I hope you have been enjoying Rika’s Lair, my monthly column dedicated to thoughts and experiences regarding power dynamics in Service-Oriented D/s relationships. Look up “Ms. Rika” in the search box for links to all of my articles in KinkWeekly!
I recently was asked a series of questions regarding my relationships, my approach, and my experiences. After answering the 39 questions as honestly as I could, I thought that it might be a good idea to make a couple of articles out of it for KinkWeekly. Previously, I posted the answer to questions 1-20…here’s the rest of the interview:
21. Do you believe there are different formal levels of power dynamics? Which level are you two?
a. No. I don’t believe there are any such things. I believe people have fabricated them and published them…but they are not accepted outside of a small group. Same for Gorean roles and protocols. They exist for those who follow them. For everyone else, it’s just words. Not knocking them, but there are folks who think there is only the one way to live a lifestyle with “real” power dynamics…in my opinion, those folks are just filling themselves up with self-importance.
22. Being Dom-centric, are you free to do whatever you want and he will support and embrace that if it’s something you like and would please you?
a. Pretty much, yes. If it were not, we’d talk about it…but part of the agreement here is that my pleasure is his gospel. If he isn’t thinking that way, I’d want to know why. But honestly, if it were something that I liked that he HATED, would I really enjoy it if he went along with it? I would want to know he WOULD go along with it – and I would expect him to do so…but I might not hold him to it…because he’s my husband and I love him (oh…THAT again!)
23. Do you ever have disagreements about the lifestyle? Either of you want or don’t want something? How do those typically go? I know you said everything has to be consensual. But is there something you want that he isn’t into? Or vice-a-versa?
a. We disagree about things…I wouldn’t call them disagreements. We discuss them and my word is final. That’s basically it.
24. Do you have protocols in place?
a. We have Routine Tasks. Different than protocols in the Gorean sense. In play we have more than in regular life…but he does follow routines.
25. Would you say you are more dependent on his submission or is he more dependent on your dominance?
a. We’re equally dependent on our power dynamic for our fulfillment. We both consider ourselves highly lucky to have each other. We appreciate each other.
26. How were you able to train your sub to be what you wanted?
a. I don’t believe in “training” – I believe in “enabling”. I just finished writing an essay on this difference for “KinkWeekly.com”. He’s not an animal that can be “trained” like a dog or lion. He’s human: He thinks, he rationalizes, he introspects…he CHOOSES to serve. Therefore, my “training” is really more about EDUCATING him as to my preferences and expectations – and then providing feedback as to how he’s doing and giving him ideas for how to improve. CERAF is all about that.
27. Are there things he does not like to do?
a. Sure. He doesn’t like to eat his orgasms…but he loves to be made to do it. He doesn’t like to clean the house, but he does it every day. He doesn’t like to wake up early so that my breakfast is ready when I am…but he does it lovingly.
28. Does he grumble or complain?
a. Not for long. I don’t have to do much more than ask him if he really wants to be complaining…and it stops immediately.
29. If he has a bad day or isn’t feeling it, how do you deal with it? Do you still hold him to the dynamic? Do you make it harder or easier on him?
a. This is right out of my second book (Uniquely Us) with Karl and Rhonda. Yes, he has bad days. Yes, there are times when he doesn’t ‘feel it. In these circumstances, whether or not I hold him to it is my choice. That’s really the key. I may CHOOSE to relax my expectations…or not. If I do, he understands completely that I’m not relaxing them because they’re not important to me…he understands that I’m choosing to give him a break even though I absolutely COULD hold him to it…and have no qualms about doing so. I never want to leave him with the feeling that his service is not of primary importance to me…however, so is his health (physical and mental)…it is completely up to ME to make the judgement as to whether I feel he should be relieved.
30. Does anyone in your personal life know about your dynamic? Or have they noticed or said anything to either of you about his eagerness to help you and do things for you? I imagine they see your marriage/relationship in contrast to their own or what most vanilla relationships look like and wonder…?
a. No family members formally know. The kids (now grown and out on their own) might know, but never were exposed to anything that would confirm it for them. I have a couple of friends who know (and who have their own dynamics)…but I have a lot of friends who don’t know and who think I have the best husband in the world…and they’re right!
31. While he is doing chores or doing something to please you, what do you do? Are you often around doing something else? Watch TV, read a book?
a. Yup…I do relax. Sometimes I do things that I want to do (I’m big into something called “Pure Barre”, which is an exercise class to which I belong). It’s a treat for him if I interrupt him to do something menial for me while he’s doing his chores. He might be dusting the living room while I’m watching something on Netflix and I may call him in (interrupt his work) to hand me the glass of water that’s right in front of me, wait for me to take a sip, then have him put it back down, have him thank me, and then head back to continue his chores. He loves that kind of stuff…and so do I.
