The Beginners Guide to Dominance and Submission
Note: In this chapter, and henceforth, I will be referring to Masters and Doms as Doms. Likewise, slaves and subs will be called subs.
In order for any
venture to be successful, there must be basic guidelines. I understand
that every couple is different, and no two D/s relationships are the same.
Nevertheless, basic agreements exists, or else you go outside the boundaries
of what is considered a D/s relationship. Every couple will have their
own set of agreements, however, I feel there are some that are universal.
1. No actual injury should occur to the sub. That does not suggest that spankings, discipline and correction do not occur, they just are not calculated to produce real injury, either to body or mind. In D/s, pain is sometimes used to correct behavior, or as a pleasurable experience depending on the people involved. It is not the central focus of the relationship.
2. Pre-agreed limits. It is simply an agreement on what the Dom and sub will and will not do. These limits are different for all couples. A pre-agreed limit is simply the boundaries established by the relationship. As an example, some couples put a limit on other people joining them for a scene. It is important to discuss honestly with each other what your personal limits are before beginning a D/s relationship. These are lines that are not crossed without at least some discussion beforehand. These boundaries do change with time as the relationship progresses.
3. The sub should have a "safeword", or something they can say to halt the present time activity. The safeword is a word that is understood by both parties to mean that action needs to stop. It could be that the sub is in great pain, or the Dom wants to clarify a situation outside of the action he is engaged in. Usually, it is that a line is being crossed that was not discussed in the pre-agreed limits, but just now came up. D/s is supposed to be enjoyed by both parties. Limits and safewords are type of guarantee that things don't get out of control on either side. If the couple are in the middle of a caning, and the sub is having a problem with the situation, the safeword is used to stop the action. When the safeword is spoken, the action must stop at that moment. This will allow the Dom and sub to discuss what the problem is, or correct a painful or dangerous situation outside the "scene".
Communication between the Dom and sub is crucial to a successful D/s relationship. The sub must be willing to talk about their feelings and the Dom must be receptive. The Dom also must be conscious of the non-verbal cues the sub gives. For a satisfying D/s relationship, it helps to have an underlying affinity for the other partner. The Dom is attempting to perfect their sub to their ideal of what the sub should be. The sub must want that goal, too. If either of these points do not exist, the D/s can degrade into an abusive relationship, or the partners go off, dissatisfied. D/s is for the mutual enjoyment of both partners. Limits and safewords assist in ensuring both parties experience pleasure, and neither gives up all control.
Over time the use of safewords and limits may diminish, however many couples in a long term relationship still use them.