Monday, July 6, 2009

Honesty and trust

Greetings all,

Here is an essay I wrote for my web site. I have been thinking a great deal about honesty lately and will probably have more to say on the subject soon, but this is a good place to begin.

Be seeing you,


Bedrocks of a D/s relationship

Although many relationships have elements of power transfer in them, we will confine ourselves to discussing extreme power transfers between adults engaged in a D/s lifestyle. In these relationships there are two rules that must always and absolutely be followed by both parties.

Honesty and Trust

On the surface, the role of honesty in a D/s relationship does not appear that important. In fact, at first glance it may seem counter productive. After all, for many BDSM players, a scene is a suspension of belief, an entry into a world of fantasy. One need only walk into any play club and observe the behaviours of the participants to understand this fantasy. Pony boys and girls, naughty maids, daddies and little girls, etc. The list goes on and on. This is a fantasy world where the players escape from the world of the real.

Or consider the various playrooms and chat facilities available on the Internet. Here, beyond escaping into a world of fantasy, the players can actually take on entire new roles and personas that have nothing to do with who they are. Look at the names they call each other “Master Sir Big Dickman”, and “kitten useme”. Observe some of the conversations. There is no honesty, only subterfuge and hiding behind an anonymous fictional fa├žade.

There is nothing inherently wrong with these fictions. In fact, there is much that is beneficial and therapeutic. They allow the participants to engage in a series of behaviours that would not normally be available to them in their day-to-day life. Further, they satisfy an inner longing that cannot easily be expressed in any other manner. For many players, the persona they adopt during these scenes is often more “real” than their ordinary life. However, honesty is not a requirement to engage in scene play.

The same logic can be applied to the question of trust. At play parties, there is little requirement for trust between the participants. Every party, every club, has detailed rules and protocols of behaviour. In fact, any party will always have monitors whose job it is to ensure no one steps out of line. Go to any website dedicated to BDSM and you are sure to see the phrase “safe, sane, and consensual”. These are excellent words, and the community has gone to great lengths to detail how they should be implemented. For example, consider the role of “safe words”. A safe word allows the bottom to tell the top when he is going too far. While some small element of trust is required to know he will stop, the inherent safeguards of rules, protocols and monitors stand in place of the deep pervasive trust we will promote.

So why the need for honesty? Why the need for trust?

Because we are discussing the way people live together, a lifestyle, not fantasy scene play. A D/s lifestyle relationship exists where two individuals, a dominant and a submissive wish to incorporate their nature into their daily lives. This does not necessarily imply marriage, or even a loving relationship. For example, the need for honesty and trust will be just as necessary between trainer and client as it is between a married couple. The participants are two sides of a symbiotic entity. In order for this entity to exist at any level above fantasy, honesty and trust are absolutely required, but the reasons for this will be different for both parties.

It’s commonly expected for the submissive to be honest in everything from simple everyday recounting of events, to the deep honesty of the soul. She must respond honestly and completely to any question. She must react honestly to any stimulus or situation. She must be able to look clearly at all aspects of herself and her life and offer them to her Dom.

This may sound easy enough but don’t be fooled. For the submissive, the urge to please is so great she may be sorely tempted to react in ways she thinks will please her Dom. She may think to keep some minor detail from him so as not to bother him with it, or to respond with stock words or phrases in order to fulfill perceived requirements, or to pretend to feel something she does not simply because she thinks it is what will please him. However, when the submissives motivations are more closely examined, she will find she is really being dishonest from fear of displeasing her Dom. In this she is cheating herself. She is trying to maintain control and power in herself, trying to ‘top from the bottom’. This is not the path to true submission, but simply to kinky play.

Such dishonesty cannot be allowed. A submissive needs to develop the inner strength to be able to offer complete and perfect honesty without fear, or more often, in spite of her fear. Of course, it takes time and work to develop the confidence and trust in order for honesty of this magnitude to manifest. It is a daily challenge and a daily commitment, but the rewards are worth it.

It is also imperative for the dominant to be completely honest with his submissive. As it is the dominant that has the control, so it’s up to the dominant to be the first to demonstrate honesty. He must be the role model to the submissive, exhibiting honesty at every turn. With his honesty, the responsible dominant will set up the groundwork that will allow his submissive to trust him. It also shows that he values and respects her and her gift of submission.

Trust is also an absolute requirement. The submissive must trust her dominant to do what is best for her, even if she doesn’t agree. She must be able to look beyond herself and accept that her dominant is in control. He is her source. All pleasure, pain, comfort and forgiveness come from him. She trusts his ability to control himself and her. She trusts him.

Again it must be the dominant to exhibit trust first. If he cannot trust his submissive then they have no basis for a relationship.

Of course, because these two virtues are so absolute and so required, both parties must be very careful in choosing a suitable partner. Many submissives feel that they have no rights, and that they must submit to anyone calling themselves dominant. This is a path to disaster. The submissive must be very careful to choose a dominant who exhibits great integrity, honour and self-control and she must also know she can leave if she is betrayed.

It is through this mutual commitment to honesty and trust that abuse can be avoided.



Vesta said...

Yes, the temptation exists to say 'pleasing' things, or to paint oneself in a brighter light than one knows is the truth. Yet, if the 'complete honesty' rule is applied, the results can be outstanding. Perhaps, the submissive needs to know that her honesty will always be taken into account, even when she is giving bad news. As a dominant, I don't expect you to agree, since honesty is assumed, but I think there has to be some assurance that her honesty will be met with appropriate mercy or at least, taken into account. Otherwise, the only reason for her to be honest is punitive (should he find out the truth...), and thus the positive tone of the relationship may be broken.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Mackenzie Cross said...

Greetings Karmina,

Thank you for your comments, and welcome to my blog. I am glad you are finding some enjoyment in reading my entries.

I will look forward to your future comments.

Be seeing you,


Hales said...

very insightful.

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