One of the hottest things about being a top in a D/s dynamic is the moulding, shaping and training of another person in line with your will. Some young tops might come to a D/s relationship with an idea already in place of a perfect sub, a delicate pet who will never answer back, a slut who shall live to satisfy, or perhaps a submissive maid to follow all orders without hesitation. The young top has created an idea of what they think they want. This idea is more often informed by a diet of fantasy than the reality of each person being a fully formed individual with needs and wants of their own.
We need to approach prospective partners with an open mind. We need to see them for who they are as well as who they could be, not what we want to pretend they are or could be.
You have to be honest with yourself about what you need in a submissive partner. That self exploration of need has to take place before you start expecting anyone to live up to what you have imagined. We must know the difference between what we need from a partner, what we want in a relationship and what is pure fantasy. Need is that which we must have to be satisfied in a relationship, want is that which makes a relationship fun and fantasy are those things that we can indulge in at times.
The art and philosophy of Bonsai
In a D/s relationship we don’t have to find a 100% perfect fit (in fact I don’t think you could find that in any relationship), because we have the option of training a person. However, there is only so far out of someone’s normal course that you can take a person without risking breaking them. Think of it like shaping a branch on a bonsai tree, the bend must happen slowly along its length, wired into place and then allowed to grow into the shape. Trying to twist a branch 120 degrees at the trunk will only damage the branch, and maybe even cause it to snap. Patience is a must! Find a person who is at least parallel enough to your desires that you can tend them, grow them into your shape and know that it is a shape they will enjoy. If someone’s desire is to be in a DLG relationship, but you want someone who will be kept like a pet then you have a sharp divergence at the very beginning of the relationship. Perhaps over time the two of you will be able to grow together, but it is going to take a lot of time, communication and trust.
Once a D/s relationship has begun to grow we have to tend it, to help it take the shape we have planned for it. The thing to always remember is that the two of you are on the same team. The top might be setting the destination and driving the car, but you are both on the journey and want to get to the destination together.
Trust is about more than just your submissive partner trusting you to have their best interests at heart. It is the trust that you will keep your word, that they will receive the reward or punishment you say. That you won’t forget their limit, or fantasy. Sometimes it is the trust that the top is doing something because they genuinely enjoy it. There is no need to ask me if it was good for me, I wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t.
Pen to paper
There is a great deal of information to remember, and a great deal of value in the small things, especially at the beginning of a relationship. One of my top tips is to keep notes. I still do to this day, I call it my dossier. Often it will start with a yes/no/maybe list, followed by a record of any comments or experiences I believe might be of value. No one has a perfect memory so write things down, review them later. Do not be afraid of asking direct questions, ask them about their fantasies. Things they have always wanted to do but have never done. What you are looking for here is commonality of interest. Do they look for the release of not being responsible, do they have guilt over their desires and want to be forced to do something they will enjoy? All of this information will build up into an invaluable record for you.
My partner knows that I keep a written record, she finds it both comforting and concerning. Comforting because it is such a clear indication of the care I take and the seriousness with which I treat the growth of our relationship. Concerning because she knows I won’t ever forget anything, good or bad.
Don’t say it, do it!
If you say you will do something, as a reward, or consequence, they must believe it and you must mean it. If you fail to follow through then you are simply proving that you are a fantasist. Your threats cannot be believed, your promises are undelivered, everything you say is called into doubt.
In the early stages it is extremely important that you prove that you mean what you say. Make sure to carry through on threats as much as you will fulfil fantasies that they never thought they would have fulfilled. If you threaten to pull over and make them walk home then be prepared to do it.
The difference between punishment and play must be clear at all times. Punishments are very straight forward 100 blows for any infraction that I judge worthy of a punishment. She must also recognise and accept the punishment and the reason for it.
If you are playing then make sure they know it is because you are enjoying it. I will often remind my partner that I am hitting her because I enjoy it, she isn’t bad and she doesn’t deserve it. I can own my sadism, I don’t need to pretend it is my partner’s responsibility.
If you are declaring that you can provide the solid foundation for someone else to build upon then you must be that solid foundation, in all ways. We must know ourselves and be entirely true in our will. Any doubts in our mind, or theirs, will echo over and over.
We have ways of making you talk
Communication, communication and more communication. The Top must create the safe space for communication, but in return the bottom must be communicative. We are willing to take on all the responsibility for their care and development but we need as accurate information as possible from them in return. In a D/s dynamic we are both vulnerable in deeply personal ways. We ask our partners to trust us, and we must trust them in return.
We need them to tell us they like something, to be brave enough to admit a desire or dislike. All we need is that pure data once, and after that we can be the brute who forces them, the pervert who makes them bow to our desires. That is why we must trust them, to tell us the truth so we can take the power from them safely.
Her obligation is to me, and only in exceptional circumstances to others. I do not wish to degrade that which attracted me to her in the first place. I would never want to break someone. Build them, grow them, shape them, yes, but break them, degrade them, hurt them, no.
I find it deeply erotic to have control over another person but that means I want someone who gives up that control to me, reveals their darkest fantasies, shares their vulnerabilities. I want her wild and full of confidence, but with the click of my fingers I want her to obey. I want an obedient pet, not a broken victim.
Nikki Lazan says
Growing. Human Bonsai is a perfect analogy of what is happening in a D/s relationship. The sub (myself) wants to please her Dom with all that I have but I don’t want to be abused, debased,
Treated like an object without my needs being of high concern. Being a sub requires A LOT of trust. We want to knew we are going to be cared foe while our limits are pushed. We tend to be women who need a high hand in certain situations (for me, when I overthink and go down rabbit holes that my Dom knows and has lovingly told me are not healthy so now, there are consequences if I repeat that behavior) The Dom MUST follow through. Otherwise,
It’s an eyeroll of “sure your gonna yadda yadda yadda”. (And an eye roll better elicit a punishment!)
This was well written. And I also strongly believe in the dossier. Written things down memorializes them. They are now a thing not a thought! It is great reference! And, shows a timeline of progressions, setbacks and the journey! How wonderful!
Thank you for this piece. And, as always, enjoy your kink safe, sane and consensual. Now go do naughty things to each other or for each other! Namaste
Why does the girl in “The Fifth Element” come to my mind?
such a cool picture!