D/s is not BDSM

One of the biggest hurdles a couple faces when exploring the ideas of adopting a formal Dominant/submissive lifestyle is the stigma surrounding BDSM.

These four letters freak many people out.  These letters generally are defined as Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism.  But where’s the Dominance and submission, you ask?

Books and movies, such as Fifty Shades of Gray, love to focus on the bondage, the whips and chains aspect.  (Pleasurable?) pain inflicted.  You get the picture.

This is basic fantasy porn for millions of women out there and some men.  It is eroticism that is safe to explore when reading on a Kindle or iPad.  No one knows you’re reading it.  With a flick of a finger, it’s instantly gone, your secret preserved.

So, when one partner in a relationship starts to explore the D/s dynamic, they eventually want to share it with their other.  My girl and I have talked with a lot of people in this D/s lifestyle and overcoming the initial shock and misconceptions are a difficult course to navigate.

BDSM Has Many Definitions

Yes, D/s happen to be two of the letters but I can surely testify you can live a D/s life with your girl and never explore any BDSM kink.  And that works both ways, plenty of kinksters out there that love their BDSM scenes and toys who would never claim to lead a D/s life.

BDSM is this huge catchall term that is open to so many different types.  It’s a welcome space for those who do not feel welcome in mainstream society.  Go to a BDSM dungeon and you will see things you simply cannot un-see!  Their kink won’t be your kink.  That’s okay. You may not have any kink in you at all.  In which case, I’d strongly recommend you avoid dungeons.  They will not be your cup of tea.

When a couple chooses a Dominant/submissive life, they are focusing on the relationship aspects of trust, communication, love and respect.  The deepening of the understanding of each other fuels an intensity that goes beyond the bedroom.

The concept is simple in design.  One leads, one follows.  Many couples I’ve encountered have been fed this dream that both are equal partners in all things.  There is no leader.  They both lead.  This is a total power exchange.   She gives up her attempts at control in order to be free to explore who she really is without having to struggle with making decisions and trying to lead.  He takes on the role he was destined for, allowed to lead without constant second guessing and unsolicited advice.  Both THRIVE!

What Inevitably Happens when all is Equal?

They lose the sexual spark that only polarity brings.  The become roommates.  The basic intense desire for each other is put out to pasture while raising kids, chasing the dollars at work, chores at home, etc become their entire life.

Society says we are all supposed to be equal.  Guess what?  We are not.  Men and Women are Different!  And that’s okay.

For thousands of years, men led their families.  Now this Patriarchy is ridiculed.  Many families are broken apart.  No Fault Divorces happen every minute of every day.  Single moms are raising tomorrow’s men.  And, despite the best efforts by some or others primarily focusing on their social life, these single moms are failing in many cases.  Moms are not Dads.  Newsflash to some of you, I know.

But, I diverge.  A D/s life can be a very fulfilling life for both man and wife.  The basics of this happiness is that each is allowed to live his/her natural roles.  Yes in some D/s relationships, the woman is the Alpha and the man is the Beta.  That’s a choice they make going into it.  That would never work for me because my natural state is Dominant.  My girl’s natural state is submissive.  I believe the majority of women are happiest when they are being led well by a strong man.

Command and Control Scenario

Example:  For years and years, we fought for control.  She didn’t trust my decisions and felt she was forced to lead.  This happens to so many women.  Mr. Husband fails yet again, so Mrs. Wife does what she has to do to lead the family when he won’t.  This typical husband is fat, lazy and comfortable with the status quo and gives her the reins.

This is not her natural state and she eventually becomes filled with anger, regret, dissatisfaction and disgust for her “man”.  Now when Steve in Accounting walks up and gives her some attention, she swoons.  Steve’s a man in charge of his own life.  He is desirable simply because he acts like a confident man.

The Main Point

It’s entirely possible to live a D/s life and never explore any of our “darker” sexual proclivities.  My girl and I often say, we’re really not that kinky compared to who we know and what we’ve seen.

There is this fear that if the woman submits, she becomes a doormat and loses her identify.  Or perhaps, she wonders, is he only wanting another woman in our bed.  Or he wants us to be swingers…

The fear of the unknown and the association with Kink and BDSM will often elicit a “oh hell no!” response when he first approaches her.

Or she approaches him and he’s sitting there thinking, “hmm… I get to run the show?  I get sex all the time now?  Oh hell yeah!”

But he never considers the true burden of leadership.

