I’ve been negotiating with some of my playmates how we can play together as a group. This is new ground for me, and it’s both exciting… and challenging.

I don’t have tons of experience with intense, ongoing D/s dynamics. I’ve done some of that, but most of my play has been more “scene-based”: we play out a scenario where one of us is the Dom(me) and the other is the sub, but outside of those scenes and sessions we don’t necessarily have an ongoing dynamic.

Navigating play with people who do have such a dynamic is giving me a lot to think about, here’s what came up today:

It occurred to me there are two types of submission with regard to having multiple playmates.

Let me say right up front, I’m not saying there are only two types of submission, I’m just saying here are two types that occurred to me.

I’m looking at both of these based on what appeal they have for the sub. And this is conjecture wherever I don’t have personal experience; I would love to hear about other people’s experiences.

First, you have someone in a D/s dynamic who isn’t allowed to play a submissive role with anyone but their top.

I could see this yielding a great sense of security—they don’t have to worry about navigating play with lots of different people, they just stick with what they already know, with someone they already trust and who cares about them, with boundaries that are well-defined.

This way also gives the sub that sense of being under someone else’s control that they crave: the decision about who to play with is out of their hands.

Second, you have someone in a D/s dynamic who is allowed to play a submissive role with others.

The security here comes from knowing that, whatever else you might get up to with other playmates, your top is there overseeing your experience, helping you set boundaries.

You still have the feeling of being controlled that you crave—in this case, both from your top calling many of the shots, and also by submitting to your other playmates.

The metaphor that occurred to me here is that your top is your safe harbour; no matter what else you do, you can always return to their care and support.

This second way happens to be the position that feels most appealing or natural to me (but that’s just me—this is about observations, not value judgement!)

My own personal dynamic, currently, is neither of these: while I have some ongoing play where I’m submissive, I haven’t given over ownership or responsibility for certain choices to that person. Right now, this suits me: I get to play in different roles with different people, and I am responsible for my own feelings and actions in all of those situations1.

This feels empowering to me, but I admit that I desire to eventually submit in a more committed way to someone. That said, while I have a submissive side, I’m big on personal freedom—very big, I’d describe it as my single most important personal value—so I have no idea how much control over my actions I would be willing to give up.

That’s a journey to be embarked upon and explored, rather than conjectured about.

  1. Of course, we’re always responsible for our own feelings and actions, even if we have a top, but I hope it’s clear what I mean…