I think a D/s relationship, especially a 24/7 D/s relationship requires an unusually high level of trust. Higher then most relationships, higher then a standard vanilla relationship. It also fosters and grows a heightened level of trust, making the need and feeding of trust cyclic. I think a great deal of that trust building comes from the time, energy and focus you put into the rituals and routines required of a D/s relationship. Maybe if you did that in your vanilla relationship it would grow in the same way, but I’m not sure that’s fully possible.
In our 20+ years I have been cognizant of the deepening of our relationship as time went on. Part of that is trust. It naturally builds and expands with time. When we entered into 24/7 D/s There was a significant and sharp upturn. An immediate focus, a reawakening. There were things we suddenly had to pay attention to that we never did before.
We had a great relationship, don’t get me wrong. People who know us have many times commented on how our relationship and marriage was their model, and have come to us for advice. We thought, I thought, our trust for each other was a deep as it could possibly be. I’ve learned better since then. I’ve learned a new meaning for trust.
I’ve also learned that to trust him, I have to also trust myself.
One of the things I had to change was the things I talked about. I couldn’t hold back, not even a little bit. to fully submit to him, I had to tell him everything. Including the tiny details I would usually keep to myself. The nagging feelings, the internal dialog, little joys and stresses. All the things I use to just deal with, I couldn’t anymore. I knew he could command something of me that could possibly collide with those things. For me to hold back, even on a small thing, was limiting his decision making ability, and was wrong. Suddenly I became an open book.
That was when I realized how much I held back, even how much I doubted myself.
There were times I really didn’t feel like talking. I didn’t want to tell him the little things, my fears, certain aspects of my physical body. But, I knew it would be wrong. All I could do was plow though, and I did. I quickly realized how much I had doubted myself before. Even doubted his ability to handle my situations. (Which I have many times over been reaffirmed that he can deal with, often times better then me.)
Slip ups happen. It is easy to make a mistake in a relationship. This goes for everyone – Dom, Sub, Master, minnie, slave. No one is above their own ability to fuck up a situation. The important thing is that it gets acknowledged.
In a blog post on a forum (that will go unnamed) I read a situation where the Dom in a 24/7 D/s couple had broke his sub/wife’s trust. In this post, both the Dom and the sub had commented on the situation. Without going into all the gory details, the sub was punished for her part in the fight, and asked the Dom “If you hold me responsible for my mistakes, then who holds you responsible?”
I thought it was a pretty fair question, and as I read this at the beginning (maybe before) of our D/s, when I was still in the research phase, I was very interested in hearing the answer. However, it really pissed me the fuck off.
His response was their trust. He messed up, and then broke their trust, so now he had to rebuild their trust, and that was his punishment. What this really means is that the sub has to pay twice. She (as it was a she in their case) now has to withhold her trust of him, waiting for him to earn it back, or in some other way repent to acknowledge that he fucked up.
WHAT A CROCK! I have never heard such a horrible response. What this really means is that the sub pays twice – it is 100% the sub who pays when trust is broken. Not the dom. The sub is the one that has to get over it, and decide to trust the Dom again, even though the Dom broke that trust. The Dom, in turn, gets to feel productive in ‘earning’ that trust back. Which would only be satisfying for them, while the sub has to walk on egg shells, unable to relax and feel safe under their power.
For us, a breaking of the rules or of trust is rectified with punishment. (No, I do not ‘punish’ my Master. Let’s not get silly here. Instead, he buys me pretty things! 🙂 ) We do not do punishment in a strict sense. It does not feel belittling. Sometimes it is actually funishment, which works to reestablish the power exchange when that is needed. Mostly it is a way to acknowledge that something was done wrong and needs to be rectified. It, in fact, builds or reestablishes the trust between us.