I’ve been chewing on the nature of my own poly relationships, including one that is D/s based. What I’m about to say I have no idea how universal it may or may not be but it does apply to me. I write from my own experiences and my thoughts here apply to myself despite grammar issues.
Loving more than one, negotiating those relationships has never been about negotiating power but managing getting needs met on both sides. I enjoy being in love. I enjoy keeping those feelings alive and active but even when those feelings mellow; as they always do, I find in it’s place is something very precious – friendship and companionship based on a deeper love. A love in which I want and actively suport what is best for my loves, even if it is something that may hurt me for a little while. It does become a selfless kind of love. As such, time and distance has proved no barrier to that love.
But what has started to puzzle me is that I am not capable so far to be in more than one D/s relationship at a time. What I mean is, that I have found I can only submit to one person at a time, no matter how many relationships I may be in. This puzzled me. And worse, I have found I can accept more than one person’s submission and love them as well.
Poly is about admitting a natural orientation towards multiple relationships, so why wouldn’t it also extend to D/s?
With the varieties of styles of submission and different forms of D/s relationships, maybe it would be possible. The nature of my D/s relationship is such that for me, it is not. I submit as accepting authority and control over my body, choices and life. In essence, there is only one boss, one chain of command, one ruler and no one else can be above that singular position.
And for me, at first this feels like it flys in the face of being Poly, being like a throw back to monogamy. It’s given me some heartache as I’ve tested my internal boundaries and found it holds true. There can be only one Master in my life.
Then it occurred to me the difference between the two relationship styles. Poly is based on mutual love and needs and D/s is about mutual power exchange. There is no reason for them to be exclusive in an individual. It is possible to live both, be both without being a paradox.
It is within the nature of my needs that I submit to such a singular level. Yet I can clearly see how others could submit in many different ways. D/s in itself is not inherently monogamous. It is in the negotiating of the power exchange that sets the form and boundaries of the relationship just as negotiating does in polyamory.
So what does this say about me? I love who I love and maybe I am still a bit old fashioned at heart. It doesn’t have to be such an internal struggle anymore now that I understand the essence of each relationship.
D/s isn’t based in love but it surely can have love involved. Love isn’t the core of D/s shockingly enough and it doesn’t have to be. The power exchange is the core of D/s. And this is where my polyness kicks in. I prefer to love; I need to love rather than go out and just have sex. I need love and I give love in return. That is no different for me in D/s. Without love to guide me, my submission would not be possible.
I can not say I love one more than another. It would not be true and has been one of my problems with being poly. Sometimes my loves have wanted to be the one and only and I could not give that.
But somehow I can submit to only one person. It’s about my personal need to submit, love as my guide, my need to be able to give my all to one person who is hopefully strong enough not to bow under from the weight of it and so much more than that. It’s about finding that one puzzle piece that completes my life; that seamlessly match. It’s complex. It’s simple too. I choose this, I choose Him and it still feels right.
This is how poly and D/s works for me. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty damn close.
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