Day 22: What do you think is important in keeping a BDSM relationship healthy? How does it differ from a vanilla relationship?

In alphabetical order: communication, honesty and respect and trust.

In my opinion these four things are all equally important in a relationship. It does not matter whether it’s a BDSM relationship or a vanilla relationship though. Also, communication, honesty, respect and trust are inseparable from each other. They are totally intertwined.

If there are no honest communication between partners, there is no respect. If you are not communicating, if you are not honest, how can you say that you respect the other person? Let alone trust the other? For some people communicating about feelings and desires is more difficult than for others. However, an effort must be made to do so, as guessing about feelings and desire is not something that should be done in a relationship, especially not in a BDSM relationship. Guessing about feelings and desires in a BDSM relationship might lead to terrible misconceptions which can seriously hurt a relationship.

Honesty in communication and in actions is something that should be at the base of every relationship. Next to that, as one of the pillars for the relationship is respect. Respect for each other’s bodies. Respect for each other’s wishes. Respect for each other’s limits. Respect for each other’s beliefs. Respect for each other’s ways of doing things. Even though you are in a relationship, you are an individual and you have your own ways, due to nurture and nature. This should be respected by everyone around you, but especially by the person with whom you are in a relationship.

And when there is proper honest communication and respect, then trust will be part of the relationshop too. So I guess my answer to the questions above is that (in my opinion) the four pillars in any relationship – vanilla or BDSM – is communication, honesty, respect and trust. The only difference I see is that honesty weighs even heavier in a BDSM relationship than in a vanilla relationship.

It would be interesting to hear others’ views on this.

(written on 28.08.2011)

© Rebel’s Notes