I have written about the effect of jobs, family and real-world obligations on BDSM relationships. But, on further reflection, I think jobs can have a greater negative effect on BDSM relationships than all other factors combined. Families, no matter how demanding they can be, also bring a positive aspect to any couple’s life. Real world obligations are something that everyone must deal with – BDSM, vanilla or celibate. You simply have to go to the dry cleaner, to the market, to the auto repairman. However, these tasks can be done at your convenience; you can time-manage them quite easily. It is in the area of work where there is the least latitude in terms of hours, energy drain and never-ending pressure. Even for those who love their job, the sheer time, in addition to physical demands, can cut into almost any BDSM relationship – especially if you are attempting any version of a 24/7 dynamic. Before we look at the best way to merge D/s and jobs, let’s backtrack a bit.
For many of us, we started out in BDSM by reading novels like the “Story of O”; for millennials, most started online or by watching “Fifty Shades of Grey.” In all these cases, the Master/slave or Dom/sub dynamic was idealized; it was a fantasy world of perfect Masters, Mistresses and slaves. However, once you decided to take it real time, the demands of work and the demands of maintaining a D/s relationship often clashed – especially if you are with your partner 24/7.
Do the math. Seven days times twenty-four hours per day gives you 168 hours in a week. If you sleep eight hours a day, you are left with 112 free hours. Assume you (and probably your partner) work forty hours a week with ten hours for commuting, working on your smart phone and getting ready (being conservative), you are left with 62 free hours. You gotta eat – so subtract another ten hours for stuffing your face. Now, there are 52 hours left. With errands, odds- and-ends and TV watching, you are left with, at most, 30 hours in a week for your Master/slave relationship — assuming no kids. Note, too, that these hours are hardly prime-energy hours; these are the “left-over” hours. The prime high-energy hours have been reserved for the demands of your job. After all, perform poorly at work and you might be saying “Yes, sir” at the unemployment line! So, what to do?
The first thing is to recognize the reality that, unless you sold your app for millions or are Christian Grey, you have to do your D/s in high-energy and low-energy spurts. The best way to manage this is to keep the protocols, punishments and even play to a minimum during those low-energy periods. Keep the D/s hierarchy, but don’t be as demanding (if you are the Dom/me) during these hours. Both sides must be more forgiving and understand that there must be more “D/s elasticity” during these times. The two of you should become adept at identifying when the other is too stressed-out to go full-tilt BDSM.
On the other hand, when you are both energized – typically during the weekend – you should put the same effort into your BDSM rituals, play and protocols as when you first met. Make a special effort to be “on your game.” Since many of the commercial dungeons are open only on weekends, plan your week around playing there. It is here that little of the real world intrudes and you can practice BDSM in a scene-friendly, high-energy environment. This is my personal approach.
Of course, there will always be those couples who have the energy, dedication and commitment to maintain a 24/7 high-protocol Master/slave union while working full time. I salute them.
But, for the rest of us, it is better to have five hours of high-level weekend BDSM and twenty-five hours a week of lower-level D/s than thirty hours of so-so BDSM. After all, it was the awesomeness of BDSM that got you here in the first place. Jobs may intrude into it; but they should not exclude all of it!
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.