To aid in the transition of taking my relationship from a non-D/s to a D/s with my boyfriend, I composed a list of questions regarding bdsm to make sure we have similar expectations and goals for such a relationship.
I figured the first step in this endeavor is to ensure that we are using the same language since it is not unusual for a word's meaning to differ from one person to the next. My first assignment for both of us is to define general roles within bdsm relationships. (Something I haven't done since I first started exploring bdsm 5 years ago, so it was interesting for me to compare and contrast now with then.) Next, we will discuss the terms more thoroughly to make sure we are on the same page and/or find any compromises needed to get us on the same page, which may or may not be possible depending on our opinions. If we find that we are not compatible in a D/s, we agree to leave our relationship as it is since it has worked very well for us so far.
My definitions are below. (This is how I plan on presenting them to Kare so some of the verbiage may reflect that):
[Note: I realize there is more than one way to define these terms. These are my definitions and how I relate to them. They apply to no person's relationship(s) except my own.]
How do you define the general roles within bdsm?
multiple definitions separated with semi-colon ( ; )
Top/bottom - applies to kinksters giving/receiving (respectively) within a scene that contains little to no non-physcial power exchange, generally permissions do not extend outside of the scene ; a kinkster that enjoys giving/receiving during a scene but not outside of play ; used as a basic or general label for players
D-types (Master/Domina/Owner/Daddy/etc. all are different titles for a D-type) - applies to Tops who desire the power exchange dynamic involved in dominance and submission ; exercises the negotiated amount of control within a power exchange that usually extends beyond a scene, the amount of control exercised covers a broad spectrum from minimal to Total Power Exchange (TPE) ; used as a general term for those that desire to exercise control in a power exchange
s-types (submissive/slave/pet/property/etc.) - applies to bottoms who desire the power exchange dynamic involved in dominance and submission ; relinquishes the negotiated amount of control within a power exchange that usually extends beyond a scene, the amount of control relinquished covers a broad spectrum from minimal to TPE ; used as a general term for those that desire to relinquish control in a power exchange
Switch - a kinkster whose role is fluid and can be comfortable as the D-type, s-type, Top, or bottom (whichever applies to the person)
Sadist/Masochist - enjoys giving/receiving pain (respectively) and does not refer to any type of power exchange, meaning either can manifest in D-types, s-types, Tops, or bottoms
Notice that I've lumped all D-types together and all s-types together. That is how I view the roles. Titles such as Master, Domina, Owner, etc are variations of the same role. For me, Dom/sub or Master/slave are relationship dynamics and are determined by the amount of power exchange present in the relationship. (Relationship dynamics are what I would like us to define next, but for now let‘s focus on the roles.) If you believe that Dominant or Master or submissive or slave, etc are distinct and should be defined on their own, by all means do that. It will offer insight into your view of the roles and will give us a more honest starting point in our search for common ground. There are no right or wrong answers here. However, I expect you to be able to present your definitions to me in clear and definitive terms as I have done.
Of course, a person's views are rarely ever static and these definitions may change for us over time, in which case, we can revisit them together.
Today, this is how I view these roles. What are your views today?