Keep the Fires Burning
"All it takes is a little creativity, an open realistic mind
and a true desire for the BDSM to live forever"
It doesn't take a genius to run a BDSM relationship when things are intense and hot, lots of BDSM happening, lots of attention, no limitations to scenes etc. etc. The most serious problems in a long term relationship are the "low level periods" - where work, family, stress, vacation, etc. comes in between the relationship and BDSM.
Over the years, we have come up with different methods to both reinforce the D/s relationship, even when the optimal conditions weren't present as well as ways to break the ice and get back to intense BDSM when conditions changed to the better. Below is a listing of some of the ideas that have worked for us - hopefully some can work as an inspiration for you as well:
GOING BEYOND LIMITS REGULARLY:
An idea to avoid turning into a "MrNiceGuyDominant" could be to, say, once a month do something you know that your slave really doesn't like. Not because it's fun to take her there but because it ensures you that you're free to be in charge. Some might argue that you don't have to actually do it to feel that freedom, but for me it works that way. Quite a good part of my innovative brain doesn't seem to react to logical conclusions unless they're proven in reality. It's like it's something that has to be felt to really work, not a "think" thing. I'm not even sure its located in the brain. This feeling of truly being free to be in charge. For me it's located somewhere in my stomach maybe it's related to the submissive's fire, a dominant mirror of sorts. All I know is that for me, I have to actually extend the limits to truly feel the freedom to do so.
USE OF (EVEN SILLY) RITUALS:
Another way to ensure that the fire keeps burning over time is the use of rituals. It doesn't have to have anything to do with rattling chains or cuffs. It can be anything. A silly example would be: Whenever the slave is in a situation where she can do things right to left or vice versa she ALWAYS does it left to right - like tying shoes for example. Always left shoe first - silly, I know, but it works excellent as a constant reminder of the roles, thus making D/s present, even when it isn't!
Less silly rituals might be for the slave to keep a diary that the dominant can read whenever he feels like it. Not a diary written for his eyes, but a diary written for the slave herself. It is important that the diary is not written with the dominant in mind as the reader. If done as a personal thing it can be a bridge for the slave to express feelings - even feelings that don't necessarily suit a Master/slave relationship. Rather than telling her Master up front "Hey, I hate to do this or that", it might work better if it's done in more of a discrete way - like the "open diary".
Some might argue, that a slave would not need an "open diary" because she should always be allowed to express herself and her feelings openly to her Master, and that he could just adjust to it or not as he wanted to - which I fully agree too. The "open diary" is not meant to be a replacement for good communication. However, there are things that arenít big enough to bring up as a real problem, yet it sucks not to express it (since it's probably no big deal anyway). For us it works excellent to have this "in between solution" for issues that aren't of severe importance. Many of these small things, if the submissive was to express them throughout the day, it could easily end up being a limitation to the Master/slave relationship.
TAKING OFFICIAL TIME OFF:
Most things in life go up and down - and for me the same goes for BDSM. There are times when I want to face life in a BDSM context 24 hours a day and there are times where I am focused on other things and really don't pay that much attention to BDSM.
In the past, these periods changed without notice. All of a sudden things just shifted from being heavily BDSM to being limited BDSM. As it happened again and again I realized that this was how it worked for me. So rather than just turning the fire up or down without notice, I made it more formal. I simply invented different protocol modes for my slave.
At times with low levels of BDSM activity she is told to be in relaxed protocol - meaning we approach each other pretty much like any vanilla couple would. Then at times with heavy BDSM activity, she is told to be on strict protocol - meaning we approach each other in a more formal way than most BDSM relationships I know of.
Before declaring which protocol was present it seemed to leave both of us frustrated at times when we weren't tuned in to the same level. It could have been either way around. It could be me expecting more obvious submission than what I was seeing or could be her expressing her submission more obvious than I had eyes for at the time. In any case, it helped us greatly to declare the protocol in a formal way rather than just letting the protocol change.
USE OF SYMBOLISM:
Since intense BDSM isn't happening 24 hours a day, it may be useful to use symbolism that will work as a reinforcer of the roles even when they aren't being lived out to the full extent. Examples might be the shaving of the submissive's pubic hair - as an indicator of her status towards both her Master but also her status compared to free people in general. Just like a child needs parental guidance, a slave needs guidance from her Master, thus the removal of the pubic hair works as an excellent symbol of a person with less freedom than the average adult person.
Other symbols could be used for practical issues. For example, we have kids in our household, which means that BDSM cannot be lived out to the full extent all day long. There were times in the past where I was not aware that there were limitations to her submission and it really doesn't sound cool in the ears of a Master when he is told "ahem...uhm... sorry...but..ahem..the kids are still up".
To solve this, I gave my slave a ring that she is using to indicate her level of availability. The ring has a gold-shaped triangle on the front side. When there are no limitations to her submission she wears the ring so that the triangle points towards her arm - otherwise it points towards the nail of her finger. Even when BDSM is not happening she has to adjust the ring, which works as a reinforcer of her submissive role. Even when BDSM is not present, say when we're watching a movie, I catch myself looking at her, seeing the ring pointing towards her arm, and I smile to myself as the movie keeps running.
A fun use of symbolism that we have been using are hand signals. For example, when at a cafe, if I place my hand on the table while spreading two fingers, it means that she has to spread her legs and continue to spread them more and more until I stop spreading the fingers. Crossing my fingers means she has to cross her legs. Forming an "O" between my index finger and my thumb means she has to have an orgasm. Oh! the fun we have had when my sweet one suddenly had to excuse herself to go use the bathroom, returning back a few minutes later with blushing cheeks!
Close to anything can be turned into a hand-sign that can only be read between you and your slave, allowing dominance to take place even when it might not be socially acceptable.
IF YOU CAN'T BEAT THEM - JOIN THEM:
Using a phrase borrowed from business strategy theory, I'd like to introduce the last idea in this list. Often the life outside of BDSM works against the D/s relationship. However, it is often possible to adjust to things by being just a tiny bit predicable.
For example, when our kids were smaller they'd sometimes wake up crying in serious need of attention. Now after this had happened 117 times during an intense scene, we decided to do something about it, rather than letting it spoil our scene. I defined what would happen IF it happened again. It could be most anything, like simply telling her to keep masturbating without cumming till I returned after putting the kids back to sleep, or for her to go put the kids back to sleep while leaving her buttplug in, or simply telling her to lay down on all four and work as a table till told otherwise. Then after putting the kids off to sleep, I'd go on using her as a table for whatever amount of time I wanted to.
Another example could be going on business trips. It is pretty hard to maintain an active BDSM relationship while being physically away with only very limited communication for say 2 weeks. However, it could be an excellent opportunity to put the slave on chastity, since Master was not present anyway, she'd have no sex whatsoever until he returned. Or how about telling her that if someone called her and simply whistled, she'd have to offer phonesex on the spot, without being entirely sure of whom it was that was calling! It actually might be fun to do this, and after she reached climax have your female friend tell her "thank you" then hang up *g - oh well just an idea.
There are many threats to a long term BDSM relationship - the toughest ones don't have anything to do with BDSM. On the contrary, the worst threats are related to the periods of time where BDSM is less present.
By adopting a realistic attitude and preparing for these times in advance it is possible to avoid or reduce the effect of many of these threats. All it takes is a little creativity, an open realistic mind and a true desire for the BDSM to live forever.
© 2001 Cadabra
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