I like to think most people have a handle on the idea that you’re still a real kinky person if all you like is a gentle spanking now and then, but we still seem to have a lot of trouble with the idea of casual d/s. I’m as guilty of it as anyone else, I’ve done my share of ragging on people for having ‘velcro collars’ (for those who haven’t heard the term, it’s basically the kink version of serial monogamy, but probably with more of an implication that the person with the ‘velcro collar’ will take it off shortly and move on to the next top/dom/master), and privately shaking my head at people who talk excitedly about their new Master when they’ve known the guy for maybe a week.
But then one day I read a short post on tumblr (at least, I think it was tumblr. If this sounds familiar let me know in the comments) asking what was so bad about casual d/s and you know, I didn’t have a good answer. If casual relationships are okay and casual play is okay, then exactly what is so bad about casual d/s?
For me a collar means a serious long term commitment but doesn’t mean someone else can’t enjoy giving or taking a collar for a week, a weekend, or just a few hours. If everyone involved understands that it’s temporary, what’s the harm? If I did have a collared submissive, someone else’s temporary collar wouldn’t harm that relationship any more than gay marriage harms heterosexual marriage. The worst case scenario there is a bit of confusion when I’m talking with someone and run into mismatched ideas about what a d/s relationship means, and let’s be honest, practically none of the words we use in kink have precise definitions. If they did, negotiation would be so much simpler.
D/s certainly lends itself to strong feelings, and plenty of people have fallen in love with the dynamic and mistaken that for falling in love with the other person in the dynamic, but sex does the same thing for many people and plenty of us have casual sex and keep it casual with no problems. If casual sex or casual d/s doesn’t work for you that’s absolutely fine, but don’t go pretending it doesn’t work for anyone.
Now, I’m not saying nobody ever jumps into a relationship without thinking it through, or replaces partner after partner with the next shiny new thing, but unless you’re really, really sure that’s what someone is doing, can we just give people a break? If you’ve never had a short term relationship (or even a crush) that you felt very strongly about, go ahead and throw the first stone – right after I finish calling you a liar.