Occasionally questions are submitted to me that, although not a common problem, cannot be ignored. You might call them “break your heart” type queries. The following issue was very heartfelt, and was so very specific to the BDSM world, that I thought I might be of some help. So here goes:
Reader: I’ve been without a Master for two years. I’d love to be back subbing, which made me happy for over 10 years, but I’m terrified of surrendering control again. My former Master of four years broke my trust, heart, and body. I spent several weeks in the hospital after he lost control. I’ve been to a few play parties since, but I just felt depressed and lonely. Please don’t mention therapists… They’re condescending and don’t understand this lifestyle. Do you think I can recover and be what I was before?
BDSM breakups, in general, are much more difficult than their vanilla counterparts. Because of the intense bonding and trust that is integral to any D/s relationship, the agony of dissolution is beyond words. (I tend to avoid the phrase “being released” because it implies that breaking up is a one-way street. It is not.) In your case, it is doubly painful because your ex-Dom not only broke your “heart, trust and body,” it appears he almost destroyed your BDSM soul.
Anyone in your situation would be hard-pressed to simply start over as though nothing had happened. Understanding this will give you the proper perspective for regaining your BDSM life. It will not be an easy task, but it can be done. As you have been to a few play parties, it is clear that you want to continue in the lifestyle. Desire is the key to overcoming adversity.
As I am not a psychologist, I will offer some practical strategies that will enable you to search for a new Dom while minimizing your emotional risk.
Don’t be impatient. Obviously, you will not find a Dominant quickly. Even newbie submissives find it difficult to find a Dom/me. Don’t be hard on yourself. You have taken your first steps by going to play parties and committing to rejoining the lifestyle. You are to be commended for that. Just give the process time.
Cultivate friends. You might need some lifestyle friends even more than you need a Dominant. Online friends, or real time friends that you find at play parties, socials or munches, can both be very helpful in guiding you back into a positive frame of mind. It is hard to go through an experience like yours alone. That’s what friends are for!
Don’t force yourself. Don’t force yourself back into the lifestyle before you are ready. If you don’t feel like playing at a party, don’t. Voyeurism, socializing and looking for a prospective Dom are perfectly acceptable activities at any play party. The key is to do only what you feel comfortable doing.
Be honest with any prospective Dom. This could be my most important suggestion. If you meet a Dom you are interested in, tell him, “I have just gotten out of a relationship and would like to go slow.” Don’t go into details about your situation. You might appear to carry too much baggage and scare him off. (We all carry baggage; it is the amount that is critical!) The key is to make sure he is willing to go slow with you. There will be plenty of time to talk about your issues after you get to know each other better.
Be cautious. Most Doms in the lifestyle are not abusers. But, in any community, there are some bad apples. Your psyche is so fragile that you cannot afford to date another Dom who “loses control,” as you put it. When you meet a Dominant, ask others about him. Check out his reputation. Generally, I don’t put too much stock in this process, as people tend to repeat rumors. But, in your case, you must be super vigilant.
Safe calls. When you do decide to play, observe all the safety rules. I would play in public first. But, when you do play in private, arrange a safe call. You have been hurt once; you cannot risk being damaged again.
You can never completely eliminate the pain that your last Dom caused; but most of it should fade away in time. If you gradually ease yourself back into the scene, and follow some of my suggestions, you will have a great chance of re-emerging with a Dominant you can trust and, ultimately, love.
About the Author
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.