D/s Relationship Ebbs and Flows | Married BDSM

D/s Relationship Natural Ebb & Flow

Peaks and Valleys – Highs and Lows…

I have said many times how Dominants throughout all phases of their D/s journey will experience ebbs and flows as their D/s relationship progresses.  Most importantly, consider your D/s, Dominance and submission, as a relationship between a Dominant and a submissive rather than that of a husband and a wife.  In other words regard your D/s as a ‘relationship’ and as with any relationship, vanilla or otherwise, there will be a natural cycle of ebbs and flows, highs and lows.  After mentoring many couples it is my belief that the first step back is usually the most difficult.

3 steps forward and 1 step back…



The first ebb, or step backwards in the D/s relationship diminishes the new husDOM’s confidence to nearly zero. It will ordinarily take a new Dominant or husDOM some time to develop a solid D/s foundation in which he truly feels comfortable.  The first step backwards can leave a new Dominant with a perception of utter hopelessness and despair.  Often times, it is not until after the first ebb or step backwards of a D/s relationship that the Dominant realizes how much progress he has fashioned as a Dominant and begins to establish a genuine confidence in his ability to lead the relationship.

Generally speaking, the peaks and valleys or cycles, if you, will become less frequent and to a lesser severity or degree as the journey continues. The Dominant will begin to develop more self confidence and he begin to recognize what has taken place, a natural cyclical ebb and flow of a relationship.  With this new found and proven confidence the Dominant can now establish a flight plan that will keep the D/s dynamic climbing to a safe altitude.DOUBLE2OPT298

Unfortunately when the Dominant takes a step backwards, there is a chink in his armor or in his confidence.  The D/s atmosphere is not being properly maintained as the Dominant is trying to recover and regain control.  Often times the new Dominant sits idle and tries to analyze the situation, paralyzed by the step backwards.  When the Dominant does not recover his demeanor quickly, his submissive begins to become anxious  recognizing that the D/s atmosphere is diminishing.

As the atmosphere diminishes the Dominant recognizes this degradation of control as well, it is apparent by his DOUBLE-2OPT769submissive becoming less and less submissive over time.  Again, this weakening D/s atmosphere is occurring due to the Dominant not properly attending to the dynamic.

This situation is a common situation for new D/s couples as well as more established D/s couples. If this behavior is allowed to continue without proper action and maintenance by the Dominant the D/s dynamic will begin to deteriorate and regress further back, much further than just one step.  It may diminish to obscurity and beyond.

Sometimes the excitement of the new found D/s relationship leaves dominants feeling as though this situation could never happen to them but allow me to assure you that in one manner or another and to different degrees this happens to everyone, it is indeed how healthy relationships function.

Here are some techniques that may help the new Dominant, as well as an established Dominant level their wings and regain control of the situation…



Posture – the physical positioning of the Dominant and the submissive during downtime helps to create a proper mindset for the Dominant as well as the submissive.  This subtle but effective body posturing will help stabilize the acutely diminished atmosphere.

Communication – Use downtime to ask your submissive directly what is troubling her.  After your submissive communicates her trepidations and concerns regarding the current weakening of your dynamic you can reassure her that you have everything under control and bring to light how you as the Dominant, as the leader, intend on overcoming this setback to create an even stronger D/s dynamic.

Be sure that both the Dominant and submissive maintain their perspective roles and do not speak as a husband and wife but rather as a Dominant and submissive.  This is not the time to discuss situations such as children or household issues.  This is about the two of you and your D/s relationship.

Carefully listen to what your submissive is communicating you, her perception of the situation is the reality.

Do not defend your position or try to rationalize your mindset.  Listen…

Ask plenty of followup questions so you as the Dominant will have an explicit overview of what happened to cause this particular ebb or step backwards.

Confidence – During an ebb or step backwards the new Dominant may begin to doubt that his submissive is still onboard and that she still has the same desires for a Dominance and submission lifestyle.  Downtime will extinguish these insecure and paranoid thoughts as she reassures her desires.


Posture – The physical positioning of administering a spanking to your submissive without a doubt promotes the proper Dominant submissive atmosphere and mindset.  This spanking would be what I would refer to as a maintenance spanking, a more tender compassionate spanking allowing the Dominant and submissive a renewed perspective of their proper roles.

Confidence – The physical positioning along with the physical contact between the dominant’s bare hand on the submissive’s bare bottom is instrumental in restoring the lost or broken confidence.  This act is an intimate reconnecting of the minds.

Roles – A spanking facilitates and encourages both the Dominant and the submissive to realign their perspective roles within the D/s dynamic.

D/s Scene

Posture – A Dominance and submission scene may be the most influential method to renew the D/s atmosphere.  Not only will there be physical posture but the scene itself will dictate the roles of both the Dominant and the submissive.

If you are experiencing a step back this may also be simply out of the question.  You will want to begin with downtime and proceed to a maintenance spanking and then plan your D/s scene.  If both you and your submissive are experiencing a loss of confidence in your D/s relationship charging into a D/s scene may be foster an even larger setback.

