24/7 D/s Realities: What You Need to Know | 30 Days of D/s
Living in a 24/7 D/s relationship isn’t for everyone. The lines between your roles as kinksters and the rest of your life get blurred. That can be complicated for some people, and more than they want to deal with.
That being said, it’s probably not what you imagine it to be if you’re still considering it for yourself. Like all other parts of kink, 24/7 power exchange is unique to every relationship. It only has to work for you, and it doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s D/s.
For anyone wondering if 24/7 is right for them, we’re sharing a few things you need to know about the reality of full-time D/s. As always, this based on how we see power exchange and our own experience with it. Your milage may vary.
Micromanagement is Not Required in 24/7 D/s
Can micromanagement (the Dom directing every action of the submissive, down to the smallest details) be part of 24/7? Of course it can.
Is it an automatic thing that you have to do to call yourself a “full-time” D/s relationship? Nope!
If John Brownstone had to give me permission for everything I did or if I had to ask for everything I needed, we wouldn’t get anything done in our lives. In our power exchange, we discuss rules, tasks, routines, and expectations. I know what I’m supposed to do, what I need to get permission for, and what I don’t. When in doubt, I’ll check in with him. But after all these years, that’s extremely rare.
After that, he leaves me alone to do what needs to be done. He trusts me to come to him when I have questions but he also trusts me to figure things out, too.
For us, micromanagement in a kinky scene is hot but in real life is exhausting and stressful.
24/7 D/s is More About Mindset
Our 24/7 life doesn’t look very power exchange-y from the outside looking in. There’s not a lot of bowing and kneeling or highly structured routines. We have kids to raise, fur babies to spoil, and a business to run.
Our kinky fuckery doesn’t make us Dom and sub. How we feel about each other and ourselves and the roles we take on in our relationship and the rest of our life does that. For us to be 24/7, it means there’s almost never a time when we’re not aware of our roles.
He’s always Daddy, and I’m always babygirl.
That permeates through every part of our lives, including making decisions on a daily basis: He’s The Decider™ for almost everything. He listens to my opinion and expects me to share what I know, which means he often takes my advice. But ultimately, he’s in charge and control.
Mindset is also what keeps us going when the kink gets few and far between. While I’m making his coffee or folding laundry (because he told me too), I know that I’m doing those things, in part, because I’m his submissive.
Submissives Still Have Autonomy in 24/7 D/s
It gets fuzzy and a bit complicated (based on whatever structure you might have in your power exchange), but you don’t lose all autonomy as a 24/7 submissive. I certainly haven’t. The difference is that I know where I can make decisions without him and where I can’t. Because we’ve negotiated that over the years.
Also, I will never give up the ability to withdraw consent or to give feedback on some part of our relationship. If something isn’t working for me (kinky or mundane), I have every right – and responsibility – to say something.
Being in a constant, full-time power exchange relationship doesn’t change any of that.
What may be different is that I have clearly identified parameters for how to do those things. He and I have talked about where the line exists between what I can do on my own and what I need his permission for or where he needs to be involved in the decision-making process. Basically, he gave me permission for things years ago, and until we negotiate otherwise, I can handle those things without his input.
Knowing that makes the mindset part of 24/7 even more obvious. When something comes up – spending money, disciplining a kid, whatever – I have to take a moment to figure out whether I can handle this on my own or if JB needs to be involved. Even though it only lasts for a split-second sometimes, in that moment, I’m reminded of my role and our power exchange.
Outside of those moments, I’m still a fully functioning adult with goals, dreams, and plans of my own. Those don’t stop because we’re 24/7. It (sometimes) adds a layer to how the decision will get made and how I’ll move forward with those plans.
Dominants Aren’t Required to Be “On” All the Time
So every Dominant is different, and some will likely say that just knowing they might be asked to make a decision or to take responsibility for something means they’re never not “on” in 24/7 D/s. And that’s fair. That level of “on” is a mindset thing and some people can’t (or don’t want to) turn it off.
But in terms of having to always be ready to make a decision or be in charge in your power exchange, no, it’s not required.
There are times when JB has called a time out. He literally can’t function enough to be in charge. (Let’s be real, we all have these moments in life, regardless of kinky role.)
When this happens, it can go a few ways for us:
- He might tell me to decide. Sometimes that’s a nice change of pace and sometimes I hate the pressure.
- We might delay making a decision until he feels ready. This tends to happen with big things, like major financial decisions.
- Every once in a while, no decision gets made at all, and we realize later it wasn’t that big of a deal. (Alternately, sometimes we end up scrambling to deal with a thing we should have dealt with days before. That’s life…it happens to all of us sometimes.)
In our relationship, it helps that we established the parameters for many things I do early on. That means I don’t spend a lot of time asking what he wants done or how to do something. We figured that out when the task or routine was established. Unless something weird comes up, he leaves me alone to get it done. He gets a bit of downtime, and I get to serve and submit the way I want – with some autonomy and control.
24/7 D/s ≠ 24/7 Kinky Fuckery
I’m including this for anyone who’s imagining lots of nudity, kinky toys, bondage, impact play, or whatever your fuckery of choice may be.
Yes, that can absolutely be increased in your power exchange, if your life allows time for it. But most of us who are in 24/7 power exchange don’t spend a lot of time scening.
In fact, it’s very much like any other relationship just with more communication, boundaries, and expectations between partners.
Because the reality is that even when you inhabit your kink self as much as possible, the rest of the world still requires your attention. You still have to go to work, take care of kids, pay the bills, wash dishes, and generally live life in non-kinky ways.
For some people, they worry that a 24/7 life will require more kink than they have time for.
Others, though, assume they’ll get SO MUCH KINK ALL THE TIME once they go 24/7.
Neither is accurate for most of us.
I’m grateful for our full-time power exchange because when the fuckery is few and far between (and it often is), I can fall back on my day-to-day role as JB’s submissive. It’s not always as good as hard spanking with all the toys, but it tides me over until we can find time for a scene.
A 24/7 D/s relationship can be as complex or as simple as you want. It’s probably not as tiresome or as awesome as you might imagine. It can be extremely satisfying, once you find the balance of what works for both partners as individuals and what works for the relationship as a whole. No, 24/7 isn’t for everyone, and if you’re not drawn to it, don’t think you’re required to do it. But for those who are curious, it can be literally anything you want it to be. Just like every other part of your power exchange experience. All that matters is that both of you are satisfied with how you set up your dynamic.
Because we’re 24/7, we’ve talked about it a LOT in the past. If you want to dive deeper, check out the list below:
Micromanagement vs. D/s (episode 204)
Q&A: How to Transition from Vanilla to 24/7 D/s? (blog post)
What 24/7 D/s Means to Us (episode 157)
What It’s Like to Be Poly and a 24/7 Dom (episode 139)
On Being a 24/7 Sub with a Polyamorous Dom (blog post)
As part of 30 Days of D/s, we ask participants to think about whether they want a 24/7 power exchange or not. The decision is yours to make, but it’s important to have the right information when figuring out what will work for you. To learn more about navigating power exchange relationships, sign up for our free email program and start thinking about different parts of D/s to figure out what works best for you.