The foundations of our D/s relationship are the same as would exist for any good relationship: Honesty, Trust, Respect and Open Communication. Because we are a couple, I am happy to say that there is also love. A lot of love. In fact, love is at the heart of everything so I suppose it is a foundation too although it feels a little more like the cement that holds the others together and the house built above the foundations that others see.
Our foundations have not changed since becoming D/s; we had a really good and happy relationship already. What they have done is to become deeper rooted, stronger, more solid and certain over time. They are not just there underneath but they are present and clear all of the time. They are illustrated and demonstrated every day in many different ways and so they are an integral part of what we do at all levels, all of the time.
Being honest is central for us. This doesn’t meant just not being dishonest, but going out of out way to provide those little bits of additional information that an so easily lead to miscommunication and mistrust. It is not just about being truthful when confronted about something but taking the time to share things before they are asked for. It is thinking about what they other would want to know, and filling in those gaps if and when you can. For me, for example, this can mean self-reporting when I have not done something that I know HL expected I would do.
Trust is a big part of this. Without the level of honest you would not be able to trust in the same way. While we trusted before, it runs much deeper now. HL has to trust that I have been honest with him about my thoughts, feelings, boundaries and limits so that he can push those and take me where we want to go. Again, I have to trust that he will keep me safe, that he has planned things well and has my best interest at heart. Like with the honesty, this is not the sort of trust that is a response to some challenge or threat. This is an everyday thing which makes playing on the edge of things possible.
Respect is the foundation upon which we have built the rules and rituals that underpin what we do. It is what allows us to demonstrate our power exchange for one another. It helps to keep us in the right headspace and is a result of the honesty and trust that we have in and for each other. At the same time though, it is where the honesty and trust derive from as the deep respect we feel cements all that we do. Respect is central in that my respect for HL will be demonstrated through all that I do as his submissive, but he also shows me the ultimate of respect too.
Open communication is central to all of the other foundations above. Without the ability to communicate openly things will simply not work well. There are so many different ways to weave good communication throughout your relationship and the is no one clear way to do this but however you choose to manage it, communication is the key. No matter how awkward or how difficult, sharing your innermost fears and desires is significant to your D/s working well. You can’t meet someone’s needs if you don’t know what they are.
Building on your foundations
While these foundations will be present in many relationships, they need to be rock solid for D/s to work. When one crumbles, the others will be affected and the building that is your power exchange will shift and become less secure. You need not just to know they are there but to feel their presence. They can’t be hidden under the surface and rather have to be visible and noticeable. For that reason, most of what we do and what makes our relationships a power exchange, is about illustrating these foundations.
It can be seen and felt through our actions and reactions, through our behaviours and our thoughts, through our routines and our rituals, so in many ways, it is this that makes things D/s. How you choose to reinforce these foundations with each other depends on the things which are important and work for you but without them it will be hard to maintain. When these foundations are strong it allows you to explore the other elements and values which sit at the heart of your need and desire for of your Dominance and submission.