What Style of D/s Relationship Do You Want?

Rather than listen instead of read? Check out Minisode 7 on Different Styles of D/s Relationships

To try to write a list of potential “styles” of D/s relationships means that a lot will get missed. Why is that? Because each unique relationship will have it’s own personal style. The style you forge with one partner will be different than what you have with a different partner. But there are some general styles to keep in mind when figuring out what kind of D/s relationship you think you want.

Casual D/s

Casual D/s implies a casual relationship. While you may self-identify as a submissive or Dominant, you don’t have a partner that you engage with on a regular basis or with whom you form a committed relationship.

You come together, do your kinky fuckery thing, and then go your separate ways. The connection is friendly and real, but this isn’t someone you rely on every day for direction or to add a D/s tone to your life.

Some might say that you’re more of a top or bottom, and in the scene itself, that’s probably technically true. But if, while you’re together, that person becomes your Dom or sub even for a brief time, call yourself D/s if that fits.

Bedroom Only

Many Doms and subs begin in the bedroom only, especially if they’re already in an existing vanilla relationship together and want to test the experience first. It’s not a requirement but in talking to people, it seems fairly common.

In this context, D/s is much more sexual in nature. It may begin as role play or a kinky fantasy and morph into clearly defined roles between the two.

Once the scene is over, you revert to your more typical roles with little or no power exchange. Titles, tasks, rituals, and other trappings of D/s occur in the bedroom (figuratively or literally) but not anywhere else. Many relationships begin here and switch to a 24/7 style but do what works best for your relationship.

24/7 Dominance and Submission

Not everyone wants a 24/7 relationship, regardless of what it may sound like on Fetlife and Twitter. It requires a high level of commitment and responsibility for both partners. It also tends to come with a steep learning curve on what exactly 24/7 means to your relationship.

Making your D/s dynamic a full-time part of your relationship means that it’s often much less about sex, fetish, or kinky fuckery and more of a relationship style. While all forms of D/s are about the power exchange (and not really about sex at all), this is a level of control that can – if you want it to -permeate every part of your life.

24/7 isn’t for everyone and it will ebb and flow throughout your life together. Illness, financial stress, parenting, and other factors will often need to take precedence over the visible or obvious parts of a 24/7 relationship. Many D/s couples (us included) rely on a more subtle and nuanced power exchange in those moments.

Romantic vs. Platonic

While not a “style” of D/s relationship, there is another consideration of D/s that often gets forgotten. Most people think of D/s as primarily romantic and sexual relationships. Obviously they can be, but that’s not the only way.

Some kinksters form more platonic relationships. Submission may focus on acts of service, forms of discipline, or bottoming in a scene. Dominance establishes some kind of control over an aspect of a sub’s life. They care about each other but no one wants to get married or have babies together. By the way, not all romantic relationships want that, either.

The people involved in a platonic D/s relationship can (and often do) care for each other very deeply. A bond is formed between them that can be as strong as any romantic relationship. Do not discount non-romantic D/s as somehow less than romantic attachments. The same amount of communication and trust is required to make it work.

Maybe the most important thing to take away from is that there is no right or wrong way to do D/s. Casual, bedroom, 24/7, or some hybrid form of all of it – they’re all valid ways to find satisfaction, happiness, love, or connection. All that matters is that you and your partner find what works for you, build trust, communicate constantly, and always get consent first.

In episode 110 of the podcast, we talk about what D/s is really about. No, not sex…power.

This isn’t the only way to D/s so now it’s your turn…what other “styles” of D/s relationships have you experienced or heard about? 

13 Responses

  1. Pixie says:

    Love, .love , love this!

    I have to confess that till a year or so ago I did not use lables at all for are dynamic. But when I stopped and thought about it and looked at what I have with the boss man it really helped to use some labels for it!
    So I would say are style is 24/7 , but it is not a total power exchange. I don’t do being micro managed, I allowed to ask questions and I am trusted to think for myself when it come to the running of are home. also I can be ringing him everytime I have to decided something. Would also have the whole Consensule none consent aspect , a caregiver / little thing and a very delisc S & M part! (mmmm pain!).
    As for the girls and me well we have a Subbie sister loving fuckfest style thing going on , that’s a style right? I have with Babe a loving D/s thing going on , as we both get a lot from it and I adore Being her sub. I also, with the boss mans knowing and being happy with have casule D/s thing with a few mistresses and a couple of male Doms. I think we have that cos he really does love watching me with others and I get a huge kick out of seeing him happy and proud!

