Back in August I wrote this post, Boxed In, about a kind of disagreement that Michael and I had and how that ended up with me really examining how I felt about our D/s relationship.
As a result of that post @MissusBojangles posed the following question to me in Twitter.
The short answer is maybe.
I think it totally depends on your relationship, how it is structured and what would work for you. If you live apart for an example then actually what you might need is more structured time together to explore your D/s not less or if you both work full time and don’t get enough time together that might also be true. Also I think what your D/s relationship is like is a factor, if you have negotiated a complete power exchange where the subs life is predominantly governed by the Dom then maybe having time to step away from that and making your own decisions purely for yourself for a short time might actually be a healthy thing to do. Giving yourself over to another person is a powerful and also challenging relationship dynamic that can be incredibly rewarding for both people but being able to cope without that person if needed is vital because you never know what the future holds.
Have the conversation
I think the key is for it to be explored as an idea with the people in the relationships in an open minded way because the most important thing is that the relationships works for both people. Sadly I suspect MissusBojangles is right in that it is an unconventional idea within the kink community. There is a tendency for absolutism when it comes to kink, think ‘twue subs’ and ‘Alpha Doms’. The idea of ‘taking time out’ would, I suspect, within a certain element of the community be greeted with, well you are not really a sub then are you etc, which is of course utter bollocks as the only thing that matters is that you are the right Dom/sub fit with your partner, whatever that looks like for you both. Of course a better and healthy response would be, that is an interesting idea, explain how that would/does work. If you felt you needed something like this and someone denies it to you or questions your domliness or subness as a result then I would say that was a pretty big red flag.
Do I need time off?
Yes I damn well do but not in this way. What I, (or should that say we?) really need is not time off from D/s but time off to be really be D/s. The opportunity to switch off from being Mum, from work, from worrying about money and how much I have to get done and how little time I have to do it, and that I really should call my Mum and I have not sorted out the electricity bill yet and so on. You all know it, that stuff that is constant and grinding but that sadly seems tough to avoid, stepping away from that and really immersing myself in him and our D/s dynamic would be utterly magical.
Now we are very lucky. I will happily admit that. Unlike most couples we both work at home and get to spend the vast majority of our day side by side. I can quite literally reach out and touch him right now as I tap out this post, he will smile at me and possibly say something silly and then we will both return to what we are doing. Sometimes went the kids are at school we will set aside what we are doing and disappear off to bed for an hour or so. What is the point of working from home if you don’t take advantage of it now and then? So overall we extremely lucky and yet the opportunities to really indulge in our kink in an overt way have become less and less as the kids have grown older. They rarely go to their Father’s now and when they do it will be for one night. Whereas before I could spend a whole weekend in cuffs and collar now it’s a few hours at most. I am not really complaining, we have a good happy life and I have good happy kids but taking some time away from that to just be us is what I crave and I think that is common to lots of relationships regardless of whether they are kinky or not and I think failure to do exactly that is often one of the reasons that people grow apart or relationships fail, especially when kids come along. You find yourself socialising on your own. One person babysits while the other goes out with friends etc and then you swap over, the only time you go out together is as a family and one day you wake up next to someone you not only don’t love any more but you don’t even like very much either (and yes this is from personal experience although I never went out anywhere but stayed home with the kids while he went out). Clearly this is an extreme situation but not an uncommon one and Michael and I are definitely not in this place at all but I know we would both love to have more time to just be us.
It is one of the reasons we both love the kink play events we go to. At least 4 times a year we vanish from here, from being parents, and work, and laundry etc and disappear into a joyful afternoon of kink. We get to just be us, we hang out with our friends and eat cake and drink tea (well I do) and he beats me black and blue and sometimes I laugh and sometimes I cry and sometimes there are blow jobs, but it is always relaxing and we both come away from it feeling very renewed and bonded.
We have a power exchange relationship but not a total power exchange which means there are aspects of our lives that do not come under the D/s umbrella; Finances and my kids to name two really big ones. In those areas he does not get to Dom, we do those things together just like any couple would but they are not part of our D/s dynamic, he does not get to exert his will when it comes to decision making. Maybe because I had an established life before I met Michael. I was a single parent and had my own home etc. I had successfully navigated myself through the world so far that I know my decision making and ability to take control of myself and situations are strong and remain that way. Even within our D/s relationship I am not the quiet compliant type of submissive. I do wonder for someone much younger if maybe having time away from a D/s relationship especially if it was one that involved a lot of power exchange would actually be a very healthy thing to do and maybe even something a Dom would encourage, after all a Dom is meant to want to help nurture their sub to be the best person they can be, encouraging them to develop their decision making abilities and personality outside of being submissive seems like a no brainer to me but like all things kinks the key is to find out what works for you and your partner(s) and do that but to also be open to exploring different ways of doing it.
I am glad Missus Bojangles asked me this question because it gave us both pause for thought and inspired lots of conversation between us which is why I didn’t write the post straight away because even thought my initial response was that I didn’t need time off it was important to make sure that was actually true and that what I felt and thought about it we both agreed upon. Which leads me to my most important point that I love that our relationship is such that we can have these conversations and that it is open to scrutiny. I think that makes for healthy D/s, well I know it does for us.