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Question
My husband and I have recently had a lot of problems in our marriage. mainly due to my hard headedness and stubbornness. He finally expressed his desire to have a more D/s type of marriage which, from what I have been reading is exactly what we both want. I need to be his sub and he needs me to be as well. my Question I guess is what is fully expected of me as a sub? I need to make my master happy. My happiness and fulfillment in life come from knowing he is truly happy. I only want to serve him for the rest of my days...

Answer
Tyra -

There are a lot of benefits of an international hierarchical, authority-based relationship:

* Responsibilities and obligations are clear;
* the power within the dynamic is intentional and celebrated, rather than a source of conflict; and
* you both get what you want for yourself and your partner

Be aware that there is a lot of effort involved in getting from here to there.  You two have established patterns and habits, and this requires a shift in perspective.  Your question, in part, gets to that journey:  what does he expect of you?  I would suggest expanding it:  what do each of you want out of this dynamic?

I can't give you that answer.  There is no one answer.  For some people their relationship involves a ton of formal protocol.  Others are focused on service.  While others are grounded in authority and obedience.  Beyond the "what" there are innumerable models for the how.  Only he can tell you what he wants (and only you can tell him what you need to get out of it).

Here are some questions to start the discussion going:

* are there aspects of your life/relationship that would be outside his control (say, your job)?
* what is the decision-making model that works for each of you (are you consulted, or does he just decide)?
* How are decisions communicated?
* what types of service, if any, are valued?
* what needs do each of you have, and is the other comfortable with those needs?

To get to the answers will require time, exploration, introspection, observation.....and probably mistakes.  

I'm a big believer in getting engaged with the community and pursuing learning opportunities.  You can learn a lot by observing other relationships (what you like and don't like), participating in discussions, and engaging in self-growth activities.  I don't know where in Kansas you live, but there may be a chapter of Masters and slaves Together (MAsT.net has a directory listing).  These are group meetings where people in structured relationships can talk.  You might also want to consider attending the Master slave Conference in the Washington DC are over Labor Day and each of you attending the weekend academies for Masters and slaves run by MTTA

All the best on your journey

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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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