514. More Thoughts on D/s in the BDSM Community

Although I haven’t been writing, I have still been attending munches for local BDSM groups (we have tons).

I have to say that a lingering note of interest to me is the absence of D/s.  It isn’t taught. It isn’t talked about.  It is rarely practiced.  In many ways, it is treated as if D/s doesn’t exist.

Why not?

Over the years (and before my return to the local scene) I have spoken to many people, especially couples practicing D/s, that have attempted to join up with their local scene only to find that what they do doesn’t fit in with what is going on within their BDSM community.  They go a few times, feel like outcasts, and stop going, preferring to use the internet to find other groups to socialize with and/or seek guidance/council.

With this in mind, I don’t believe that the absence of D/s is a localized phenomenon.  What is also bothersome is that I have heard a total of zero stories from people telling me that people within their local community took an interest in what they were doing.  If communities (and the people within them) are open-minded, inclusive, hungry for knowledge, and seeking understanding, you would have to believe that there would have been some exchange along the lines of, “What you are doing is something that is new to me, would you please explain it so that I can better understand it?”

The more common story I have heard from others, is a style of exchange closer to, “What you are doing is not like what I am doing.  You should be doing it the way that we do things.”

Since the fall, I have attended nine different local BDSM groups and what I am finding is that it’s not as if the local groups are closed-minded, they merely work from a very fixed and somewhat narrow view of what BDSM entails.  It’s actually rather strange, because most of them are extremely inclusive:  Gay/bi/straight?  It doesn’t matter, welcome aboard.  CIS/transgender/transitioning?  It doesn’t matter, welcome aboard.  Monogamous/poly/asexual?  It doesn’t matter, welcome aboard.  Dom/sub/top/bottom/switch/any role you can think of?  It doesn’t matter, welcome aboard.

However, when you start talking about D/s, confusion often surfaces.

Them: “So what you do is like consensual-nonconsent?”

Me: “Sort of like that, but on all the time.”

Them: “I don’t understand.  Like, you mean until the scene ends?”

Me: “There is no scene.  It is on all the time.”

Them: “What?  What do you mean there is no scene?”

Basically, when I talk to others, I find that most of them have a definition of BDSM that is so fundamentally different than mine that it becomes difficult to bring them to a place of understanding.  It’s almost like practicing D/s as a lifestyle falls completely outside the scope of what they can imagine.

I wish that I had a magical analogy or comparison to use that would make this barrier easier to work through.  As things are, it feels as if there are so many layers to peel back first:

  • Only engaging in D/s with a primary romantic partner vs. playing with various play partners.
  • Having varying degrees of dynamics and protocols that are active at all times vs. negotiated temporary intervals.
  • Achieving (intangible) emotional and psychological gratification through a power dynamic vs. the (tangible) physical gratification of play.
  • Finding comfort in deep vulnerability vs. having layers of protections in place.
  • Agreed upon asymmetry between dominant and submissive vs. expectations of mutual, relatively equal benefit or pleasure.

I’m not sure if there is an “easy” way to contrast all of these differences in a singular example.

I definitely intend to write more upon this subject in the near future, but I figure that getting something out there again is better than leaving this as an unfinished draft.

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42 thoughts on “514. More Thoughts on D/s in the BDSM Community

    1. Thank you, David. I will keep at it. I find it is particularly difficult as a lot of people tune out or shut down once something is noticeably different. Even the people I am forming friendships with seem resistant to it. Hopefully I will find a way.

      On the flipside, I am meeting people who had felt distraught or different from others who are glad to have some company with their views.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hello, welcome back to writing. I haven’t seen you around much, but I’ve also been really sick for the past couple weeks so that could be part of the reason why. Anyway, onto me comment about your post. I understand where your coming from as it seems people these days tend to think of Dominant and submission is a bedroom scene that they can turn off and on. That once They get to sub space and the feeling of euphoria then that is it. Win for me at least it is in ongoing relationship dynamic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wittie.

      I haven’t really written much since late December/early January nor have I been good about keeping up on other blogs.

      I agree with you. I think right now I am trying to find out which aspect is causing the reason for this shift. Right now I am finding it is a combination of how BDSM is taught as well as people being less likely to commit to a singular partner.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay. You know I look forward to your posts furs.. This one is on a subject I think that is very important and on my recently short return to Fetlife was something that seemed to have gotten more prolific? Tell me if I’m wrong .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Morganna. Over the years I have seen things gravitating in this direction, especially when safety becomes a concern while educating newbies. What has surprised me a bit is just how little representation there is of lifestyle D/s. There used to be an acknowledgment that casual play was one flavor out of many. Now it seems more and more like it is the only view a lot of people have. As I wrote late last year, I am starting to understand a lot of the “movements” that are trying to separate themselves from the BDSM community a bit more.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Woohoo. I am so pleased to see you back and writing something so important. I can relate to this as someone living a lifestyle dynamic and struggling to find others nearby who are doing the same. I do think there are a lot of differences and perhaps some of it comes from only having experience of one sort. Many of us have no experience of that and vice versa so the gap is quite wide. You have a foot in both camps in terms of your knowledge and understanding of both worlds and I think that makes a difference to you fitting in. ❤️ missy xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Missy. I think why I am affected by this so much is that I do understand both worlds but have only practiced (or cared to practice) the one type. I don’t see it as being a very big stretch to understand and acknowledge both types.

