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?