Can The Next Generation commit to a BDSM relationship?

Guys of the “Next Generation” prefer to set their own style of doing things

For some, bdsm is more than topping or bottoming your partner at play parties.

There will usually be a time after a period of dating when your partner and you decide where to go with your forming relationship. If the dates are just for play, then you continue to keep things loose. If either of you wants a deeper emotional commitment – then you’ll have to decide what to do next.

In this post, I’ll walk you through a scenario where you will be put on the spot and must let your intentions be known to your partner.

Most BDSM relationships start out as casual pay because of reasons such as:

  • 1. you want to test out the other partner – to determine his or her interests and limits within BDSM
  • 2. You have other commitments such as a spouse and a family that you are monogamously attached to
  • 3. You’re not sure you want to accept the roles in power exchange with your partner more than what you do in casual play
  • 4. You don’t know what you are doing or fully understand what you’ve gotten into.

when a couple becomes comfortable in their play, they’ll consider commitment

Usually if you’ve played with someone for a while, you’ll know if they want to keep the relationship as just play or are they interested in commitment. There are advantages to commitment. In Commitment in Power Exchange Relationships

[a commitment is ] a 24/7 relationship…which is beyond role playing, beyond the occasional, maybe once-a-week BDSM activity. Many living the day in and day out of this lifestyle define themselves as a slave, as a Master, as a submissive, or as a Dominant, and they often begin the relationship with the same commitment ideals as any other couple.

The commitment to each other tends to be more solid than one of a vanilla relationship. And while there certainly are those in the BDSM lifestyle that enjoy play for physical gratification only, there are many more who prefer a bonded, fulfilling, and committed relationship, just as many vanilla married couples do. 

In A Loving Introduction to BDSM Michael Castleman writes:

[bdsm] aficionados call it the most loving, nurturing, intimate form of human contact and play. People can have sex without conversation, negotiation, or any emotional connection. But in BDSM, the players always arrange things in advance with clear, intimate communication, which creates a special erotic bond…
they find conventional (“vanilla”) sex unfulfilling and want something more intense and intimate. 

How do you make a BDSM relationship livable? In Making a Livable 24-7 D/s

Transitioning from a vanilla marriage or long term relationship to a D/s relationship is a cultural change. Everything you have learned in society about the roles of husbands, wives, men, women, Dominance and submission is going to be turned upside down. ..
There is a difference between a submissive saying they will submit and truly emotionally and mentally accepting their submission and giving themselves over to their Dominant.  ..
It also takes time for a Dominant to truly understand and develop their role as a Dominant who is responsible to provide and care for their submissive …
Your levels of Dominance and submission continue to evolve and deepen in your relationship as your personal acceptance of the culture of your relationship evolves. As you accept your role and all of the interdependent aspects that go along with it you will see your understanding of both yourself and the other to evolve along with it. …
Focus on making small changes that your dynamic can handle and allow it the time to adapt to that change. When you find that things are flowing well and the dynamic has grown, add some more elements to that you both feel will keep things in balance and allow your dynamic to flourish….make lots of small changes instead of large changes that stress the relationship. Focus on the ability to LIVE your dynamic as a lifestyle 24/7 and stay committed to working on it for the long-term.

MASTERMARC  

described a BDSM commitment as an emotional one which is
 about wanting to do something, regardless of whether you “need to” or “ought to”. There’s a strong sense of belonging and the feeling of being part of the family. You feel happy when things go well, and sad when things go badly. ..
Commitment matters because it shapes how people think, feel and behave.

There are 3 types of BDSM “old guard” relationships:

• Relationship between individuals. This could be Dom/sub, Master/slave, DD/lb or whatever roles works for you. If you’re poly it might be D/s/s or M/M/s or some other combination.

• Relationship between individual and the House/Clan or other immediate BDSM family. Formal Houses are a slightly Old Guard concept for many, but they’re not extinct, and many households have an informal relationship with outsiders that forms an extended family.

• Relationship with “the community”. Again, this is a slightly difficult concept. Some people in BDSM actively interact with a larger community grouping, while others take a more passive role or don’t interact at all.

the glue that really binds two people is emotional glue. The takeaway from this is that emotional commitment requires trustworthiness and fairness, and both sides must feel valued. Harsh and slightly abusive M/s relationships might sound hot to some people, but they will really only get the strength that comes from emotional commitment if both parties can find a way to reconcile that with the need for the relationship to be emotionally supportive.

