D/s on Lockdown – dealing with change

I have learnt, the hard way, that a D/s relationship is very susceptible to change. I know that all relationships require adjustments and tweaks in order to accommodate change, but I think, for us at least, the tight sense of structure and routine that supports a D/s lifestyle is easily shaken by its ripples. This is not an issue in itself, as long as we remember to address it and make any necessary changes, but sometimes we don’t. This has been one of those times.

Why do the ripples become waves?

So, if change is normal, why do the ripples become waves? One of the things that we love about D/s is the fact that there is an intensity there. This comes from being the focus of another person’s needs and desires, and having them as your focus too. We try to keep ourselves at the centre as a couple and allow everything else to revolve around us. We will step out of our circle to turn our attention something else – focus diverted, and then step back in – focus back in place. If we do this, it works.

Sometimes, however, the things that happen are big. Rather than one of us focussing on them and returning, that person keeps their new focus. This can be ok for a short while, but if it continues for a longer time then we can find that the connection between us starts to fade. When the little things that usually happen each day to make each of us feel noticed and desired and important don’t happen in quite the same way, it can throw things off for us. We don’t end up back in the power struggles of old, but the lack of focus on elements of our power exchange is noticeable.

What happened when we talked?

We talk regularly about things and during one of these discussions we spoke about how the changes had affected us. I had found it difficult to adapt initially, but had also found a new balance which allowed me to prioritise things at home. I think that whole situation in the world right now has given be a renewed perspective on what is actually important and, although work is important to me, family and friends matter so I have accepted that I am not going to be able to meet the usual expectation of me in terms of what I can provide for my students.

For HL things have been different. He has been available to his team whenever required and this has led to difficulties in switching from work to home. We talked about this and about what we could do to try to prioritise each other and keep that connection between us. I would like this post to have been about all of the new things that we tried and the new opportunities that were created, but with both working full-time from home, just keeping the basics going was really our priority.

We talked about some new rules and rituals. We talked about the things that we could do to keep the sexual charge between us. We also talked about ways that we could use the opportunities for additional areas of control during the day. So it felt quite positive once we had identified these things. In the past when our connection dipped, there was a tendency to think that we were not able to sustain the dynamic and doubt ourselves. After a while we came to find more of a sort of bread and butter D/s, where, at points, we survived on the minimum needed to sustain it, rather than all of the frills.

Why didn’t it work?

I think, perhaps, it didn’t work because there was another change. After two weeks of lockdown and working from home, the term ended and I was ‘on holiday’. While the holidays were very different this year, I did switch off my laptop and, apart from the odd email to a pupil or query from a work colleague, I was ‘out of the office’. During this time HL continued to work full-time and I took on much of the responsibility for the routine of the day. This felt ok for a while but it didn’t address the loss of connection as he was still absorbed in his work and in trying to provide exactly the same service, in a vastly changed set of circumstances.

It has been frustrating to watch and at points I have felt exasperated at the loss of feeling the control he has over me. Although my middle side can have bratty tendencies, for the most part, I don’t act out. What I do, is to retreat. I get on with my own thing and I get lost in my own projects and ideas, becoming more independent, and less needy. This means that things get done, but it doesn’t feed the dynamic in any way. It ends up being circular and we both drift further from each other and from the selves we want to be.

I don’t mean this in a large or dangerous way at all. Like I said at the start, very tiny ripples appear as waves, so to all intents and purposes everything looks and feels fine. There is a little less intimacy, a little less connection and a little less intensity, but it is still good. We are still D/s, but just not as D/s as we are sometimes, if that makes sense. I expect that those who are also in a lifestyle dynamic will understand though, so I felt that it would be good to try to put into words.

What do we need to do next?

Well I guess, what we need to do, it to try again. The conversation, that is always the starting point, took place this morning when I spoke about what I was going to say in this post. Sometimes, despite knowing the theory, the practice takes a couple of goes until it falls into place in that way that you want it to. I don’t see this as a failure, and although they can be difficult conversations, practice, as they say, makes perfect, so usually they end on a positive note. We love each other and despite the difficulties of lockdown and the way it has shaped our living arrangements, we love our dynamic and are committed to making it working.

Change is part of life and the changes we are dealing with now, are such minor imperfections to the tragedies which are going outside our own four walls and that is a sobering fact. While we may feel the internal ripples, which push us closer or farther as we tackle the demands on us, we have held together well in managing the stress and anxiety that has hit nearly everyone around us. We have clung, not just to each other, but to the routine and the safety of home and of family, and that has allowed us to feel stronger.

We have taken on volunteering together which has helped us to focus on what is happening outside, and has allowed us to feel we have a use and a purpose by contributing to a community which has to rely in others far more now than ever before. This has helped us to feel less powerless in the current unknown situation, and given us perspective on our own issues. We have been fortunate in having a great online network so we have had friends who we can connect with and spend time with in the same ways we would usually do and this, again, has given us a constant.

