Rika’s Lair-Keeping Your Dynamic Under Wraps

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 often get asked if there are techniques that can be used to keep an active dynamic hidden from prying eyes: Kids, families, friends, etc. The secret (and it’s really no secret) is to recognize that D/s dynamics are between the ears of those involved…and for those not in the know, they can easily be left without any indication of what’s really going on. What you say and how you act are subject to interpretation on the part of the recipient – and therefore have different meanings for your knowing partner than for an unknowing “outsider”. 

In our 33 years together, my husband and I have had plenty of experience with this. Our two children – who both left the house when they were close to 24 years old – to this day have no idea the extent of our dynamic. We’ve had our share of live-in guests (for months at a time) as well as neighbors who’ve dropped by unexpectedly, family get togethers, parties, holidays, etc. The dynamic does not need to take a hiatus, or even a back seat, during these times. It just takes a little planning and up-front communications. 

Here are some ideas I recommend: 

  1. The basics: The submissive commits to being a doting, dedicated, responsive partner – without  the dominant needing to manipulate them. The sub pays attention to the dominant and disciplines them self to remain focused on the dominant’s needs, without being all outwardly slavish. This is good practice, even without the need to keep things under wraps – and it’s what I’ve been conveying in this column for months! 2. If the dominant asks for something to be done, the sub does it as if it’s an order. The sub maintains focus on the dominant, which gives the opportunity for the sub to proactively recommend things that they can do for the dominant – who then only needs to politely accept or decline them. The sub can offer a massage rather than being told to do one. Offer to cook dinner – and then just clean up after, without any words. Keep the house clean as if they actually want to see it clean! If the sub sees the dominant dealing with something, they offer to help. Proactive suggestions make it easy for the dominant to simply ALLOW service to happen without raising suspicion around them. The sub simply appears to be a caring, selfless partner – the envy of those around them! 3. Establish an inconspicuous hand signal, gesture, or phrase for the dominant that says, “This is not an order…I really want your input” – This will make doing suggestion #2 (interpreting every request as an order) more realistic. Using this signal, if the dominant asks, “Do you want to go to the movies?”, the sub knows that the real question is “what do you really want?” and would answer truthfully. Whereas, if no signal is given, the question, “Do you want to go to the movies” means “We’re going to the movies”- and a more correct answer might be, “Yes! Do you have a film you want to see, or do you want me to pick one that we might like?” (which, of course, really means, “YOU would like”). 4. Establish another pair of hand signals, gestures, or phrases that say either, “Good sub… You’re doing a great job of serving me!” – AND – “Hey…you aren’t living up to your end of this agreement…snap to it!” This gives the dominant a way of providing feedback on how the arrangement is going at the time, letting the sub know that the dominant is active and involved with the dynamic, and also giving the dominant a way of letting the sub know that they recognize their efforts and also inform them if they’re missing something that they could be doing. 5. If BDSM activities are part of the dynamic, some activities will have to be curtailed. You’ll need to forego impact play and anything that generates loud sounds, moans or screams. However, you can certainly use bondage, clamps, clothespins, icy hot, anal toys, T&D, chastity, gags, etc. There are PLENTY of things that can be done that don’t generate anything but hard breathing or a low moan! Orgasm control is always a good quiet, private practice…If the dominant chooses to, the sub might go as long as the two months that the sub’s brother is living in the house, without ever getting more than REALLY CLOSE to an orgasm! Of course, the sub would have to keep the begging under control…no matter how desperate they become (poor baby!)!

These are all things that don’t “show” to the outside world. The dynamic is between the two partners and does not need to extend outside of their mutual understanding. There is a bit of maturity and self- discipline required to make it work – but that’s actually really good practice for when guests aren’t around and you just want your dynamic to extend into your lifestyle. 

Hope these ideas help. Have fun! 


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”.


  1. mistressmoon says:

    love this column

  2. croppedcutie says:


  3. Ms. Ironmaiden says:

    Thank you for this very pertinent and timely article. I really appreciate and value your perspective.

  4. I love it! Very practical advice. Thank you

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