The “old guard” said that if BDSM activities were consensual, they required a contract to define what the activities and roles of the participants were. The contract was developed and agreed to before serious play began. Why? In BEGINNER BDSM CONTRACTS ,

  1. They are meant to establish clear rules, boundaries, limits, punishments etc.
  2. They define goals in the relationship
  3. They guide your relationship (whether short or long term)
  4. They create moral authority
  5. Extend the role play aspect

Terms include:

  • Play term (how long – days/weeks/years)
  • Safe words,
  • soft limits,
  • hard limits,
  • must limits Rights,
  • responsibilities, and expectations of both parties

  • Exceptions or special circumstances

  • Punishments and rewards
  • Roles of Master and slaveExternal
  • participants (if any)
  • Areas of control Language and phrasingTerms of termination
  • Collaring (if applicable)
  • Promises of discretion

Before you enter into a power exchange, it would be nice to know what you’re getting into. You don’t need to sign a contract in order to be in a relationship with someone but it does help to go through the important issues. Signing one of these forms is not about trying to make someone stay with you. It’s about opening up the lines of communication and talking about what each of you wants from one another. Once you come to an agreement, refer back to it to see how your relationship develops and whether you are achieving goals.

A guide to contracts is here.

In the early days, the BDSM “old Guard” defined stages of BDSM relationships, the rites, rituals, and emblems that were common. For instance, there were several “collaring” ceremonies

The types of collars are illustrated here.

collaring is a lot like getting married
A collaring ceremony with vows

A collection of research articles is here.

A male is fitted with a necklace and a lock. His dominant holds the key to the lock.

A sample of bdsm wedding vows is here.

How does a bdsm collaring compare to a marriage? Check this video.

The Next Gen are eclectic in style and activities

BDSM and the “The Next Generation (TNG)”

Many younger bdsm enthusiasts (often labeled “millennial”) want to distance themselves from what they regard as “old guard” bdsm culture and eschew contracts, rites, rituals, fixed roles, etc. which they liken to a marriage (that they consider an archaic institution).

The BDSM “old guard” prefer traditional roles in hierarchical relationships

Many view bdsm a particular form of casual dating that they have in parties with FWB’s. An insight into the differences between “old guard (OG)” and TNG is illustrated here:

”I think the older leather community needs to embrace change, and a lot of them don’t want to,” says Smith, who identifies as a ”boy” in a household of one ”daddy” and two ”brothers” who outrank him in the domestic pecking order. ”That’s sometimes seen as being stubborn. That turns young people off.

”I once made a suggestion to a ‘sir,’ and he said, ‘I didn’t give you permission to speak to me.’ I apologized. I just wanted to suggest a different way of doing something. He still paid me no mind and said, ‘Don’t speak to me, boy.’ I should’ve asked permission, but he shouldn’t have come across like that. That’s ‘old guard.’ ‘New guard’ is a different interpretation of protocol.”

It’s tough to discuss issues of age and friction in the leather/BDSM community without bringing up the ”old guard (OG) ” and ”new guard (NG).” In the simplest terms, ”old guard” refers to those members of the leather/BDSM community who prefer a rigid hierarchy and a strict interpretation of traditional roles and protocols. ”New guard,” meanwhile, advocates a more liberated community, with members free to move through different identities or seek whatever stimulus they like, using their desires — rather than convention — as their guide.

But not all TNG are uncomfortable with the OG.
though [a TNG] may have felt slighted by an ‘old guard’ snub, they insist the overwhelming feeling in the leather community isn’t friction, but love: ”When I walk into a leather event, everyone is very warm and engaging.

… There’s much more of a celebration of individuality in the leather community. I always feel restricted when I go out with my non-leather friends. I’ve always sort of marched to the beat of my own drum, and I see this community as something that celebrates that.

While some of the TNG’s will accept OG they do not want to engage in LTR BDSM relationships along the lines of OG.

With an absence of any clear guidance, many hetero-monogamous couples are leaning toward conventional marriage as a default. This leaves out those who are not into monogamy. How will they celebrate their ‘marriages’? How will they explain their special relationship with others?

These questions are not easily answered. If you’re curious, visit one or more of the Fetlife groups listed at the bottom or attend an upcoming gathering of a TNG group in your area.

Further reading (Old Guard titles):

Partners in Power by Jack Rinella
Ties That Bind by Guy Baldwin
The Loving Dominant by John and Libby Warren

Next Generation Links:

There are at least 350 NG groups (mostly by area/city) on Fetlife

Groups of interest are:

TNG

Young Dommes and the slaves who want them

Education and Guidance of the Submissive

YouTube Other Free Fetish Video, Present & Next Generation Video Site Finder.

About dave94015

interested in alternative relationships, visual artist, erotic romance writer and reviewer of erotica, drug rehab clinic intern - early 30's
This entry was posted in bdsm, relationships and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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