      From what I gather from the alternative movements, it seems like neither side of the fence is very good at understanding the other.

      Take care.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think possibly because each sticks where they are comfortable. And the type that we practice lends itself to staying inside and more easily online. Many of us also have families and worry about exposure which can make it trickier. What is practical tends to feature heavily I think. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Missy. The great separation point for many are those who already have committed partners vs. those who are continuously seeking possible additional partners. The void this leaves are the single people who are looking for a D/s relationship end up not really having a place.

          Almost everyone who takes part in local communities also have lives and families to worry about when it comes to exposure, so that isn’s something that is really unique to one side or the other.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Maybe they are better at managing that than me. It definitely puts a block on things as far as I am concerned and I don’t think it’s something I will do really. It’s not that I am not interested in the way it works for others more that it fits better to so it at or from home. 😊

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I’m also not referring to any sort of public play. I find it personally helpful to be able to eat dinner with others at a gathering in the private room of a restaurant. Making kink-aware friends is something I have aways found to make life easier.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad to see you are writing again! I have missed your posts!
    I wonder how much of it is regional also? Be interesting to see what the most common relationship styles are per area, if we could get an accurate table of data.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, HH. I believe there are areas with more Old Guard influence where power exchange is a larger part of things. What I do know is that there seems to be a fairly regular creation of new “movements” that shun the BDSM community and group together under a new label. These movements tend to be the ones that favor domestic discipline and power exchange ahead if “play,” and this leads me to believe that the general tone of BDSM communities must be gravitating away from D/s.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find that interesting because in the writers I follow and the writings I read on Fet, there doesn’t seem to be much shift. Granted, many are in/write from the cis-het-M/f perspective, which could be another reason I don’t see the phenomenon you’re talking about. Perhaps this is more prevalent in F/m relationships than M/f? It could be as simple as women seeking a more empowering label that has a less patriarchal history, if that’s the case. (Just speculating.) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The movements I am referring to are the domestic discipline community, Head of household, Taken in hand, FLR, etc. Our BDSM community here will not touch nor teach anything about those or other styles of D/s. Everything is about consent, negotiations, and how to hit someone safely with or how to use rope safely, etc. Locally, this happens in both the M/f, F/m, switch, and mixed groups. About the only groups that do much with D/s and power exchange is the gay leather scene, but there isn’t much in the way of crossover.

          Basically, there is no talk about rules/consequences except for the occasion when a newbie talks about an early (and uninformed) experience in which the community voice states it is abuse.

          I think this is referring to what you are referring to.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Ah, that makes a bit more sense because I’m not seeing anything like that in what I am exposed to on Fet. But, as I mentioned, I am tend to see much more about M/f than F/m.

          I find it interesting that that it’s only the gay leather scene that deal with D/s. Most of what I have seen has been the opposite, where people automatically assume that anyone in a relationship is in some sort of D/s or M/s. There have been one or two writers who have explicitly stated that they are not interested in that sort of relationship model because it is so ingrained that BDSM = power exchange. Intriguing that it’s different in the F/m community.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Online is a different animal because all styles are represented, almost to such an extent where it is difficult to grasp the actual distribution %.

          I do find it strange that here that power exchange is pretty absent in both M/f and F/m. People looking for power exchange have to find different resources and groups, and I believe that there is a correlation between the rise in those alternate movements and it being scrubbed out of some local scenes.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. If HD and I ever make it to a munch (fingers crossed for May), I’ll do some research and see how people structure their relationships locally. I’m still curious what kind of data we can gather per region to see if it’s something to do with different areas and how the movements progress or if there’s some other reason.
          I can’t fathom a BDSM community that doesn’t have some inclusion for D/s…or that doesn’t talk about it. Seems like it would be a seen as lack of education for the community at large. Consent and negotiation and all that is highly important, but so is knowing the different forms relationships can take.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. I will be curious to see what you find. Some of it I simply place upon the “pulse” of the community as treating BDSM like casual/recreational acts that don’t imply anything more than agreeing to do them. In the F/m community, I only know of one couple that practices D/s, and that is something that they started roughly 4 months into their relationship that began as treating BDSM and dating as separate parts of the relationship.

          Like

  5. Great post. As we have ventured out more into the local BDSM community, I am seeing a bit of what you stated, but not as obvious or prevalent. I think it’s because my husband has been picky and tries hard to get a good sense of the vibe and background of the group before we dive in. It still means we are a bit of the oddity re D/s, but not necessarily outcasts. I am sure as we engage with more groups we will find some to be exactly as you described.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennifer.

      If your area is more open to power exchange I would consider that to be a good thing. For me it ends up feeling like there are a large contingent of people who just have a different definition of BDSM than I do. I also know that our area has had a lot of the same movers and shakers active for the past 20 years and some of this is probably the gradual result of changes that were made after a very icky abuse scandal broke 8-10 years ago.

