8/05/2011

Regaining Trust

A theme I read a lot on BDSM blogs is about regaining trust. Often, the slave has done something that has lost her (or his!) Master's trust, but I hear about the other way around, too. Sometimes the relationship will end, or keep going without the BDSM element, which is heartbreaking to both people. Sometimes the slave is in danger of losing her collar.

I think the reason breaking trust is such a big deal is trust is so crucial to this lifestyle. It has to be "safe, sane, and consensual." There has to be trust. Research shows BDSM can lead to heightened feelings of intimacy, so emotions and deep vulnerabilities come to the surface. It can be heartbreaking and devastating to have those hurt or damaged. In worst-case scenarios, people's health and lives may be at stake, especially with edge play like breath control.

But the truth is, real Doms and subs are human. We are going to fail. We are going to hurt each other.

When my Dom and I started our long, arduous journey into TTWD (thanks to the internet I discovered it had a name and a whole community attached!), I had visions of fairies and sugarplums dancing in my head. Not really, but I might as well have. I envisioned that, with a lot of work and mistakes of course, we would eventually reach a place where we existed in perfect tune with each other. He would always dominate me exactly the way I wanted him to, and I would live in subspace all the time. He would notice tiny transgressions immediately and punish me severely, and I would always return to him. He would train me into a submissive, respectful version of myself, and I would get his coffee in the mornings and give him oral sex whenever he wanted it. Of course, I would always like said oral sex and he would feel emotionally satisfied. In public, a mere look or raise of the eyebrow would send me into a meek and docile headspace. No one would know, but he would rule me completely.

Of course, the reality is far from that. Like many women, I struggle with submission. Sometimes I really want to. Others I don't! I feel stubborn or angry. I resent that it's "not fair." I plant my feet, grit my teeth, my eyes flash, and I dig my feet into the ground.

Sometimes, of course, he can't notice all my transgressions because he doesn't live in my head. Because what I hadn't considered as a newbie sub, you see, is that some of my transgressions are mental. Maybe I have a bad attitude. Maybe I'm sulking, so subtly and sneakily that he doesn't notice. Maybe I do what he says outwardly but I'm resentful and steaming inside because he didn't dominate me earlier in the day when I thought I needed it. Maybe I think I'm testing him and being bratty, but he thinks I'm being playful and teasing. He likes it when we tease and play, so without knowing the motive, he doesn't know to punish me.

Sometimes my Dom isn't perfect. Sometimes he gets tired of ordering people around at work and just feels too tired to come home and order someone around at home. Sometimes he forgets what he's told me to do, so he can't check up on me and make sure I've done it later.

In all these cases, for a myriad of reasons and a variety of times, trust is broken. I break his. He breaks mine.

We are not perfect creatures, after all.

Luckily, there is this thing called forgiveness. Regaining of trust. Rebuilding. It can be hard and it can be slow. For me, it is often very painful (I'm not naturally a person whose feelings bounce back after being hurt). Sometimes I think forgiveness is impossible. I want to give up. Sometimes I try.

Recently, I suggested we "take a break" from D/s for a while. "Not from our marriage!" I insisted. "Just from BDSM." (In my head, I was thinking, "'Take a break?' What are we, in high school?" But maybe he would fall for it...)

There was a brief pause.

"No."

Insert pout here. "Why?" I whined.

"Because we'll lose all the ground we've made."

Hmph. He was right. So, no break for us. That's okay. In my head, I could see that losing all the ground we've worked for would be bad. We'd have to spend weeks and months re-covering the same ground we'd worked so hard to gain.

If you are new to a BDSM relationship, it can be easy to fall into the mistake I made: envisioning years of perfect relationship bliss, an endless dance of dominance and submission where all your needs and wants get met. (For a humorous look at this, read A Look at Reality vs. Dreams.) Luckily, I'm with a man who doesn't give up easily, in a relationship I can't get out of (*cough* marriage *cough*). And I'm tenacious. So we have worked out, over the months and years, that sometimes D/s is hard and sometimes it is wonderfully, blissfully easy. Why do we do it? Because we think it is worth the work to reap the benefits to our relationship in terms of intimacy, emotional fulfillment, and our sex life.

Physical wounds heal quickly. Emotional ones are slower and more painful. Yet trust can always be regained.

1 comment:

Kitty said...

It's called real life and real life doesn't always fall into neat little packages.

I wouldn't want to ever go back, either, but boy can I relate to the "it's not fair". My biggest problem with submission is giving up control. I trust Daddy(my husband/Master)...it's not that, but I like to make all of my own decisions and at times I am a rebel and then I end up apologizing...again.