some d/s musings

or more like, a quote compilation with scattered thoughts.

honestly all it took was one good quote and i dove straight into hella reading about d/s, m/s, and 24/7 stuff.  obvious power exchange content warning.

so the most resonant post i found was that first quote’s source material’s second part, about why to even articulate this kind of relationship:

However, I believe—and I recognize that in saying this I may upset some people—that many of the people who do part-time dynamics actually would like to do full-time ones, but cannot for one reason or another. They haven’t met the right person yet (and may never).  […]  They don’t know where to start. They don’t know who to ask, or even what to ask; they might simply not have the words.  […]  Often, they simply don’t have anyone in their worlds who would have the interest in holding up their end of the deal, or have the ability to do so in a healthy manner even if they were interested. And perhaps most often of all, they don’t even realize they’d like to be in a full-time dynamic because it doesn’t even register as a remote possibility—it’s quite simply beyond their wildest dreams.

[…]  By definition, people oriented toward this kind of relationship don’t end up looking for a new partner every weekend, or at least not for these purposes; and when we are looking for new partners, the way the BDSM and leather communities employ terminology and engage in power connections can be confusing and difficult, as we lack the language to easily make clear what we’re after and how it differs from play-based connections.

ahahaha the language.

this sort of theme repeats in some others, like this one on power exchange being not necessarily erotic or sexual:

Second, people who are drawn to BDSM sometimes discover that their interest in power goes beyond play, after exploring the scene for a while and getting the nagging feeling they want something deeper.

The fact that the BDSM world acts as a vector for full-time power-oriented people in this way—both people who start out wanting a full-time dynamic and look for opportunities through BDSM, and people who start out being interested in BDSM play and end up realizing they want a full-time dynamic—is in fact the source of a lot of confusion and pain. Many folks oriented toward This Thing feel frustrated and alienated in BDSM communities where the focus is squarely on play or time-bound power, because when everything is framed that way, and these are the terms of all conversations, it can be really difficult to talk about how This Thing isn’t play (but is often still kinky and/or erotic, and play does still often happen within This Thing), and it can be super challenging to find resources and perspectives, even though you’d think this would be precisely the place to find them. Often in these same settings, BDSM players are suspicious of ongoing power dynamics because they frame their BDSM practice as being okay precisely because of its temporary or role-based character. So a lot of players pooh-pooh This Thing, or any other kind of ongoing arrangement for that matter, as taking itself too seriously, or see it as inherently abusive or just “going too far,” much like any vanilla community would.

this is really, really fucking interesting, and i feel like it slots some things retroactively into place and explains why the m/s group was so separate from the other kink groups back six years ago or whenever i checked that out.

(i’m sure there’s a whole tangent here about ddlg/cgl stigma, mm)

also the distinction from play (with! many disclaimers about Not Superior, just, a quite different flavor that isn’t contained the same way or with the same sort of reset-to-normal thing)

i also want to pull out some bits like from this piece on what the appeal is:

– the range of permissible expression of (or desire for) power in society at large. […] D/s and M/s allow us to be who we are all the time, rather than squeezing certain aspects of ourselves into prescribed containers. I often describe M/s as relaxing. It’s work, to be sure, but it’s work that goes in line with who I am, rather than the everyday work I do to appropriately function within what the rest of the world thinks is okay—which largely requires that we ignore, apologize for or politely minimize power dynamics (and which, I might add, therefore makes room for enormous abuses).

It’s incredibly delicious when someone not only gives me permission to be all the way myself, but who actually desires that in me. Speaking of their submission, a partner of mine once said, more or less, “You mean you really want this? You actually like this? All my other partners have found it annoying.” It was such a sweet moment for me to be able to say “No, that is beautiful, it’s exactly what I want, and do not ever be ashamed of that.” It’s like we each give each other permission and encouragement to be who we most deeply are. It’s just so damn easy.


okay i admit i’m not saying a lot of my own words because 1. Will Smith Hands, the speaking for itself, 2. well that’s vulnerable if you didn’t just get it already,

there were some other things – good thoughts on the failings of old guard and new; theories about different orientations toward service such as transactional (very reward and tally-based), devotional (about a person), and positional (an approach to the world, sort of?), and about kinds of acknowledgment; and my favorite is a very good practical piece on [cw sex talk at link] projects+structure+protocol as building blocks, and with good lines about the self-improvement motivation feedback loop, about headspace, and one little bit about creating one’s own structure because, structure and need for it.


it’s… kinda funny?  the way i was adamantly -A Sadomasochist who yknow bondage is cool but actually kind of boring with other people but anyway sensation play yeah – for quite a while, went to a power exchange munch or talk or two and was Adamantly Switch and non-binary and baffled by people (and of course of course on edge about men doms and women subs), all while sorta… being into consensual non-consent and yes fine control stuff a little and speech restrictions and eye contact restrictions and clothing, and feeling urges to do domestic chores as a demonstrative somehow kink thing and getting weirdly upset when that wasn’t, like, okay (oh, younger me, please negotiate things,) —

y’know?  and i probably, a lot of it had to do with bad experiences goddammit.  and with stigma!  mm.

and now i’m like. lmao. faintly “oh god am i not just a Lifestyle Kinkster but actually into 24/7 d/s because i mean owning and collaring and Shoes Fitting-”

it’s fascinating, and i’m sure part of it was eyy long-distance makes s/m really hard to do?  it also… is a really different direction from the whole “i want to be able to struggle full-strength and not worry about hurting you because the ropes will hold” while also being kind of related?  metaphorical ropes.  and getting to have that, all-of-me, all-effort, not-held-back-in-concern kind of, i always think of it as being very fighting-anime, the push yourself and find your limits and feel more alive and whole, within a proper contained framework for that.

hm.  i’m also very, able to see why it can be scary or triggering, and haHA associations and male dominance and badness.  conversely i’m also growing more and more clear on why rolequeer stuff rubs me the wrong way.  and what a huge difference it makes to have just one queer d/s-doing friend who talks about it.


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