Part one of this post covered how I believe that consensual bondage, dominance/submission and a smattering of light S & M have provided a significant, long-term improvement to my relationship with my wife, Joy. In part two, I’d like to consider whether our positive experience might generalize across other relationships.
To recap, we have found that the addition of a BDSM aspect to our relationship has helped strengthen it in (at least) the following three ways:
- Our sex life together has improved dramatically
- The level of trust between the two of us has increased
- Our ability to communicate with each other has improved, and continues to improve through regular practice
I think it’s fairly well inarguable that these three benefits would be helpful to any relationship, not just ours. It is our method of achieving them that is out of the ordinary, rather than the benefits themselves. Because of this, I believe that the question of generalization boils down to whether other couples would gain these same benefits if they adopted BDSM, or whether it wouldn’t fit and therefore wouldn’t deliver the same experience as it has for Joy and I.
Allow me to state the obvious. BDSM is not for everyone. There are a whole host of reasons why it may not be right for many couples, and I’m not going to attempt to cover all of them. However, I think that the range of couples for which it might actually be a boon is wider than many people would think. Society’s norms discourage many people who might benefit from ever giving BDSM a try, even if they recognize that they have a secret attraction to it.
The big question for those who have read this far, I suppose, is whether or not it would be of benefit to their own relationship. Obviously I don’t know the answer to that question, but I have some thoughts on indicators that might be a sign that gentle exploration could be worthwhile. Here is a list of characteristics that I think might make you consider looking into BDSM for your own bedroom:
- Both of you are aroused by and interested in D/s situations and scenarios. While “both of you” might seem to be a stretch, in reality, I believe that D/s fantasies are so common that it’s rarer for someone to not be aroused by them than it is otherwise. Even if your partner has displayed zero interest in this sort of thing, the chances are good that the interest is there beneath the surface.
- Your relationship already has a solid foundation of trust. This one can be a big hurdle—my experience is that many couples do not have the necessary trust. It’s okay if you are a little bored with each other when you start, and it can be okay if you bicker or even have knock down, drag out fights upon occasion. But there needs to be no doubt that each of you has your partner’s best interest in mind. Engaging successfully in BDSM together will build further trust between you, but it needs a basis to start building on. Without an underlying layer of trust, there’s nothing to support the D/s in the first place.
- A clear delineation of roles must be definable and acceptable to both of you. You can’t both be Dominant, and you can’t both be submissive. One of you must be able and willing to play each role or it won’t work. (And yes, I know there are “switches”, but I regard a relationship in which the two partners swap out the “D” and the “s” at their whim an anomaly, and frankly don’t understand such a relationship well enough to attempt to address it.)
- Each of your minds must be open to participate, and at least one of you must actively want to try. Minds can be closed for all kinds of reasons, even despite the fact that hidden desires exist. If your partner’s mind is not open, then even if yours is, you will not succeed. However, be careful about assuming that your partner’s mind is closed until you know for sure. Sometimes it turns out that even the most forbidding door is unlocked.
I know this is a short list. After having read it, you might be saying to yourself, “But there sure aren’t many qualifiers in there. It sounds like lots of relationships might fit into this list!”
You’re right…and that’s kind of my point. I believe that there are a surprising number of relationships that could potentially see a benefit from adopting some flavor of D/s dynamic and BDSM in general. Frankly, I personally know at least two vanilla couples that I believe definitely would be better off.
Don’t assume, by the way, that the D/s dynamic within the relationship must follow a specific gender pattern—both Dominant male/submissive female and Dominant female/submissive male are valid configurations. It’s also completely possible for both the Dominant and submissive to be the same gender.
It’s possible that there will be a part three to this post as well. If so, it will focus on possible ways to begin if you are in a vanilla relationship but would like to try out other, more exotic flavors…