Traditionally, and especially within the vanilla world, when one thinks of a BDSM relationship one pictures the submissive serving the Dominant, with that word “serving” covering a whole variety of different acts and services. One imagines the noble and self-effacing submissive bestowing the gift of their service, while the rapacious Dominant consumes what the submissive offers and demands more. When the Dominant wants sex from their partner, they take it. When they want their back rubbed or to be fanned and fed grapes on a hot summer day, the submissive must oblige. To summarize, the submissive acts as the giver, while the Dominant is the taker.

From within the prism of my own relationship with Joy, however, things look different, and I have long maintained that the traditional view has things backwards. In my personal experience, Joy devours experiences that I work to provide to her. In other words, I believe that I am the primary giver in our relationship, while Joy is usually the taker. I’m pretty confident that Joy would agree with this perspective (if not, my dear, feel free to say so, always remembering, of course, that you’ll be ruining a perfectly good post if you do… 🙂 ).

I spend a lot of time dreaming up and then playing out scenes and adventures to attempt to drive her wild with excitement and desire. And when I require some sort of service from her, either sexual or otherwise, Joy is eager to provide it; in fact, generally she’d prefer to have me make more requests and demand more service than I do. While it’s true that I tend to tailor my requests and instructions around activities Joy likes, her preference applies even to services that one typically would expect to not be desirable, such as spankings or disciplinary sessions.

Not that I don’t occasionally take from Joy—I do, and she correspondingly gives to me as well. The ebb and flow of giving and taking within our relationship changes from day to day, and my opinion is that over time it’s shifted to become somewhat more even, with Joy giving more today than she did even just a year ago. However, in balance, our roles remain as they were in the first place—I give more than Joy, and she takes more than I do, and honestly, I think this works very well and we’re both quite happy this way.

Because this is the world I live in, it tends to color my thoughts on how other relationships must function. I have come to believe that contrary to the traditional view, it is perfectly possible and in fact, probably quite common for the Dominant partner to also be a giver, while the submissive partner fills the role of taker. It seems natural to me this way, and I have a rather hard time picturing how it would work the other way around. With the Dominant as the taker, it seems to me as though the relationship would be…unbalanced, somehow, and maybe even unstable as well.

Unfortunately I only have visibility into my own world and can’t see how other couples make things work, so I can’t answer my own questions on this topic. I thought I’d take the liberty of consulting with you, good reader, in the hopes that you’d share your perspective with me. Am I correct, and the “Dominant-giver, submissive-taker” configuration is common within D/s relationships? And does the reverse, with a Dominant who takes and a submissive who gives, work as well as this seems to? If you have thoughts or observations on this topic to share in the comments, I’d very much enjoy hearing them!

Enjoy Yourself,


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