Confidence – A D/s scene will promote the Dominant’s confidence as well as ease the submissive’s mindset by demonstrating the actual attributes of the lifestyle.

Following an ebb or step backwards be sure keep the scene elementary.  Use the scene to build confidence as a Dominant and to build the confidence of your submissive.  This is not the proper time to try something new or to stretch or push the boundaries.  This particular D/s scene merely requires you to successfully complete it.  The Dominant’s goal during the scene should be to leave the submissive wanting more.

Without the proper Dominant submissive atmosphere your submissive will continue to slowly become less and less submissive and that uncomfortable distance between the two of you will continue to intensify. This detrimental pattern will continue to escalate until there is no Dominant and submissive atmosphere left and the Dominant and submissive are both right back to their old vanilla relationship standard.


D/s Relationships

Ebbs & Flows


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  1. Mr. Fox,

    As always Sir, you have once again hit on a subject that most Doms can relate to…some more than others!
    Thank you for the insight as well as the technique suggestions!
    I can personally relate to the post and your words ring very loudly!
    Thank you again for another wonderful post!
    I look forward to your next one Sir!
    Take Care!
    Mr. B

    1. Mr. B,

      The content of the post can be beneficial to every Dominant that I have ever met or spoken to… Including myself…

      All relationships encounter ebbs and flows…

      It is the Dominant’s responsibility to overcome these challenging times and establish the correct atmosphere again.

      Best wishes,

      Mr Fox

  2. Great points and well timed. With the end of the holidays and spending large amounts of time together as Dominant and submissive, the return to work life and separation create a natural ebb. The high emotions from being together slowly fade as the rhythms of life return.

    This post was very timely for my own D/s-M and I appreciate the guidance on how to maintain my Dominant mindset and dynamic.

    Thanks for posting!

    The Hunter

    1. The Hunter,

      You have brought up an excellent point with your comment…

      “the return to work life and separation create a natural ebb.

      And ebb or step backwards can be caused by the most routine or ordinary situation. It isnt always an obvious earth shattering event.

      Best wishes,

      Mr Fox

  3. Mr.Fox,

    Great post once again!

    I personally relish the fact that in all three scenarios “confidence” is brought up. I personally believe with out the confidence, there simply cannot be a Dom atmosphere you talk about here.

    Thank you for the wonderful words of advice once again, allowing us all to take flight in our own D/s-M relationships.

    I too look forward to your next blog post!

    Best regards,

    1. Sir,

      These moments of diminishing D/s atmosphere definitely tear at the heart of a Dominant’s confidence. And the Dominant will need to have self confidence in order to progress along his D/s journey.

      Best wishes,

      Mr Fox

  4. Mr. Fox,

    You have once again written a blog that gives great advice and information on a topic that all Doms can relate to. Myself included. Thank you.

    I remember the conversations we had after I had my first step backwards. In truth, it felt as though I had fallen backwards off a cliff. The climb to get back was much harder than getting there in the first place. The lack of confidence that I suffered was near debilitating. It felt as though the world was ending. By using the tools of D/s darling and I were able to work through that time and become stronger and closer. This led to more steps forward in our D/s as she saw my commitment and felt my love.

    As you know, these ebbs and flows are very natural. The steps backwards, while painful, are part of life. What we do in them is what dictates how our D/s relationship will proceed and grow. I work everyday to learn better how to ride the ebb and flow of the waves of our relationship. I still take steps backwards but I catch them quicker and am able to take more forward steps because I have learned from each previous one.

    I will read this blog many times and recommend that others do the same. Thank you again for a wonderfully written blog.

    Good day,

    My Darlings Sir

    1. My Darling’s Sir,

      You have two compelling statements in your comment that I find significant and want to highlight.

      “The climb to get back was much harder than getting there in the first place.”

      The first 3 steps forward are effortless and quite possibly the most liberating steps of your life. After the first step backwards it is much more difficult to take a single step forward again to get back to where you once were. This is where your stepping up as a Dominant and your determination can move your D/s relationship forward and to greater heights than you ever considered…

      “The lack of confidence that I suffered was near debilitating.”

      I could not agree more… If you want your D/s dynamic to succeed then it is up to you as the Dominant to lead and right the ship…

      Best wishes,

      Mr Fox

      1. Thank you for this….

        “The first 3 steps forward are effortless and quite possibly the most liberating steps of your life. After the first step backwards it is much more difficult to take a single step forward again to get back to where you once were. This is where your stepping up as a Dominant and your determination can move your D/s relationship forward and to greater heights than you ever considered…

        “The lack of confidence that I suffered was near debilitating.”

        I could not agree more… If you want your D/s dynamic to succeed then it is up to you as the Dominant to lead and right the ship…”

        …was a much needed inspiration today.

        1. Coach,

          I am pleased that you found this article and it’s comments useful to you as you progress along your journey into the D/s lifestyle. It is delightful to see members benefit from this community.

