Q&A: How Do We Transition from a Vanilla Relationship to 24/7 D/s?

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Another day, another question that I think a lot of people want to know. Whether you’re new to kink or you took a break from your D/s dynamic and are looking to get back into it, today’s question is common.

How exactly do we transition our relationship from a vanilla one to a 24/7 power exchange?

I wish I could give everyone a step-by-step guide on exactly how to do this, but there’s no single way to switch from vanilla to D/s. The timing and method will be unique to your relationship, how much you both know about D/s already, and everything that’s happened in your relationship from the very beginning to right now.

That being said, there are a few guidelines I can share that may help you navigate this exciting and bumpy time.

Transition Slowly

Unless your relationship is solid as a rock and you both have years of experience in BDSM, there is no quick switch from vanilla to 24/7 D/s that’s going to work. I’m not a fan of speaking in absolutes but this is one I feel confident about. A dramatic switch like this will create a lot of confusion, assumptions, and miscommunication.

So get comfortable with the idea of a slow transition. As much as I hate the word, patience is definitely needed here. The first step will be communication. Maybe you even create a BDSM contract. But even when you have all that set in place, you still need to take your time.

We recommend starting with one or two things you’d like to make part of your D/s dynamic. Do those until you’re comfortable with them and/or you’ve modified them to fit your life and needs. Once these feel easy(ish), add something else. Continue doing this until you’ve found the right balance for you.

Modify as You Go

This should come as no shock but just because you think you want to do something (kneel by the bed every night) doesn’t mean it’ll work in practice (learning your knees ache when you kneel.) While you’re making the switch (and after you’re comfortable in your D/s dynamic) you’ve got to keep the lines of communication open about everything. Including that fantasy task, ritual, or routine you were desperate to do — until you tried it.

Changing your mind about what works or what you want isn’t a failure. It’s part of the learning process. Some things sound great on paper, and the reality sucks. There are an infinite number of things you can do in your 24/7 D/s dynamic. Crossing one off the list simply frees up time, space, and energy to try something else.

D/s is Mental More than Physical

A lot of new kinksters worry about their kinky activities and if what they’re doing “counts” as D/s, BDSM, or kink. If it’s kinky to you, then it’s kinky. But it’s also important to remember that Dominance and submission are more mental and emotional than physical.

Yes, of course, there is a physical component to it. But D/s is also about how you see each other in your relationship. From the outside looking in, some people don’t think I’m very submissive (ha!) but John Brownstone and I know who’s in charge and who isn’t. Our physical activities matter a lot less than how we see each other.

While you’re trying to figure out what routine, rules, or tasks you might incorporate into your power exchange (pro tip: rules, tasks, and routines aren’t a requirement of D/s), spend time thinking about your role and figuring out what it means to you. You may have a mantra that you say (to yourself or each other). You might spend time chatting with other people who identify as Dom or sub. Whatever it takes to help you see yourself and your partner in your chosen roles is all you really need.

From there, the physical is a matter of making a list and trying new stuff.

Do these things long enough — while figuring out the best way to communicate with each other — and before you know it, you’ll have the D/s relationship you want. Whether you call it 24/7 is up to you.

Resources to Learn More:

Are you in a similar situation? Not sure where to begin in the transition from vanilla to 24/7 D/s? Here are a few resources to help you out:

Making the Switch from Vanilla to D/s (podcast)

When the Submissive Leads the Transition to D/s (podcast)

The Importance of Patience in D/s Relationships (podcast)

What 24/7 D/s Means to Us (podcast)

How to Feel More Submissive (blog post)

Tongue-Tied by Stella Harris (amazing book on communication — affiliate link)

Got a question? Ask away, and we’ll answer it here or in an upcoming podcast episode!

2 Responses

  1. Etta Stark says:

    Interesting post! Gentleman Friend and I were never exactly vanilla but we’re getting more D/s-y as we go. Not sure I could do D/s 24/7 though. Still keeping playtime and ‘real life’ separate.

    Off to read the other links now.

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