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 my articles in KinkWeekly!
This week, I’d like to address a question posed to me by a submissive. He was asking if I thought that cuckoldry had to be accepted by a submissive, if his dominant desired it. Most of us reading this know the answer is “No” – but the reason behind that “no” might have a different source for me than it does for others.
Other dominants he spoke to (and some submissives) discussed “Limits” and “Negotiation” and used those terms to provide a rationale for not having to allow oneself to be cuckolded. The idea was, if he didn’t consent to cuckoldry, the dominant had no right to do so.
I’m not going to argue that point at this time…suffice it to say that, for scene-based dynamics with people who may not know each other very well, limits and negotiations are critical practices and need to be respected. For long-termed, committed relationships on which power dynamics are layered, there are more natural protections between partners, because caring for each other’s wellbeing (both physically and mentally), a desire to protect each other, and mutual respect for each other and their needs will come into play before abuse sets in. So for me, in my relationships – and for this particular sub, who was married for 25 years before establishing a power dynamic, the latter was more appropriate and limits have less practical value.
For me, the reason my answer to his question was “no”, was more about cuckolding itself. Cuckoldry is a practice that violates the basic requirements of the type of relationship that mandates fidelity. In other words, cuckolding violates a core requirement of the underlying relationship of their marriage and really has little to do with dominance / submission.
Whether or not someone can handle their partner with another will depend on their tolerance for infidelity / openness within their relationship, not their level of obedience. Some people will be able to tolerate an open relationship, others will not. Some relationship types have “fidelity” as a requirement – others do not. For example, it would be hard to cuckold a client — or even a friend with no exclusivity — but unless the agreement is an open relationship, a marriage would form the foundation for cuckolding.
What I’m saying is that, for some relationship types, fidelity falls in the same category as other underling relationship attributes, such as: Trust, caring, honesty, respect, mutual fulfillment of need, open communications, etc. Relationships require these attributes to be healthy, with or without a power dynamic. In some relationships, exclusivity may be considered to be a requirement.
Yes, you could deprive a submissive any of these things as part of your power dynamic. But violate these enough, and the relationship itself may fail as a result of it. It’s not a factor of “how good a submissive they are” or “how obedient they are”, it’s a factor of their NEED when in a relationship and whether they can tolerate maintaining a relationship without these things (with or without a power dynamic). That’s going to be an individual measure and a measure independent of the power dynamic.
In the case of forcing a sub to accept cuckolding, the outcome will be determined by the sub’s tolerance for cuckolding. It won’t be about whether he’s a dedicated submissive. He might try to accept it and make the dominant happy – with the intent of serving her – but ultimately, he will face his capacity for accepting this from the perspective of the underlying relationship. Not the power dynamic. Another way to view this, if a partner doesn’t have an issue with their spouse being with other people, it’s awfully hard to cuckold them! Cuckold, in many ways, implies a lack of consent / knowledge.
For dominants, you need to be aware of the potential risks of violating underlying relationship requirements. When using a power dynamic to stress these underlying requirements – you need to understand that the sub’s outward reaction isn’t always what’s really going on. Sometimes, a sub’s desire to be misused or maltreated will motivate them to accept a violation of their underlying requirements, even though it wounds them. Their desire to be “out of control” may encourage them to hide that wound – or accept it as a consequence of their submission. That can work for a while, but over time, this wound can deepen and eventually undermine the entire relationship – and by the time you see it, it may be too late to recover. There is a threshold that is created and when you cross that threshold, the titillation of playfully-abusive practice is recognized as actual abuse. At that point, the relationship is in jeopardy.
To avoid this, the dominant needs to be aware when they’re playing with relationship requirements – and that the potential for wounding their submissive is strong. We need to be extra vigilant and observant – and give the submissive repeated opportunity to “check in” and speak freely. We need to anticipate and seek out negative consequences. We must consider to choose to avoid those practices for the good of the relationship.
You don’t know your limits until you exceed them – the trick is to do so in a safe way that allows you to come back across the line intact. Having a power dynamic is no excuse to abuse underlying relationship requirements. Keep them in mind, respect them, and be open about them.
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