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Question
Dear Mr. Martin,

I have been in a Dom/Sub relationship for three months now. Just recently, however, my Dom and I have come out as a 'couple', or 'dating', since our acquaintances do not understand our BDSM interests. While the people we see day-to-day know we are 'together', others do not.
Namely the woman my Dom is still in love with.  
When my Dom and I signed a contract of voluntary slavery, I completely understood that at one point, he would date other women, while I was constricted to monogamy. I do not mind, as I have grown to truly love him, but when we came out as 'dating', both of us agreed to be monogamous.
He is keeping me hidden from the woman he loves, and I do not understand why. Asking him would be a sign of  great disrespect, and would get me severely punished. I...I am at my wit's end. I have never been in love, and he is the first to cause me to fall in love. I have no idea what I'm doing, or how to ask why I am shoved in the closet when his family or his online friends come over to visit.
My fellow submissive friends tell me that it is a sign of SHAME in your partner, when the relationship is hidden from certain people. How can I keep my questions in check, without making him aggravated?
Thank you for any help you can give,

Lyra.

Answer
Lyra -

From my perspective, asking a question isn't a sign of disrespect - particularly when the issue (1) runs counter to his commitment of monogamy, and (2) is causing you considerable distress.

In a power- based relationship each side makes certain commitments. He committed to take responsibility for you; you committed to be obedient; you both committed to be honest and trustworthy. It isn't a one-way street.

So with that background, it seems you have several choices:

1. Approach him respectfully and say that you are concerned that your contract isn't being honored and it's causing you severe distress. Talk to him calmly and without accusation.

2. Decide that you're ok with the arrangement. This can only work if you're genuinely willing and able to put aside all anger, concern and disappointment

3. Determine that he violated the contract, it's no longer in force, and your trust in him is shattered.

I can tell you what's the right answer for you. But I would encourage you to think about the situation and it's implications for the future.

All the best

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Ben Martin

Expertise

Questions related to power-based relationships in which decision-making authority is intentionally and consensually transferred -- and the resulting imbalance celebrated. I am able to assist those trying to understand where they fit in, and those seeking to structure and thrive in a power based relationships. Specific topics I am able to discuss include: setting and achieving personal and relationship goals, responsible Mastery, the use of protocols and rituals, communication techniques, and conflict resolution. In addition, I am knowledgable and experienced in polyamory, long-distance relationships, bisexuality and a variety of kinky activities ranging from mind games to sadistic play.

Experience

I have chosen to have a power-based structure in my relationships over the past 18 years. This has included a 16-year M/s relationship, several shorter term D/s relationships and various play partners. I am an active participant in various online forums and seek to provide support and advice to those interested in the Lifestyle.

Organizations
Black Rose

Publications
My writings, insights and discussion contributions are available on Alt.com and FetLife.com. On both websites, my user name is BenMartin

Education/Credentials
I do not hold any credentials specific to BDSM, relying instead on knowledge gained from life experiences, reading and conversing with others in the Lifestyle.

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