Power dynamics are found in every human relationship. That’s right, nothing too profound yet! And even though everyone knows that these dynamics exist, very little is ever questioned regarding how those dynamics form or how to change them once they are firmly established.
In our professional lives these unwritten rules of behavior rarely pose a problem since they are often dictated by convention. Work place interpersonal conduct is usually very well outlined in either the bylaws of the company, or the larger laws of the country (often much too much in my opinion, but that’s another topic!).
However, the rules that govern intimate relationships tend to be much more flexible, with less outside structure imposed upon those involved, especially since the United States’ sexual revolution of the 1970s when it was precisely those intimate rules that were largely overthrown. And while this was a wonderful turning point for gender equality, it nevertheless left monogamous, committed couples with a bewildering array of choices with which to move forward.
If the woman was not supposed to be in the house tending the children, and the man was not supposed to be earning the money, what exactly were they each supposed to be doing? Whose job was it to empty the trash? Who was going to give the child that 2 AM bottle?
Now you see the confusion. Whereas before it was clear who had responsibility over what, now there lay before a couple the extremely daunting task of deciding all of these things for themselves! With all of these behavioral reconstructions occurring, one of the areas that garnered the most attention was how the individuals within the couple would act toward each other in private.
Would the wife continue to defer to her husband when making financial decisions? Would the husband continue to expect a ready dinner when he arrived home? In this new era both husband and wife had to ask the really tough question, the one most people avoid…what do I really want?
If the relationship could now be structured for the sole purpose of pleasing those involved, both people first had to decide what that meant for themselves, and then had to find a working balance with their partners. And the worst part? Since most of their old behaviors were dictated for them, they didn’t have to be discussed…Now couples were forced to talk, o p e n l y! As you can imagine, this alone lead to many many separations.
However, for couples that did find a balance, the rewards were tremendous. They now had a unique set of rules to guide their everyday interactions that they were sure would make everyone happy. For those of you who are involved in the world of Dominance/submission this should be starting to sound intriguingly familiar.
For those of you who are not, this is the basic premise of all D/s relationships…Know what you want, discuss this with your partner,and create unique rules for your relationship that work for both. Really the only difference between a non-D/s relationship and a D/s one is the level of communication and willingness to make up your own private behavioral world regardless of what the mainstream may think.
If both people enjoy having the woman (or man) kneel when their partner comes home, so be it. If a wife enjoys being turned over her husband’s knees and spanked because the roast was slightly overcooked, more joy to them! I don’t understand why kinky and non-kinky folk just can’t seem to get along!
So, for those of you who believe that people who dress up in PVC and tie themselves to racks are just too strange to call friends, try to remember that they really are not all that different from you…they’ve just had the courage to make up their own rules…and live by them! Shouldn’t we all be so lucky?
Rose Rivera, Sexologist, is the creator of Speak Sexy– One of the fastest growing sexuality sites on the web! Offering free articles, fun sex polls, adult games, books, and discreet shopping! Visit: Speak Sexy!