We started this blog because we didn’t see our kind of relationship represented anywhere. As questions came up in our dynamic, and our experiences led us to crossroads, we’ve had to bushwhack our way through it.
Interestingly, it’s not the D/s part, or the 24/7 part of our relationship that makes us feel isolated from the communities we’ve been involved in over the years. It’s the love part.
We don’t care how you identify or what kind of relationship anyone is in, but we usually don’t find other people who can “tolerate each other all the time,” much less always despise being physically and emotionally separated from one another, as we do.
When people complain about needing some time to be left alone, or say they need a break, we simply can’t relate. We always feel like there’s never enough time in any given day for us to express our closeness — even if we feel bad and just want to lie beside each other groaning in pain.
For us, 24/7 D/s is a survival strategy, not a burden. But it’s still the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
D/s relationships, specifically those based in love (whether poly or monogamous), are awesome on paper. But in execution they can be both exhilarating and exhausting.
If you keep a D/s relationship in a sexy drawer full of adult toys, kinky board games, and lingerie it’ll always be there for you when you’re horny and ready to role play some total power exchange.
In that facet, power exchange is a tool. Anyone who currently engages in BDSM activities for pleasure should have no problem recognizing that a lot of ‘vanilla’ relationships could benefit from the intimacy that comes with the physical aspects of a D/s relationship.
Note: If you’re unfamiliar with BDSM and, specifically, D/s relationships, I recommend you read one of the thousands of articles introducing the subject before continuing. Google knows where to find them.
But a 24/7 D/s relationship is a different matter. It’s not neatly tucked away waiting for the perfect moment to make your life complete. Instead, it’s staring over your shoulder as you decide to work 10 minutes late on date night – and it doesn’t approve.
Our relationship serves the purpose that religion does in many people’s lives. We’re able to celebrate our highs in the carnal, sexual, sinful ways we want by ritualizing our own happiness.
But we’re also able to keep ourselves from doing the D/s relationship equivalent of going full face-buried-in-the-coke like Tony Montana in the third act of Scarface.
Like any good religious followers, we worship a greater power — in our case, our relationship. And it wants us happy, healthy, and connected. Not dehydrated and homeless because we couldn’t stop fucking long enough to drink some water or go to work.
This didn’t happen by design or philosophy, but because it was the only path to our bliss.
I identify as a Dominant in a 24/7 total power exchange relationship because that’s what I am, and what we have. But I also identify as a servant in that relationship. Not a servant to my submissive, but a person who is committed to serving as a caretaker of our relationship as a whole, more so than our desires as Daddy and/or babygirl.
The concept of ego-death, a loss of the sense of self while maintaining the capacity to observe, is usually associated with psychoactive substances (more on that here), but it’s applicable at a philosophical level in 24/7 D/s relationships.
I believe the only way to integrate the D/s dynamic into everything you do, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in perpetuity, is to make a commitment to dedicate every cell of your being to growing a successful relationship. It’s a commitment to always face the reality of every situation and, whenever there’s a choice to be made, always choosing the one that will advance your goals.
As a Dominant, I believe this means recognizing that control is a tool in the power exchange toolbox, and not the other way around. And, as the old saying goes, when the only tool you have is a flogger you see every problem as an ass that needs to be whipped.
Control, in the abstract, is about conformity of will. Power exchange, is about maintaining an equilibrium.
In the context of our specific relationship, hardcore sex acts can be gestures of love and respect. But, so too are playing outside with our kids or talking about our finances while cleaning the kitchen together.
The idea is to see our D/s relationship as the untethered observer. Anyone who has floated off into sub-space or felt the laser-like focus of a championship-level athlete upon entering Dom-space knows what I’m talking about, but ego-death goes a step further.
Unfortunately, it’s not conducive to a thriving relationship to smoke powdered toad venom all the time, and that means we have to invoke philosophical ego-death to achieve the observer status.
In practice, this can be as simple as committing to pausing before making even the smallest of decisions. Instead of reinforcing your rituals or relaxing in the comfort of your kingdom: take a couple of weeks to conduct a quality-assurance audit.
By briefly pretending you’re incapable of remembering your own thoughts, feelings, hangups, fears, and worries you can change the very structure of your relationship with nothing more than communication.
The idea is to turn any disagreement or miscommunication into ground zero for growth. We’ll never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean things don’t sometimes go perfectly. It’s in these moments we need to take a brief timeout to put on our imaginary researcher hats and figure out, objectively, why in the hell things are going so well.
And then, when things don’t go so well, and we’re not seeing eye-to-eye, we can put those hats back on and stand beside one another making observations. After a few seconds, it’s impossible not to realize we’re on the same team: there’s nobody on the opposing side if we’re both looking at the problem this way.
I think, at the spit and sweat level, this looks a lot like imagining how you’d feel if you saw someone else treating your partner(s) the way you do – or at it’s best, the way you’re about to. But, more so, it also means always recognizing that D/s relationships require more empathy, communication, and work than those without the added protocol, rules, and expectations.
Fulfillment should feel like work. D/s relationships are usually as rewarding as they are difficult.