Mentoring, self-help and submissive exploration

11 responses to “The Balance of Responsibility in a D/s Relationship”

  1. Bren

    This is a very thought provoking article and really puts responsibilities of both in perspective for me. Thank you

  2. Sara

    I enjoyed this article very much and thank you for writing it. It is a very timely issue for me since I recently had an experience where both my Master and I failed in our responsibilities to each other and the result was a difficult injury that I am still dealing with.

    When I first started to see my Master, I told him that I have arthritis which has resulted in an artificial shoulder amongst other difficulties at times. One of my ‘limits’ that I was careful to point out early on is that I have difficulty with kneeling for longer than a few minutes at a time and I have certainly alerted him to aching knees on several occasions in the past year that we have been together.

    Nearly two months ago, we went out for dinner and had planned to see a movie afterwards. However, I was feeling ‘amourous’ and suggested that we might enjoy NOT seeing a movie more. Needless to say, we skipped the movie. I should also say that drink had been drunk over dinner and that we had never played under the influence of alcohol before.

    Master was unprepared for play, so he had me kneel in a corner while he made appropriate arrangements. Unfortunately, this corner was in his entranceway with ceramic tiles. Even worse, he had me kneeling for AT LEAST 10 minutes and probably more than 15!

    When he was ready, he helped me stand, knowing I would be stiff after kneeling. And we had a very nice evening! But the next morning was a different story that worsened with each hour that passed. By the end of that day – Sunday – I could barely walk given the amount of pain I was in. And I have a high tolerance for pain – I have ridden race horses and three-day events with a torn rotator cuff (shoulder) tendons, and with broken collar bone/fingers/ribs/foot at various times in my life. I don’t enjoy pain but I can block much of it.

    I hnestly thought I had broken my legs, it hurt that badly. I even went to the ER after the pain didn’t get better within a week. They said I had bruised bones and severely strained abductor(?) tendons. It could take 6 weeks to 6 MONTHS (!) before my knees were back to normal (it is now 7 weeks and I am generally good, except when it rains – this has been a very damp spring!)

    My Master let me down when he forgot/ignored my limitations on kneeling. But I let myself and Him down also when I didn’t say anything at the first twinges of pain I felt while kneeling on those ceramic tiles. I don’t think the alcohol was a factor in what happened but it certainly did not help the situation!

    Needless to say, this experience has had an impact on both Master and myself. I have less trust in him after spending so much time in pain (including three weeks at 5+ on the pain scale AFTER taking doses of morphine!) For Him, it has made Him question continuing in a BDSM relationship given my arthritis issues as well as shocking him with my fragility, as he puts it.

    Our mutual lack of responsibility may have compromised a good relationship and I wish I could so back and do things differently! I just hope someone else can learn from our mistakes.

  3. Keri


    I am so sorry to read about your incident. It is true that your Dom did not take into account your limitations. I can see how that changed the dynamic or your relationship. It may be a good time to start from the beginning as far as the BDSM aspect. You are going to need to rebuild the trust that was lost. My Master continually ask me about my health and physical limitations because he is always concerned about safety. I am sure people will learn from this.

    I hope that you will get better soon.

  4. Kelly

    I don’t think ‘mental safety’ is a responsibility of a dominant. Making sure that you don’t feel neglected, making sure that you do consent to what you do is largely your own responsibility. A dominant is a human, not a superhuman who is capable of ‘knowing you better than you know yourself’. You are the one who needs to tell when you feel bad. If your dominant ignores what you tell him, he’s not a bad dominant, he’s a jack ass of a human being.

  5. Justin

    I agree. I just start a 24/7 M/s relationship that was a helpful read.

  6. Carolyn St. John

    I fear upsetting my Master is the worst feeling. When he is angry at me for disobeying him, I loathe it. This dynamic of this fear factor keeps me on track and in my submissive mind-set.

  7. Natalie

    I love reading about other people’s D/s relationships, because they’re all so uniquely individual. Some parts of this article don’t describe my relationship AT ALL….for example, saying I my entire reason for existence is only for pleasing my master is…almost personally offensive to me. (Note that I respect those of you who choose this reasoning, of course.) However, is my entire conscious life goal to please him? That is absolutely yes. I am also not particularly “domestic”, or at least far less so than what seems to be the majority of submissives. In fact, I’m not particularly submissive. But my master wouldn’t want me to be anyway. That doesn’t change the fact that my goal is the same as a more “traditional”-seeming submissive: to please my master.

    I’m lucky to have what Sate says: a master who knows me better than I know myself.

    (Sara’s story is interestingly poignant to me, too, because I also have arthritis! I’m not even 30, so others easily overlook it.)

  8. Carolyn St. John

    You can still be submissive, and have a strong personality. In fact, my Master prefers it that way.

  9. Bee bee

    I think duties are so dependant on dynamics. I work from home so have many domestic responsibility but I have sub sister friends who work away from the home and their home loads are much lighter then mine.
    One of my fave parts of my D/s relationship is I get a daily list from my Sir after he leaves me for the day. It will have a number of items he would like completed that day.
    What he would like for dinner, or perhaps he would like fresh bedding, things like this … But he usually also adds things just for me as he knows I often forget to take that time for myself. So he may add for me to have a bath, manditory reading time, or he may ask me to paint my nails, or roller my hair. These things are ways he shows me that he has ownership of my heart and mind and that he cares for my needs as well.
    I love that he does this for me …. He is a firm, and loving D and I hope all my s sisters find that balance in their relationships xoxo

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