In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been host to a friend who I met through this site. She lives quite far away, but we’ve been in contact off and on through email and other online means for well over a year at this point. I never thought we would actually meet in person, but she decided that she wanted to take a trip to San Francisco and experience what it is like to live the D/s lifestyle for a short period under my thumb.
This is the account of some of what transpired in those ten days.
I don’t think the experience was what either of us had anticipated, but it was certainly valuable for many reasons and I am thankful for the opportunities that it afforded me to grow as well.
Let us call my friend (and I do hope that she is still a friend after all of this) Nicole. That is not her name, but my name isn’t really Rant either, so this should not be terribly surprising to any of you.
Nicole had no experience with D/s before meeting me – but she had had some experience with kink and there were several things that she wanted to try while with me. We got to many, but not all of them. There were also several aspects of what I consider to be important to D/s that she had no experience with and found surprising. Those are the sorts of things that I am going to focus on for this entry.
Foremost, and although I have tried to cover this in the past, was the assumption on her part that D/s requires sex. This is most assuredly not the case. I know of several D/s relationships where sex does not play into things at all, and while I would not call that sort of complete lack of sexual focus normal, there is also nothing abnormal about a relationship with deep D/s elements that contains no sex at all.
We did have sex while she was here, but I’m certain that it was not entirely what she was expecting, because sex is not the focus of D/s for me.
D/s is about power exchange. It is about the transfer of personal power from one individual to another. It is about choices and decisions and actions and who controls them. Sometimes these choices and actions and decisions have to do with things of a sexual nature, but quite often they are much more mundane.
Nicole is from Europe and many of our conflicts probably would have been a bit smoother or not have occurred at all were it not for cultural differences as well as the very new nature of things D/s for her when she found herself in my space and under my control.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that she felt that I was simultaneously not controlling enough in some areas and far too controlling in others.
Everyone does D/s a little differently and places emphasis on different parts of the equation. I was brought up under a different paradigm than is the current norm, and the key facets of D/s for me are Respect, Devotion, and Service.
Respect is the cornerstone of D/s in my world. It is something that I expect to be in place always and transgressions are dealt with swiftly and decisively. I am not physically violent without a tremendous amount of forecasting, but I can and often do change my body language and verbal tone to be quite severe when I feel like I am personally being disrespected, or my submissive trainee is being disrespectful to my property or friends. Showing me proper Respect is Rule Zero. It is something that I expect to not have to talk about, and if I do, there is a high likelihood that I will be lecturing you, not just mentioning it out of hand.
Devotion is where I get my kicks. It is my single biggest fetish. It is the reason why I do D/s. I may have a big ego, but I like being worshiped just a little bit – and for more than my body or skills. I like being thought of as competent and trustworthy, and being Devoted to me is the best way to show me that.
And last, but not least, is Service. I expect a certain amount of Service to be rendered unto me. This does not always have to take the typical forms, and sexual service is only one manner of service, and not nearly the most important to me. I can be rather particular in the ways that I expect Service to be rendered, and that can also be an area of conflict from time to time.
Pain management is a constant struggle for me, and even in a short term visit like the one that Nicole and I planned and executed I can be sidelined by my physical pain issues. There was one evening in particular while she was here with me where the pain was extreme enough that even conversation was difficult for me. That isn’t necessarily normal, but it’s not abnormal either. I would say that I have at least one day a month where things are that bad.
Nicole is a lovely woman, but I think I disappointed her a bit when I showed her some of the non-sexual aspects of D/s and placed those of higher importance than the sexual ones.
She asked me to be true to my older self and not to soften the edges on my High Protocol nature, so I didn’t.
It caused conflict.
Conflict in any relationship is normal, but most people are so enamored of each other and deep into the throes of NRE that they don’t register conflict right away – and Nicole and I had our first conflict within 24 hours of her arrival. It was jarring for us both, but more so for her, I think.
I also practice ethical non-monogamy, which made for more conflict, as I had to manage the feelings of my current submissive partner as well as Nicole’s own feelings while hosting Nicole for her visit. The three-way conflict was very minimal, but present.
All told, Nicole was able to check off some of her bucket-list items while she was here and I learned a few important things about myself:
Most surprising to me: Sex is nowhere near as important to me as it once was – even just a year or two ago.
D/s is much more in line with my lifestyle and the way I want to live my life than I’ve admitted in the past. It has always informed my choices, but now it is much more of a lifestyle choice that I cannot turn away from.
In particular, Discipline is very important to me where it has not always been.
I’m a very physical person – and while this manifests itself sexually, it also manifests itself in other areas, Discipline being chief among them.
I really enjoy public play. This has not always been the case. I’ve taken part in various forms of it over the past couple of decades, but I have historically had a strong preference for private play. I no longer feel that way. They are balanced for me now.
I still don’t enjoy meting out punishment. I do it, because Discipline is important to me, but I can spank pretty hard – especially when using a paddle – and I surprised myself with the ferocity of my flogger strikes this time as well.
I know that Nicole learned a great deal about herself too while she was here – but those thoughts are for her and I would do her a disservice to relay them here without her implicit approval.
I doubt very much that she and I will meet again in person – the distance and cost are just too high to make that tenable – this was more of a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing, and while I know that things did not go exactly the way that she had planned, I do hope that she feels the experience was worth it.
I certainly do.
If ever I found myself with a similar situation in the offering, I would change a few things, but keep most things the same – so I suppose that is as good a measure of the success of things as any other. I learned and grew and I’m certain that she did too.
I am changing and I continue to change those around me, but I remain Rant.