--> Foundations of a D/s Relationship - Softer Side of BDSM Part 2 | BDSM Unveiled

I got a lot of feedback from the post I did about the softer side of BDSM.
There are many people out there that either do not like the S&M of BDSM, or just don't practice it. These relationships could be called simple D/s or a Taken In Hand type of relationship.

Taken in Hand relationship

First, I’m not drawing a distinction between 24/7 D/s and M/s relationships, because I find that different people use the terms in overlapping ways. I’m talking about relationships that involve a full-time power hierarchy. For me, that means relationships in which the two (or more) people involved always relate to one another from a power-based dynamic, and that this dynamic extends outside the time that the people spend in one another’s presence.

There is a distinction between fantasy and reality. 24/7 relationships happen when you’re doing it for reasons beyond orgasm (even if arousal and orgasm are a big, or even essential, part of the draw). This is not a huge ongoing role-play scenario. It’s an intensification of the power-based parameters in which you live your everyday life. If you simply try to extend a role-play scenario into your entire relationship, you’ll find that the narrow parameters of a persona or character are simply not big enough to encompass who you are, and need to be, every hour of every day. 

Foundations of a D/s relationship

24/7 is not about restricting yourself to a specific set of characteristics the way you can for an hour or two in a scene. It’s about bringing all of who you are to the table and offering it within a full-spectrum relationship. That means you’re doing it regardless of what you’re wearing (leather, work drag, bunny slippers…) and where you are (bedroom, dungeon, airport, family dinner) and what you’re doing (having sex, working, eating breakfast, hanging out with friends). Yes, this means you may need to find ways to scale up and down the overt visibility of your relationship. No, it does not mean you’re turning it on or off at will. A lot of the classic “it’s just play” concepts that you might hear in a BDSM 101 workshop are going to go right out the window here because what you are doing is not a scene. It comes with a whole different – related, but different – psychology.

Being in a hurry has probably brought on more heartaches than any single thing we hear about when discussing failed relationships. Those submissive urges can be very strong and sometimes overpower common sense unless you really keep things from getting out of hand. Without first building a foundation of love, trust and respect, there isn't much hope of any relationship succeeding, especially a D/s one. Searching for the Dominant of your dreams is pretty much like dating in the vanilla world but with an added twist. You will have to trust this person with your life and well-being. You have to really know this person and I personally do not believe this can happen before you have had several months on which to base your judgment. Don't be afraid to ask for references from people he/she knows in the lifestyle. If this creates a problem because you did ask, I'd consider the possibility that this person has something to hide.

Foundations of a D/s relationship

Not fully understanding your limits and the things expected in this lifestyle can lead to some serious problems that can be easily avoided. Learn all you can about D/s and yourself. Make checklist of activities with your potential dominant and find out what things do and do not interest you. You have the right and obligation to honestly express your feelings on activities within this lifestyle. No one likes or needs them all and keeping your real feelings hidden will only lead to problems later. Keep in mind that dominants have limits too. For a relationship to be satisfying and healthy it has to be based on mutual interests and goals.

Communicating effectively is more than just talking. You have to be able to voice your concerns, hopes, needs, dreams, disappointments, and hurts as well as all the positive emotions you so willingly share. Remember it's also listening to what is said and the way it's said. Gestures, facial expressions and body language often say more than words. Learning some better communication skills is always a good investment for your future. A great deal of the dynamics of a D/s relationship hinges on you openly sharing your fantasies and fears. If there is something that's causing you to be anxious or has left you unfulfilled, it's your duty to communicate this to your dominant. The same applies for the things that have given you pleasure or satisfaction. You have to share what's happening inside that submissive head and heart. Remember, even the best dominant is not a mind reader.

