Throughout my journey into the Dominance and submission lifestyle there have been numerous rituals or protocols that simply were not suited for a mature long-term or married D/s-M couples. Therefore, in order for this lifestyle to function properly for Little Kaninchen and myself there have been times that I have had to improvise and create scenarios that work for us.
One such scenario is our Downtime.
Little Kaninchen needed a time when she could speak openly and honestly without apprehension or fear of retribution. The belief that she should be able to communicate her honest unencumbered thoughts and feelings towards me and my leadership without fear of retribution surfaced a need for a protocol; a protocol that just simply did not exist anywhere in the D/s lifestyle.
For a Dominant to be successful I believe that excellent communication is key. In fact, for a new submissive and a new Dominant to succeed communication is paramount!
All of the information available online or in books today suggests that the Dominant rules without any input from his submissive. We are lead to believe that if the Dominant doesn’t possess all of the correct answers without hesitation, any research or input from others that it places his Dominance in jeopardy. It may be my professional training and years of discipline but I believe that this attitude is immature and irresponsible. An attitude such as this is setting the relationship up for sure failure.
A person that does not answer to another is a dictator and dictators eventually become tyrants. In our lifestyle that tyranny is referred to as domineering. A Dominant is a leader and a good leader educates himself before making any decisions.
How is a new Dominant supposed to gauge his performance if he has no or extremely limited input?
After identifying the need for downtime, and creating the protocol itself, this is how I decided to incorporate it into our D/s-M relationship.
Our downtime can be accomplished at anytime, day or night. It can be done on a regular basis, daily, nightly, weekly, whatever time frame that you feel is appropriate. I utilize downtime every few days in our relationship. An important attribute to the application of downtime is consistency. You should be continually evaluating the need for downtime and incorporating it as required.
Little Kaninchen is also encouraged to request downtime with me anytime that she has something that she would like to discuss with me.
Our downtime is initiated with me sitting in my leather tufted chair in our bedroom. Little Kaninchen kneels beside my chair and rests her head in my lap. As we talk I usually run my fingers through her hair and hold her by the nape of her neck.
During our discussion I have granted her the privilege to speak openly and without retribution, however I have not eliminated all of the hierarchy among us. I am still her Dominant and she will speak respectfully to me. But I granted her immunity, if you will, to tell me exactly how she feels about everything, our relationship, my decision making, my leadership, her thoughts, her preferences anything that she wants to ensure that I am aware of. It is important to remember that you are providing her safe sanctuary to speak honestly without retribution. This discussion should be as a Dominant and submissive and not as a husband and a wife, professional almost.
I personally travel quite a bit for a living and have discovered that I can accomplish downtime while on the road as well. (Virtual Dom) When I feel that downtime is required I will facetime my LK and request that she place her iPad on the back of my chair and kneel beside it with her head resting on the pillow.
I initially created downtime to provide my submissive a safe sanctuary where she could communicate openly and honestly with me. After creating and implementing the protocol I realized several other beneficial by-products.
I quickly discovered that the information that Little Kaninchen was providing to me during our downtime was invaluable. Downtime became a Dominant’s time of discovery. A time to listen and ensure that my leadership as a Dominant was nourishing her as my submissive.
Downtime is similar to checking in with your submissive during a scene.
Downtime, when used as a discovery tool, can be administered after a scene. Aftercare is a must immediately after a scene and can not be overlooked. When using downtime to discuss a heavy scene, the following day will be more appropriate than the day of.
Downtime also had the unexpected benefit of feeding her submissive mindset. I found that within one minute of her resting her head on my lap her entire demeanor, as did mine, changed deeper into our designated roles. Little Kaninchen experienced a more submissive mindset and I felt more in control and Dominant. I suspect that our position plays into effect, she is kneeling, her head is in my lap and I have her by her hair and the nape of her neck.
In summary, downtime is a tool that should be used to check in with your submissive. To verify that she is being properly nourished and to discover any unacknowledged concerns or fears that she may have. Downtime is one of the only tools that you have to ensure that you are doing a good job as a Dominant. Downtime also affords the Dominant some additional benefits such as better communication and a better submissive mindset. Finally, downtime will help you develop a better Dominant mindset and provide you with more confidence.
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