I have covered marking in a previous Kink Weekly article. But it is one thing to discuss marking from a technical point of view; it is quite another to examine it from a relationship or emotional perspective.
Recently, I was asked the following question that is a real life concern and not simply a technical question:
“I have a submissive who loves to get marked. Lately, as I have fallen in love with her, I don’t like marking her anymore. Is this unusual or is this a common phenomenon?”
In some form or another, this is a popular dilemma; here is my attempt to answer this Domme’s question.
The only thing that never changes is that things change. It is part of the human condition. Thus, one should not be surprised at the fact that perceptions change, especially after falling in love with someone. As to this specific dilemma, let me state forthrightly that it is a common one. It has an analogous first cousin in the vanilla world, where the husband (or wife) complains that after marriage the spouse has changed for the worse. Thus a version of this happens in every lifestyle.
When you first played, I am sure you did not have many other considerations other than the play itself. There were few other considerations. Now here is the key. As you played more and more, even before the day that you actually admitted that you were in love, your play changed. It was never a constant. For example, you probably tried to improve your technique as you learned the way your sub reacted to different approaches. You might have gradually been marking her less and less over time and not even noticed it. Or, you might have not truly liked marking her from day one but just did it because, as you stated, “She loves to get marked.” There are any number of possibilities. Nevertheless, you probably did not notice the changes. More than likely, you were gradually marking her less and less over time.
In our lifestyle, what you are probably experiencing is what I call the “precious property syndrome.” Now that you are in love with your slave, you are even more protective and might not want to damage your “precious property.” This is a common pattern. Remember, there is the tendency to push limits over time. Unconsciously, you might be afraid that you will mark her more and more, so you have pulled the plug on the whole process. There is nothing wrong with this. You are not required to do anything in BDSM. There is no prerequisite that you mark your slave. If you don’t like doing it anymore, so be it. But be aware there might be consequences.
The most important component of any relationship, as we have stressed ad nausea, is communication. Master/Mistress as mind reader rarely works. Better to tolerate a little “topping from the bottom” than to fly blind. So, you must discuss this with your submissive. Obviously, she would have noticed that you were playing sans marking. So, ignoring it and keeping this concern to yourself is no solution at all.
What you must do whenever there is a radical change in your play is to discuss it with your partner. The key is less about you than about her. Learn how she feels about your new approach. If she doesn’t care one way or the other, then what’s the big deal? Or, you might find she only accepted your mark-intensive play style was to please you (as many subs do), then you won’t be losing anything. Thus, you can stop marking for now. Maybe, some day you will feel the need to resume it. Either way, there is no problem. (BaadMaster solves the problem by declaring there is no problem!)
On the other hand, if your sub really craves being marked, you might be facing a dilemma. There is an expression that you have to “dance with the girl that you brung to the dance.” In most cases, I have found that the most successful D/s couples are those that don’t turn their back on their roots. If they played heavy when they met, it is best not to neglect heavy play after they “couple up.” Thus, I would advise that you attempt to play with a light marking that won’t damage your “precious property,” but will give her the thrills she loved when you first played!
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.