32. I’ve read you’re not into chastity cages, but I thought I’ve read where you’ve used them as fun or a gift to him…is that right? Do you see any benefit to the dom? I know self-control is expected…but is there a time where you recommend it? Or is it completely sub-centric?
a. I don’t dislike chastity cages. I think they’re fun toys. What I object to is the notion that they CREATE or IMPROVE submission. In my opinion, they’re far too sub-centric to be effective in encouraging actual submission. They can be excellent at creating acquiescence…or obedience…but neither of those are submission to me. So, they’re fun toys and tools for specific types of play. I see them the same way I see collars or handcuffs.
33. What does sub struggle with the most? How does he communicate that to you?
a. We talk a lot. We’re very open – particularly since the kids have been out of the house. He struggles with feelings of inadequacy when he can’t do something right. I have had a number of conversations where he has expressed depressed feelings when I’ve pointed out things he can do to improve his service. We get by those by readjusting his understanding of my comments to be a proactive and productive process to help him improve. That has worked well.
b. One of the couples in Uniquely Us, John and Liz, had a problem once where his task list had gotten too long for him to be able to handle. He had hundreds of items…and was drowning. Liz wanted to back off, but that made him get depressed. We ended up working together to help prune the list, reduce the frequency of adding to the list, and of helping him organize and group his tasks to ease his burden.
34. What keeps him motivated and encouraged? What keeps his battery charged and fully engaged to serving you? I believe, when your why gets bigger your how gets better…what is his “why” other than you.
a. The why has never been me. I’m not the reason he submits. I’m not making him submit to me. He makes him submit to me. He LOVES it. I LOVE it. He’s submitting for himself…submission is just defined by me. It’s called SELF-discipline…and it’s key to being an excellent submissive!
35. What is a day in the life of your sub look like?
a. I’ve written this before…it’s long. Let’s just cover the first couple of hours: He wakes up before me. In our bathroom, he’ll prep my things, clean my brush, put toothpaste on my toothbrush. He will sit on the toilet seat to pee so that it’s warmer for me when I get there (about 1/2 an hour later, usually). He then cleans the toilet from the night’s activity (we don’t flush it at night, as it wakes me up). In the winter, he turns on the towel warmer. Then he heads downstairs. He prepares coffee, breakfast, my lunch. He cleans the floors, empties the dishwasher, straightens up. He may go out and do grocery shopping or put gas in the family car. He sometimes prepares grilled chicken for lunches for the week. He will go through my emails and delete the spam. When he hears me stirring upstairs, he starts my breakfast (which we will have discussed before we go to sleep). He froths the milk for my coffee and everything is waiting when I come downstairs. We eat together. We talk. I do a lot of emails and stuff. He cleans up while I get ready to start my day. That’s kind of a typical morning.
36. Have you guys ever stopped the dynamic because of a disagreement or disgruntlement and later start back?
a. Nope. Never had a fight. Really.
37. What does a fight look like between you?
a. Never had a fight…REALLY. 33+ years of marriage and no fights. Honestly.
38. How do you two exit on and off the one way street to the two way street? On the one way street, it’s all about you and what you say goes. On the two way street, you two are equal. Is that hard to navigate back and forth? Does it take a awhile to transition back to the one way street? Is there a protocol to getting back onto the one way street? Are there exits and ramps to help the transition?
a. The streets are an analogy, not an actual tool. You use the streets to help resolve misunderstandings, position intent, and make sense of what already transpired. You don’t use them to make stuff happen.
39. Have you struggled through the dynamic? How?
a. No more than the regular family. Fear, isolation, restricted freedoms…everyone is in this together. Aside from worrying about my family, it’s been nice that the hubby and I were both working from home (before I retired at the end of the year! Nice!). We’ve been comfortable being together…if anything it’s made us even tighter. Now that we’re all vaccinated and able to socialize together again as a family, it’s a wonderful relief. It’s not over, but it definitely feels better! Mother’s day was spent with our grandson (our first) and my mother in-law…so she saw her great-grandson for the first time. Not a bad Mother’s Day!
Ms. Rika is a lifestyle dominant, educator, and author; living in the suburbs of NYC with her husband/slave. She has written several popular books on her approach to adding Dominant-Centric, Service-Oriented D/s to relationships. You can find her books (in both print and eBook formats) at Lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/msrika), or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iStore, Books-A Million, Kobo.com, or anywhere books are sold. Search for “Ms. Rika”. Write to me at Ms_Rika@hotmail.com