Many people will ask or even assume that because you're involved in a D/s or M/s relationship there must pain. While most masochists are submissive, not all submissives are masochists. Just like not everyone involved in DD is a spanko. Yes, a wide number of people involved in the lifestyle do tend to gravitate toward a pain dynamic. Some, mouse included, find the marks left by their Dominant, a badge of honor almost. But is that paramount in a M/s dynamic?
No, it doesn't need to be. Neither does humiliation. Control and willingness are the only two ingredients needed.
So what makes their relationship dynamic any different from vanilla ones? Well, aside from control, submission and dedication, not much. Mild play might come into effect but some Doms aren't comfortable with wielding a whip at their submissive. They want to treat them like a princess. This doesn't mean that they're beyond correction when the slave acts in a way the Dom finds deplorable. That's a totally different topic for another time (yes more future hints). The topic is pain and pleasure and if the two are mutually exclusive in a M/s or D/s dynamic.
Simply put, no. This is a difficult area because so many are drawn to pain and find it brings a lot of pleasure, the release when the tears come is really wonderful. However, there is another side that doesn't use pain at all. Omega and mouse used to fall nicely into a Sadist/masochist lines but since that part of our dynamic ended mouse really worried that our relationship would fall apart. The truth is in many ways it remained unchanged (apart from not having pain), and the ways he used to use pain have been replaced. It's actually nice.
Again it comes down to understanding and knowing what you're looking for at the start of your journey. If pain is complete turnoff, don't answer the message from the Dom holding a whip, paddle or crop. They're really out there, but they can be harder to find. Does it all have to be about heavy scenes all the time? No, it really doesn't. Some are simply service oriented, where the submissive joyfully tends to the needs of Dominant and both get exactly what they need from the dynamic. Also, don't discount the fact that relationships within the lifestyle can and should evolve over time (as all relationships do), with some it can mean moving away from the hardcore BDSM play while remaining true to their protocols and service. Other's might begin at more of a service heavy dynamic and change to a more pain led one.
The point is that both are fine, since someone is in control and someone else follows that lead willingly. As mouse will admit, she's a big subspace junky but she's learned while she enjoys the floaty feeling, she enjoys much more the feeling of balance that gives her. This works now for us and surprisingly mouse is very content with the arrangement.
Also a lot of care must be taken on both sides but maybe more so on the pain side of the dynamic to make it not seem so routine. It's hard to maintain that high level of scening in a relationship and for those couples sometimes pain is withheld for long periods of time so that when it is used it's more meaningful for both.
Next week: Why submission?
Be seeing ya!