Consent in D/s relationships is essential. When a couple first begins this type of relationship it begins with communication. Communicating their interests and desires, their likes and dislikes, what they are willing to try and what they are not; consent is formed through these discussions.
When MrH and I began this journey I asked him to consider ‘doing that’ to mes. The ‘that’ I referred to was a scene from Fifty Shades of Gray, in all honesty I forget which one, (see my posts How it began – part 1 and Asking the question.. (How it began – part 2)) but the point is in that moment I gave MrH consent to try it.
As we have a Dominant/submissive relationship where MrH is in charge and I do as I am told, (well most of the time haha), you may think that means MrH can do as he wishes, and in some ways he can. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t obtain consent throughout our play, in fact, he constantly checks that he has permission to continue and I can remove consent at any time by using my Safeword.
Some relationships have a total power exchange (sometimes referred to as a TPE) and, I’ve often heard the submissive say they are not able to safeword. This sounds as if the submissive has no control over what happens to them, but in reality the limits and rules have already been agreed, most often in a very formal way because of the nature of the dynamic. I still hope that if they became extremely unhappy in their role they have some way to communicate this.
Between MrH and I we regularly review what we are interested in trying and exploring together. We did this quite recently, and identified a few areas where our interests had changed direction. I highly recommend doing this if you haven’t as it is a brilliant way to open discussion.
What colour are you?
In the early days of our dynamic during play, especially during impact play, MrH would ask what colour was I. My reply could be one of 2; green, meaning I am happy to continue, yellow, meaning I am getting close to the limit and I would benefit from either a break or a change of pace. Red would not be an appropriate response to this. “What???” yes i can hear you screaming this… but hear me out.
Red means STOP NOW. This word doesn’t wait for a question, this is a word to be used when you absolutely need to STOP NOW. Does that make sense? I know you know it does, and so, if I waited for MrH to ask me if I was OK, I am not using the word correctly, because I must have been wanting to stop. It would be a very lucky coincidence if the Dominant knew precisely exactly when his or her submissive needed to stop play.. in fact there would be no need for such a safeword in this land of omniscience.
If I was gagged, or having my face fucked in a position that meant I couldn’t pull back if I needed to breathe (this has happened to us once during play) and we learned the hard way that non verbal safe cues need to be agreed. I have heard of a number of these, a ball to drop or a bell, tapping if you can touch your Dominant or a hard surface, it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you have a way to withdraw consent and your partner respects it.
Knowing your limits
MrH knows my limits pretty well and my limits are probably mostly a little higher than MrH’s which means I have very rarely used a safeword to withdraw consent. He usually stops play before I need or want to – an example of this would be in the recent spanking, where MrH stopped after 2, we had initially agreed to 5 and I had wanted 10. But impact play is only one area where consent in a D/s relationship can be withdrawn.
You lead I’ll follow
Part of our dynamic involves a power exchange, not a TPE, but still an exchange. Before we began our journey I was a controlling person, or should I say I tried to control everything. I felt powerless so often, at the mercy of others that I needed to have a handle on everything around me, and that included MrH. I made all the little daily decisions, what we would eat, what we spent money on and often what we watched on TV. When I had my breakdown I did give up some of that control, but I felt even more unsettled.
D/s allowed me to hand that control to MrH. D/s made me examine why I didn’t trust MrH to do things, why I questioned the decisions he did make, and early in our D/s I only halfheartedly handed that control to him. I still prompted him, expecting him to forget things. It wasn’t until I read a post he did for The Safewords Club at the urging of Submissy that I began to believe he was invested in this dynamic. From that point I gave him my complete consent and allowed him to truly take control and honestly the improvements to my mental heath have been phenomenal. Sometimes, I still fight for control- I shouldn’t but I do. In those moments when he puts his foot down, I could withdraw consent, use my safeword and end or suspend our D/s dynamic, but I can’t face that idea.
The improvement to our sex life, the amazing orgasms, the serenity I find in impact play, I wouldn’t want to loose that, and I believe they are intrinsically linked to our dynamic and that is why I give MrH my consent.
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