So you’re happily cruising along in your D/s world, enjoying your rituals, routines, and kinky fun, then BAM! You hit a deer in the road. Vanilla life has decided to rear its head, causing you to go off-road. Someone got sick, or there’s trouble with someone’s work, or maybe you just got overwhelmed with day-to-day life and fell into a rut. What do you do now? Do you just let it ride and hope it will come back? Like all relationships, D/s takes effort, especially in those times when it seems difficult to maintain. It means making the effort to remember that you have this option available and choosing to make use of it. The question is: How do you do that when everything seems so off-kilter?
Being Down Is Not Out in D/s
Often there is a misconception that, somehow, taking care of one another in the downtimes makes us less Dominant or submissive. I was once told by a former Dominant that it was not his place to take care of me or to pick up my slack when I was ill. Barbaric, right? This experience made me really watch other couples. What I found was that when hard times hit, D/s looked no different than a healthy, vanilla relationship. Each partner picked up the slack for the others when times got hard. It makes us no less who we are. If you are a Dominant and your submissive gets sick and has to stay in bed for a week, it makes you no less Dominant to do laundry and dishes while they are down and out. In this blogger’s opinion, it actually displays your Dominance more. It says that you care about your submissive, that you can follow your own rules and make sure they don’t have a mountain of work waiting for them on the other side of whatever has them down. I have heard submissives say that they feel less submissive when the Dominant is not feeling up to snuff for some reason. That taking care of what is usually the Dominant partner’s responsibility makes them feel as though they are not being Dominated at all. Yet for many of us, it is this notion of seeing to the care of our loved ones that initially led us down the path of BDSM. Caring for them in a time of crisis or illness makes us feel useful and of service. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with the demands of our vanilla life that even our best intentions for D/s fall by the wayside. It happens to all of us at one point or another. This more than illness or crisis tends to make many people question if they really are Dominant or submissive.
Love the One You’re With
D/s, like most of life, requires one to be flexible enough to ride the ebb and flow of life’s tides. It’s less about the circumstances involved and more about what we do about them that makes us truly Dominant or submissive. So what do we do about them? If you have been reading this blog long, I am sure you can guess. That’s right. We start with talking. If you are ill, or having a crisis and just can’t keep to your normal level of D/s, it is okay to talk to your partner(s) about this and say, “ Hey, I just can’t do this right now. I need to shift into a lower gear.” Dominants, this is your time to shine, whether you are the one facing the vanilla beast or not. Tell your submissives what they can do to help. Especially in a crisis, we are all appreciative of that person who jumps in and handles the mundane and sometimes difficult tasks that we just aren’t able to face. If your sub is the one having a rough time, you get to shine as well by taking some of their responsibilities on until they are better. I know many a sub who will worry themselves silly over the tasks they are not able to complete when they are ill or dealing with a personal crisis. We want to be able to do it all! Sometimes we need our Dominants to remind us that we are only human, and it is acceptable to not be wondersub. My dear, sweet, submissive pals, we can often find ourselves floundering a bit when we find that our Dominants are not able to give the focus and attention we need from them. But we can shine in these moments, as well. We can anticipate their needs. For me, taking care of a sick Dominant is an act of service. I am seeing to their needs and comfort. Maybe it isn’t sexy or kinky, but it still makes me feel submissive. We can do the same thing in a time of crisis; maybe that means tackling some aspect that they can’t face or maybe that means getting them to just relax. Offer a foot or shoulder rub. Make their favorite meal. Go do something they enjoy that lets them blow off a little steam. Our Dominants can be overwhelmed by life just the same as we can.
Steer Out of the Rut
The rut is the most common vanilla beast that happens. Life has a way of ganging up on you as often as not. Never fear, though. There are options for this as well! Talking to each other almost always makes us refocus and reinforce our dynamics. When vanilla life becomes demanding of our time and focus, we sometimes subconsciously perform only those D/s tasks which have become ingrained in our routines. Having a discussion about what is lacking is often all the catalyst needed to jump-start the flow of energy once again. There is also the case where your tasks and rituals have become so ingrained as to be lacking in the necessary exchange of energy. At this point, it may be wise to tweak those tasks and rituals. We all need a refresher every now and then. Change them up a bit, maybe add another layer to them, so that they don’t get drowned in the sea of vanilla life. There is also the option here of trying something new. That excited energy that comes with doing something you haven’t before may just carry over into the rest of your dynamic.
At the End of the Day…
Vanilla life is going to interfere with your kink at some point. There is no way to avoid it. When it does, if we ride the tide and keep the lines of communication open, we can see it through to the other side, and just maybe, come out better for it. As always, remember: This is your life; live it your way!

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