What Style of D/s Relationship Do You Want?
To try to write a list of potential “styles” of D/s relationships means that a lot will get missed. Why is that? Because each unique relationship will have it’s own personal style. The style you forge with one partner will be different than what you have with a different partner. But there are some general styles to keep in mind when figuring out what kind of D/s relationship you think you want.
Casual D/s implies a casual relationship. While you may self-identify as a submissive or Dominant, you don’t have a partner that you engage with on a regular basis or with whom you form a committed relationship.
You come together, do your kinky fuckery thing, and then go your separate ways. The connection is friendly and real, but this isn’t someone you rely on every day for direction or to add a D/s tone to your life.
Some might say that you’re more of a top or bottom, and in the scene itself, that’s probably technically true. But if, while you’re together, that person becomes your Dom or sub even for a brief time, call yourself D/s if that fits.
Many Doms and subs begin in the bedroom only, especially if they’re already in an existing vanilla relationship together and want to test the experience first. It’s not a requirement but in talking to people, it seems fairly common.
In this context, D/s is much more sexual in nature. It may begin as role play or a kinky fantasy and morph into clearly defined roles between the two.
Once the scene is over, you revert to your more typical roles with little or no power exchange. Titles, tasks, rituals, and other trappings of D/s occur in the bedroom (figuratively or literally) but not anywhere else. Many relationships begin here and switch to a 24/7 style but do what works best for your relationship.
24/7 Dominance and Submission
Not everyone wants a 24/7 relationship, regardless of what it may sound like on Fetlife and Twitter. It requires a high level of commitment and responsibility for both partners. It also tends to come with a steep learning curve on what exactly 24/7 means to your relationship.
Making your D/s dynamic a full-time part of your relationship means that it’s often much less about sex, fetish, or kinky fuckery and more of a relationship style. While all forms of D/s are about the power exchange (and not really about sex at all), this is a level of control that can – if you want it to -permeate every part of your life.
24/7 isn’t for everyone and it will ebb and flow throughout your life together. Illness, financial stress, parenting, and other factors will often need to take precedence over the visible or obvious parts of a 24/7 relationship. Many D/s couples (us included) rely on a more subtle and nuanced power exchange in those moments.
Romantic vs. Platonic
While not a “style” of D/s relationship, there is another consideration of D/s that often gets forgotten. Most people think of D/s as primarily romantic and sexual relationships. Obviously they can be, but that’s not the only way.
Some kinksters form more platonic relationships. Submission may focus on acts of service, forms of discipline, or bottoming in a scene. Dominance establishes some kind of control over an aspect of a sub’s life. They care about each other but no one wants to get married or have babies together. By the way, not all romantic relationships want that, either.
The people involved in a platonic D/s relationship can (and often do) care for each other very deeply. A bond is formed between them that can be as strong as any romantic relationship. Do not discount non-romantic D/s as somehow less than romantic attachments. The same amount of communication and trust is required to make it work.
Maybe the most important thing to take away from is that there is no right or wrong way to do D/s. Casual, bedroom, 24/7, or some hybrid form of all of it – they’re all valid ways to find satisfaction, happiness, love, or connection. All that matters is that you and your partner find what works for you, build trust, communicate constantly, and always get consent first.
In episode 110 of the podcast, we talk about what D/s is really about. No, not sex…power.
This isn’t the only way to D/s so now it’s your turn…what other “styles” of D/s relationships have you experienced or heard about?