In a BDSM relationship, which aspect do you believe to be the most important element? Why? (please post)

The emotional.
5 (21.7%)
The mental.
5 (21.7%)
The physical.
2 (8.7%)
All Three.
11 (47.8%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Author Topic: BDSM Relationship Dynamics  (Read 5097 times)


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BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« on: December 20, 2016, 12:24:44 AM »
In any BDSM relationship, do you feel that it is more important to focus on the emotional, mental, or physical portions. This could be either as the Dominant or the Submissive.

With this question, your choice would be much better understood if you left a short post supporting your answer for other members.


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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2016, 12:33:42 AM »
For me, as the submissive, I focus more on the physical restraint. Eventually it evolves into the mental as being unsure which part will be punished next starts to play at the mind. But, the physical; especially when a crop is being lightly tapped against a portion of the body and you know there is no way to move or prevent it when the Dominant decides to deliver the hard one. Attempting to pull away and not being able to is extremely erotic to me. The feel of the restraints prevention of escape is my favorite part. The pain is great, but the inability to prevent it because of a secure binding makes it much more exotic.


Offline MaxRoper

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2016, 07:10:27 PM »
I chose "All Three" because I can't place any one above the others but the one most important aspect of any BDSM relationship is of course Trust.


Offline Lobo De la Sombra

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2016, 08:56:13 PM »
On basic principles, I'll have to agree with Max that all three are important.  However, if I had to choose one that was more important than the others, I'd have to say the emotional aspect is most important.  This is not to say that the other two aspects aren't important.  It's kind of hard to have a bondage relationship without bondage, so the physical aspect is kind of required.  I'd put physical at second in importance, though.  It's the emotional aspect, the trust, respect, affection, love, that makes any relationship special, and BDSM is no different in this regard.  Without the emotional aspect, it becomes a purely physical exercise, or even worse, a mental exercise.  Emotions, and the ability to communicate those emotions, are what pulls the whole thing together and turns it from kinky fun into a relationship that can last.
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Offline ario120987

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2016, 07:15:33 PM »
I'm going to get on the bandwagon and say all three are equally important.  Without any aspect, (physical, emotional or mental) the experience becomes lacking or even distant. Together however, they breed something greater than the sum of their parts. It gives such complete and total intimacy,  along with the trust that is so essential too bondage.


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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2016, 07:33:20 PM »
Like I am guilty of more often than not...I made some assumptions based upon the question as I heard it asked in my head. Let me clarify.

I tried to pose the question of the 'relationship' and the 'dynamics' of being in one. Thus, the relationship being the subject and not centering on the bdsm scenarios themselves. I could never imagine being tied, tormented, teased, or disciplined and not have some sort of mental and/or emotional thought during it. Within the relationship of being a couple who participates in bdsm activities, which is more important?

For me...I am a person who focuses more on the moment. So, I do not think much of what the relationship has built upon other than my love and devotion to my partner. Not until I am bound do I start actually thinking of how them binding me makes me feel (emotional) and what they do to me (mental) overcomes me.

However I am sure that others have differing opinions of how the relationship makes them feel, even outside of a bdsm session.


Offline TeaSer

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 12:28:59 AM »
Even with the clarification, I still feel all three pieces are important.

The emotional part having both parties agree on the dynamics. Who's in charge and who's not. Does this change over time? A submissive will need to accept being 'bullied' - and I consider this accept being part of the emotional relation.

The mental part contains again the acceptance of being mocked around. Equally important is the dominants acceptance of being in control - which also covers an acceptance of taking care of the submissive. And it's the mutual state of inevitability of the situation while the scene unfolds

The physical part is of course closely related to the scene. Tieing someone or being tied up. Causing pain to others or feeling the pain on their body. Being hooded, gagged, deaf or whatever the dominant pleases. All with the mental state of inevitable and the emotional acceptance of the situation.

So - in my view we can't go to physical before the other parts are agreed upon. If e.g. jumping  straight to causing pain, it would be abuse. If omitting the physical part, the relation will be truly dull.

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Offline AmyAmy

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 02:49:13 AM »
I believe it's possible to play the physical games, and enjoy them, without a deep feeling or investment in the fantasy of it. The physical sensation of restraint, or compression from rubber or spandex may appeal even without an interest in submission.

The mental process and the physical are different. I also believe it's possible to have a rich fantasy life, with domination and submission, without any physical component.

However, if you mix the two things, the mental and the physical, it is naturally going to be more intense. The combination of the two aspects leads to an intensity of experience that can easily be overwhelming, and is potentially, highly addictive.

If you mix those basic things with romantic love, with commitment, with deep care and empathy for the other, again, the experience takes on another aspect, gains another level of power. It's even more powerful, but if the long-term trust is there, it can also be safer.

All those things (physical, mental and emotional) can exist apart from each other, but if you put them together, it can become such an intense experience that everything else fades away, even when not explicitly in a sexual situation.

That may be a positive thing, but as we are often reminded in fiction, it's also dangerous. Society is not forgiving of people who give it insufficient attention, but that's not the biggest hazard, and not what we see in most stories.

Love is something that most people are nervous about getting into, they fear giving up control of their life, even if only partial, and they fear this for good reason. When others have power over you, they can hurt you, then can abuse or exploit you. It's possible for them to do damage, of various kinds, that you will not easily overcome, and that's assuming you are able to break free at all.

