Life is a game of give and take

Life is a game of give and take

give and take - gift wrapped presentOur theme this week is ‘festive fun’ so it seemed to make sense to think about giving. There is a huge focus on giving during the festive period and it is also a key part of any D/s relationship – giving is for life not just for Christmas as they say and that certainly works for us! As with anything, I think how this works for a couple will vary and there is often a lot of discussion during our chats about what would and wouldn’t be acceptable in terms of what we give to each other. I know that some subs feel that what they give is their submission and that is really where it ends. They would not feel that they could give spontaneously as it would be up to the Dom what he or she wanted from them. Then there is the opposite camp, where we fall, where submission is an active thing.


Our experience is of a relationship where we use the power exchange to build a circle of neatly balanced give and take. By submitting to HL, I feed his Dominance and vice versa. This means that sometimes you are giving and sometimes you are receiving but that is the way that we have found works best for us to keep this working as a long-term livable lifestyle. I dare say that there are some submissives out there who are with Dominants who crave so much control that they are able to issue instruction after instruction and for that to be gratefully received. We are not like that and really, even once the family has grown and we have more time alone, I don’t think we would want to sustain that for more than a set amount of time. We have played with a high protocol ‘Collar Time’ when things work well like this, but sustaining the dynamic within our lifestyle means that this is not possible, or really desirable, as something to do all of the time.


I am not sure how much of this is down to the fact that we were already in a long term relationship when we make the decision to weave Dominance and submission throughout it, but certainly we felt that we loved each other and we worked well as a couple so it was more a case of tweaking things than re-writing and starting again. We were reluctant to lose ourselves to these new roles that we were embracing, so kept what was good and added what was ever better. I say all this because whenever the topic of giving is discussed there are those who will suggest that being active is ‘topping from the bottom’. This pisses me off really and, while I fully accept that others do things differently, as I am writing this post I get to write about what works for me. My kink may not be your kink as they say.


So for us, and for many couples who will read this, a big part of the dynamic is about giving. A Dom gives safety, structure and nurture. A sub gives service, obedience and respect. But really in any healthy relationship, both parties will be giving these same things, all-be-it they may be carried out and perceived in a different way. If the relationships is based on communication, trust, respect and honesty then both have to be continually giving these things. Sometimes this may be as a response to the other partner, but sometimes it might have to be in a more active way. In relationships where this doesn’t happen I have seen it lead to quite big issues when something gets in the way of the Dominant.


This will often be through no fault of his own, perhaps external factors have challenged his control in some way or another. What can happen is that he no longer feels as Dominant and therefore no longer behaves in such a Dominant way; he is less ‘active’ with it perhaps. In my mind, the sub can support him to feel more Dominant again by activating his Dominance through her own behaviour. How each couple chooses to do this will depend on their relationship and personalities, but I do think that waiting until he ‘comes back’ can end up being a long and lonely wait where you both end up falling out of your mindsets, and subsequently out of the dynamic a bit. These posts,  Active Submission and Actively Submissive, explain a bit more about how it works for us but essentially, giving is good for you.


Each year, as part of the build up to Christmas, we have tried to acknowledge the value of giving by celebrating what we feel about each other. Although this is something that we are doing all year round, we are only human and we do allow other things to pull the focus away from each other and onto the stuff of our lives at times. The first year I was blogging I began a submissive advent calendar, where I posted a gift for HL each day on my blog and it worked really well. Last year we took it day about with a D/s advent calendar. This was fun but if was difficult as sometimes the ‘gifts’ didn’t work well for that person that day so it had more limited success. We learnt from that and this year are trying the D/s Advent Calendar again, but we pre-agreed the activities so that they could fit in with our other commitments and we also had time to plan where necessary. So far it is going well; I have posted posts about some of the things we have done and will post the complete list at the end.


Other related posts by HisLordship: Merry Christmas


6 thoughts on “Life is a game of give and take

  1. This is so helpful. We are still building our dynamic as we are newer to this, but this is what we believe it will look like and work best for us as well. Being married for over 2 decades, kids, and the expectation we’ll be doing this for many decades to come, means there has to be a lot of give and take with both Domme and Sub helping to keep each other in the right mindset.

  2. This rang so true for me, “perhaps external factors have challenged his control in some way or another. What can happen is that he no longer feels as Dominant and therefore no longer behaves in such a Dominant way; he is less ‘active’ with it perhaps.” Our relationship suffered from this and being so new to this lifestyle I had now idea how to handle it as a sub. I didn’t know where to turn for advice or help. (Most sites I have found seem more about the sexual aspect of the D/s relationship.) So starting this again and seeing other couples that are living this way 24/7 and not just in the bedroom is such a comfort. Thank you for hitting home with me.
    I am struggling with being in a polyamorous relationship. I want my Dom to get what he needs and that means him as a master to a slave. I am not a slave. But I am struggling with jealousy over it at the same time. Do you or anyone have any advice?

    1. I think that is a hard one. We are not ployamarous and those who I know who are, don’t feel jealous in that way. Have you spoken to him about it so that he knows how you feel?

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