D/s relationship

Intense power relationships will bring you face to face with whatever issues you need to work on. Your ability to sustain your D/s relationship depends on you and your partner’s willingness to deal with them, and your mutual willingness to deal with theirs. Hint: if the same thing keeps going wrong in every relationship, you don’t just need to find the right person; you need to change yourself. At the same time as you both commit to working on yourselves, you also need to find a way to balance this with a commitment to accepting each other as you are. While you can work on specific things, and while major change does take place sometimes, you cannot fundamentally change a person into something they are not, and you certainly can’t expect major change to happen quickly or exactly as you’d like it to. So don’t enter into a 24/7 relationship if your happiness is going to be dependent on a radical or immediate personality shift on the others’ part.

D/s relationships are intense. Have I mentioned that? They are intense, soul-searching relationships that affect every moment of every day. The kind of exploration and self-revelation that so often comes with D/s can make you go a bit nuts if you have no outside support. That support can take many forms:

Participation in a kink community

Participation in a kink community can be incredibly helpful — it can provide relationship models for you to look at and learn from or discard as needed. Even if everyone around you does their kink differently than you do, that can help you better understand who you are (and are not) and what you’re doing (and not doing).

Reading, workshops, discussion groups, and any number of other educational resources can similarly give you ideas to chew on, frameworks that may or may not work for you, and language to help you understand and express what you’re getting up to.

And last but not least, friends you can talk to about D/s. Non-kinky (but kink-friendly) friends are a great start, because the kind of challenges that come up in D/s are often similar to those in any other relationship. But frequently enough, D/s relationship issues will also have a character all their own, and even the most open-minded or well-intentioned vanilla friend may have a hard time truly getting it. It can be extremely helpful to build friendships with fellow D/s practitioners so you can offer each other a supportive shoulder when needed. Hint: Don’t wait until you need help… start building those friendships right away, and make sure you offer your own listening ear.


A brief caution: a classic warning sign that a D/s relationship is not so healthy is when one of the partners tells the other not to talk about it with anyone else, or not to participate in community. Of course you want to maintain basic respect for each other and your relationship – airing your dirty laundry for all to see, or trashing your partner loudly at a play party, is just not classy. But having one or two trusted friends to turn to in times of trouble can be essential and a wise dominant will encourage the submissive to seek out support rather than discouraging it.

Patience takes a long time to build in great depth, and often is the Dominant’s job is to hold back, not to rush forward. Taking on responsibility for another human being in a polarized power situation is simply not something that’s wise to do quickly or carelessly. Take your time. Learn what you need to learn about yourself, about them, about how to do this well and feel good about it. Don’t extend past your own limits because you feel pressure to do it all right-now-tout-de-suite. I do say that it’s often the dominant’s job to hold back, because sometimes a submissive can be gung-ho and champing at the bit while their dominant is feeling overwhelmed and struggling to hold tight.

long lasting and loving D/s relationship

Lastly, it takes continued work, communication, and an open willingness to continuously adapt to make a long lasting and loving D/s relationship work and grow stronger. We choose to be open to everyone about the fact we live a 24/7 BDSM or D/s lifestyle. It makes it much easier on us. Many of our vanilla friends do not understand and others have simply stopped talking to us. We are ok with that. Because for us, we are most happy being ourselves and being open with who we are. But, it is up to you and your partner to determine how much you let your vanilla friends know. 

Post title: " Foundations of a D/s Relationship - Softer Side of BDSM Part 2 "
by: Michelle Fegatofi signature Red line


  1. Wonderfully written. Couldn't agree more. This is how my relationship is and it is amazing. So many need to read this. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks for reading! Please share with anyone you think might like or need to hear this. I hope you come back and read me more!

    1. Michelle I gotta tell you, I love your blog!!!! Absolutely wonderful. So much great information. I will for sure share your blog. I've joined your group on Fet also.

      So happy I found you. Thanks again.


    2. Thanks so much for that Pink. I hope you always find something to either help guide you or peak your interest or just new stuff or insite you might not have known. Welcome and feel free to comment or ask questions anytime.


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