      The ages of the group founders tends to have some influence on this as well.

      I will be curious to know how things go for you.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. And I do agree and see that there is an element of it “should be” this way or “should be” that way when it comes to what people think of as BDSM. Overall though we’ve found, in our limited exposure to others, that people are generally open to others ideas and how they choose to incorporate BDSM or kink in general into their relationships. As you stated, it could be that if the same people have been entrenched in the groups for a long time, there could be this “group think” that evolved where they tend to look at their way as the right way and anyone else as doing it wrong. In my book, one can’t kink the wrong way (within the bounds of consent and legality).

        Liked by 1 person

  6. How about marriage as an analogy?

    Fairly traditional structured, permanent take on it, that is, when one of you would say ‘obey’ in your vows, and the other ‘cherish?’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      A marriage comparison might work. I will be giving it some thought. That does carry the gravity of the D/s within the relationship I am trying to convey. I mostly have a concern that the word marriage might be a hot button word for a lot of the poly individuals in the scene. Aside from that concern, marriage is the most accurate description. I may think of a few refinements to it, e.g. the ways in which the agreement are a bit asymmetric for dominant and sub.

      Take care.

      Like

  7. Let me say first off, I really enjoyed your post! It hit on a topic I’m rather passionate about… D/s and all of the protocols which go with it. As an owned and collared sub (and little) i have run into such difficulty with both genders refusing to honor the boundaries of my relationship. At first I thought it was only an online thing like Fetlife, where I got my start and met my Daddy, but then I find it is everywhere. It’s a generational thing, I believe. Kink is becoming mainstream to a degree which means the protocols and ways of the old guard aren’t getting passed on as they once were.

    Secondly… YAY!!!! Daddy and i are also fur lovers!!! I look forward to reading more of your writings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you.
      The Old Guard ways have definitely been swept away. Right now it seems a lot of people treat BDSM as a singular act and not as much like a sustainable lifestyle.

      I’m currently working on ways on how to approach this topic with the newer crowd, but it isn’t always easy, especially when people believe themselves to be more fluid than someone like myself.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m looking forward to seeing how you approach this. Daddy and I have struggled with Fet for quite some time primarily based on this topic. Hidden behind a computer screen, the issue is even more pronounced that other scenerios. I’ve been approached by both gendered D-types who fail to respect the protocols set forth on my profile. Basic respect for the fact that I’m in a relationship at all seems to matter little to none for the majority of people. It’s very sad.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you. I’m sure that I will make a post if I find an effective means of communicating it.

          Something I have been exposed to recently were a number of people who even went so far as to make jokes about the D/s lifestyle as if it’s something unreasonable and only something that “newbies engaging in fantasy” try to do. That is a pretty large hurdle to overcome when that is the feel on a community level.

          What I do find, though, is that there are individuals within the community who do want it, but they keep it secret/hidden because they feel strange being different from “everyone else.” I find that if I keep talking about it, it tends to draw those people in.

          Take care.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Wow! I’m seriously stunned that there would be judgment for those of us wanting/needing 24/7 TPE as playing at D/s. lol I just don’t even know what to say that is polite and wouldn’t upset my Daddy for publicly speaking of others in such a way. Keep writing and enlightening and bringing more of those like us together!!! ♥ ~Jodie

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Thank you, Jodie.

          Interacting with various communities over the years has shown me quite a bit in how people differ in their fundamental views on BDSM. I try to find those with similar views while indirectly influencing those that differ.

          Sometimes it’s a challenge to bite my tongue, but I try to see where their point of view comes from. I don’t think that everyone that would make those statements is anti-24/7, I just think that they have seen how D/s can be used for predatory purposes. e.g. a dominant that preys upon newbies by telling them “how things are supposed to be” and basically abusing the newbies when they don’t understand the nature of consent.

          As a community, is it better to prioritize safety? Probably? The unfortunate byproduct of this is that very few people learn to understand the responsibility that D/s entails.

          I do know I have had better luck at swaying the F/m community, but that may be because I tend to overly romanticize D/s.

          Take care.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem here (Scotland) seems to be huge. It seems to be unusual (at least those I’ve spoken to and interacted with that) they seem only to do it within a scene. TPE here is still only emerging and still unfortunately has ridicule attached to it. It’s sad

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing, Yvonne. It is unfortunate that this is a problem for many. I hope that things are able to “open up” a bit more in your area. As long as people keep talking about it, there is always a chance that somewhere down the line it will become more common and acceptable within local areas.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I honestly wish we had more BDSM and D/S groups here where I am in the UK. Keep this up. Just started on here. I find the formats and websites rather interesting. especially being a noobie blogger myself. Any pointers on how to engage with audience would be appreciated. Take care. Vlad.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you.
      It can be tough getting interactions at first. Most of mine began by leaving comments on other people’s blogs that had similar content to my own. There is a relatively active community here, but it may take a while before traffic and comments start to flow.

      Take care.

      Like

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