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. So here’s part 1, with part 2 to come!
1. How did your power dynamic with your primary sub (your husband) start? Who initiated it?
a. When we first met, we played a lot of stereotypical power games. B&D and some D&S. Basically, I did things to him and made him do things to me. I was already playing these kinds of games with other boyfriends and he had already done so with his girlfriends. It wasn’t until we were thinking about marriage – and the notion of this arrangement carrying on for the rest of our lives in a 24/7 context, that I changed the approach to be dominant-centric. I could not see living the sub-centric approach 24/7. I was (and still am) willing to play from time-to-time – and really enjoy blowing his fantasy circuits out of the water – but for a 24/7 dynamic (what both of us wanted), it had to be more “real”.
2. What did you or your sub think when the idea was first suggested? How did you introduce each other to the dynamic?
a. The playtime was natural…we were both playing games with prior partners. It was discussed early and we started playing almost right away. It was I who introduced the notion of the change to dominant-centricity. He had brought up full-time, 24/7 lifestyle dynamics – and I introduced him to the concept that I was OK with that – but on a different set of terms. He was completely free to not accept it – and we still would have played games from time to time – but we both were interested in a full-time dynamic…so it had to work for both of us…but it had to start with what worked for me.
3. Did it start as a full 24/7 D/s relationship, or did it evolve into that?
a. Once we decided we were going to get married, and decided to follow a dominant-centric approach, it was right away.
4. What did it feel like in the beginning? Did it feel fake? How did you make it real?
a. I believe this question is really the difference between sub-centric 24/7 and dominant centric 24/7. Playing games 24/7 is unrealistic. Trying to be someone you’re not 24/7 is awful, unfulfilling, and unsustainable. To make it last, it had to be real. It had to be real submission. It had to be about serving me for who I am. I was more than willing to allow him to submit to me, but he would have to submit to ME…who I am…without me having to pretend I’m some persona.
5. How often do you give your sub a gift?
a. He enjoys treats pretty often….and I enjoy giving them to him. I love to see him happy and fulfilled. He’s my husband and I love him. I am free to do so BECAUSE we both have an understanding that those treats are NOT submission. That frees me. One thing that I really enjoy – and is sort of a treat – is T&D. Because of that, he gets teased A LOT. He seldom goes a day without thinking he might get off…and he only gets off when I want him to – could be twice a day for a week or once every two weeks…he never knows. So, if that means that he gets a treat every day (the tease with or without the denial), then I’d say he gets it every day. For him, my feet are a real treat. So, I sometimes make him bow and kiss my feet – or lick the soles of my footwear clean (Saturday, I did some gardening in a pair of Wellies and had him lick the dirt off of them after they dried…he loved it. Honestly, it does nothing for me other than enjoying his enjoyment). That happens every few days, I guess. No schedules…I don’t like to be obligated or on a timeframe…ever.
6. Are there things he likes or wants that you do not?
a. Anal play is not really something I enjoy. Penetrating him, by the way. I have no problem with him worshiping my butt ��! I also won’t do needles…which is something he had wanted to try. I’m not really interested in drawing blood.
7. Has he given you a list of gifts that he likes or would like…or how do you know what he likes if he doesn’t?
a. The Task List exercise exposed a bunch of things that he enjoys. The things that fall into the “things that don’t turn me off, but are not something I consider to be submission to me” are all good material for treats.
b. We talk. We talk openly about this stuff…we have the framing of my methodology, which serves as a perfect context for our discussions. We both know the vernacular and we both can speak freely in a way that fits our dynamic.
8. Would that be inappropriate for him to make a list of gifts?
a. Only if I didn’t ask for it.
9. If there are gift that you know would really be special to him, but you’re not into it, do you ever bend and give him that gift?
a. Sure…as long as it’s not something that really squicks me, or crosses some line of appropriateness (which is unlikely from him)
10. How do you keep the wheels of the lifestyle aligned?
a. Not sure what you mean by this…we live the lifestyle…it’s always in play. It’s as aligned as our lives.
11. How does your sub keep your happiness and interests his top priority?
a. It’s something he wants to do. He’s not perfect though…he sometimes hits a funk, or gets a little selfish, or even acts up. On those occasions, the trick for me is to notice it and act right away – the action is a discussion: I remind him that submitting to me is something HE wants. I confirm that he still wants to. Then we focus on what he’s doing, how I’m feeling, and determine if there’s a causation between the two. He then makes the adjustment. This used to happen a lot in the beginning of the dynamic…but nowadays, hardly ever. I also take this opportunity to check myself: Am I neglecting our dynamic? Am I failing to recognize his efforts in an appropriate manner? If so, I make that correction.
12. Does your sub have a schedule of chores or tasks that he does every day?
a. Yes…as a result of the Routine Task List, he has over 100 tasks. There are about 40 of those that are done daily. They’re not all big things…so 40 isn’t really an extraordinary number.
13. Do you inspect all of his work?
a. No – that would be more work for me. But I’m careful to let him know that I recognize that he’s doing it…that I care that he does it well…and that I care that he does it to serve me. I never want him to feel alone in the dynamic. He’s doing a lot of things…every day…every minute of every day. He’s busy serving me. It would be easy to take that for granted…but it would be poison to do so. He needs to know I know he’s working hard for me. I want him to know that I appreciate his submission. I thank him for his submission regularly…not for the things he does, but for why he’s doing them.
14. How has your power dynamic evolved over the years? Does it look different today than it did at the beginning?
a. Definitely has changed. I’ve grown; he’s grown; the dynamic has grown. We discovered things that no longer work for us, we’ve removed them. We’ve learned new things about what does work for us, we’ve added those. Our discussions with others regarding the methodology – the process of writing the books – working with other couples – all of these things have the effect of growing the methodology and our dynamic. It has become more grounded in reality – and continues to become more and more woven into our lives.
15. Has your philosophy changed over the years?
a. Not since I developed the methodology. The methodology has stayed remarkably consistent through the years. The communication of the methodology has changed, quite a bit, based on how well others grasp it – but the basic concepts of dominant-centricity, treats / gifts, CERAF, have not.
16. What made you write your first book, Uniquely Rika?
a. Uniquely Rika was an attempt to describe the methodology that I had developed within my own relationships. I found myself on IRC and Compuserve, talking to many people about it – and started to compile my answers to questions. My message started to take shape and gain structure…so I decided to write it all down. Then I decided to publish it!
17. You said you’ve always been dominant in previous relationships. Has your sub husband always been submissive in previous relationships?
a. Yes. He has always played the submissive role in the games he played with prior partners and with me before the methodology.
18. You mentioned in your books, you don’t believe in punishment. Have you ever punished your sub? Not “funishment”…but actual punishment?
a. Yes. And I didn’t like it. I’m not my sub’s mother. In my early days, I’d give subs stair time, whippings, kneeling on rice, etc…I never saw real change. I saw fear…but no real behavioral change.
19. How do you keep the dynamic real and fresh so there are no ruts?
a. Who said there are no ruts? This is reality. There are ruts. You work though them. You talk. You sit down together and say, “you know, we haven’t been ourselves lately…what’s going on?” And then you work through it.
20. I’ve read in other books there is a difference between and sub and slave. Do you agree? Is your sub more slave or sub?
a. It’s all labels. Labels are meaningless. Some people see Master Slave as being a (mock) ownership and others see it as top/bottom. It doesn’t mean anything to me. I generally call my husband my “slave” and my other subs my “subs”…mostly because my husband can’t just walk away. He’s going to have to deal with me whether we have a power dynamic or not! ��
To be continued…
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