Disclaimer: This blog post is wading into a very complex and potentially controversial area so I want to start out by explaining that the views here are mine. I’m not suggesting that what I share is right or wrong – only that it is my opinion. If you have opinions on the matter you are more than welcome to share them in the comments section.
So – is it possible to have a D/s [Dominant/submissive] relationship separate to a primary/romantic relationship? In my opinion yes it is, but – as with many things in life – the answer is not black and white.
The requirement for the services of a professional Domme can come into play when one partner is unaware, unable or unwilling to meet the other partner’s submissive needs.
There is a lot to consider, but ultimately it comes down to personal ethics and considerations of what is/can be deemed acceptable. Those interpretations will vary depending on the individual. From a personal standpoint, as long as something is legal and consensual I make a point not to judge.
I see the D/s dynamic as a personal need – equivalent to friendship or romance. It can be intertwined with both (and more), but every need an individual has is not necessarily met by a single person (nor should it be). A D/s dynamic is unique, however, in that it can be either personal or professional and I think the distinction is important. By maintaining a professional D/s relationship you (should be) maintaining clear boundaries and expectations. You’re utilising a professional service to meet your needs.
An analogy would be that a romantic partner can offer a listening ear, but sometimes this isn’t enough and you require the services of a professional therapist. A Domme may not be a qualified therapist, but they are professionals (the good ones, anyway). In an ideal world the partner would be aware of the submissive’s needs and is okay with you using a professional to meet those needs. Often however, people aren’t comfortable sharing their submissive needs with their partners, and so the partners remain unaware. This can muddy the waters a little bit but again comes down to the individual’s ethics and what they consider to be acceptable behaviour.
I would be inclined to suggest that one of the benefits of using a professional Domme is just that – the fact that they are professionals. This ensures that boundaries are clear and maintained. I know I have had to gently suggest to certain clients that they perhaps take a break when they find themselves developing inappropriate feelings for me and risking the professional relationship we have developed.
The risk of certain clients failing to maintain and/or respect professional boundaries (even if not deliberately or intentionally) is a potential pitfall that must be considered and carefully navigated. Excellent communication, including in relation to expectations and boundaries is a necessitation from the outset and this must be mutually maintained (responsibility should not fall wholly on the professional or the client, in my opinion).
If clear boundaries and expectations can be communicated and maintained then there is definitely scope for a professional D/s dynamic to co-exist with a separate romantic relationship as the two are both accommodating very different needs. To reiterate what I mentioned earlier, friendships fulfill a different need to romantic relationships and although one would hope that you are also friends with your romantic partner, you can also be friends with others with zero romantic involvement.
I would caution you to give careful consideration to your options and potential outcomes. If you choose to pursue a D/s relationship separate to your primary romantic relationship there is a lot to consider. For example:
- Have you previously raised your D/s desires with your romantic partner?
- If you haven’t, consider why this is, and if you would be better placed communicating with your romantic partner in the first instance. If you are reluctant to, perhaps consider why. I’m not suggesting you have to discuss with your romantic partner but it may be a red flag in the communication area if you don’t feel this is something you can at least raise with them. Not suggesting it’s necessarily the case, but it’s something to consider.
- If you have raised the idea with your partner and they are not interested in adding a D/s dynamic to your relationship, have you discussed with them you seeking arrangements elsewhere? For some people, D/s has a sexual element whilst for others it is primarily a form of emotional release. If the former and you are in a monogamous relationship it’s worth considering your partners feelings about you seeking sexual satisfaction outside of your romantic relationship.
There is a lot to consider (I have only offered a selection of examples – the above is not intended to be comprehensive) and I am making zero judgements or setting expectations here. Merely offering potential things for you to mull over.
I want to reiterate that I have a lot of clients who are married/in relationships where the partner/spouse has no interest in D/s. Because of my emphasis on ethics and communication, I make a point of setting appropriate boundaries from the outset, reinforcing when necessary and as a result I am blessed with many wonderful clients who are able to navigate this situation with a good deal of clarity. As a result they are happier in their day to day life which often has positive knock-on effects on the rest of their relationships (romantic, work, friends, family, etc). So it is definitely possible to achieve a healthy dynamic.
I hope you’ve found this useful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.