462. Thoughts on Appearances

One of the more individual views that people in D/s have is how the dynamics of their relationship appear to outsiders.  Some have a group of kink-aware friends they keep separate from their vanilla friends.  Some have a few trusted confidants they share their lifestyle with.  Some keep it a secret from everyone.

In my life I have somewhat split the difference.  My core family and my friends are generally aware that I am a sub, but they do not know the extent of it or any of the details.  I have in the past shared more details with some of my closer friends, but those friendships deteriorated for unrelated reasons and it didn’t really benefit me at all to do so.  It is common for me to simply explain to newer people that I meet that I’m pussy-whipped and she wears the pants.  As my friends generally aren’t dudebros, they tend to just nod and not question that if I end up having to call to check in or have a specific time that I have to adhere to.

One thing that I have noticed with most couples practicing lifestyle D/s is that social or familial obligations either severely cramp their style or can outright derail it.  In cases where D/s is nearly forgotten during these times, their public personas tend to take over for the duration.  In the cases where D/s is merely cramped, it is common for people to loathe spending extended periods of time around others, often doing things like staying at a hotel during holidays instead of with family or keeping their visit as short as possible.

Something that had mild success with T and I hope is the way that things go in my next relationship is one that our dynamic is made as public as possible, especially to those meeting us as a couple for the first time.  I’m not saying that anything will be overtly kinky, but I do want it to be clear who is in charge and I am okay with being told how she wishes for me to behave around her friends and family.  Basically, I find it is ideal to go ahead and put the FLR-ish nature of the relationship at the forefront.

What I have found is that a lot of people will just accept things as they are.  I consider it a large compliment if she is told later that they think I am well-behaved.  If the way that we interact piques their interest, they will usually ask, at which time little tidbits can be leaked out and based upon their response to it it can be determined just how much of the dynamic can safely be outed.

The idea behind this is that it is never fun to be fake.  No one really enjoys putting on a false face and hiding their true self from the people they are supposed to be closest to.  If D/s is your lifestyle, this often becomes a significant barrier that will limit the depth of friendships and/or can be the difference between having visits with family being “a nice change of pace” vs. miserable.

I guess my view on it is that I would rather be my true self and have people know that our relationship is one built around inequality.  Putting on false faces exhausts me and doing it for more than a few hours at a time is something I would rather avoid.  Allowing people to see even a minor glimpse of your true lifestyle can be the difference between welcoming guests or having a, “let’s get this over with,” type of attitude.

I do know it is a bit harder to do this with people who have known you for a long time than it is to just go out and make kink-friendly friends.  In any case, it is something I do feel strongly about.  In some ways I feel it is more fair to others to be able to show them a basic glimpse of your dynamic while really wanting to be there.  It’s not always possible to keep the dynamics going, but I prefer it when it is.

Does anyone else feel this way?




27 thoughts on “462. Thoughts on Appearances

  1. As you know furs I let it all hang out. My family and my few friends know of my lifestyle and I prefer it that way to ‘hiding’ it as I accept myself for who and what I am. I do respect other people’s wishes though to not have it flaunted in front of them, lol. But I’m an open book if asked.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Morganna.
      I think it is more comfortable that way. I believe it is easier to “tone it down” than it is to try and squash it. If squashed, it leaves the internal feeling that you are denying yourself and that tends to bring about the desire for the denial to end as soon as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel much more relaxed and engaged around people who know both sides. I feel like I have two parts and have got better about managing that. I have a job and other commitments to meet but I try not to let that affect being submissive. I feel that part of me is there all the time although I am not always in that mindset. I am fortunate that we have found a way to work other things in to the fore at times while still feeling like what we really are is simmering away. This has taken some time but it no longer throws us off and it is necessary for the life that we lead right now. In the future when circumstances change I think that the balance of things will change too which will be interesting. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Missy.
      It is definitely more relaxing. I believe compartmentalizing is easier for couples that have kids, but that it is possible to find a sustainable “toned down” form that allows you to remain true to yourself. I can imagine that your situation will change quite a bit once they have left the nest 🙂

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s difficult to hide the relationship I have because things come up that show outsiders who is ‘boss’ . If I pretend otherwise, there are consequences. Dealing with family is a different matter. I would like to come out to them but it creates too much conflict.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dave.
      Would you choose to hide it if you could?

      Family situations tend to vary quite a bit for people. My family knows that I have no problem severing contact with them for an extended period if they rub me in the wrong way, but I know a lot of people would find that outcome undesirable.

      Do you find that you limit your contact with them because of it? e.g. visiting them for 2 days instead of 4.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting question, furcissy. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if my parents had not discovered what I was into. I guess I could fake it but eventually, they would find out. My mother has come to accept this in me but my step-fr. would like to cure me of what he considers a ‘weakness’ as he feels guilty for not raising a ‘man’. Visits, even phone calls, are very tense & brief . When I talk to my mother alone she’ll say “we won’t let your father know about that, will we”. My partner’s parents accept our relationship after some initially embarrassing revelations. I would visit them longer if it weren’t for my busy schedule.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Dave.
          That is unfortunate how families can limit or sever ties based upon their acceptance or lack of lifestyle choices. From the sound of it, it is a lot more pleasant to be around those who do accept it, even if it was initially awkward.

