Vir Cotto's BDSM Blog

The collaborative nature of healthy D/s

In the car the other day, my submissive asked me a question...

I'd corrected her behavior about something and she had found the language I'd used didn't work with her, and suggested a different phrasing that she thought would elicit a better response at the moment.

This is a complex topic for all D/s/Power Exchange/Authority Based Relationship couples- where the line is between the s-type needing to adapt to the D-type's style and where the D-type should accept feedback and change their approach.

I generally fall into the collaborative side of D/s. If everything else is going well, my partner is wanting to please me and be the best submissive she can be.

I've written in the past about how this can go very wrong- a submissive who uses manipulation or changing goalposts to get out of their responsibilities is not healthy. Under the guise of collaboration, things can become twisted, but this is where the D-type must differentiate between ego and healthy boundaries. There will be times when the S-type must change not only their behavior, but something deeper, such as feelings or attitude about a topic, but as often as not, an intelligent, honest, determined submissive will see the relationship as what it is- a structured partnership.

As anyone who has worked for a bad boss can tell you, having the final say should not mean having the only say. Part of feeling useful, and feeling that you have a place is having your boss hear your feedback.

One of the biggest misconceptions about lifestyle power exchange is unidirectionality. The D-type what the s-type is to do, to think, to feel, and how to change their behavior, but this is unrealistic when working with two highly intelligent people in a scene that's meant to last not one or two hours, but years or decades.

Ultimately I heard my sub's request and have begun to integrate it when giving her orders, and she's more obedient than ever.