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!
Each week, I get a number of emails from couples who are struggling with issues regarding their power dynamics. I’ve noticed that often, they are looking for insights or tips to manage conflicts stemming from communication gaps and differences in intent between partners.
One of the commonly raised issues is a feeling that one partner is not as actively involved in the power dynamic as the other – leaving one feeling alone in their commitment. The suspicion that the dynamic only exists their mind is a lonely and unsettling feeling.
By far, the major causes of this feeling are the realities of daily life. Pressures of family, jobs, time, etc. weigh on our minds and we can easily get distracted from the interaction with our partners. This is not a D/s phenomenon; it exists in many aspects of relationships – but when it seems that one partner has forgotten the dynamic in times of stress or high-activity, it leaves the impression that they don’t value the dynamic. This is usually not true, but the feeling is very real, nevertheless. When faced with this situation, many subs withdraw, become sullen, or act up in rather non-submissive ways in an attempt to gain the dominant’s involvement.
To overcome this fear, it’s important to periodically redeclare our involvement in the power dynamic – To touch base with each other, communicating that we’re still active and involved – even when other pressures are distracting us.
For submissives, the act of declaration is a bit easier. Subs reaffirm their commitment with their every dominant-centric action. The dedication they show in foregoing sub-centric focus for the fulfillment of the dominant, communicates their involvement. For the dominant, particularly in a dominant-centric dynamic, redeclaration can be a bit trickier, because you have to be careful to avoid the possibility that your affirmation will be interpreted in a sub-centric context or force them to act against their natural flow.
There are varied ways for the dominant to safely redeclare their involvement. I’ve covered many of these in my previous articles here in Kink Weekly, and also in my books: The use of CERAF (Communication, Expectation, Recognition, Assessment, and Feedback) sends a clear message of active participation. “Simple Gifts” – small, gestures that highlight the imbalance of the power dynamic are a great affirmation tool in the dominant’s arsenal. Capricious denial demonstrates recognized control and power imbalance. Using tools like these, the dominant can communicate their connection to the dynamic in a way that’s unmistakable, while avoiding any undue demands on themselves.
Redeclaration can be formalized. Sean and Dave, a couple featured in my second book, “Uniquely Us”, took an idea that I had used with my husband, many years ago, and added an interesting technique for redeclaring their dynamic. As I did, Sean gave Dave a two-stranded braided leather band to wear on his right wrist. It became his “clandestine collar”. To the outsider looking in, it’s just a bracelet, but to Sean and Dave (and my husband and I), it represents the two of them, intertwined in their dynamic. The twist that Sean and Dave added, was a standing rule that, whenever they would come together after being
apart for more than an hour, Dave would kiss the bracelet and say the words, “Thank you”. It’s a very doable routine. The bracelet is on his own wrist. It can be done in public or private, and it’s up to Dave (the sub) to make sure the routine is carried out. In doing so, it redeclares his love and commitment to their dynamic. In watching and acknowledging, Sean reaffirms and allows Dave to feel his presence. Simple. Effective.
Whether or not you choose a formal manifestation of your affirmation, the advice here is to remain aware of how often you redeclare your commitment to your power dynamic. Never let you partner feel alone. It’s a bit like a kiss before bedtime, every night.
Redeclaring your connection and letting your partner know that you’re active and involved in the commitment you share, contributes tremendously to the long-termed success of your dynamic. Do it!
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”. Contact her at Ms_Rika@hotmail.com