In our early days of exploring D/s, Michael and I spent a lot of time online, exploring BDSM sites and learning the language and lingo from others who’d been immersed in “the lifestyle” for ages. It was very comforting to discover we were not alone, that this path had been traveled many times and found wonderful. We soaked up the new language, and tried it out like people with a phrasebook getting ready to journey to a foreign land. Should we try going to a ‘munch’? I’d ask, then laugh at this unfamiliar word.
But over time, we’ve found ourselves dropping the words, and eventually drifting away from material written for a BDSM audience. Most of it feels designed for people who are in it for the fetish aspect, people who primarily use bondage and discipline to get off. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with getting off good and hard; Michael and I have been getting off plenty. But we feel ourselves primarily motivated by the desire for greater intimacy, greater authenticity. When we use phrases like “scene” or “play,” it seems to imbue our power exchange with the artificiality of roleplay. We don’t see ourselves as “playing” at D/s, we see ourselves as loving each other. I feel a stark difference between becoming a servant to the heat of BDSM sex, and through hot BDSM sex becoming a servant to love.
“Safe, Sane, and Consensual” slogans also don’t seem to resonate with us or do “safewords,” or rules of “aftercare.” These concepts are clearly important, even necessary, for pursuing sex between strangers or the uncommitted. But they feel irrelevant and overly complicated, two married people who know and trust each other completely. At least for us.
“Respect for emotional safety” is another phrase we encountered a lot, but this somehow this puts me off as well, I’m not sure why. Who can object to emotional safety? Yet, I wouldn’t be doing this if I wanted emotional safety. The further we go in our power exchange journey, the less we feel like clinging to safety and the more we want to turn ourselves over to the perils of the unpredictable and unknown.
Most BDSM literature strongly encourages two people to be specific with each other about what activities we want, and don’t want, all spelled out beforehand. And we did at first find that bracketing BDSM activities in a “scene,” and discussing expectations, allowed us to know when to behave a certain way. That was helpful in our first weeks, when we often felt a little lost as we tried on this new way of relating. We constantly wondered, how do we move in and out of dominating or submissive behavior? Is it time for this now? How do we live normal life and this other life at the same time?
Yet, we quickly realized we were better off allowing our D/s life to unfold spontaneously – unplanned, no scene, just following the impulse of the moment. Most our attempts to plan a specific scene made it all feel mechanical, a game, and we couldn’t relax into it. And of course, reality rarely goes according to plan anyway, or feels like one expects it to feel. Planning a detailed scene more often led to disappointment than pleasant surprise.
We do, of course, spend a lot of time talking about it all. We still make brief forays online, and tell each other about the images and ideas we find intriguing.
“I love the idea of being tied up naked on the couch,” I will tell him. “With legs splayed open, being unable to close my legs, just stuck there, exposed, on the couch, while we watch TV.”
Michael will nod, hmm, interesting. But we will not set up a specific scene to do this. He might one evening to decide to tie me like that if the mood strikes him. Or, he might not. Or, he might put his own twist on it. Sometimes his version is not anything I would have imagined for myself, let alone thought to spell out. And that is exactly how I want it. In fact, I find it irritating if he asks me to spell out anything or tell him what I want. To me, the whole point of being sexually submissive is to surrender to his desires, not mine. I don’t want responsibility for any of it, I want to be free of having to think about it. To me, submission is pure freedom.
David Deida best describes the dynamic we try to live now. He advises the dominant man to “listen not to what your beloved says she wants, but what love tells you she needs.” He says that a man can ignore what his woman says she wants if love demands it. It’s an audacious assertion, and it goes against every tenant of the ‘safe, sane and consensual’ BDSM canon. But this seems to us the only way it works for us.
Like this morning, I wake up with my husband’s hand reaching between my legs. Before D/s I would have pushed his hand away, I am sore from too much sex already, and not at all in the mood. But of course, before D/s he wouldn’t be reaching at all, he’d have waited for me to wake up, might have tried to measure my receptiveness before whispering, “I want to touch you.” Then he’d wait for my assent, which I may or may not have given after a torturous mental assessment of my mood and desires and weighing the costs of refusal. Would he be discouraged from offering if I didn’t accept? Would he worry I don’t find him desirable anymore, or that I don’t appreciate his generosity?
But let’s say I assent and open my legs to him. Before D/s, Michael would then finger my pussy with this sweet sort of reverence, a respectful and loving touch that responded to every move of my body or sound I made and gave me lovely orgasms well-spaced apart. Before D/s, he only rarely touched my ass, and even then only hesitantly, carefully, as if not quite sure what to do with it.
This morning, as my dominant, he touches me sooooo differently. His hands are so confident now, no hesitation, no permission asked. He is no longer careful, measuring my response in the same way, as if trying to read what I want. He already knows me inside out, and his fingers move inside me the way HE wants, deep and hard and insistent. And right now, I feel taken by his fingers in the same way he can take me with his cock. He no longer keeps respectful distance from my ass, but plunges a finger in that hole, too. Oh and no more waiting for space between orgasms, either, they blend in to each other. They are orgasmic rushes now, building, and building…
I can barely catch my breath, his fingers are pounding me so hard, opening me, pussy and ass. I am completely surrendered to it, no resistance, and I can feel energy gathering between my holes, oh yes there is a root chakra, I feel it literally spin open, then whoosh – a conflagration. Racing fire, the entire tree of my nervous system lights up in a flash, burns up my body in a beautiful searing rush. Fuck. Then my body locks up in some kind of overload, I push his hand away from me, scramble to sit upright.
My mind is so dazed by that intense flash that all I can do is stare up at him dumbstruck, while the embers the fire still drift through me. I want to describe it to him, but I don’t know how. My words are incomprehensible.
This is not a scene. We are not playing a game. These surges of sexual heat keep exploding between us unplanned and unexpected, carrying us away. No moment is predictable anymore. We are surprising each other always. And my pussy is so damn sore that I will be feeling it – warm and throbbing – all day long.