Good writings about the psychological aspects of a D/s relationship
April 11, 2010 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend some good writings about the psychological aspects of a D/s relationship, the process of getting to know one another and submission.

I've come to be pretty assertive in my relationships and making it official with a girl who considers herself a sub appeals to me at the moment.

I'd like to read more about the psychological and emotional aspects of this kind of relationship from both sides and details of the process by which a sub trusts and submits to a dom(me)

Not technical details about roleplay or S/M, just the relationship and power dynamic.

FWIW I am a straight man, but will read whatever.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (7 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

the stockroom has a ton of books on the subject...(disclosure: my best friend works there) they're very serious and professional...if you need any advice feel free to call them, or stop by the store if you're in L.A.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:08 PM on April 11, 2010

The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book, by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton, are pretty good. Both talk a fair bit about the psychology of D/s, in ways that struck me as accurate, thoughtful and clear-headed — including a lot of talk about negotiation and acceptance and asking for what you want that I expect will be especially useful for people just starting out.

Both also talk some about roleplaying and S/M technique, but the psychological and emotional stuff is worth it and you can skim the parts that you aren't interested in.

(Obligatory plug: there's a people from Metafilter group on Fetlife which is reasonably active — and as anonymous as you want it to be. If you're looking for a longer conversation about this stuff, come check us out.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:19 PM on April 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

those are usually pretty prominently displayed at the stockroom so you might count that as a 'thumbs up' (my opinion is probably kind of useless actually...not a fetishist, usu. stop by for the best friend and the jar of tootsie pops by the register. ;) that, and to try on accessories...i look GOOD in rubber!)
posted by sexyrobot at 1:53 PM on April 11, 2010

Anything ever written by Pat (now Patrick) Califia.

If you haven't read then-her 1979 essay "A Secret Side of Lesbian Sexuality" you're in for a treat; rarely has there been such a frank and open discussion of what it means, personally and ethically, to be a sadist. It was Califia who guided me to a place I had been groping for, a moral ground where I was not necessarily a bad person because of my sexual fantasies.

The later years have taken PC on an even more amazing journey, of less direct interest to me but still fascinating and wonderfully chronicled, as she converted from a sadistic gay woman to a sadistic gay man (!) with an amazing subtext on the idea of "gayness" as a fetish even more powerful for her/him than sadomasochism.

If you are only now starting to seriously think about this sort of thing, I'll also pass along something my wife once said to me. In our early days I read Stephen King's novella Apt Pupil and saw a bit too much of myself in there, and ended up in tears, haunted by the idea that I could be similarly seduced by the evil allure of raw power.

My darling lady said, "yes Roger there are bad people who want to torture people to death, but what you want to do is torture me until I have an orgasm."

And it was true. And I've been pretty comfortable with my un-politically-correct sexual identity since that moment.
posted by localroger at 2:02 PM on April 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

It might help you to read some of the blogs written by submissive women. Some of them can be rather extreme, especially from women who are in "TPE" relationships, and might not necessarily map to your situation. However, I've found that the personal blogs focus often focus on the psychological aspect, specifically why they're in a D/s relationship and how it makes them happy.

One blog I used to read for a while is: You might want to follow links on her blogroll and find more such blogs.

- 1/2 ¢
posted by Idle Curiosity at 2:43 PM on April 11, 2010

This book is by far the best thing I have read on the psychology of d/s relationships. Now these folks are almost certainly taking it way farther than you two are but the advice given there is fantastic for anyone, just scale it down to the level you're working at.
posted by By The Grace of God at 3:28 PM on April 11, 2010

I have never read the book that By The Grace of God recommends, but I know the two people who wrote it by reputation and by their other writing and they are very thoughtful and wise.

And yes, the FetLife group is good and we will try to help you!

If I think up more stuff I'll write it. If you want to ask any specific questions or just chat feel free to memail me.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:44 AM on April 12, 2010

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