Thoughts On Care

Ultimately it’s all about care, isn’t it? Who cares and how. And is that what you need as an expression of care?

And communication and understanding is the key to care.

Because without communication, you can’t know the other person’s perspective. The “ordinaries”, in the vanilla world, don’t communicate. Don’t believe me? See how they sit on their hurt, they seethe with passive aggression, until it bursts out in anger. Which of course incites defensiveness and anger in return.

In our world, people tend to communicate better. When you tell someone something, they usually respond by recognising that it’s important to you or you wouldn’t have said it. They tend to want to understand. They tend to recognise that it nurtures and grows your bond to talk things through.

Being able to understand care and its expression is particularly important. Not everyone can do it, of course, and still react by being hurt that their Dom or sub is uncaring. They’re rarely uncaring, their way of showing care hasn’t been recognised. And if a sub is showing care her way and her Dom can’t recognise his sub’s demonstration of care, who’s failed, the Dom or the sub? I’d say it’s clearly the Dominant, the person who does the looking after, not the person being looked after. Conversely, if a Dom or a sub refuses to talk about ways their partner might need care shown, then there’s a second, greater failure: the refusal to even engage shows a lack of care in itself.

There’s a world of difference between being Dominant and being a control freak. And that difference lays in what you care about: Yourself or your sub, and whether you recognise the acts of care that your sub shows you. Do you recognise and understand your sub’s demonstration of care?

I was cared for hugely yesterday in exactly the way I needed that day. I knew I could rely on The Girl. But The Girl shows me every day that she cares, and when we’re alone she demonstrates her care in a very clear and significant way. I see her doing it. I understand how she shows she cares because I listen, we communicate, I listen and so I understand her. If I needed other demonstrations of care, The Girl would leap at the chance. After all, knowing she cares pleases me, and what’s more fulfilling to a sub?

D/s is, by its nature, asymmetrical. I expect The Girl to tell me when she’s arrived somewhere safely after a trip, for instance, but I don’t expect, ask or need her to check if I got somewhere safely. My asking her to tell me she’s arrived safely is one of the ways I show my care for her. Her letting me know when she’s arrived safely is one of the ways she shows me she cares for me. The opposite (her asking me if I’ve arrived safely, and me telling her) rarely happens. It doesn’t need to. That’s part of the glorious asymmetry. Of course I arrived safely! If I can’t be relied upon to take care of myself, how could she depend on me to take care of her? She can safely assume that I arrived safely. But she knows if she needed me to tell her, I’d be delighted to. Why wouldn’t I?

A Dominant cares, pays close attention to his sub, her needs. He devotes much time and effort. Because he enjoys taking care of his sub and is fulfilled by her gratitude and devotion to him. A submissive pleases her Dom, makes him the lucky recipient of her sexual attention and is guided by him and understands he has her best interests at heart, and because she finds pleasing him so fulfilling.

From a D/s perspective, the more symmetrical a relationship, the less D/s it is and the more vanilla. Because if your relationship is symmetrical, then who is Dominant? If your relationship is symmetrical everywhere but the bedroom, are you sure it’s really D/s and not just vanilla with a fringe of kinky and rough sex?

Yes, in D/s you both care for each other, but you show it in very different ways. And if you can’t recognise the way your Dom or your sub shows their care, then you can’t meet each other’s needs.

© Charles Rochester 2015


9 thoughts on “Thoughts On Care

  1. We are two equals who came together and negotiated an inequality because we both get off on it. He definitely has a duty of care towards me, both in our every day life and during and maybe most of all after our play but I have a duty of care to him as well. How that care manifests itself might be different from each of us but does not make it unequal. Oh and just for the record, he always lets me know when he has arrived somewhere safely because otherwise he would know I would worry.

    Asymmetrical implies that it is greater on one side than the other, I disagree with that, it might be shown differently but it is not greater on the D’s part than the S’s part. We are not the same people, the care we show one another is not demonstrated in the same way but that does not make it unequal. He gives more of something… I give more of something else, that creates a balance in our relationship. I think saying it is asymmetrical is being simplistic, yes there is an asymmetrical element to it but it is also balanced, it has to be, otherwise it would not be sustainable because one person would be giving more or ‘being more’ than another and that is a direct route to unhappiness in my opinion and so we give differently, we are coiled round one another, taking up different amounts of space within our relationship but ultimately filling the space together, equally.

