BDSM-relations: The cake model

Sexuality/BDSM/General/Fetish

Question:

Of course, as a Kink Aware Relationship Coach, you get questions about 24/7 BDSM relationships that turned sour.
Answer:
Let me try to give some answers (especially for beginners).

BDSM and limits
Original (Dutch): Het taart-model van West betreffende BDSM-relaties*

When people have problems with their BDSM relationships, I always say that you can approach a BDSM relationship as if it was a cake. Because -whether it is a relationship for a hot night or for a year, or for a life- …on the surface in BDSM-relations, the power is unevenly distributed and that requires some special attention. The image with which I always clarify that is the metaphor of a cake. Because about every cake you could say:

You really need a cake before you can start with adding the topping

“topping” … nudge nudge … (pun is intended!)

kinkinderelatie_cake -spatula-topping A BDSM-relationship needs a solid cake of equality where you can then put all kinds of paradoxically unequal “topping” over it.
When you lose yourself in the power game (both as the “top” as well as the “bottom”) then you easily forget that we can only enjoy so much inequality in our relationships, if everyone is working together to maintain that inequality. That’s so basic, it’s in our constitution*.

When you lose sight of that basic level of equality, then you are soon to start abuse – and not in a ‘good’ way. Being unequal all the time, that can be very exciting in the fantasy and in the short term. But in the long run, it is often distressingly wrong.

I’ve had several questions with the indignant remark: “But he/she signed for it!”…
As if such a contract would mean something … Underneath our jurisdiction lies our constitution* where we are all equal.

Àl the exciting contracts that we could draw up together with all the wonderfully horny unequal ‘rights’ that we record together, that will evaporate like snow in the sun when we are brought to justice. And probably it is also a sobering good idea to keep remembering that when we think about our relations. No matter how wonderful he/she is, a Dom(me) is only a human being. Just like that also applies to a sub or slave (M/F). If we forget that in our relationship, then a few things could easily go wrong. Such as, for example:


That creates more

As in one of my quotes* (from Matthew Stokoe) comes forward. BDSM is a new world without many fixed rules. On the one hand, this makes it possible to open up a world of new possibilities, on the other hand, it happens that people sometimes put their hunger first, put their lust for more on the foreground and forget that they are more than their lust. And especially having absolute power has quite a distinct effect as we have seen in Guantanamo Bay, as we have seen in the camps in and after the Second World War, as in psychological research with randomly selected students:

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

That is one to remember. No matter how good it feels to hand over power and/or how good it feels to get all the power. Power changes you when you get it… It normalizes and you want more.
Indeed, of course, for a cake with a lot or “topping”, that cake must be strong enough to also carry all the topping that’s piled. Otherwise, it will collapse. That is why the question is justified:

What are you both doing about the firmness of your cake?

No, I don’t mean the firmness of the topping (even though it can give a certain protection) but to the firmness of the cake carrying that the topping?

Think regular of partner consultations for which the balance of power is suspended for a moment with full freedom of speech and for which therefore no punishment may be allowed!
In that sense, I sometimes joke:

“24 / 7 does not really exist,
23,5 / 7 is the maximum.”

You need an equal consultation with each other about goals and means. An equal conversation in which both parties can take their self-responsibility, in all freedom to see what it takes to be happy as a person and as a couple… to both take care of that cake underneath the topping.


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