Eventually the newly minted sexual shininess starts to tarnish as he starts to fail in his leadership role.  She sees him back on the couch with beer and football on TV for 8 straight hours.   Or she gets lazy and goes back to yoga pants, messed up hair and no makeup.

This Experiment Has Failed

Now they go back to being miserable.  Except this time, one of the partners now realizes there is much more life to live out there and eventually many will split up.

Do your research first, ask questions of those living the life.  Make sure you differentiate the solid relationship tools D/s provides from the crazy kinky sexual stuff that most think must be a part of D/s simply because BDSM uses some of those same letters.

I will finally add that once you’ve established the D/s and she trusts you and you trust her, you might start to talk about some of your innermost, never revealed, fantasies.  That can be an enlightening moment in the relationship.

You never know where this will end up but you have to start with the basics, the things that make any relationship bulletproof:  Trust, Communication, Respect & Love

21 comments… add one
  • Adam Dec 27, 2018 @ 10:20

    This is a fascinating differentiation between the two. It’s accurate that dominance does not equal BDSM, otherwise the entire Christian Bible would be advocating for such. Instead, dominance can be a feature in BDSM, but the dominance itself is its own existing state and serves to create a healthy, hierarchical marriage.

    • texasdom Dec 27, 2018 @ 10:24

      Thanks. I think it gets lost in the modern media portrayals.

  • JRF Dec 27, 2018 @ 10:27

    Good post. Thanks.

    • texasdom Dec 27, 2018 @ 10:29

      I appreciate you taking the time to read it.

  • Max V. Dec 27, 2018 @ 10:34

    Great breakdown Tex – clarifying the difference between buzz words and the true D/s lifestyle – excellent advice.

    • texasdom Dec 27, 2018 @ 11:20

      Thank you.

  • Masterdym Dec 27, 2018 @ 10:41

    Nice post.

    • texasdom Dec 27, 2018 @ 11:21

      Thank you Sir.

  • Alphapriori Dec 27, 2018 @ 11:00

    Greatness points. Some things I’ve struggled w myself and misconceptions about D&S compared to BDSM

    • texasdom Dec 27, 2018 @ 11:21

      It messed me up at first too.

  • Rugby11 Dec 27, 2018 @ 11:29

    Life and Fetlife touch and connection.

  • PeterD Dec 27, 2018 @ 11:44

    Thanks for certifying the difference between the two, I have often wondered.

  • MikeKaneCast Dec 27, 2018 @ 16:34

    This is an interesting and smart explanation of a topic I never explored before. Super well-written.

  • HG Dec 27, 2018 @ 19:41

    My wife read this blog post. As a result, I was treated to a fascinating half hour anthropology lecture about the ahistoricality of the patriarchy ideal beloved by the manosphere. 😀

    “Mr. Husband fails yet again, so Mrs. Wife does what she has to do to lead the family when he won’t.”
    This is so 100% true it hurts. I’ve clearly seen our marriage starting to heal and blossom in direct proportion with how much I have started leading and taking responsibility, instead of laying all the burden on her.

    Although we’re not shooting for a D/s marriage; the model of two Consuls of the Roman Republic suits us better .

  • Rob Says Dec 27, 2018 @ 22:24

    Hell Tex, I wish I could like this post more than once. Powerful writing. Excellent message. Well thought out and well explained. Thank you good Sir. 👊💪👍

    • texasdom Dec 28, 2018 @ 10:00

      You’re welcome of course, but thanks to you, Rob, and anyone else that gives my words any time at all.

  • Craig James Dec 29, 2018 @ 7:39

    Thanks for a great writeup on this Tex. Would you describe the D/s lifestyle as being on a spectrum? If so, how would the extremes be characterized versus a more neutral D/s lifestyle.

    I ask because I feel like every relationship is D/s the way you’ve described it. The difference is who fills what roll and to what degree. Would love to get your thoughts on this. Could be a separate post if the answer would be too lengthy to do it justice here.

    Keep up the great work brother!

    • texasdom Dec 29, 2018 @ 8:09

      The diff between every relationship and a formal D/s one is that the expectations of each partner are discussed in great detail and agreed upon. There is a set of tools in place that the couple can fall back on when times start to get a bit out of whack. It’s your frame and she’s verbally asking to be under it.

  • shaemadigan Jan 20, 2019 @ 12:33

    I think your explanation of the distinction between D/s and BDSM is well articulated. I may differ with you on some of the gender assumptions, but I do like your comments about “natural states” and I very much agree with that. Really good!

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