Bondage, S&M, Power Exchange, Romance : Labels & Confusion
D/s is not the same as love, neither is love the same as D/s for me. They can be connected, but don’t need to. It all depends.
To become clearer about the notions (and therefore also the labels): love in itself is a feeling and a state of mind, IMO. In comparison, D/s and s/m rather can be means to *express* this great feeling of loving someone else. Depending on the context, *both* can serve this role pretty well.
Apart from the fact that D/s and s/m are really basic (often sexual) needs for me – like being hungry, for example – in a relationship context they can also serve as means to express one’s love for someone else. In such a context, they often are something going into the direction: “Look, my love, what I’m ready to endure for you!” Taking them in this sense, D/s is mostly covering psychological aspects (breaking out of traditional role models by serving and submitting to a woman, standing social pressure, getting humiliated, being objectified, and so on), while the s/m part is rather covering physical ones (enduring pain and being physically strong for her, but also showing a strong will, which is not only physical, I have to admit). I hope you get what I mean, otherwise I could easily elaborate on it.
So for me, especially in a relationship context, D/s and s/m are only two sides of one and the same medal, namely to please a woman by enduring something for her, breaking out of several limits – one time with regard to the mind, the other time with regard to the body. By the way, I’ve once read on Akasha’s web site that bondage is one of the most basic things for her, while she added pain (physical) and humiliation (psychological) much later. Also for me, bondage always had been something very basic, my earliest fantasies were almost entirely related to it. She even is telling us that she probably could renounce of pain and humiliation completely.
I often asked myself for the reasons, but now it’s becoming more clear to me, perhaps: it’s because bondage is all in one, so to speak! It’s covering both aspects: the physical ones (think of the struggling, the aching joints, the tight rope hurting skin …) *and* the psychological ones (helplessness, fear, developing a desire for her because she’s unreachable …). Maybe this also explains why so many people like to start a scene with bondage games.
What I’d say though is that D/s often isn’t as much “primitive” and frightening as s/m, because it’s easier to bring D/s into direct connection with love, since it’s closer related to behaviour in traditional vanilla relationships. But it’s not exactly the same as love, though. Like I said, it’s only a mean to express love, like s/m can be, too. That’s also the reason why I wouldn’t think of s/m only as play. It can be as real as extreme sorts of D/s can only be role-played.
(From usenet ten years ago.)
Originally posted 2010-11-09 10:33:38.