I’m sorry to have missed a few amazing prompts from NTW over the last month of my hiatus but I’m happy to return again. Make sure you check out everyone else’s posts and support Lilith and her meme!
There’s no place for love in D/s.NTW #8
To be honest, this was one of things that I never really thought about until I had been in the scene for years. And this was despite the fact that my first dynamic didn’t include romantic feelings. I was very fond of my Dominant, we were fairly close, but it wasn’t romantic. It was about power and play and sex.
When my last relationship/dynamic ended and this concept was brought back to my attention, I thought about it a lot. Yes, some of the strongest D/s and M/s couples I knew also had romantic feelings for each other (many of which were married) but I also knew some who put the romantic relationship, the marriage, ahead of the dynamic. That when it came down to difficult things, they returned to husband & wife rather than moving through it as Dominant and submissive. I began to realize that wasn’t what I wanted.
Daddy and I began as play partners whose dynamic formed naturally. We realized that we played off of each other’s energy very well and it was hard to not play with that power exchange. Much of it was unconscious and eventually we had to have many long conversations about it and where we wanted it to go. We both wanted the power exchange to be the structure of our relationship.
So for us, the love comes second. We’re not boyfriend and girlfriend despite using that language in vanilla contexts. We do plenty of couples things that we’ve both done in prior romantic relationships but the current that runs underneath it all is the power exchange, his authority. Everything from going out to dinner, to a movie, to shopping together is steeped in ritual and protocol, his expectations of me and my behavior.
The love in our relationship is born out of respect for each other and is deepened when we work on the dynamic, when it’s reinforced, when it is put above all else. We say I love you to each other all of the time and have other inside language that reflects that but it’s not used as a weapon or a cop-out. There is no “why would you do this, I thought you loved me” in our relationship. There is no “but if you loved me, you would…”. I already think these kinds of statements are unhealthy but we both want orders and obedience to come out of a desire to command and serve rather than a feeling of obligation because we love each other. We both actively choose to be part of this dynamic every single day. I want to serve Daddy every single day because I respect and think he is worth serving, worth giving my obedience to – not because I love him. That’s a bonus.
To loop back to the prompt, is there no place for love in D/s? I don’t know but I don’t think it’s required either. I think there are plenty of people out there who succeed with love being at the forefront and center of their dynamic. But I also know people where it is secondary or even irrelevant and they prefer it that way. The drive to make the dynamic succeed is higher and the result more satisfying and fulfilling than anything else.
Like so many other things, I think this is extremely personal . Above all, it’s important to be clear with the other person where you stand on this topic. Daddy and I had this conversation very early on and revisit it from time to time. If we had been on two different pages and expected our relationship to move in two different directions, we wouldn’t be where we are now. The older I’ve gotten, the more I think about love and romance and what I want from it. I briefly explored the concept of aromanticism* – the feelings I have for people and my partners don’t align with how others describe romance so I wasn’t sure. Ultimately, I keep returning to serving and obedience as the way I show someone I care for them and that is all I want. Like I said, the love is a bonus.
How about you? Do you need love for power exchange or would you rather leave it to the side?
*aromantic – a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others – It’s important to remember that people who are aromantic, asexual, demiromantic, demisexual, etc, can and do have fulfilling relationships of all kinds no matter how you may think a relationship is supposed to look.