Kink Craft

When I was a kid, I read anything I could get my hands on - even my mom’s romance novels. The ripped bodice on the woman in the arms of a man with painted on muscles caught my attention and imagination. I wasn’t allowed to read them because my mother feared they would give me a distorted view of relationships and sex. So of course I snuck and read them anyway.

These days I’ve graduated from sexy romances to graphic BDSM erotica. Many readers have made the leap from heaving bosoms and creamy loins to kneeling submissives, spanked bottoms, and swollen genitals, too. While I never believed the sex and romance I read as a kid was real, others get caught up in the fantasy between the pages and forget reality is always different.

Enter the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. While I didn’t read the trilogy, more than 80 million people have, and (like it or hate it) it created an explosion of interest in BDSM. To the people exposed to the darker, kinkier delights of sex and relationships and wanted to know more, I say, “Welcome!”

But a lot of people forgot there’s a difference between the fantasy of fiction and the reality of everyday life. The relationships between Dominant and submissive you read on a screen or while flipping through a book with sticky fingers looks much different from real life.

[clickToTweet tweet=”But a lot of people forgot there’s a difference between the fantasy of fiction and the reality of everyday life” quote=”But a lot of people forgot there’s a difference between the fantasy of fiction and the reality of everyday life”]

Reality vs. Fantasy

When we’re new to the idea of BDSM and D/s, it’s the fantasy and sexual energy that hits us first. Kneeling submissives. Forced or denied orgasms. One partner assuming total control. The other giving it all up. There’s nudity, plenty of sex, collars, kinky acts, sex toys, floggers, paddles, crops, whips, and so much leather.

As someone in her own 24/7 D/s relationship, I can attest that all of those things can be a part of your kinky relationship. In the early days, when everything is new and exciting, you have new sexual positions to try, new commands to give or obey, and a new way of viewing the world and yourself in it.

But there’s another side, too.

The kids need to be fed and dressed for school. You have meetings to attend and a job to do. Bills to pay. Groceries to buy. A house to clean. The real world and our life within it doesn’t stop once you discover D/s. A Dominant is rarely “on” every moment of the day. A submissive doesn’t always feel like kneeling or obeying. Sometimes everyone is too tired for sex.

Because plenty of people picture the fantasy of D/s, instead of the reality, they’re often worried or nervous when the real world intrudes on their relationship. This can lead to arguments, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. Yes, all of those are normal in D/s, too.

The rest of your life didn’t stop when you discovered your Dominant or submissive self. Stress, anger, illness, exhaustion, and a boss you hate are all still very real parts of it. You may be happier than you’ve ever been in your D/s relationship but the world still has to be dealt with and you, no matter how eagerly you embrace your kinky side, still have to navigate it.

Highs and Lows in a D/s Relationship

In the beginning of your D/s relationship, there’s so much sexual energy between you and your partner, it’s oozing out of your pores. Your every thought is of what you want to do or have done to you, what you’ll say, what you’ll wear, and how it will feel. New D/s relationships have an intensity that can be overwhelming, usually in a good way.

But it won’t last forever.

You’re going to experience times when you’re sick or have a headache so getting dressed up (or naked) and doing your kinky thing isn’t going to happen. Your partner will have a long day at work or with the kids and will desperately want to relax on the couch - and you’ll let them. You may disagree with each other, have a fight, and not feel like connecting on a kinky level.

If you remember that everything has an ebb and flow to it, you’ll find moments when you are your kinkiest self, and it will feel just like it did at the beginning. After a while, the longer you’re kinky together, the better those moments will be. You’ll savor them because you know what the lows feel like.

D/s Requires Commitment

A healthy, functioning D/s relationship requires a big commitment from both Dominant and submissive. Having a successful D/s relationship, so that it’s good for both of you, is hard work. You have to be willing to talk about more than the kinky sex you want to have. You have to talk about what you like, what you hate, what you fear, what you want, what you don’t want, and how you feel about all of it.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A healthy, functioning D/s relationship requires a big commitment from both Dominant and submissive” quote=”A healthy, functioning D/s relationship requires a big commitment from both Dominant and submissive”]

That’s (almost) easy when you’re just starting out and you’re excited. Later, you have to be willing to say the hard things like, “I didn’t like it when you…” Yes, submissives too. Submissives also have to be willing to hear the word “No”, while Dominants have to be willing to say “No” if that’s what they mean.

D/s isn’t all air-brushed photos of sexy people getting naked and saying, “Yes, Sir” or “No, Ma’am.” It’s also two people putting in the hard work of talking through problems, listening to each other, sharing what they feel and think, and being there when it gets tough.

And it will get tough.

If you discover you don’t want that level of commitment or didn’t want a D/s relationship that required so much, you then have to be honest enough to tell the other person and walk away. But if you do want it, can’t imagine your life without the kink or this person in it, you have to be willing to work for it.

Not All Kinksters are Christian Grey

For the submissives out there, let me dispel you of a myth. The Dominant of your dreams will not pick you out of a crowd, point to you, and say, “Mine.” They will likely not pursue you in a single-minded fashion that borders on obsessive. They won’t be a billionaire, and you won’t be their clueless secretary.

Dominants, you won’t always be able to tell by looking at them that this person is a submissive. They aren’t always the shy ones who can’t make eye contact. Often, they’re the boss, and they’re loud and controlling, and they get shit done - without you or anyone else helping.

Above all, Dominants and submissives usually don’t look like the models or porn stars. They look like the guy who works on your car, the person who bagged your groceries, or the server at your favorite restaurant. Kinksters are ordinary people with belly rolls, stretch marks, acne, cellulite, anxiety, inhalers, and glasses. If you go out searching for your version of the perfect Dominant or submissive, thinking they’ll look like what you found online or the cover of the book you just read, you’ll be disappointed - and lonely.

D/s relationships aren’t as different from vanilla relationships as many people think they are. Yes, for many of us, the sex is better, the communication is deeper, and the trust is on a different level - as long as you work for it. But ultimately, we’re people with needs, emotions, thoughts, and fears. You can have a sexy, mind-blowing, kinky, satisfying D/s relationship. But first you have to let go of the fantasy and deal with the reality.

[sc name=”Author_Kayla”]

[sc name=”Illustrator_Amy”]