November/December 2001
Truth, Trust & Honesty:
Their Roles in D/s Relationships
by FineArt


I find the starting point for a discussion of the importance of trust and honesty in BDSM & D/s relationships should start with the scene. In many situations, the "relationship" is defined by or limited to the scene. At one end of the continuum, people often enter into one time scenes for the purpose of meeting their own personal needs, with minimal concern for the satisfaction of the other (a prime example might be the use of a professional Dominatrix). Here, the meaning to the word trust roughly relates to confidence in the abilities and intent of the Dom/me... are they able to deliver the pleasures promised, will they be safe. We talk about bottoms/subs placing their well-being, their very lives in the hands of Tops... frankly, we do the same thing with the mechanic who repairs the brakes on the car, the mental health professional dealing with depression, the medical staff dealing with serious illness or accident. It's just a bit more difficult to establish credentials! As to honesty... in such situations, the need is minimal... only what is necessary to proceed safely and to meet the goals of the negotiated scene.

At the other end of the continuum is the long term, serious, growth oriented D/s relationship. Here, trust and honesty define the long-term quality of the relationship. Lets be honest... there will always be secrets within relationships... for a variety of reasons. However, on things of real substance to the well-being and growth of those involved in the relationship, the greater the trust, the more open they can be in their communications, the stronger the relationship can become, the more growth can be achieved.

We also must recognize that trust is not an absolute! It is not something where we just flick a switch and move from not having it to having complete trust... it builds over time... the nature and quality of the communications each has... the ability to not only share deep things with our partners, but to look deeply into ourselves... to engage in personal growth and understanding... being honest not only with our partners, but with ourselves.

And finally, few things are more fragile than trust. What can take months, years to build (deep trust, based on experience and knowledge... not the trust built on original impressions), can be undermined by things as simple as a careless statement, a thoughtless action. Continuous communication is not the sole answer. What is communicated must grow in depth and understanding... and must be honest... but without it, trust can never move beyond the level given to your friendly, certified neighborhood mechanic!