It is often thought, I suppose, that in a Dominant and submissive relationship the Dominant decides how it is to be run, the submissive does it the Dominant’s way.  I often see on forums and discussion boards, submissives and Dominant’s alike asking about how to handle situations where the submissive is having difficulty living the life that the Dominant has decided for them.  “Should I question my Sir?”  “Must I just accept it?”  “Is it right for her to challenge my Mastery?” “When do I have an opportunity to express what I really feel?”

It pains me to see that people enter into this relationship believing that one and only one person has the right and responsibility for the maintenance of the partnership.  Understand, that is what it is, a partnership between two or more people assuming roles negotiated as equals.  No matter what the disparity between the assumed roles, the responsibility for the relationship is equally divided.   This requires consistent, intelligent and introspective communication between people of respect, all people.

I believe that there should be repeated and regular moments when any and all subjects can be discussed. I was going to add “outside of the D/s dynamic” but I don’t necessarily mean that.

I believe that there should be repeated and regular moments where anything and everything can be on the table.  I believe that the Dominant has the option to bring up any subject at any time, however, I also believe that the submissive should have an open and irrevocable option to respectfully request to be heard on any subject, even basic elements of the D/s dynamic established between them.

Introspective communication is of paramount importance, and that does mean that each partner has a right to express and to demand from the other the expression of their basic heartfelt feelings on any subject. That MAY be, “Sir, I believe and accept that you have the right to decide the actions of our partnership in this area, whatever they may be.” But it may also mean, “Sir, there are elements within me that would choose another action, but I know that the decision is yours.”

However, all parties must accept that it may also mean, “My most Beloved Master, I have struggled to accept your decision for our life together, but, with sorrow, I have found it outside of my ability. We can either renegotiate our relationship or I must consider the option of leaving.” This option must always be acceptable to both partners, as painful as it may be.

The Eroticist


  1. LaValliere

    Eloquently stated. As a true submissive myself, it has come to be rather soul destroying having to continually spell out the definitive point regarding, ‘I am a submissive and not a doormat’. As the lifestyle evolves it is truly inspiring to embrace the broadening horizon re that both Dominant(s) and submissive(s) can come to enjoy the fruits of a relationship that is definably about, *Equal values, not equal roles….*

  2. So very well put.

    Sadly, all too many dominants don’t seem to understand this. And all too many don’t understand that setting of boundaries in this manner, and repeating them when necessary, the alternative to which may be having to leave the relationship, do not constitute threats to leave.

    Sadly, too many feel too threatened by a submissive who insists that her boundaries be respected and take that insistence as a personal attack or the like when it is neither threat nor attack, but urgent reminder of how important the relationship really is to her.

    There is a big difference between setting boundaries regarding behaviors or parameters that one finds to be dealbreakers and threats. One is laying out limits, the other an attempt at manipulation. They may seem similar to a threatened mind, but they are worlds apart.

    And I’d add that an intelligent, strong submissive will have a very hard time respecting a dominant who does not understand this difference, never mind submitting to him.

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