I don’t know what it is about the holiday season, but as usual, I seem to have contracted a nasty cold. Energy levels are low, and because of this, you’re getting a re-run tonight, I’m afraid. Hopefully we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming in a day or so…

One of the challenges couples face when they take their first, tentative steps toward adding an element of BDSM to their relationship is to firmly establish their roles. As a general rule, it’s clear pretty early (probably from the very start) who will act as the dominant partner and who will act as the submissive. If the couple starts out with experiments in light bondage, for instance, the dominant will do the tying, and the submissive will be tied, right? The two partners seem to sort of gravitate naturally to their preferred role.

Though tying one’s partner up (or being tied up) for sex can be exhilarating, after a few repetitions it’s likely that some of the excitement in this act will fade. It’s kind of like having sex doggy-style. The first time you do it it’s exciting because it is different and because it is less conventional and more risqué than plain old missionary position. But after awhile, doggy-style, while still nice, loses its ability to truly thrill because the newness and unconventionality have worn off.

The same thing happens with tying each other up. Eventually the newness and unconventionality wears off, and while still fun, it’s no longer as thrilling as it once was. To recapture the thrill, you need to access the engine that gave tying your partner up its power in the first place, and that engine is the Dominant/submissive relationship.

That is what I mean when I talk about firmly establishing the roles each partner in the relationship will play. The Dominant and submissive roles must become part of the relationship in ways that go beyond simply being the binder or bind-ee. To continue to capture the thrill the couple seeks, the Dominant must take charge, and the submissive must relinquish control. It’s possible to do this in countless different ways, and the flavors of this sort of relationship are many. However, without this exchange of power, the feeling of excitement manifests rarely at best, and various scenes and activities fall flat. With a Dominant/submissive power exchange, however, the thrill that basic bondage brought at first can be recaptured again and again.

In order to successfully establish this dynamic, the submissive must be willing to trust that the dominant will take care of them, and therefore allow the dominant to introduce them to actions and situations they are often unfamiliar with and sometimes not entirely sure they are comfortable with. This can be a difficult thing to do! One requirement that must be met is that the Dominant earn (or already possess) the necessary trust–lack of sufficient trust guarantees failure in the BDSM relationship. However, another requirement is that the submissive must become accustomed to submitting. Like most things, the more the act of submitting to one’s partner is practiced, the easier it becomes. But how to practice? What types of activities provide good opportunities to practice dominance and submission, especially when a couple is just starting out?

This roundabout introduction finally brings us to the topic mentioned in the title of this post: shaving. One thing I’m definitely not going to do is add to the ongoing war between hairy versus clean-shaven. The clean-shavers appear to be carrying the day lately, but these things often go in cycles, so I bet in a few years hairy will be making a comeback. However, I did want to talk for a minute about shaving and the role it can play in Dominance and submission.

Shaving is one of those activities that may be either a submissive or a Dominant act—it depends entirely on context. If a male, for instance, binds his female partner with her legs apart and then shaves her pubic hair, his shaving of her would be a Dominant act. On the other hand, if a female partner spreads her legs and directs her male partner to shave her pubic hair, then his shaving of her would be a submissive act. It’s the same action and same players, but it scores opposite on the Dominant/submissive scale solely by virtue of the scenario being acted out and the personalities of the two players.

Shaving is an example of a simple option you can use to reinforce the Dominant/submissive dynamic in a relationship by allowing the submissive to practice submitting. Complying with a requirement to shave is a relatively gentle form of submission, and one that is good for beginners. It is intimate and private, yet not overly extreme. If you are the Dominant, you can choose to shave your partner, to require them to shave themselves, or to have them shave you. If you are the submissive, you can choose to submit to being shaven, to submit to shaving yourself, or to shave your partner. No matter which you choose, the shared act reinforces the roles you have chosen to play.

In addition to being gentle, shaving carries another benefit. It lasts for longer than just the duration of a single adventure. If you are shaven, you can walk around for the next day or so with the consciousness of being hairless. And your partner can be reminded of your shared act of Dominance/submission each time they see you clean shaven. The Dominant can even require that the submissive keep themselves shaved appropriately so that the act of submission is ongoing.

There are many other ways and options to practice the act of submitting (and, conversely, the act of Dominating). Most are more severe, though, so as I said before, shaving is a good one for beginners. If you and your partner are just starting out at this, consider using shaving as an opportunity to firm up your relationship roles. It can be very pleasing in many subtle ways. And it will help you move forward into other activities to explore the world of dominance and submission, and experience the thrill that it can provide to both partners.

Enjoy yourself!

Jake

Note: It occurred to me after I wrote this that your partner may very possibly already be clean-shaven. If that is the case, you can still obtain the same benefits if you choose! Simply ask them to not shave a certain portion of their body, and the same effect can be achieved…

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