[SubmissiveGuyComics is also doing a post for our NaBloWriMo project, though he’s hiding some of them on Twitter so if you aren’t following him, you should… ]
“How should Masters/Dominants try and help their submissive/slave move forward? What, according to the Dominant are they owed? What do THEY owe their submissive’s in turn? What kind of post-relationship aftercare is provided due to the intensity of D/s relationships in comparison to vanilla ones?”
My D/s relationships are monogamous, romantic, love-based partnerships. When they end, we are both a mess, and at its best, we both try and be gracious and kind as we move on.
As the dominant, I’m not somehow less hurt, less of a mess, or less emotionally distraught than my submissive when that happens, but I still tend to feel a sense of responsibility for taking the lead in how the breakup goes because that’s how our relationship has worked up to that point. That feeling doesn’t just disappear because it didn’t work out (ditto all the other feelings).
My last submissive broke up with me, and I STILL worried about him and his well being in the aftermath. I still felt like I was looking after him, but I know that at least part of that was that I needed to do that as part of my healing (similarities to the aftercare in play: I do it for me as much as for him). It’s not something he would expect or that I feel obligated to do.
And sometimes that responsibility means that I have to make hard and hurtful decisions for the greater good. Like ‘No, we won’t have any contact for the next 2 months so that we don’t keep this wound festering’.
Do I ‘owe’ him that because I’m the dominant? No. It’s a choice I make because it feels right for me in dealing with it.
Either way, break ups suck. Really really suck.
Break ups are never easy, that’s for certain. I’m lucky enough to say most of mine have been amicable, but I know not everyone is so lucky. On the plus side, I’ve been through enough break ups that I’m an expert at soothing myself.
Until recently, I haven’t been in a romantic partnership. My past relationship involving D/s was purely that, D/s. And while we cared for each other during that (and still do as a matter of fact, we’re still friends), there was no romantic element involved. Sure there was stuff like chastity etc, but that simply drove further into the control/controlled side of things for us.
I recently found someone who I get along with famously. And so I had to end the D/s relationship, because to me, continuing it would be cheating, even though there was no romantic element involved. Fortunately my new partner has been enjoying experimenting with all this stuff that I’ve been interested in, and it’s been interesting to watch her reactions to things. So far, so good! She hasn’t run away screaming, so that’s good. And it’s not because she’s tied up – I’m the one being tied up, lol.
But it was definitely tough to end the D/s relationship! We both knew it was coming, but it was still tough. I was in that relationship for almost a year and a half, and it didn’t seem like a long time, but it was.
In that situation, it was both of our responsibility to help each other move forward. Neither of us owed each other anything, because it was started and ended mutually. We still talk every couple of weeks, as even though it wasn’t a romantic relationship, it is still a friendship.
I would imagine the kind of post-relationship aftercare would depend on how the breakup went.
Anyway, I feel like I’m rambling a little, so I’ll stop now.
Different, but related:
And how does one “handle” things when their partner one day just up and walks away? No discussion, no forewarning… Just one day, BOOM. Gone.
It’s not a matter of what’s “owed” (I *so* dislike that terminology), because if we’re playing fair, the above situation would never happen. If we “owe” each other anything, we owe each other communication.
The grief that comes with the up-and-walk-away ending of a romantic D/s relationship is – in my experience – as complicated as it is intense, and the recovery time is as raw as it is interminable. And sadly, I know I’m not alone in having endured this particular brand of trauma.
Sorry to be tangential. But that’s where my mind and heart went when I read this post.
In response to Mrs. Fever’s post above, I am actually searching for information about exactly that – when one person just walks away. I am fairly new to the scene as a Domme, myself having been gingerly approached by a submissive male. Once we began to establish things he disappears. No communication, not a trace. Especially considering how things were going, what dynamics were set up and such, this is shocking. Any links would be useful! I’m hunting. Thank you.
I’m not sure why I didn’t reply to these comments since I’m usually all over gleefully responding to blog comments: Strange. My apologies!
Dr Catnip, obviously, I have no idea of your situation, so I’m just going to ramble a bit.
IF you hadn’t met yet and this was all online, the ‘disappearing’ thing is HUGELY common, especially because it’s so damn EASY to disappear. If it’s an in-person relationship, you can go around to their house and say ‘hey, what’s going on?’. Without that recourse, all they have to do is stop responding to you and they get to slither away. Happens all the time.
If you HAVE met a couple of times, and even played, and it all seemed to be going well, disappearances can also happen. From my experience this *mostly* happens if it’s all just gone too fast and you have misjudged the situation <= I want to be clear here that this is NOT to lay the blame at your feet, even if that's true and you made a mistake. In short: It's not just you. Most grown up men should be able to USE THEIR WORDS to explain that there's a problem: their choice to disappear without a word is a (cowardly) avenue they take to deal with it and that choice is entirely on them. I wrote a thing about the possible 'whys' ages ago that might help: See the question from Adrial here.
My advice: Go slow, really get to know him well, build a strong foundation before you start the D/s stuff, establish mutual trust over time. This is no guarantee (there are no guarantees) because you just never know about people, but it will make a disappearance much less likely.