          Take care.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. you have interesting posts on the subject that describes the positive aspects of the lifestyle. Older generations want to cling to rules and restrictions, younger people go along with whatever works between themselves.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Thank you, Dave.
          That is very true. A lot of people find comfort in what they know. I think I was fairly young when I began to reject “the establishment,” so I am accustomed to finding my own reasons that don’t always flow with the majority opinion. I think I am used to having to justify my choices though, which is why I end up writing a lot about the positive views as I want people to see what is beautiful rather than getting hung up stereotypes.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Sayyid like you has never had a problem portraying to others this “she wears the pants” mentality. I used to get uncomfortable with it. Like when someone would ask him something he’d announce that he has to check with “the boss” first. That used to bother me because I didn’t want people questioning his masculinity. It doesn’t bother me anymore. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, SG.
      I think it is quite common for vanilla guys to defer to their significant others when it is a decision they are fairly indifferent about. Also if the S.O. commonly plans out their social calendars, men tend to learn quickly to check before making commitments. There is quite a bit of hen-pecking that goes on in vanilla life and a lot of men just get used to picking their battles.

      I am guessing a lot of this contributed to Sayyid being okay with doing that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have no problem being completely out and open to people to whom I feel I am close, excluding family. I don’t want them to know because I don’t want them to judge HD based on some sort of preconceived idea of what a Dominant is/does. I also don’t want them thinking I am falling into a societal expectation that the man is the leader and the woman just follows, I wasn’t raised that way and I don’t feel that’s how the world should be. I made the choice to follow HD because of my respect for him and the way it fulfills me, which is different than thinking it’s the “natural order.” My family knows me well and knows that I am not as good at “adulting” as I should be, so they don’t see any issue with me following his suggestions.
    Since my sister discovered (somehow) my blog (resulting in it becoming private), I am sure they know to a certain extent. (My mother asked was upset at one point about my furniture having not been moved yet and made a comment about him changing me, which prompted me to point out that she knew him. Did she honestly get the feeling that he wanted to change me? She said she didn’t think he did, he wasn’t that type of person, she was just upset over my furniture. I am pretty sure she and my sister we talking about the structure of HD and my relationship, and she got one of those preconceived notions in her head as I mentioned earlier.) We don’t act overtly D/s in any way around them and I certainly do take the opportunity to be bratty around them because I know he can’t threaten me without revealing the full extent of our dynamic (all in fun, of course). Still, my mother and sister keep teasing me about helping HD get a whip, so…. *shrug* HD said that if they asked direct questions, he’d ask even more invasive ones about their sex lives, to underscore the point that it’s our relationship and our lives and thus none of their business.

    I don’t see a point in completely hiding everything since there is a natural power exchange in any relationship. In even the most equality-based relationship, someone is naturally more in charge than the other. Otherwise nothing would ever get done or decided. So why pretend otherwise? That doesn’t mean we advertise it, but I do naturally defer to him on most subjects. Just like how I don’t hide my little side but I don’t refer to it as such around family. They just accept that I love unicorns and coloring books and glitter and kids’ movies. It’s there, it isn’t hidden, but it isn’t treated as something shocking because it isn’t something we advertise as being different.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, HH.
      With my family I explained the basics of dynamics in an unequal relationship. I figured that would ease the blow of having a lover that was over twice my age at the time. I do think that people are more apt to draw their own conclusions unless one is provided for them. e.g. In some cases it may be easier to tell them what they should think rather than allow them to think on the bits and pieces that they are exposed to.

      In regards to non-family, you can advertise “enough” if you want others to become accustomed to certain things. With T we were sort of overt out of the gate with her friends because it was easier and more fun that way.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you, Dave. I let them know about the D/s in order for them to understand the age difference.

          K was 1 year older than me and died 2.5 years later, at 27. After that, 10-20 years together with someone seemed like a lifetime. F was the one that was much older than me and happened after K. F was also one year younger than my adopted mother. T is 12 years older than me. I have rarely attracted women my own age, but it’s funny because if they were 5-10 years older than me they would come up with all sorts of reasons to make age an issue, so I seemed to attract older women. I have never really been the type to put up with shit from family after the abusive upbringing that I had so I take a hardline stance of “accept me if you expect to ever see me.”


        2. Possibly, but by that time they had already stopped accepting me so I stopped showing up for holidays and things like that. After 3+ years they basically told me they would do whatever it took, and I told them I wouldn’t put up with bullshit or passive aggressive commentary. They ended up changing how they acted overall but if they relapsed I would skip another year’s worth of family gatherings, citing that I had better things to do than be surrounded by assholes.

          As for the age gap, it was never planned. Unfortunately I could never control who was interested in me, and in most cases, they happened to be older.

          I was willing to cut off contact again, so I gave them the choice between accepting me or I was out again. A lot of people aren’t willing to go that far, but my family is a dysfunctional hell-hole that frequently did more harm than good. I was fine with either outcome.

          Take care.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. For the most part they were supportive. K, F, and T were all kicked out by their parents as teens and had to manage on their own in some way or ended up in foster care or with relatives or the like. This made them understanding of my situation in a way that most other people were not. It let them support my decisions because they understood that family can be monsters.


    1. Thank you, Nora. I have been wanting to write but my I haven’t had anything really to say. A lot of my blog posts are inspired by conversations I have outside of the blogosphere and those have fallen off lately so I haven’t had as much to write about. I am hoping that will change soon. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

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