D/s is not BDSM

Posted: June 7, 2015 in BDSM
Tags: , ,

It seems the terms of D/s and BDSM are often confused, even within the BDSM & D/s communities. At times the lines may be blurred, but I hope I can define the sometimes blurred boundaries to allay some of the confusion.

D/s (Domination-Submission) describes a relationship between two people, where each takes on a particular role.
BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadism Masochism) is about kink.

It is really as simple as that.

Tempted as I am to leave it at that and wait for lots of inevitable shouting, I will explain.

D/s is a relationship between two people. A Dominant may have multiple submissives, but his relationship with each has its own dynamic; he as lots of relationships, one with each submissive. It does not necessarily involve kink, nor sex. It is simply a relationship between a dominant and a submissive person. Because it is a relationship, it is a constant, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

BDSM is about kink. It isn’t a lifestyle, as the roles are played out in scenes, be it rigger and rope slut, sadist and masochist or top and bottom. The scene ends, and everything is back to normal.

D/s is a lifestyle, BDSM is a hobby. But the two aren’t exclusive, and many D/s partners practise BDSM within their D/s relationship. But as BDSM and D/s author Mike Makai says, ask a dom if they’ve still interested if there’s no sex, and if they say no, they may not be a dom.

I recently spoke to a submissive who told me of an experience with her previous master. She said that during the scene she submitted fully to him, serving him as she should. However, after the scene, he told her to do something, and she told him to do it himself.

That, to me at least, shows that this was not a D/s relationship, but two people practising BDSM.

I am often told by people that they don’t understand online D/s, as they could have only a physical D/s relationship. I would suggest that in this case they may well be talking aobut a Top/bottom relationship rather than D/s – a D/s relationship can easily be online only, as it focuses more on the relationship, and less on the physical aspects.

However, not every online relationship is D/s as there are also some people who abuse their partners online. Whether on or offline, a responsible Dominant will care for their submissive, and not force them into humiliating or degrading themselves against their will.

I only offer this as food for thought, and do not wish to offend. Whether dominant, submissive, top or bottom, you should get pleasure from your activities. But when discussing what you have, it is useful if everyone concerned understands what you do.

Communication is always key to having a good relationship, and a good BDSM session.

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