No matter what we want to believe or how we choose to behave, relationships are the same, whether you're kinky or vanilla. People are still people with all of the same hopes, dreams, flaws, and beauty; kink is irrelevant.

For those of you, like me, in long-term D/s relationships, or for those searching for your forever partner, it pays to keep this in mind. Real life can and will creep up on you even when you're having the kinky time of your life. You may find yourself taking care of your Dominant in ways you never anticipated – and it may make you feel less submissive than you've ever felt.

Recently, Southern Sir, my beloved Daddy, lost his little sister to cancer. She was only in her 40s, a single mom of two, and one of his favorite people. She was diagnosed over a year ago, and he became one of her primary caregivers. The loss of his sister has been tough on him, as was the year or more of watching her succumb to her illness.

As his submissive and partner, I had a few choices. I could sit back and pretend this didn't affect me, or I could jump in with both feet and support him as much as possible. I chose the latter, and in the end, it made our relationship that much stronger.

Along the way, I learned a few lessons and truths that every submissive should keep in mind when your Dominant is under great strain.

Dominants cry.

His tears never freaked me out, they made my heart ache for him. It's our job to hold them until the tears run out and to let them know crying isn't a weakness. We need to be their soft place to land when life becomes too much.

Dominants become anxious.

Southern Sir was so worried about his sister he no longer slept and when he did, he had terrible nightmares – until the doctor prescribed Ambien. Some people view worry, anxiety, and medication as weaknesses. Don't be one of those people. Even now, weeks after her death, I encourage him to take Ambien because he still finds it difficult to sleep.

Dominants feel out of control.

If your Dominant is like mine, it's the worst feeling in the world. Try to give them more control at home, if you can. But be aware, there will be some days when the weight of the world is on their shoulders. At that moment, additional responsibility might be overwhelming.

Your protocols will help you


feel Dominant and submissive.

You may need to remind your Dominant of his part in your protocols. You may need to ignore him when you're told: “not to worry about it.” (Do as told if your actions cause him stress or anxiety.) For us, each night I still knelt before bed, I still asked permission for orgasms, and I maintained many of the routines dictated by our personal protocols. It was my way of serving him and reminding him of his role in our relationship.

The kink might run dry or stop altogether.

Don't pressure your Dominant for kinky play, but don't pretend you don't need it either. Keep the communication wide open but understand that in those moments of intense pressure, the last thing your Dominant may want is to tie you up or spank your ass.

The kink might be just what they need.

The day of his sister's memorial service, Daddy bent me over the side of the bed and spanked my ass for 20 minutes. It relieved the tension for both of us, and we managed to muddle through the sadness and the family drama for the rest of the day. If your Dominant enjoys certain activities – spankings, bondage, even sex – as a stress relief, gently remind them from time to time of the benefits for both of you.

You may have to step up and take the lead.

Submissives are strong people. We have to be in order to trust someone enough to grant them control over any facet of our life. This is the time to be strong. You may have to make decisions you wouldn't normally make. You may have to remind your Dominant of their responsibilities to you and your relationship. You make have to “make” them lead – not through manipulation, instead, ask for their final word on small decisions. Sometimes it's the jolt they need.

Serving your Dominant means many things to many people. Remember that taking the lead, giving them the lead, encouraging much-needed stress relief, holding them when they cry, and doing anything and everything you can think of to alleviate some of their stress and sadness are different ways to serve. You're two people in a relationship. Support and care for your Dominant as you want him to support and care for you in your time of need. In the end, your relationship will be even stronger than before.

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