          There is no charge for inspiration…

          Use it to do the right thing…

          Best wishes,

          Mr Fox

  5. Once again a great post Mr.Fox, written at a good time as LW and I just went thru an ebb time. Even tho I thought I was watchful if crept up on us. Downtime and communication has brought us out. As with other things in life working back from a setback will make me stronger and thus make our dynamic stronger.

    Thanks for another great post Sir.


    1. Buck,

      As you would know from a few of our conversations it happens to all of us, including myself. And unfortunately I suspect that it will continue to happen in the future even against my most diligent efforts.

      It is up to us Dominants to recognize the ebb and to communicate openly and directly to our submissives to begin to turn the flow around.

      I am glad to learn that you have overcome the recent ebb and that your dynamic is growing and healthy.

      Best wishes,

      Mr Fox

  6. Thanks for your nice post.

    I’m new to D/s so perhaps I haven’t experienced what you’re referring to. There have certainly been times when I had to get clear on my role (specifically when to offer guidance/encouragement vs discipline/Punishment for an infraction or inappropriate behavior) though my confidence has never wavered. There has always been a deep knowing, even in times of intense pain or my own false idea that the relationship would end, that I’d be able to resolve any concerns going forward.

    So maybe an example or two could shed some light as to what to keep an eye out for.

    Thank you.

    1. smls,

      Welcome to husDOM™…

      Thank you for commenting on the post. Ebbs and flows happen in all types of relationships no matter what the dynamic. Unfortunately , in a new D/s-M relationship the first ebb can be debilitating to the Dominant. The Dominant’s confidence is fragile and it doesnt take much of a challenge to make the Dominant begin to second guess himself.

      You have just identified one of the most valuable attributes of the husDOM™ community.

      Best wishes,

      Mr Fox

  7. I am brand new to this ‘lifestyle’ and am in the very first stages of trying to understand what it is, and how it might be positive & beneficial. I was raised to think of relationships as being ‘between equals’; thus, the idea of D/s seemed incongruent, misogynistic, and socially wrong. Recently however, I’ve become aware of how efforts to achieve equality in my relationships may have been based on faulty social constructs, and that emotionally healthy women do indeed often seek and are strengthened in the submissive role. As a researcher, I tend to seek evidence for ideas & assertions. What I couldn’t help recognizing in this post was a strong correlation between what the writer was saying about the benefits of a clearly defined D/s relationship, and how other animals organize their social/mating relationships. In domesticated horse herds for example, there is a tremendous need for an alpha (which might be a male or a female). Indeed, there is likely no other need so stridently sought and reinforced as that of the alpha. The survival of the herd depends on it, and horses continually seek to confirm who the alpha is through repeated, small tests. The current alpha is always being tested, which both ensures the right animal is in the alpha position, and gives confidence to the herd members that ‘all is right & safe’ with their world. Thank you to the author of this post for making this point so clearly in the context of the D/s relationship. It makes sense that in human D/s relationships, the sub, the Dom & the relationship benefits from the regular assurance that ‘all is right & safe’ in their world. Interesting site – thank you for creating it and for your contributions.

    1. Yamaha6pc,

      I was raised to think of relationships as being ‘between equals’; thus, the idea of D/s seemed incongruent, misogynistic, and socially wrong.

      Almost all of us have been raised under similar circumstances. It is important to state that I do not believe myself any better than my lk. It is just that in our relationship she has agreed to allow me to lead. However, if I demonstrate that I can not or should not be the leader she can withdraw her willingness to submit to me without question.

      Thank you for your observation and contribution.

      Best wishes,

      Mr Fox

  8. Mr. Fox,

    As always thank you for sharing. I can attest to having the dynamic fade into obscurity. We both miss it tremendously and feel the loss almost daily.

    In reading this post I am encouraged that we can rebuild our dynamic.

    Loving Liege

  9. I dont know what do you exactly mean by ebbs with respect to their duration and frequency. It seems to me that there are two cylces going on. One with low frequency somehow reflecting the overall state of life (in scales of multiple weeks) – i guess it is that what you meant – and one with high frequency (within one week) in which the feelings you described may occure.
    I see this as an inevitable consequence if one checks the model he made up to understand the mechanics or feelings about a topic. When I encounter these feelings I know its time to improve my model and to develop further. For me these ebbs can be very motivating.

  10. Peterunwillig,

    “For me these ebbs can be very motivating.”

    Ebbs are where the most growth happens. It isn’t until you have taken a step back are you ready for the leap forward.

    Best wishes,

    Mr Fox

  11. Mr. Fox,

    This is a great reminder for after the holidays. Both new and seasoned Doms could use this guidance when things go off track. I find routine to be at the heart of this lifestyle and the holidays definitely throws one off routine.

    Thanks again for a great post,

    Mr. K

    1. Mr K,

      It is the storm that makes us appreciate the calm… Otherwise we would take it for granted…

      The ebbs are inevitable no matter how strong our relationship may be. Though I make every effort to avoid them they are a healthy part of our dynamic. I will add that our ebbs are most often brought on after I have become complacent in one manner or another. Not attending to my relationship properly.

      Best wishes,

      Mr Fox

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