Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Dangers of Dom/Sub Gravity

There is a phenomenon of compelling—or irresistible—but groundless attraction that may occur between a dom & sub early-on in their interactions. I call this D/s Gravity. It must be resisted, as it will probably pull one or both of you into a crash landing in unknown terrain.

A dom friend of mine once described one of his first D/s relationships: After meeting, he and this sub fell promptly into master and slave roles, and disappeared into her apartment in Manhattan, sustaining their kinky dynamic around the clock. After a few weeks (neither had a 9-5 job) they somehow surfaced back to their respective vanilla modes, and promptly discovered that they had nothing in common! There the relationship ended, as abruptly as it began.

Just because you have kinky click with someone doesn't mean they're a match for you in any other way. And you absolutely need general chemistry and compatibility to sustain a relationship. It's therefore essential that you verify these before you get kinky with a stranger! OK, that seems obvious reading it here, but it won't be when you meet some attractive devil who proposes to sink his pearly-white teeth into you, or the other way round.

D/s Gravity can emerge before the pair meet face-to-face, by phone or even instant-messaging. (It may, of course, evaporate in the first meeting if real-life chemistry is missing.) Gravity is a risk for both newbies and experienced folks alike; the more hunger you feel for the rich texture of a D/s romance, of giving/taking control, the more susceptible you are to a Gravity event. On the sub's part, falling into psychological subspace (see Subspace article) makes Gravity more intense, for both parties. It may seem to her as if this particular dom is inducing her altered state, when in fact he's merely a catalyst for a process native to her own mind. It may seem to him as if she's inspired to submit by his mere presence, and he may respond to that apparent wish that he take control.

Many players, who wish to take without giving but hide their intentions, will claim dominance and take advantage of D/s Gravity to have their way with a sub, then quickly move on to the next girl. Players are more readily encountered than sincere romantic gentlemen. A bit of healthy, initial skepticism will help a sub recognize when she's being played.

You should avoid or at least resist Gravity events. Firstly, don't play D/s games by phone or text before you meet in-person. A bit of flirting is fine and fun, but giving/taking orders is inappropriate. After meeting, if you're inclined to build a lasting relationship, start off doing activities that you're both into, outside the bedroom. I like to get familiar with a girl by going out dancing. Partner dance affords opportunities for small D/s gestures — how I lead, how I touch her — without providing a setting for serious control or kink.

A responsible dom will realize that Gravity is a risk, and deliberately guide discussion and interaction towards establishing vanilla chemistry and compatibility. He may flirt in kinky terms, but he won't pull the girl into fantasies. He will guide her out of subspace if she falls into it. A responsible single sub realizes her first duty is to herself and her future "owner", and not some intriguing but largely unknown gent who labels himself dominant. She should never take orders or requests from some dude just "because I'm the dom and you're the sub". The formal term for such claims is "B.S."

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22 Comments:

At March 14, 2014 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. Reading this, I realized only after the fact that I lived this. I'd crushed on someone I'd met in real life, and it came up in texting before we got physical that he thought of himself as Dominant. I thought I'd hit the romance/kink jackpot because I'd found this handsome man who ALSO was into the same stuff as me. Many phone and text fantasies later we got together. I remember lamenting the fact that the D/s aspect coloured everything before the relationship got to take hold of its own accord. I wished at the time it was something we'd found out about each other later. It truly was ink in the water though, and the real fallout from the gravity event was being blindsighted to the many many things that meant it would never have worked long term between us, kink or not. In retrospect he used the term "perfect" far too often for anything to ever work out - and of course nothing is perfect. Nothing happens effortlessly. A D/s relationship appears to take about twice as much work as a regular one. Feeling things fall into place too fast in the future will serve as a reminder that gravity is probably in effect. Sigh. Maybe it would be easier if sane respectful gentlemen who love to dominate were the norm and not the exception.

 
At June 20, 2014 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!! This is truly the first thing that came to mind as I read the article and then your responds! I am new to this lifestyle and only realized how much I have craved many things over the years and I am not weird for it! Yet it wasn't until I met (electronically only) my first Dom that I knew how much I want and need to submit. BUT... I feel very stupid as I have fallen into this very situation. He has taken complete control, or I should say I have given it to him
:( HOWEVER... I am very fortunate to have read this article and your comment which may have saved me from many things. Thank you both for writing this.