    • Kayla Lords says:

      You have exactly what works for you and your family, and ultimately that’s all that matter. I think sometimes labels do more harm than good, but part of understanding something is naming it. But often finding what works means redefining things (which is what JB and I do) or rejecting the names and titles completely.

      And like you, we might be 24/7 but we can’t do complete micromanagement – nothing would ever get done, and we’d both be stressed out messes, lol.

  2. HerWolf says:

    It’s really odd. 7 years ago she brought up the fact I was a dom. Looked into it a little. We split after some time. We both had other relationships. Mine all empty. Hers diverse. Even a dom that gave her direction that I was unaware of till later. We were still getting together off and on.
    Jut us again after a year and change. Didn’t last long and she was gone again.

    Contact resumed. She confided in me about several relationships between times. Wanted us with the Dd/lg relationship. It never was 100{41b2ccad9c9615e377be815ad205595d71b5b6a7a02ca926ea5182d1112aa551} right. One day perfect. A week later totally off sync.

    She was never totally committed that I was taking the full dominant roll I walked the walk and talked the talk. Unless I knew in every part of me that she was mine alone I guess I always had some bit of a shield.

    She was crushed when she’d let go and be totally free with me and it would go wrong for some reason. More bad times then good. She was very reluctant to continue and I stayed the course. If fear it’s a love and life I can never get back to. She’s lived life. Had to do life and raise a child on her own. One that’s been hurt, had no support, and live or die only because of herself, independent is hard to break, love out, or even convince that she can again let go. She can let someone in to everything without being judged or put down for her life. I give to her total access to my life. Time that I even don’t have and it’s stilll not right. I’ve. Tried forcing it. Tried working it. Tried waiting. Tried massaging it. It’s still guarded from her and frustrating and scary for me. She’s all for me. I like the dd/lg name but in truth, I just wait to go back before the names and be us. Freaky, fun, flirty, and fucking. Car fucking. Crazy fucking. Naked pics. Phone sex. All of it.

    • Kayla Lords says:

      I think people do put pressure on themselves once a label is attached – they believe (right or wrong) that have to be whatever that label is and if it doesn’t match what they’ve got in their head, then it isn’t perfect. It sucks to try as hard as you have and things still not be right. It’s frustrating too.

      If it’s meant to get better, the only two things that really make that happen are time and communication. LOTS of communication. Both people have to be willing to open up and talk and do the hard work of making it work. I hope you get back to a place that was good for you both.

  3. TheLittlePrincess says:

    I want to be 24/7 at some point. I’ve always found it appealing. 🙂

    • Kayla Lords says:

      For those of us who enjoy it, it can be fulfilling. I hope you’re able to have that for yourself at some point! 🙂

  4. jennyh14 says:

    we are not, nor will we ever be 24/7. both Sir and i have been divorced, we both have full custody of our kids, and we have no desire to do the whole kid-mingling step parent thing. we message each other every day, throughout the day, and see each other one day a week. and i really like that style. it makes our get-togethers special. we dress up for each other, we anticipate what we’ll do.
    when we started, quite honestly, it was purely sexual. but after two years together, we are a committed, romantic Dom/sub couple and i both love and trust him deeply.

    • Kayla Lords says:

      And that’s wonderful that you’ve found exactly what works for your relationship and your needs, both separately and together. 🙂

  5. ChinaDoll320 says:

    Awesome post! I want 24/7 romantic, but all the different types are interesting to hear about.

    • Kayla Lords says:

      Depending on where you are in life and what kind of relationship you have, you might be surprised at what you want versus what you end up with. Whatever it is, it should make you happy. 🙂

  6. Kayla – you’re killing it!

    The whole D/s for the beginners section you have is great.
    I read almost all articles on dominance: building confidence, get in her mind, what does a good dominant look like,..
    Surely, after some practice, our plays are going to become even better.

    Thank you.

  1. December 1, 2017

    […] What Style of D/s Relationship Do You Want? […]

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