Resets – what, why and how

Resets – what, why and how

What is a reset?

I am not sure if resets are things which exist formally in D/s relationships or if they are something we have made up, but if it isn’t a thing then it should be because it is quite important. It was only when I was thinking about it for the chat we held recently that I realised that perhaps it was just a term we had used so much that it felt like something official. When I searched I couldn’t find much on it but now, there will be this post. So read on and find out what a reset it, why you might choose to use a one and how you could use it to help your power exchange.

When we talk about a reset, what we are referring to is a ritual which we use to help to shift us from a place which is partly vanilla to one which is more D/s. We never really come out of our dynamic entirely but we can find that things seem to be less overt sometimes than at others. Resents are about reaffirming the power exchange between us and getting back into the right headspace when things have slipped a bit. It involves doing something together which will puts us back into our Dom and sub mindsets and, in doing so, reset our dynamic. 

Why would we use a reset?

As stated above, usually we would use this when we come unstuck or drift off the rails a bit. It could be to do with a change in circumstance or it could be a particular event. We might just have slipped into more vanilla type responses. Maybe things just feel ‘less’ D/s. There can be lots of reasons why this might happen – pressure at work, family issues, illness, or more recently, a worldwide pandemic! Although these things are not directly related to our D/s and should not affect it, often it seems that they do.

Big events can take your attention and when that happens, it is easy to become preoccupied with your own issues and stop thinking so much about meeting the needs of the other. Perhaps you are a little less attentive, a little less assertive or compliant, or perhaps you are just exhausted and don’t have the energy to make the effort that usually would. Most healthy relationships can handle quite a but if this, but because of the way that the power exchange works, it can affect the balance between you and throw things off.

What would we do?

Before resetting we discuss fully what has happened and look at how and why it came about. We also talk about what we can put in place to stop the same thing from happening again.  We found in the beginning that we made many mistakes which seemed quite obvious after the event, but having learnt, we were keen to prevent a repeat. Sometimes things just seem to catch you off guard and others, things can drift until find yourselves in a pattern of the less positive behaviours. We might not always be able to trace this back, but we can usually identify through talking, what the issue is.

It is always important not to attach blame. Even when things have slipped a bit, we would always be looking to try to support and meet the needs of the other, and usually these things have not been done intentionally. Talking will allow us not only to identify the fact that things have not been quite as good as usual but also the fact that we would both like them to be better. Focussing on the positive opportunities help to keep things moving forwards and for one party not to dwell on the way that their actions may have made the other feel. It is a learning experience, not some form of punishment.

If we are still not back in our Dom or sub mindset following this discussion, then we will agree to a reset. This is often the case as these sort of open discussions can feel quite intense and possibly even be emotional. Really what we are doing with the reset is re-establishing our power exchange, so we will choose something that sets us back firmly in our respective roles. There is usually some discussion along with whatever actions we choose – an over the knee spanking works well for us as it makes me feel vulnerable and submissive, and it makes HL feel Dominant and in control. 

How does a reset work?

Basically a reset works by reaffirming our commitment to each other. It lets us draw a line under current behaviours so that we can start again afresh.  It lets us get back into the D and s mindsets and leave the more vanilla responses behind. Often during the reset HL will talk to me and will use this as part of our affirmation of how we feel. He will often include a recap of what has happened and also a reminder of what I can expect from him from this point on. He will ask me to confirm that this is something I want, so in many ways it links to the agreement we have and is a good reminder of the foundations of our D/s.

The reset marks the turning point between what has happened before and what is going to come, a bit like a punishment might. It brings things to a close and allows us to feel comfortable in our respective roles. Usually after a reset we will feel very close to each other on an emotional level. I will feel positive and safe and calm. It doesn’t have to lead to a sexual exchange but it often reignites the charge between us and leaves us both feeling desired by the other.

Making things your own

As with anything, there are never any rights and wrongs or hard and fast rules so it is important to make things your own. We have found that living a D/s lifestyle full time can be hard to sustain and resets are something that have worked for us. There will be other people with great D/s relationships who don’t use such things and that is fine, it really is about what is going to help you. Essentially what is at the heart of a successful reset is the communication that takes place during the discussion and all good relationships will have this, in whatever shape of form works for them.

It is relevant to add that while using this sort of ritual to kick start our power exchange when it needs it has worked really well for us, there have also been times when we have tried it and it just hasn’t worked for one reason or another. If this happens then we will sit down and start the whole process again, because nothing will work for all of the people all of the time and it is important not to hold yourself to the expectation that things will always work perfectly. Even if you manage to get things pretty damn near for most of the time that is.

For more examples of resets at work you might want to have a look at the posts over on Tell Me About … where we covered Resets as a topic back in October. Just click on this link to head over and find a range of additional posts on this theme.

Click here for more of our posts on Building a D/s Dynamic.

4 thoughts on “Resets – what, why and how

  1. Thanks missy that’s some good info. It’s not always perfect and you don’t always get it right when trying to reset. So long as you are committed to making things better things will improve.

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