Romance in D/s Relationships
I’m not a very romantic person. At least not in the sort of way that today’s society makes you think that romance should look like. I quite abhor grand gestures, romantic dinners in expensive restaurants or over the top glittery jewelry. I am more down to earth than that and prefer spending evenings under blankets and watching a movie, winter walks in the snow or a hug when it is least expected. And I think that romance in D/s relationships can be a little bit difficult to navigate: there are certain role expectations that might not always allow for the softness that often is associated with romance.
Love. Well. Love or romantic feelings are all about what you’d want them to look like in a relationship, D/s or not. My Master and I do things a bit different in our relationship. I have been in love before, and I am quite confident in describing and labeling my emotions. But he is not like that, at all. He likes to say what he feels in the moment or how he sees me in the moment. I have never heard the words “I love you”, come out of his mouth. We have been dating for two and a half years. We are married. He is my Master. And he has never told me that he loves me.
Does it bother me? To be honest, not as much anymore. It used to, because in my past relationships, the l-word was uttered quite frequently. I was just used to a different level of emotional expression. But now, with time, I have realized that I don’t care much about the words. I care about that he shows his love to me, that he cares about me, that I am important to him. You might think that is difficult, when I am not really into romance and romantic kitsch. But it isn’t.
I like the small things. When he sends me a text while at work, to ask how I am, or to remind me to eat. When he goes grocery shopping and comes home with all my favourite food. Or when he listens to me with interest about things that I am passionate about, but that might not be in his ballpark. When he gives me a hug without saying a word, just because he sensed that I wasn’t doing well. Those things mean way more to me than a word or all the diamond rings in the world.
Romance in D/s Relationships
Romance can be a tricky thing in a D/s relationship anyway. There are certain expectations of behaviour and expressions of emotions when you are in a 24/7 dynamic. A lot of times, those expectations are stereotypes: Dominants are not supposed to be emotional or lovey-dovey and a lot of submission is supposed to be about serious play and obedience.
There are definitely D/s dynamics where that doesn’t need to be true at all. In DD/llg relationships, the whimsical romantic is very much part of the relationship. Or when it comes to caretaker Doms who are often softer and considerate. Not every Dominant is a sadistic emotionally cold Master or Mistress. So in my eyes, romance can definitely play a role in a D/s relationship.
And even if the dynamics is more one of a Master/Mistress and a slave, I can think of many scenarios, where romance or expression of romantic feelings can have a place. Aftercare is one of those scenarios, where it is all about gentle and soft touch, care taking and spending time together. So even the hardest sadists can let go then, and show that they are more than just a stereotype.
Romance in my D/s relationship
I’m not too sure if our D/s relationship affects how we approach romance. I really think I am just not generally a very typically romantic person. And while my Master can be emotional at times, he is not one to shout out his emotions, especially the romantic ones. Our D/s, while being one of a Master and a puppet, is also a lot about caretaking. And that involves a lot of hugging and my Master doing things to make me feel better.
It just wouldn’t suit us if I we were all of the sudden lovey-dovey Daddy Dom – Babygirl, like I used to be with my ex. In that relationship, romance played a much bigger role. His language of love was gifts and he did all the grand gestures, wrote me poems, send me flowers and cupcakes for my birthday. He went all in. And that was okay. I appreciated that that was the way he expressed his love for me. This makes me wonder if different D-types and sub-types have a language of love in common. I know that Daddy and Mommy types are more prone to give gifts, that slave submissives are more prone to acts of service, and I personally am good at using words as my language of love, through communicating and saying how I feel. So that is maybe how brats do it?
Romance is not a huge need for me, but emotional connection and emotional intimacy need to be at the core of any relationship I am in. And if that connection is then expressed through gifts, care taking or quality time spent together, is not that important to me. The D/s relationship I am in right now, is more about quality time and care taking, and that is fine with me. I know that that is how my Master expresses his emotions for me. I would probably be weirded out if he suddenly wrote me love poems or came home with a diamond ring.
And I can also add to that, that we are polyamorous, So we are both able to form romantic connections with more than one person at a time. I think the language of love that we’d use with potential partners might just look very different from how romance works in our own relationship.
I think it is an issue when people assume that romance and expressions of romantic feelings don’t have a place in D/s dynamics. Just as much as people assume that men don’t have romantic needs and are more generally emotionally cold, and women are emotionally needy and want all the grand gestures. First and foremost we are all people, with different needs and wants, that are not only linked to our gender or our roles in relationships. Some people just have more of a need for romance, and others don’t. And that is okay. The important thing is that you find a partner that can meet your needs, not only sexually, but also romantically.