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The BDSM Relationship

By Maître Pierre


For the scope of this article, let's forget about S&M, bondage, fetish or even sex, let's just look at what a BDSM relationship is based upon.

The "DS" part in the BDSM name stands for Domination and Submission, in another words, "Exchange of power".

The vanilla (regular) relationship will usually be based upon some values and likings that are shared by the partners; a BDSM relationship has the same components. Yet, in a vanilla relationship, decision about the common life, everyday situations, family, social are decided by all the partners in the relationship through communication, exchange of ideas and some type of negotiations, compare to a BDSM relationship where the "Dominant" partner will always have, more or less, the last word in these decision.

So, in fact, the only difference between a vanilla (regular) relationship and a BDSM one is really the exchange of power that takes place between the partners.

Often, in some of our other articles, we talk about the "need" for BDSM. This is true for the "need" for exchange of power; some people" need" to give away the power and the control and some people "need" to take over this control.

This need for the exchange of power could be for a brief period of time (a few hours, a weekend) that someone will do from time to time (occasional partners) and for others this need for the exchange of power may be for the rest of their life (permanent 24/7 relationship). Of course, for most people, this need is somewhere between these two extremes.

The exchange of power.

Some BDSM authors have referred to the exchange of power as "surrendering". We do not disagree with this approach. To "surrender", to give away that control is a good way of describing this, but, we feel that there are more nuances about this.

BDSM stories on the net, like the ones we have on our site, are always "perfect" and "extreme" exchange of power. In these stories, there are never families (wife, husband, kids…) to deal with, no work or the work place seems to be "open minded", there are never health problems to be dealt with and so on. You understand from this sentence that real life is far from these stories.

Yet, many people do not seem to figure that an erotic fantasy or a story on the net are not real and of course, this is usually where things get bad.

Many people, men, women, submissive and Dominant(e)s have dreams and erotic fantasies and often, they never tried to think about the realities of their lives, the limits and the implication of their dreams. They get into a BDSM relationship like a kid would get on the knees of Santa Claus, without hesitation, without thinking of the future….they just want their "candies", and like a kid, they don't realise that there "candies" have consequences.


A relationship that includes an exchange of power IS possible, we know, Catharine and I have been sharing submissive for over 12 years.

The secret, if you want to call it like this, is simply to do some thinking about realities of life, limits, logic and what awaits you in the future en such circumstance. From this thinking, you will discover some of your DS values, and limits, even if you have no experience in BDSM.

Let's say that you have done some serious thinking and you have found the perfect partner. Negotiations were successful and you are currently in a wonderful BDSM relationship. Well…. Wait, things are going to change! No, it is not a negative way to think but a reality. All relationship evolves and a BDSM one is not different. Thinking that, now, at this day, your relationship is perfect and your life will always remain perfect is a HUGE mistake! A BDSM relationship is based on always pushing limits either from a Dominant point of view or…even a submissive point of view. That situation create what could be called a "pressure situation" or if you prefer a certain "stress factor" in the relationship. The only way in solving that situation is by slowly changing the relationship over time, using discussion, common experience and negotiation thus, disarming these nasty situations.

Me, me, me!

If you think about it, the BDSM need for someone, being a Dominant or a submissive is about fulfilling a very personal need that someone has. The "me, me, me" aspect of the relationship is a huge one and often, in BDSM relationship that explode, one or both partners have either forget that aspect…or never figure that this aspect even existed!

We have seen, we see and we will see again Dominant that think that the submissive has to do all the work and them, as Dominant, their only job is to "direct" (give order) the submissive. To take car of a submissive is a BIG job that requires a lot of work! At the risk of being thrown rocks at us, we can even say that to have total obedience from a submissive you must give them total attention and care and that part of a BDSM relationship is seldom talk about in all the nice BDSM stories or even BDSM books!

The future of a BDSM relationship.

Most relationships in BDSM are relatively short. There are many reasons why these relationships don't last, but, for the sake of this little section, we will just look at the long lasting relationship we know of.

Most of all the long lasting relationship seems to share 2 things:

    - Most of the "serious" people in BDSM are strong minded individual (yes, submissive too!). When things don't go well in these relationship, (like any vanilla relationship, there are days where the sun is not always shinning in a BDSM relationship!), disagreement are always solve with negotiation and discussion. Trust and respect are always part of these situations (solutions!).

    - People change, this is unavoidable, it is part of humanity. This change comes from experience, age, social and peer pressure. Like we said earlier in this article, in your new relationship, if you think that things are perfect and will never change, you are in for some unpleasant surprise. The relationship must allow these changes to happen. It is not unusual to see submissive, after a while, becoming Dominant….or Dominant becoming submissive! These examples are extreme changes and often, changes are not that drastic, but when one of the partner change, his needs (her) changes too and the relationship has to be flexible enough to allow this change.

For a BDSM relationship to be successful, flexibility and the ever important negotiation must be part of these relationships. Trust, respect are a big part of this too!

The last and the most important thing about a BDSM relationship.

Many gets into a BDSM relationship without really knowing what are their needs or just where they want to go in such relationship. This is not a good thing, because, by definition, a BDSM relationship is an extreme one and when problems arise in the relationship, problems are usually….extreme too!

Just think of this example: You get into a trip to go…..well, you don't know where to go and hell! You don't even know what kind of transportation you will use!!!! A BDSM relationship without a goal (satisfying needs) and without a structure (discussion and negotiation) is exactly like the example of the trip without destination and without what transportation you will use.

Successful BDSM relationships ARE possible but it needs a LOT of work through discussion and negotiation. Respect and trust are important too…..but what about love?

In the future, there will be more articles about nuances of a BDSM relationship. Even with removing S&M, bondage, fetishes and sex, it is very hard to talk about the nuances of a successful BDSM relationship and it is about impossible to address them in one short article.

…and as usual, we welcome comment, your success stories and questions about a BDSM relationship.

Maître Pierre