Different Loving

teddy-bear.jpgOh, the joys of BDSM and D/s. Robin posted about these today, and I started to answer her post with a comment. My comment got so long, I decided to post about it here instead. So at the risk of eliciting some readers’ “ick factor,” I’ll get into this fascinating subject.

For those who didn’t read Robin’s post, D/s means “Dominant/submissive” and BDSM means “bondage, discipline, sado-masochism.” They’re not as scary as they sound.

Of course, nothing will ever take the place of good ol’ vanilla sex. But BDSM and D/s can add real spice and fun to a relationship. There are many reasons why they’re such a turn-on for so many. 

First, I agree with Robin that relationships like these are built on trust (or at least they should be). This seems to deepen a relationship, by making couples address trust issues that most couples never talk about or just take for granted.

Secondly, this kind of play is about consensual power exchange. Many people (both female and male) find it liberating to give up control — you can forget all society’s restrictions and lose the guilt, because someone is making you do it!

However, people who think it’s not feminist or PC don’t understand — the submissive has real power, because he/she can withdraw consent at any time. It’s the submissive who sets the limits on what she’ll allow and she has the “safe word” to halt play at any moment. The “Master” who forgets this does so at his peril, because he’ll soon lose his playmate.

It’s amazing how the romance novel industry has embraced these concepts lately, especially online publishers like Ellora’s Cave and Liquid Silver. In their writer’s guidelines, EC says that BDSM and D/s are two of their top-selling themes.

Lots of things to think about with these subjects. That’s why D/s and BDSM have been called the “intellectual approach to sex” — something we eggheads delight in. 


One thought on “Different Loving

  1. Oh, Elizabeth, I know — isn’t it fascinating? I couldn’t even begin to scratch the surface in one, or even two posts.

    And you’re right about the power exchange. It’s such a misconception that submissive equals powerless. Except in cases of forced slavery, which is truly horrifying, submission is an offering that can easily be taken back, so it’s not a powerless position at all. It just seems that way to those who don’t care to really look at the issue.

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