Friday, February 12, 2016

Day 22: What do you think is important in keeping a BDSM relationship healthy? How does it differ from a vanilla relationship?

Every time you generalize, you are going to be wrong. 
 (hahaa see what I did?)

Everyone says "Communication, honesty, trust" like the relationship mantra.   I agree those things are good, and vanilla as well as kinky people benefit from them.  So, we'll start with those as the basis of a great relationship.  I think you need a lot more than that though.  Caring, kindness, really seeing people for who they are and not some kind of idealized version of an archetype, or slightly warped version of yourself, are all important.  Forgiveness, for large and small issues, for real or imagined slights, is a huge part of a continuing good relationship.   

For a Master/slave relationship there are several additional issues.   The Master has to be the leader.  The slave has to follow.  Otherwise, it's not really going to work.  It always takes both people participating.  And when one doesn't?  First, go back to forgiveness and understanding, which can carry you through some temporary problems.  If it is an ongoing issue, though, the relationship is not going to be maintained in the same form.  It is going to change to something else.  

Then there is the issue of rules, which an M/s relationship most likely has, whereas a vanilla one does not. 

(note: this is reprinted from a thing I wrote a while ago)

 If you're going to have rules, you better feel like enforcing them.  

Sometimes a brand new Master will have all these seemingly strict rules but he doesn't enforce them all the time.  Only if he feels like it, and sometimes harshly, but sometimes not at all.  This gives the distinct impression that the rules don't matter, that he's not serious about any of this.

Ok, I'm a dog trainer.  The trainer gets the dog they deserve, and the Master gets the slave he deserves.  We always say there is no one true way, but these are things that are important to ME, and that I have heard other slaves say are important to them as well.  They may not be universal, but still could be a handy guide for the newbie. 
  I think in terms of consistency, clarity, function, and success.  I believe this new Master is doomed to failure if he continues on this path of vague, unenforceable and oddly strict seeming rules.

Here is what I think it takes:     

1. Consistency:   It gives the slave confidence that what they are doing is right and necessary.

2. Clarity:  Don't make rules that contradict each other because then the slave will blow off the whole deal as impossible to follow.  The same for rules that are overly vague and flowery.  

3. Function:   Make sure your rules fit in with the realities of life.  No one can ask before doing EVERY single thing.  May I breathe, sir?  Oh, he's asleep, I guess I won't breathe then.  No.  This is not reality. 

4. Success:   Allow the slave to be successful by paying attention to consistency, clarity and function. 

Of course, there are many types of relationships besides purely vanilla and M/s, but I'm just addressing what I know here. 


  1. You gave a very good explanation of what makes a BDSM relationship work. I think consistency on the Master's part is vey important. He has to make to make it clear to the slave what his expectations and/or rules are and not to let it pass if the slave is careless. And the Master can't slack off. He has to set the tone.


  2. I'm not sure if you had previously published those thoughts, but I feel like I've read them. Still true now. I don't identify as slave but they all resonate with me.


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