notes to a younger me 16: what D/s isn’t

When I took my first steps into the D/s life, I was infatuated with a dominant man. This was Michael, a story not yet told, not fully. I committed myself to him, ostensibly to be his in a D/s relationship, but he rebuffed me, turning me down. What I learned painfully was that he knew I was filled with misconceptions of what D/s was. What I expected from a life with him was ill-conceived.

For one thing, I was enamored with the “alternative-ness” of D/s, how it was so different from the conventions of normal society, how it defied traditional, ordinary relationships. In a way, this was part of my attraction to Michael — his dominance and my imagined life within it seemed to me artisanal, creatively different. I had always been attracted to artists and musicians and the like, drawn to creativity of different kinds. D/s struck me in a way as a “life of art.” It was trendy and cool and prompted in me images of courtesan life in some way.

Well, nothing perhaps wrong in some of that, but in reality D/s is a daily life lived in a house. It’s not an exhibit in an art gallery.

D/s is also not a cure for the ills of your life. If you wrestle with depression outside of D/s, you will likely wrestle with depression inside a life of submission. If you struggle with certain negative habits in vanilla life, you will struggle with them in the sub life. For me, it was the matter of confusion about my sexuality. I didn’t know who or what I was. D/s promised me a way of finding myself. Michael sensed this and knew I needed to figure out some things before I entered D/s life. He decided I wasn’t ready for D/s life with him.

Certainly D/s is a life of discipline that can and will shape you in a better way. I don’t deny it might help you in certain areas of character and body and life. But it won’t undo your messes or prevent new ones. It won’t likely help you find yourself.

D/s is not BDSM. In fact, this was one thing I “got right” back then, as I realized that my brief experiences in BDSM clubs were not what I wanted and that D/s was quite separate from that. But many who explore D/s as a lifestyle make this mistake of assuming it’s a life of intense bondage experiences, a constant sexual high.

In fact, it’s not that at all. You can’t live that way for long in such intensity. BDSM is a short-term experience. D/s is a long-term life.

For me with Michael, my biggest problem was that I equated the D/s life with my romantic attraction to Michael himself. It was, if you will, my Fifty Shades moment, a love affair with a man of the world who seemed available to me through a D/s life.

Now I know there are many married couples who practice D/s, husbands and wives who love each other deeply and have crafted a meaningful power-exchange relationship. I know there are good love relationships outside of marriage that practice deep D/s. (I’m now in such a relationship with Amanda.) I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with love relationships mixing with D/s. In fact, it’s a beautiful thing.

However, in my case, Michael, being experienced and wiser, realized my entry into D/s was only through the lens of my infatuation with him. He sensed I was too casually committing to a D/s life because I was in love with him. He was right. He told me I wasn’t ready. That was the first time.

So here’s the thing I worry about for you, dear one, as for all young women who are submissive and looking. We all have a longing to live submissively. We also have a longing to be loved. That makes us vulnerable, more easily entwined with a dominant other. We might fall head over heels into a life situation not because we chose the D/s life but because we chose the romance.

This is complicated, I know. D/s is a relationship. I wish for all of us to be in D/s relationship with a dominant someone we trust and care about and love. I’m not saying otherwise. I’m just making the point that the D/s life itself is not a rosy Harlequin romance with a collar. It’s good to do a simple mind exercise: imagine yourself in the D/s life at times when you’re not so in love with your dom. Ask yourself how that would work out for you.

Michael and I broke up. That next year became a time of gaining clarity about who I was, coming to a fuller understanding of my sexuality, and going through a self reckoning regarding my deep submissiveness. It was a time of experimentation — my affair with Chandra and some other D/s experiences.

No, I didn’t magically “find myself” nor did I get everything figured out. And my post to you here is not to suggest you should have everything figured out before entering a D/s relationship. But it’s important to have some clarity of what you are and need and want and are willing to do.

That’s what I came to over the period of that year.

There was a second time. Michael reentered my life. I was then ready. He took me as his slave.

9 thoughts on “notes to a younger me 16: what D/s isn’t

  1. This is fabulous and so important. The fantasy of D/s and the reality of every day submission are important to understand, but what I really like about your post is the separation of BDSM from D/s. Like you, I view D/s as an exchange of power, and in truth, there needs to be none of the ritualist and punishing aspects of BDSM involved in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is beautiful, and so true. I practice BDSM once every two weeks, but I practice D/s daily. In BDSM, I don’t backchat. In my D/s, I do. I used to be a Dominatrix and it is frightening how many people romanticise this life as prolonged BDSM, I think that was what scared me away from being a Dominant in the end. I love reading your posts, even if I don’t always comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Helen, I’m so glad you’re reading me… I value your comments, when you’re able to…. Yes, BDSM is part of my slave life too, but it’s not the actual point, as some people think it to be.


  3. I have read this post twice now, shae. This might just be the most insightful thing that I have ever read from you (as it pertains to me, anyhow). I will spend time reflecting on the ideas you have presented here. Thank you for sharing this incredibly moving piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This story from your early seeking adult life, containing finding answers and words to what you were and would go towards. Informative for me and not least, very valuable experience, here you share your thoughts with many who are in your early stages. It will do something good for many who apply. It filled up my consciousness and I learned more about you, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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