Perfection in D/s
D/s, or dominance and submission, at it’s core, is simply an exchange of power between two* consenting individuals whereas one* assumes a more dominant role and another assumes a more submissive role. It is a relational system that is about 10% science and 90% art, leaving lots of room for the human element, an element that naturally brings imperfection.
The title of this article, Perfection in D/s, is a bit of misnomer. D/s is an ebb and flow between the realms of perfection and imperfection.
There has been a long-standing ideal of “perfect submission,” yet, as every submissive is human and subject to flaws, it’s safe to assume this level of absolute flawlessness has yet to be reached by anyone. The same bet can be wagered against finding a Dominant who has achieved perfection as well. If, by chance, you meet anyone who participates in the D/s lifestyle and purports to have sipped the magical elixir of power exchange perfection, run, don’t walk… and whatever you do, do not drink the Kool-Aid.
Perfection assumes an unchanging state, one where there are no moving parts, no variables to account for and certainly no surprises. But D/s is an ever-changing entity with lots of pieces and factors and considerations. The partners in a D/s dynamic are typically constantly changing, even if only slightly and even if only from day to day. Their thoughts and processes and beliefs may morph over time. Their life experiences increase. And certainly, circumstances may change for them as partners and as individuals. D/s is not immune to these changes, changes that affect any perceived level of perfection, and the people within the dynamic must be able to adapt.
This definition sounds rather harsh! It also sounds very negative. No one wants to be labeled as being faulty or blemished or undesirable. For the purpose of D/s, let’s define imperfection in a different way.
There. That’s better. This simply asserts that there is a consistent goal of improvement held by the partnership, yet it doesn’t deny that, at any given time, improvements are needed.
Checks and Balances
D/s, as a power exchange dynamic, is a system of checks and balances. Both parties in the dynamic are ultimately responsible for their own individual health and well-being, and their partner’s health and well-being as well. They both are also responsible for the general welfare of the dynamic itself. This involves great attention to the details of the roles in the dynamic. The submissive should consistently assess his or her input into the exchange, but should also serve as a role checker for his or her Dominant. Of course, the reverse is just as crucial; the Dominant should regularly self-check his or her role — successes, not-so-successes (let’s not say failures!) — and also stand as a mirror for the submissive.
“Both bipartite and tripartite governmental systems apply the principles of the separation of powers to allow for the branches represented by the separate powers to hold each other reciprocally responsible to the assertion of powers as apportioned by law.“1 Or, to put it in D/s terms: “Both the Dominant and the submissive recognize the exchange of power, hold uniquely separate powers, and each is reciprocally responsible to the assertion of powers (to, for and by the other) as outlined by their personal D/s structure.”
Perfection in D/s
I always recall a particular line spoken in church at the end of service. I, like I’m sure many did, often overlooked it as just another church saying. But today, it’s more relevant than ever.
If, at the bottom hour of the day, within your D/s dynamic — after the ebb and flow, the changing states, the checks and balances — you are content, and the answer to the question All hearts and minds are clear? is yes, be satisfied with your current level of this thing called perfection.
* or more. A D/s partnership may consist of more than two individuals, but for the sake of this writing, this article assumes a partnership of two.