But… What about love in BDSM?

BDSM

If we talk about a “triangle of love” in the BDSM-scene, most people think of a threesome, or of bondage-patterns over naked skin. Understandable but it kinda adds to the view that “those BDSM-kinda-people are not really capable of love” (Yes I know some relationship therapists still have this outdated view, even tho there is no scientific evidence to back that up… au contraire by the way!).
So I thought it a good idea to talk a bit about love in BDSM-relationships.


Gateau-model: about cake and topping

As I often state in my gateau-model there is a difference between the relationship and the topping. And sometimes people say that the love is is one of their constituents in the ‘cake’ that carries the ‘topping’. On the other hand I’ve heard people say that love was actually a big part of the topping, the love from a sub for his Top and even (as political un-correct as it may sound) the love from a slave for her Master.
I am not in the position to decide whether it is “Love” what people feel when they say they feel love. I have seen what looks like real love, even if the outer shape of their love is different from the average lovers. I tend to take feelings as facts (and yes, people may choose different labels for different things)
When we stop the argument whether love can only exist in equal relationships and have a look at the way it is appreciated on both sides of both the sadist and the masochist that “I can finally be who I am” is often said with a sigh of relief after a solid scene. Especially in the aftercare-phase of things. But actually in the love via a whip or a command as wel. Does it aim to let your subbie grow? Does it aim to let your master/mistress shine?

Love Triangle (Sternberg)

Is BDSM just hot? Is the ‘Topping’ only passion? Or is there an intimacy in the way you both let each other glow and grow. And even in the hits-and-misses that always wil be an integral part of learning the ropes, the whips, the ruling as a dom(me)… are you forgiven your faults when you are able to admit them yourself? Is’nt there a certain commitment to be observed?

Sternberg has a nice model I’d like to present here. It is the Triangular Theory of Love and I could draw my own triangle but if you google it, you’ll see about a hundred:
https://www.google.nl/search?q=sternberg+triangle+of+love

Talk about Sex and Love

Sometimes if “love” gives hard feelings it is good to understand what love is constituted from. And Sterberg states it is a concept that more or less “moves around over a triangle with as its three points:

  • Passion,
  • Intimacy &
  • Commitment.

Making loooove can be a passionate one night stand with little intimacy and only the commitment to turn each other on. Or it can be a relationship where a devoted sub (M/F) subserves his/her Dom(me) over years or decades. Or it can be a love between to Dominants (F/M) that sometimes share a sub but are more committed and intimate “partners in crime” than passionate lovers.
Certainly in the last two you could recognize a clear commitment and most likely there is a higher degree of intimacy than in the hot and steamy fantasy world of a holiday relationship or a once-a-month playdate.
And the thing is: often we feel that “something is nog right” but we don’t know how to voice what we are missing. Maybe this model helps you understand what it is that you are lacking and i hope you are able to voice that in such a way that your partner(s) are able to give you what you need, of have the clarity that they never will so that opens the door for you to either mourn and let go of your hopes and be grateful for what you get. Or that you hoist the sails and leave that harbor to go after your dreams.

I hope to ad to your relationship conversations with your lovers and fellow BDSM-friends
Hans


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