pursuer and the perused, initiator and respondent, in the structured hierarchy of reporting chains, and so on.  In loving relationships, power exchange dynamics are typically present in one form or another, even in what is otherwise very egalitarian relationships.  It is common to see “domestic roles” such as who acts as a protector, teacher, nurturer, healer, pleaser, etc.  As a result, it’s also not unusual for there to be a need or desire to change the power dynamic. In some cases that may be a need for a stronger power dynamic where one has more control or emphasis than another.  For example, someone may be innately a pleaser and giver, and thus wish to feel a greater dedication to role and have it recognized as such.  This would be a voluntary surrendering of some power to the other in the relationship. This said, there are also times when an existing relationship has a strong power exchange dynamic and is no longer satisfying or suitable and needs to be re-examined.

The above situation is a very common story for those in long-term relationships, where one is becoming aware of their need for something different from what they have experienced thus far.  Sometimes this is motivated through a lack of satisfaction, or attempting to achieve a higher level satisfaction through greater intensity or depth.  Desires to specifically strengthen the power dynamic, or explore other elements of BDSM, emerge as something to incorporate with your relationship partner(s). These are typically added to the existing aspects in the relationship, where additions may include bedroom play and scenes, greater emphasis on power exchange (D/s or M/s), role reversal or switching, inclusion of new partners into closed poly-fidelity household, and more.

 

*Please note, I am not making any judgments or inferring any bias regarding relationship arrangements, such as marriage, cohabitation, or open relationships of varying degrees. Any relationship model has the potential to offer a mutually satisfying life as long as the partnership has the ingredients for a healthy relationship and is based on a solid common understanding and is consensual for all involved.

 

In the next post, BDSM Domains – Part Three,  we will focus on the Persona Domain

 

-Sir Vice
Copyright 2018 Limits Unleashed

 

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