 
At June 26, 2014 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Will.
I find your blog most enlightening after many fruitless hours search for information on this topic.
Im curious about the reference to 'players' though.
I have found over many more years than I care to divulge that im incapable of love. My relationships are all short term and the reasons for this are explained to my partners at the begining so they have the opportunity to take or leave as they see fit before any physical activity takes place. Many of my sexual partners have leveled the same accusations at me when ive thought the interaction has run its course and ended them. My only thought was they werent being honest with themselves or mistakenly believed they could change who I was but wondered if you would put me in that group, given what ive said?

Apologies for any typos/grammar errors as im on my phone

 
At June 28, 2014 2:49 PM, Blogger Will said...

A player is, by definition, someone who avoids divulging his intentions and/or circumstances, so as to receive what he seeks (e.g. sex) without giving what the other party hopes for (e.g. ongoing romance). Some players assert that their targets crave casual sex just as much as they do, but are barred from admitting it by social norms, so the player's game is just a workaround for the target's predicament. I'm not convinced by that argument myself...

In your case, you state that you explain your needs and limitations "to my partners at the beginning so they have the opportunity to take or leave as they see fit..." That is not playing a game, as far as I can tell. However, are you also asking what your prospects need and expect from a sexual partner? If you hear a wish-list from them which you mostly can't fulfill, is it wise to accept their horizontal companionship?

 
At July 01, 2014 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply Will
Just to quote you.......'Those doms who are not seeking a relationship (aka players)'

You seemed to be asserting that by default anyone not seeking a permanent/long term arrangement is a player?
Personally, if im arranging anything online its the first topic of conversation. My time is to precious to waste on someone not interested in the kind of relationship I want and its much to easy a subject not to broach immediately. 
In real world dating, is the first question I ask a woman 'are you only looking for short term sex or a long term relationship'.......hell no! I try and determine any chemistry and if anything comes of it I ask over breakfast (BTW.....I have a few items of kink scattered around my flat designed to induce some curiosity which ive found much more effective at finding out any interest in that direction at the same time)
If she has different life goals its a peck on the cheek and stay in touch if you like approach. Hope that clarifies?

 
At July 03, 2014 12:08 PM, Blogger Will said...

Thanks for pointing that out; I've changed the wording of the paragraph about players.

If you haven't yet, you might try seeking an ongoing, non-exclusive play partner, as the better you get to know someone, the kinkier you can get with them :-)

 
At July 04, 2014 3:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appreciate the reply Will and the advice. I was basically arguing over the semantics and understood your desire from the article to warn folk off of selfish people only interested in their own fun without consideration of anyone elses but as I'm prone to myself occasionaly, its easy to over generalise a very complex issue. Perhaps if it would be ok I could email you privately with some questions soon as ive encountered a few issues not currently covered by your blog...... the chance to pick someones brains who has such an intelligent way of answering such issues would be appreciated?

Marc

 
At July 04, 2014 4:05 PM, Blogger Will said...

By all means. My email address is in the right margin box.

 
At July 04, 2014 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read this I feel like you were basically saying," Don't fall head over heels." I think a lot of relationship fall apart because of that, because people don't do their research.

I think... (correct me if I'm wrong) that there's a lot of people out there that wish that to happen and fall in love (One night stand) and everything works out but that's sadly very Hollywood.

 
At August 03, 2014 12:50 AM, Blogger Paula MrsWembley said...

4 years of a relationship with a Dom, I had to end it, it was crushing everything I am. But I feel empty. Again. I started out empty and he seemed to fill me with life and so much good stuff. I moved country. Now, I have no friends, no identity, no confidence, no desire, no sex-drive. Nothing. I don't know what to do.

 
At October 01, 2014 6:03 PM, Blogger Will said...

Paula, apologies for the slow reply... Know that time heals, and that early-on, you have to take your life one day at a time; do something each day to comfort and encourage yourself. Know also that all the good experiences of your lost love were, and are, as much a part of you as they were of that duet. All of that is simply awaiting rediscovery, when you are ready.

 
At December 25, 2014 9:03 AM, Anonymous Helen said...

Thank you Will for writing this article. It has really helped me get a better perspective on the early days of my first ever submissive relationship, which I can see now is not a healthy one.

 
At January 03, 2015 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to the Dom-Sub thing. So is my lover. But even though I was the one who brought it up when we first met, she was the one who did research on it, and showed up with a gift, a golden collar which I then put around her neck.
So, as I make my way to her I stumbled on this point and the comments. Paula's comment gave me pause. Lately I have been thinking that Im becoming too dominant, and ven jealous, for which I've made her suffer unintentionally- and I assure you that it doesn't bring me any pleasure to di that. I want a healthy long lasting relationship with my sub. What do you suggest I do to curb my dominance outside the bedroom? I seriously want this to work out. And I done the dancing and leading, and ordering for the two of us at the restaurant. Yet I he jealous for very insignificant stuff and I give her shit about it. # 2months as a Dom and needing to learn fast.