    So hard to explain, I feel like drawing diagrams but I think the Ying and Yang image portrays the push and pull D/s relationship perfectly, that when both forces are applied equally there is harmony


    • I definitely agree that there isn’t an asymmetry in the amount or depth of care. The asymmetry is in how that care is expressed differently. Which I think you agree on.
      Perhaps I have been simplistic, and from comments on Twitter clearly not expressed my views well.
      Of course I’m cared for just as much as I care. But the manner in which that care is shown is different. In being different it fulfils my needs just as I fulfil hers.
      I think (at the risk of being even more simplistic) it’s summed up by the diptych “She needs me. I need her to need me.” Different needs require different expressions of care to be fulfilled. The relationship works because we complement each other’s needs, wishing to give what the other needs. Rather than expecting the other to give what we give.

      The fit works like jigsaw pieces, not the same but matching. Your “Yin Yang” isn’t a bad description either.

      Different, but matching. Jigsaw pieces aren’t symmetrical, but meet the needs of each other.

  2. Personally, I disagree with quite a few elements of this post. Of course, every relationship and dynamic is different and what is most important is that they work for the people in that relationship and not that they fit any other person’s model.

    The first thing that I would like to comment on is telling the other that you have arrived somewhere. For me, the absence of telling the other would demonstrate an absence of demonstrating care. If it was purely a casual or play based relationship, then expecting me to inform them but not vice versa is fine. In a fully committed D/s relationship, it would be a huge issue for me. It would signal that my thoughts, concerns and anxieties have no status in the dynamic of the relationship and that would thereby relegate me to being uncared for.

    The characteristics of a D/s relationship to me are about power exchange, not about a lack of symmetry or balance in care. I would say that if the other person has to explain that they are caring for you but you don’t feel it, then the caring isn’t tailored to your needs and their is a huge problem in communication.

    My relationship is deeply D/s 24/7. It is a balanced relationship which takes account of every level of both of our needs within our power exchange dynamic. Anything else is the kind of arrangement that I would have with a kinky friend or kinky playmate, not my Master.

    • I don’t think you do disagree, I think I just haven’t explained myself well.
      I didn’t say someone might have to explain how they care for you. The opposite, I said that your communication should be of a level that you should understand them, so understand how they show their care. And yes, we agree totally that if you don’t recognise the way they show their care and need them to explain, then there is a huge problem, and not just in communication but in whether you can meet each other’s needs at all.
      I think the asymmetry is at the heart of the D/s dynamic not the power exchange. The power exchange is the most visible expression of asymmetry, but there are others.
      Symmetry and balance are different things. You can balance two satsumas with one apple and not be symmetrical. I think that’s part of what I was saying. I give expressions of care, she gives expressions of care. We’re both driven to. But they’re not necessarily the same thing, but they do complement each other.
      My example – the “I’m there safely” example is a good one of this: I show I care by requiring her to tell me, and by asking if I think her journey time is getting a little long. She shows she cares by telling me when she’s arrived safely, knowing I’ll worry if I don’t hear. Balance, but complementary rather than mirror images. The “Jigsaw pieces” I mentioned in my reply to Molly

      • I think I must be misunderstanding your point then if you feel we agree. I felt that your original post was very much one that fitted with the view of subs as being less, understanding less and being less capable and resourceful than a Dom. If that was my misreading, I am glad to hear that you don’t ascribe to that very asymmetric view of people.

      • I certainly *did not* say, suggest or imply that a sub is less *anything*.
        I *did not* say that there was an asymmetry in the people, but in the way they express their care for each other.
        A sub who isn’t capable or resourceful, who can’t get by *without being looked after* has no gift of submission to offer.

        The gift lays in the fact that a sub *chooses* to submit. *Chooses* to allow a Dom to care for her, trusts him to do it, and hid acceptance of that responsibility has value, too.

        A sub is not less. She’s the most valuable gift a Dom has even been given.

  3. I think in essence we actually agree, and I have often talked about us being pieces of a jigsaw and although not each piece is symmetrical they fit together perfectly to complete a whole picture.


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