When it comes to relationships, I consider both time and distance to be basically the same thing. Both of them symbolize “availability.”
I know a handful of people that partake in long distance D/s. I am fairly open about my unwillingness to do this. The decision isn’t based upon some whim or idea… it’s rooted in experience. My first D/s relationship was long-distance. We both had plenty of free time so we were able to speak on the phone or through internet chatting quite a lot. We would see each other for a few days every 4-8 weeks or so with the long-run plan of me relocating after I graduated college. I think the fact that I had never had a real relationship at that point made this okay. The hope kept me going. The idea that something would be there was enough for me to get by. It was hard, but hope kept me going.
My second D/s relationship was local, but there was even less contact than my first. We got to spend half a day together in private once a week. I also got to see her at munches “as friends” once a week. She was married and it was on the outs, but she chose to limit our contact. I could not call her without permission. We would chat or email sometimes in the evenings but she was a morning person that frequently went to bed between 9-10pm and I was a night owl, usually up until 2-3am. This meant that every night I would have 4-6 hours of alone time when I knew that she would not be available to me. After drama drove me out of our local BDSM scene, our contact cut down to the one day a week. After some problems with her adult daughter came up, that once a week became once a month or less. It wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough hope to keep me going and I began to spiral.
When I love I go all in. It’s the only way I can do it. It’s what happens naturally. She becomes the center of my world and my entire focus. Distance and time are not kind to me. They rip me up, tear me down, and leave me feeling helpless, out of control, and wanting. They make me feel like I’m dying.
Right now I am in a position where there is too much distance and too much time separating us. I cling to hope but do not allow myself the same sort of vulnerability when distance or time cause separation. This is self-preservation. It’s not one of my better qualities, but it is true to myself and true to my needs. Going all in when I can’t pick up the phone and know someone will be able to answer… is not something that I feel safe about. Hope means plans. It is for then, but not now. This gives it meaning, but it is not easy. There are times when it hurts and the distance and time can be a nightmare.
I know a number of people who do partake in long distance (or low availability) D/s. Most of these fall into one of two categories. The first category are people who believe they have found the one but geography and/or timing prevent them from being together for now. They accept the difficulties of the situation and make the most of what they can do, like I once did. They have hope. They make plans. There will be a time where those plans have to start becoming reality. I have known people who have been united with their one and the time/distance separating them launched them into their romantic reunion and they hit the ground running. I have known others who have watched the plans stall, lost faith, and had to painfully move on with their hopes dying somewhere along the way. I have a feeling that the latter situations will likely end up like me.
The second category are usually people who use online D/s as a “side gig.” That is, they have an every day life that they find incomplete, unfulfilling, or lacking in some way. These people are frequently married or in a serious relationship but it isn’t enough. D/s is usually unavailable to them or it is present but not to the extent that they want it to be. It is often in secret that they reach out, looking for ways to get their inner desires met. When they find someone, it fills a hole. There are no plans in mind. If a connection builds, people will often put less emphasis on their existing relationship and focus more upon their secret distance D/s partner.
I tend to view these two categories quite differently. I’m not going to say that one is better or worse, but I will say that they are different. The second category has a safety net. Since they have an existing relationship, they are (usually) in an environment that provides some semblance of emotional support when needed. If their online D/s ends, they are still not alone. I believe this makes things far different from the first category.
Writing this out just made me realize a couple of important things. The tail end of my last relationship is the only time that I have ever felt anything like category two. It had been pretty clear for the last year of my relationship that T no longer loved me and our relationship was one of convenience. It was during one of her attacks that left me wrecked that I allowed someone else into my heart. This happened a few months before things finally ended. It also explains why my depression down cycle is so severe this time around. When we finally called things off back in December, I lost my safety net. This took me from the second category back into the first. I pin my hopes on future plans without the safety net of available daily support. I have traveled this path before and I instinctively guard my heart because I know it is difficult and will be bumpy and with plenty of pain.