 
At January 04, 2015 11:13 AM, Blogger Paula MrsWembley said...

Hello again, it's been quite some time since I posted ! It's been 11 months since I ended my relationship. I don't know if I am any better, I don't know, it's been so hard to unwrap myself from the life I had with him. And it hits me from time to time, how deep I was. For example, I was at home for the holidays, we were all in the kitchen chatting, and my sister turned to me as asked "why do you ask for permission to do anything/everything?" I hadn't noticed that I was...

I have not found my balance, nor my peace. There have been very dark days. I ache with pain at my stupidity to have let someone into my life and change me so utterly.

There has to balance, surely ?!? The D/s dynamic is so powerful. It's too easy for the sub to be lost. I fear that all the things that made me who I was before I was his sub are lost.

 
At January 04, 2015 7:13 PM, Blogger Will said...

Dear dom-needing-to-learn-fast, jealousy is usually an expression of anxiety due to unresolved issues, in your current relationship, previous ones, or possibly childhood. It would probably help you to identify the source of your fears, and share that insight with your partner. Also definitely apologize to your sub for being needlessly hard on her! And thereafter try to notice whether a mean-spirited comment is about to slip before it does. You can also request that she flag needless comments from you by respectfully inquiring whether you're doing OK. See also Emotional Issues in Dom/Sub Relationships.

As you're newly developing this together, make sure you both have time to rest and reflect after the intensity of D/s or SM. And be patient with yourself, and her; this is complex terrain you're wandering across! See also Subs Don't Need "Training" but Doms Do.

 
At January 05, 2015 8:54 PM, Blogger Will said...

Dear Paula, who you were before is not lost, you just haven't practiced being her in a while. Your old ways will return in time. Realize that recovering from such an intense situation can take more than a year, and there will be dark patches on that path. It is not stupid to attempt something you believe in, nor to change yourself for a relationship that nourishes you. Balance is found where sacrifice is rewarded with a feast of rare delicacies. But lacking those, recurring sacrifice becomes untenable.

 
At January 08, 2015 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I appreciate the advice and will definitely check out those links.

 
At February 06, 2015 4:16 AM, Blogger kim said...

Hi, I don't even know where to begin really, I've been seeing a guy for nearly a year and a half now we don't see each other much as there's bit of a long distance between us but we talk and message everyday, he's mentioned he's submissive a few times but I didn't know anything about it so I never asked questions, we've had a few problems recently and I've backed off but I've noticed this has made him more keen and he's opened up a lot to me about his fetishes, I've had to search the Internet as I'm clueless but I've got feelings for him that I don't think he has for me, I'm not confident and I find it really hard but he doesn't understand, he wants me to be a domme and I'd love to be able to please him but I don't even know where to start, he keeps sending me pictures of domme's he likes but it's just making me feel worse about myself as I don't look like them as I'm tall and curvy and I don't think leather would look good on me, I know he's just been able to tell me and I accept him the way he is but I don't think he can accept me for not being in to it, it's all he talks about now and I feel like it's taken over. Can you train to be a domme or is that a silly question?

 
At February 06, 2015 9:40 PM, Blogger Will said...

One can train to be a domme (see Subs Don't Need "Training" but Doms Do). However, if you're not already inclined towards that role, doing it simply to please your partner will end up disappointing both of you (see Why Doms & Subs Should Not Date Vanilla People).

 
At February 17, 2015 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo...though you see this quite a bit, I would just like to add my Thanks for taking such complex issues and breaking them down into layman's terms without diminshing the intricacy and potential beauty of vanilla or D/s relationships. I have learned quite a bit from your blog and you have my heartfelt thanks. While I am currently exploring where my "kink" may lie, I would venture to say that some vanilla relationships could easily rival a D/s if the partners are truly in sync--this is not a criticism, just an observation--time will tell. ;-) Thank you again for all of your words of wisdom. H.

 
At February 17, 2015 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should you ever wish tlo dance? H.

 
At February 18, 2015 9:57 AM, Blogger Paula MrsWembley said...

Hi again, I was reading Kim's post and I guess I wanted to say, that, I feel, it's maybe not the best thing to change who you are for someone. I think my experience has brought me to this conclusion. It's very difficult to get a true sense of someone in a LDR and also its hard to know how you yourself will be when the relationship moves into real-time, again this is from my own experience. I would just say, if you don't already lean toward Dominance and its not something you've tried before, then why become something you're not. When I look back I see that I was talked into many situations because of 'love' - I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

 

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