Thank you Kayla Lords for answering this question!

I am not sure if this topic has been covered before, but I couldn't find much info on it. I was hoping you could share some advice on balancing a d/s relationship and family.

To be more specific, I'd like to know how to handle instances such as a family member wanting to do something with you, yet your dominant does not want you to go. Permission to go out is part of our d/s relationship. Nevertheless, my family is equally important to me, and I want to make them happy too. Sincerely, Want To Go Out

Hey there, Want to Go Out!

The pull between D/sand family isn’t always easy, especially when they don’t know about your dynamic or rules. You want to make your Dominant and your family happy, and it isn't always possible to do both.

The first thing I recommend in any situation between a Dominant and submissive  is to tell you to talk to your Dominant about how you feel. Does he object to the people in your family or to the places you want to go? While arbitrarily being told “No” can be a little kinky and sometimes a lot of fun, not letting you see your family for no reason is a red flag and a sign of abuse.

First, find out why your Dominant is telling you no. If you’re being given a reason that’s about your health and well-being - maybe that specific family member isn’t good for you, mentally or emotionally, or they want to take you somewhere your Dominant doesn’t approve of - now it’s time to discuss other options.

If your Dominant objects to the person, talk about what would make it acceptable for you to see them. Maybe it needs to be a group outing with people he trusts.

If it’s the place he doesn’t like, ask what alternatives would be acceptable. Suggest those to your family instead when they invite you places you know you can’t go.

Remember, if you’re being told you can’t see your family just to please your Dominant, those are signs of abuse. I sincerely hope that’s not the case for you.

When you’re told no for a reason you can accept, now you have to find a way to let your family know. Suggesting another place to go - if where they’re suggesting is the issue - is always an option. You can always say something simple like, “I’d love to, but I can’t tonight” or “I’ve got plans that day.” You don’t have to go into an in-depth conversation or give a lot of reasons why you can’t go somewhere. And yes, I know, family will nag and beg to know why. If you’re not comfortable telling them why, a simple but polite “No” is okay.

Because you didn’t indicate in your question, I don’t know if your family asks you to go out so often that your Dominant feels you don’t have time for your relationship or your other responsibilities. If that’s the reason, discuss a compromise - a set number of times, or a specific day when you can go out.

But first, before you can figure out how to handle the situation, you need to have the conversation. Let your Dominant know how important your family is to you. Find out why you may not receive permission to go out - specific person, specific place, too much time out and not enough time at home - whatever it may be. Once you know the reasons (and hopefully none start with “Because I said so”), you can have the discussion about finding a middle ground that makes you both happy.

You’ve given your Dominant control over being able to go out for a reason but that doesn’t mean you can’t discuss issues as they come up. Just remember to be respectful and let your Dominant know how important it is that you see your family.