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Thursday, August 25, 2011

THE ART OF DOMINATION, THE POWER OF SUBMISSION: Switch it up! Understanding The BDSM Lifestyle Part Two by Cassandre Dayne

Switch it up! Understanding The BDSM Lifestyle Part Two by Cassandre Dayne

We’re going to take a structured look at living the lifestyle of D/s or BDSM today. Let’s talk a little about some of the fascination around the lifestyle first. For some, it’s about giving up control and freeing yourself. For others they enjoy controlling and caring for their partner at a heightened level. In truth a D/s lifestyle can me more intense and loving and full of trust than many marriages. You don’t have to live this literally every hour of the day but for some, they do in small ways. As a sub, whether you call your D master or Sir or Madame, you respect your D above all others. Respect and trust go hand in hand. A Dom or Domme completely respects you and your welfare. If not – you’re in the wrong situation.

Let’s talk a little about the dynamics of the D/s lifestyle more than playtime. Playtime can indeed be just as intense and for those of you getting into the thought of enjoying – I encourage you to share passion and sex in a way that is slanted toward BDSM. Keep in mind however that all aspects of BDSM don’t include sex. We’re still talking about control so when you are enjoying handcuffing your treat to your bed, just keep in mind that is barely scratching at the surface.

Let’s talk about what BDSM stands for. B – bondage. D – domination and discipline. S – submissive and Sadist. M – Masochism. While the terms are fairly frank the D/s lifestyle doesn’t generally involve sadism and not something we’re going to delve into. D/s is a consensual power exchange between partners. Sometimes it involves corporal punishment and sometimes it involves discipline such as taking away right whether to the television or the Internet. Those terms have already been agreed on. Let’s look at other terminologies. Vanilla – generally is used to indicate non-kinky sex and relationships and normally involve no aspects of BDSM. Top – the dominant of the relationship. Bottom – the submissive. Switch – one that engages in being both top and bottom.

Safe Word – okay – this isn’t playtime here folk. No matter whether you’re engaging in a weekend of hogtying your partner after you’ve learned new rope tricks or perhaps figging – using ginger as an insert into the anus for spanking, you need to agree on a word before you begin play. This word isn’t something that’s going to come up in your course of sharing. Both partners know that if the safe word is mentioned – all activity stops period. Subs know only to say the word if they truly can’t handle the level of discipline or other act. Generally a sub releases the word because an emotional boundary has been crossed they can’t handle. The D/s discusses what happened in order to prevent this in the future.

Some relationships involve sex, others don’t. D/s may be ritualized or freeform and you may find exactly what you need through the Internet. Many D/s situations begin there and expand perhaps to the phone – texting and pictures and some never involve any level of physical activity. Many Dom’s will text their subs throughout the day making sure they are okay and requiring them to perform certain tasks. Many times Dom’s or Domme’s will ask for pictures – sometimes sexual, sometimes not in exchange for a certain freedoms.

Negotiations – we’ve talked about this a bit. A typical BDSM relationship involves negotiation between the partners involved. Every part about playtime or the lifestyle is discussed and decisions made. From how discipline is handled to the responsibility of both parties, a conclusion is presented after both agree. If you are considering engaging in the lifestyle you should discuss with your partner whether you’re going to have a monogamous or polyamorous. If you anticipate you’re going to be the only sub and he or she brings in another partner, you’re not going to be happy.

There are many aspects to BDSM so both parties must know what to anticipate. Not only does this help with trust but also allows for a significant emotional bond. As I’ve said some D/s relationships involve love and others don’t. Fantasy roles may be played out such as a slave situation but not necessarily. What I’m saying is that you decide and negotiate together what your relationship will entail.

Rules are set in place – from being disrobed when you enter the home to scheduled days for maintenance discipline such as spankings. When infractions occur, both parties know what will happen.

As a reminder, there are many sites on the Internet that will help you as you begin your journey. Fet Life – an online community is a wonderful source but there are plenty of others. There are also groups within your sub culture and town that you can join. Even in the Bible belt states, BDSM groups exist to enable learning and sharing.

Many of you have heard about being “collared” before and I know so many folks that are disgusted by the thought of wearing a dog collar. For most in the D/s lifestyle, being collared by your Master or Mistress is a true honor and it involves sometimes years of getting to the place that you are totally and completely entrusting your partner with every aspect of your physical and emotional needs. For many wearing a especially selected necklace as you move toward a more formal collaring is a special time of exploring together. A traditional collar is sometimes worn only in the house while others choose to wear their collar at all times. Many times a lock is involved and it indicates a relationship. The collar is only worn by the sub and again, a great honor to wear one and an honor for the D to be able to say they have a collared sub.

One of the highest forms of discipline is to have the collar taken away for any period of time and this is generally used ONLY for extreme discipline. I’ve mentioned that discipline can be corporal – such as traditional spankings to the loss of privileges. It’s all in the contract.

We’ll explore the aspect even deeper in my next segment. For those of you that are interested in learning more, talk to a society, surf the web, join a forum – there are many ways to learn more before you decide what you like.

Take care…





  1. Fascinating article and exceptionally well written

  2. Cassandre, wonderful article! *squirming in my chair* It gets my mind in a good place for writing! Thank you! Will be going back to read Part 1 and looking forward to the other articles! Thanks again! Muah!

  3. My favourite topic :-) the BDSM lifestyle is so deeply misunderstood by so many, and even by some who practice elements of it. Education, awareness, open discussion is desperately needed to keep all involved safe, and I second joining Fetlife. Yes, there are nany extreme elements on the site, but there are plenty of gentler kink groups too.