BDSM/Going from husband and wife to D/s
QUESTION: My husband and I have been married for 6 yrs and I was wondering if it is possible to go from husband and wife to Dominant and submissive? He's very much an Alpha male but has never done the lifestyle, as for me I haven't either but I've read alot about it
and it calls to me. Can we change the dynamics of our relationship after so long without it falling apart?
ANSWER: Hi Tabbie - thank you for the question!
Sorry for the delay I've had a very hectic schedule for the last three weeks.
Short answer - Absolutely. I had dinner with a couple two days ago who have been married 25 years and are making that change. Another couple close to me has been married for 35 years and they are making the change. To make it a bit more interesting, in both these cases it is the husband who is learning to submit and the wife who is learning to lead.
In my first marriage I was the dominant because, well that is what was expected in the 1960 and so we never talked about it. We didn't even have the vocabulary of D/s (or M/s or O/p) which is available now.
1) Learn to talk honestly and openly about this change. Not as D/s, but rather as two people who see an opportunity to change. But D/s (and all of BDSM) is about informed consent. I lead because my wife (we've been married 8 years) has given her consent. In my first marriage I took the leadership position and we never talked about why, if this is what she wanted, how I would lead, none of the "if I had know it was going to be like this ... " stuff (for good or bad).
2) talk about who will have authority for what, and what this might mean to the life which is shared between you. Part of being an effective leader is to recognize the strengths and skills of those who "report to you". The one following gives authority to the leader, it is not automatically taken. You have an established dynamic that is going to change, so talk the changes through. Will that authority be given only in some cases (for example giving authority to one, and giving up that authority can really heat up ones sex life! :) ) "Only in the bedroom" is a perfectly good relationship.
There are some of us who, well this is how we live our life. My wife (and she was first my wife) is also a self-identified slave. I have authority, and the responsibility, for all aspects of her life. She is in the school I chose, finishing a degree in the field I chose, will take a job that I will approve. I am responsible for everything in our relationship. A role model would be "I am the captain of my ship". For those times we choose to be kinky, I have authority to compel her to do anything I want, how I want, when I want. But this is tempered with my desire to run a happy ship until I'm no longer able to do so. Tomorrow we are going on a 7 day cruise, which, to us, is an opportunity to play. I had her take a BDSM interest survey (all 12 pages :) ) and she was required to answer each with "have you done this before" plus a rating of 0-5 with 0 being No Way, Ever, Nope and 5 being Hell Yes bring it on! I am her Master, but I will respect her 0's. I mentioned in a class we gave "I will respect her limits even though some were ones that I had hoped she would be more interested in." On the drive home she asked "What were those?" I refuse to tell her because I know that she will change her answer. I wanted her answer, not an answer that she thinks would please me.
Those of us who are in, and want to remain in, a relationship in which our partner is with us 24/7, every morning, good days and bad days, no running away, no going home to "real life" because this is our real life need to build a foundation of honesty then cement that foundation in place with the mortar of trust. Kink is spice, it is not how we, at least, live from day to day.
If you are interested in changing the authority dynamics, I would recommend that you find a local MAsT (Masters And slaves Together MAsT.net ) chapter in your area. The terms "Master and slave" is only one set of labels for authority based relationships (which can also be called "Total Power Exchange") At a MAsT meeting you don't have to explain yourself because everyone else is there for the same reason - mutual support for a form of relationship which society thinks doesn't need to exist. You don't have to identify as Master/slave, just have a interest in that dynamic to attend. My first experience with a MAsT meeting was "I'm not weird for how I want to live." I also saw that slaves were strong people, not doormats. Powerful in their one right who choose to put that power in service to another. (Which is why I use "authority based" rather than "power exchange." I am not taking my slaves power, instead I am enabling her to put her power in service to our relationship. (https://fetlife.com/users/9389/posts/2200304 is an essey on "My slave Is Not a Doormat".)
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QUESTION: Hi Brian, Thank you for your advice. I checked the mast.net web site and unfortunately we do not have a chapter close to where we live. We live in a small town about 3 hrs away from where chapters are located. Is there any other way we could seek council?
I talked to my husband lastnight and he's still thinking about whether or not to keep it in the bedroom or everyday life. He says I'm great at being submissive in the bedroom but not so much in everyday life. And he doesn't want me to lose my fire. Says he loves my smart mouth and can do attitude.
So, I'm wondering now if someone can be partially submissive? I'm 32 yrs old and have had to take care of myself pretty much since i was 15. This is the first time I've been in a relationship that I'm not making all the decisions. At first it was frustrating but now I find it to be such a relief that he can take care of me and I'm not wondering how I'm going to make it from day to day. It's opened my eyes to a whole new side of me I never thought existed. I hope I haven't confused you with my babbling, I just think this will only help to strengthen the close bond that we have.
Thank you for your time, Tabbie
Hi again Tabbie
For my answer (as her Dom) I would point you to an essey I wrote in Fetlife - My slave is Not a Doormat https://fetlife.com/users/9389/posts/2200304.
My slave Is Not A Doormat
My slave will, from time to time say, with humor and a smile "If you want a doormat go to Lowe's". She is strong, intelligent, capable of existing outside my shadow. I cherish and support her spirit, her will, her strength.
We teach a class called "Managing Conflict in an Authority Based (previously called Power Exchange but I've refined my thinking a bit) Relationship" and the first method we talk about is "accomadation", where one person does what is directed even if it is not what they want, desire, feel is necessary or appropriate, think it's the stupidest thing they have ever heard, etc. etc. etc..
In an M/s relationship this is what the Master expects of their slave.
What I've found fascinating, and frankly humbling, is how she describes how hard that has been, and continues to be, even after six years of being in 24/7, real time, real life, service to me. Until we put this class together I was oblivious to her struggle to "Be what you want me to be" (her commitment to me each morning, every morning, during our recommitted ceremony).
I had always "just accepted" that she did what I told her to do because she just wanted to. I know better now, and yes, while it is because it is what she wants, it is what she has agreed to, and she will do it, but getting to that place within her head where finally her will is aligned with mine, where she finds the strength to accept my role, and hers, that is not always a peaceful journey.
And a journey which I love chreish, and respect her for.
I know that if I want the behavior of a doormat she will be as I want her to be; that others think she is a doormat because of how they see her behavior is simply not relevant to either of us.
So my slave also is powerful, a manager with 25 people reporting to her and responsible for multimillion Euros in transactions each night for a major bank. I celebrate her intellehence, energy, and a bit of bratty humor. She is exactly what I want her to be.
We are off the grid (mostly) for the next week, I'll have her respond when we get back. Dom's don't always get the advice to subs right :)
You can find her on Fetlife as MelR.