Of course every D/s relationship is different, as is every communication style, power dynamic, and the things that make it work between you and another person. So if you read the title and thought, “I don’t have secrets!” well, okay. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.
This isn’t a judgement call, but it is a recognition that for better or worse, secrets happen. It’s up to you and your partner to decide if they’re good or bad for your relationship. Here are a few types of secrets you may encounter in your D/s relationship — and they’re not all bad.
Surprises are a type of secret. Hopefully, they’re positive in your relationship and at worst, benign. Surprises in D/s can be difficult, especially if you’re the submissive trying to surprise your Dominant. Some people (regardless of D or s) don’t like surprises — I’m one of the them. But in a power exchange, you’ve also got to navigate your dynamic.
When I want to surprise John Brownstone, I say, “I have a surprise for you. Would you like to know now or be surprised?” Ultimately the decision is his. Of course, when he has a surprise for me, he teases and torments me with it because he knows I’m desperate to know.
If you genuinely hate surprises (think hard limit levels of hatred), it’s okay to insist that you don’t want to be surprised…ever.
Things You Aren’t Ready to Say (Yet)
When I hear “secrets” in a long-term relationship, it automatically conjures up a negative feeling, as if you’re hiding something. But sometimes you haven’t learned to trust your partner enough to tell them certain things. That’s your prerogative, and if they want to be someone you feel you can tell anything to, they have to earn your trust.
A good way to handle these topics is to say it plainly. “I’m not comfortable talking about that yet” or “I’m not ready to tell you that, yet.” Yes, it might bother your partner, but you get to assert your own boundaries. If they become someone you feel safe or comfortable enough with, you may decide to tell them. That’s up to you.
Things You’ve Forgotten
While open and constant communication is ideal (and necessary) to healthy D/s relationships, we can’t do a brain dump on command, either. People forget things all the time. I know I do. Even being asked a direct question might not be enough to trigger a memory.
I’ve been told (and said), “But I asked you about that! Why didn’t you tell me?!” It’s not always deceptive. Sometimes we need another event to remind of us of something that happened. And if your partner is telling you now that they remember it, can it really be considered deception? They didn’t keep it from you; they simply didn’t remember.
Things You Don’t Want Anyone to Know
I’m a big advocate for baring your soul to a long-term D/s partner. Maybe not a play partner and definitely not in the early days of a relationship, but eventually, soul-baring should be a thing for you. That being said, you are still entitled to your boundaries. If you experienced some kind of trauma (physical, mental, or emotional) that you’re not ready to talk about, you get to make that choice.
What I will say is that your partner can’t make educated and reasoned decisions about your D/s dynamic if they don’t have all the facts. It’s also easier to, unintentionally, trigger a negative reaction from you out of pure ignorance. If something you don’t want to discuss might be impacted by your power exchange or kinky fuckery, you’ll need to share a little. At least let your partner know what they can and can’t do if you know it’ll mess with your head.
Okay, so now we’re at the evil kind of secrets. These are the lies, deceptions, and dishonest moments that your partner really doesn’t want you to know about. They involve sneaking around and pretending. If you’re the liar-liar-pants-on-fire, it’s definitely not a good look and could destroy your relationship.
I’m not the type who can overlook deception like this. Once my trust is broken (and this is one way it can happen), I’m done. But other people are different and may be willing to resolve the issue and stay together. It’s not an easy choice to make. What I will say is that if you catch your partner in a lie, the D/s may need to be placed on hold until you trust them again.
Are there other kinds of secrets we forgot to mention? Share with us in the comments below or on Twitter. This week’s episode (131) will focus on secrets in your D/s relationship. Thanks to Chloe Dare for the topic suggestion!