In the BDSM scenario, the power transfer is even greater than in normal relationships, and may even be an end in itself. The potential for hurt and long-lasting trauma is even greater than in regular relationships.

While the physical control in BDSM relationships is (typically) ritualized and codified, it may in some ways be safer than a conventional one. A dominant who has a defined way to vent their frustrations is less likely to act out in a violent and explosive manner, even when the relationship is strained. Still, when you set BDSM along side mainstream domestic violence, it's hard to explain the differences to somebody who isn't interested in understanding the nuances. Both conventional, and BDSM relationships can go wrong, and in both cases the consequences can be dangerous. Naturally, people are going to be cautious, but even so, these things do go wrong all the time.

It's a sad fact, but those most desperate for love and attention, are often those most vulnerable to harm and abuse. They are most likely to ignore warning signs, or deny the reality of an abusive relationship. This obviously applies to conventional relationships, but also BDSM.

So many of the erotic stories, found on the Plaza, and elsewhere, serve both as titillation, but also as cautionary tales. Time and again, we see stories where a submissive gets into a situation from which there is no escape. Time and again, we see situations where a person finds herself (or himself) in a sexual situation that she knows is bad for her. I'm not going to say it's all coercion and rape. Sure, there are stories like that, but there are many that are consensual, and yet the reader is well aware that there is usually a hidden pitfall for the protagonist, and they are going to fall deep into it.

Those stories rarely show the real traps of a BDSM life, for example, increasing obsession on one side coupled with fading interest on the other. It's the way many relationships fail. BDSM also has a path to disaster that rarely occurs in conventional situations: increasing obsession on both sides. But it's just like me to focus on the failures, on the dark parts. Of course, a relationship doesn't have to fail. Lots of people really do live "happily ever after".

It's my suspicion, that in many cases, the safest way to enjoy a BDSM life, is to keep it in the realm of fiction and fantasy. Even for those with long established relationships, and with deep trust on both sides, power games are not without risk. For people who are lonely, isolated, lacking self-esteem, or over-confident and prone to risk-taking behaviour, such games may have unhappy ends.

Particularly if you are younger, it's easy to get into a BDSM situation that goes wrong. For example, to find yourself fed up with a person who is scarily obsessed with a version of you that they invented in their head, and was never who you were. The rage and frustration they can feel when faced with a reality that contradicts their fantasy can be terrifying. But there are so many other ways.

My advice to anyone, of any age, is to make a good relationship first, then maybe, somewhere down the line, admit a little BDSM, but beware letting it become a major part of your relationship. I know that's probably not what most people here want to hear. I'm sure there are people on the Plaza who have been in intensely BDSM relationships for years, and been very happy and fulfilled by them.

It's complicated. But even with the best intentions, BDSM activities can lead to injuries, and gags are notorious for their choking risk, but perhaps it's still much safer than a conventional promiscuous lifestyle. Given the lack of reporting of deaths from BDSM activities (and I'm sure they would be loudly reported), it would seem you are more at risk of being shot by the police than choking or asphyxiating, so it may be that the awareness of that risk is largely preventing mishaps. However, I can speak from personal experience that it's a hobby not without its dangers.

I guess I've gone on at too much length, and drifted off the topic entirely, and even when I was on it, was probably stating the obvious. So I'll shut up now. I just meant to say, you can have any kind or relationship. Have the one you want, and if you're doing something dangerous, physically or emotionally, it's OK to be cautious.


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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 09:29:46 PM »
I think like most things, having a good balance between all of them will serve the best.

You want to make sure the emotions are good between the both of you whether it's Sub or Dom.
Let the mental aspect play a role in your emotions and physical side.
And have fun, but stay safe with the physical.

Offline Trashisme

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2021, 01:03:08 AM »
I have been a subbmissive my entire life. I tend to shy away from the physical, not that it is not important it plays the role.  I  need the emotional, trust is my main thing. I will not be physical if thier is no trust. The emotional can be harsh and sensual then it is the bond that makes the physical happen. If a dominant is wanting just physical without attachment first then you are better to not get involved. BDSM. or power exchange I feel is about what each person  wants to do emotional before the physical can even take place. That is my take on it. I for one like to be humiliated, but also I like to have the after care! Very important for me to even agree unless I can trust that part first.

Offline Mikeroper1968

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2021, 10:43:04 PM »
I picked emotional because the mental and physical are good and essential, but after being tied up, the mental and the physical are secondary to the emotional. When you enter into the subspace. I feel emotional.

Offline Jessica

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2021, 12:07:27 AM »
All three are important. They cannot be viewed separately as they are all related. Just to try to give an answer that fits the query, I would say that the emotional would have a certain preponderance over the others, basically because emotions are what trigger all subsequent actions.  ;)

Offline Boat_Wright

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2022, 08:31:15 AM »
Old thread, perfect for me.  The fundamental element of a relationship is trust.  Everything else, all the compromises and clutter, follows this. 
It starts with being attracted to someone, and being willing to risk finding yourself facing rejection.  Rewards will follow risk.  Start slow, and build on the relationship.  You will surprised by the riches you will find. 

Offline HappyBren

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Re: BDSM Relationship Dynamics
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2022, 02:14:55 AM »
I am a hopeless romantic in most every possible way. So to me, a BDSM scenario where both people are deeply in love with each other can be a beautiful thing. Without that deep emotional connection, to me, it is just cheap and meaningless pretending which might give immediate gratification but nothing more.


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