So really what we need to do next is to keep on trying, to keep on working, and to keep on talking. We will continue to focus and prioritise what is important to us, and to shift and change as life requires us to do so. I feel positive and hopeful that, even within what has been lost, there will be gains in terms of what we have learnt and the shift that, for me, has allowed me to take stock of what actually matters and is important in this world.

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  1. I enjoyed reading this, as I have never been in this type of relationship. Yes, keep trying and above all talking. I think that you are doing volunteer work together is wonderful. It’s an important thing to do in life, and to do it with someone you love is very special.

    • Aww thank you Elliott. We are just delivery food parcels and groceries to those who are unable to get out due to lockdown but it is good to feel useful. I have signed up to do some wellbeing support too so that should be good. I hope that you are safe and well ?

  2. In some contexts they say that if you stop moving forward then you’re going backwards, not staying stationery. Although the ripples and waves provides a current that’s slowing you down, it sounds like your communication is carrying you constantly forward.

  3. I can certainly relate to how your D/s is at the moment as we are feeling the same waves. I’m glad that your conversations are giving you a way forward. X

  4. I tried to reply and something weird seemed to happen. So if you get two replies from me, delete one of them.
    But while I can’t remember if you still have kids around (and I believe you do), if you don’t, then mandated attire for you could help to bring the return of dominance and submission.

    • I only have the one but I heard from someone else that they found it hard to leave a comment. I am a bit lost as to what to do though. You are correct about the kids. Now around 24/7. Mandated attire is a good shout but will have to wait ?

  5. Your post resonates perfectly here too … although the dynamics may be slightly different. What we have tried to accept is that our “abnormal normal” has to be put on hold, with the hope and anticipation of making-up for lost time keeping us motivated and looking forward to a re-opening and resumption asap !!!
    Xxx – K

    • Aww thank you Modesty and I love your concept of “abnormal normal”. I may have to borrow that. Here’s to the reopening and resumption. What a party that will be ?

  6. I can so imagine that changes outside, so to say, changes things inside, in your dynamic. It’s really good you’re both aware of it and communicate about it. I do the same as you when the control or presence of a dynamic is less there, I retreat and become independant. In the past, what has helped me not to do that and stay in the sybmissive mindset is rules or daily tasks and to report on them, in certain cases. So for example, a rule such of not being allowed to wear underwear or always having to ask permission for (well you could fill that in with anything). But also say… idk like anal training, one could have to do x amount of training every day. Do you have rules or ongoing tasks like that? Maybe something like that could be helpful?

    • We do have those but I think we need new ones to fit the new circumstances. You are exactly right as they do help to focus the mind and I think that works for both parties ?

      • I personally also really liked that the tasks would start shaping me more into something my Domme wanted or desired, which I guess is what like anal training could be for. But the present thought of that put me in that submissive state as well

  7. I can relate so much to what you describe as waves in your D/s dynamic. My husband and I have seen loads of these waves, losing almost all of our play and dynamic for months. For us, the basics always remained and it usually flares up when things around us calm down. Like you said, communication is key. Best of luck!

  8. It’s undoubtedly a huge benefit to you both to have these conversations and communicate with each other in this way. The ups and downs and twists and turns are inevitable from time to time, especially in the current situation, but the fact that you are still making the time to acknowledge these changes and to look at them together is a great positive, and inspiring for someone like myself who struggles to communicate effectively and is often guilty of keeping things bottled up.

    • I am lucky that I find it easy so I can have more of the opposite problem in saying too much lol. It does work for this but I expect HL wishes I would just stop sometimes ?

  9. It feels so good to know we’re not alone! And that someone with so much experience in D/s marriage experience ripples and waves too! This has been a hard season for us as well to maintain the dynamic, and that’s frustrating because of the loss of intimacy. Glad to have your pointers on how to get things back on track!

      • QH!!! What a boost to see you back. I have no idea what has happened to the comments but what a lovely start to my day. Thank you ❤️

    • Aww thank you. I think my issue is that knowing the theory doesn’t make the putting it into practice any easier lol. Always good to know you are not alone p, especially at the moment ?

  10. Keeping the ship steady in the last 6 to 8 weeks has been difficult regardless of how you structure your home life, not least because what changes for one person is not what changes for another, so we lose the anchor points that bring checks and balances to how we are feeling and reacting and we lose the structure that helps push us through personal uncertainty. Throwing in the Easter Hols just adds to this,- although my students are so vulnerable, we just chose to keep going, only taking off the bank holidays because for them everyday structure was vital, and that helped me keep going as well. It is really interesting to see how everyone is responding to the challenges.

    • I totally agree with you on the different approaches and I suppose what works for one doesn’t work for another. The holidays has disrupted things a bit and I am finding it harder to adjust than normal. I think they my out,ok has changed and I feel more vulnerable. Thank you for your comment. It is always nice to find people who can relate ?

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