Due to the traditional components of the Dominant/submissive dynamic, the topic of financial dependency seems to spring up in a lot of discussions. Is being financially dependent integral to being a 27/4 submissive? Does long term submission mean giving up your job? Is it healthy, or does it raise red flags? So forth, etc. Like everything, this aspect of your life is going to be completely dependent on the preferences of you and your partner, but it is something that I want to raise a few points on primarily because I’m currently a financial dependent.

So a few words about my situation before I begin:

As some of you already know, I’m an immigrant to the UK, and I’m currently on a fiancée visa, which means that I am not allowed to work, or have access to public funds. I had a ton of money saved up prior to applying for the visa, but the visa itself, and the fact that I was doing my best to pay for at least half of everything has meant that I am completely at the bottom of my savings, which means that my Dom’s good grace is my only real source of income. My situation as a financial dependent has absolutely nothing to do with my role as a submissive. It’s a byproduct of my immigration status, not my position in my relationship with my partner, so be aware that my current experience with financial dependency is, to a certain extent, an arrangement that neither my Dom nor I find ideal. That said, after a few months of being largely dependent on my Dom’s paycheck, here are my thoughts on the challenges that can arise, and some ideas on how you could feasibly make the arrangement work if you’re interested.

Here’s the thing about financial dependency:

there’s no reason why being financially dependent should be tied into your submission unless you want it to be, and you do have to want it. Likewise, your Dom has to understand that, as the bread winner, you are going to be entirely vulnerable to his/her monetary whimsy.

For some people, that sort of dynamic is fine. It works.  It gives them a sense of security, of being cared for as well as being dominated. If you’re used to being able to buy things for yourself, though, it is absolutely draining to have to ask for everything that you want or need—and you do have to ask, because your Dom is just as human as you are, and he/she isn’t going to magically know every want or need that you have. If you’re good at asking for things, this can be relatively easy to overcome, but for a lot of people, constantly having to ask for things is like putting yourself on the fast track for feeling incredibly selfish—especially if your Dom makes under a certain amount, or you’re someone who is constantly worrying about finances anyway.

Deciding to be financially dependent does Not mean:

  • you immediately go close your bank accounts the moment you decide to become financially dependent.
  • your Dom gets to keep all of your methods of access to your bank accounts in a place that is secret.
  • you sign your current monetary value over to your partner.

Instead, it means that your Dom controls the income and outcome of the household.

Your Dom determines how much money you get to buy groceries, how much extra money you get to spend on the things that you want and, to a certain degree, what kinds of things you can spend your money on.

If you’re going to become financially dependent, do make sure that you

  • know how to access your money in case of an emergency. Know where your cards are, know how to get cash out of the ATM, know the name of your partner’s attorney /accountant/etc. and make sure they know you. Remember this isn’t just to save you from a complicated break up, it’s to make sure you’re covered if something happens to your Dom.
  • keep anything you owned beforehand in your own name. If you own property in your name, part of a business, a car, stocks, etc. keep them. Eventually, you’re going to need some sort of paper trail, and you don’t want to explain to people why you suddenly sold/gave away everything that you owned to your partner/spouse.
  • pay some bills in your own name. Keep your credit decent by keeping some of the bills in your own name.

If you’re going to be financially dependent, at least have a joint account.

My very firm recommendation is that, if you’re going to include financial dependency in your submission, you need to at least have a joint account where the money for house bills, groceries, your allowance can go. This means that your Dom can still monitor the money, if that’s your desire, but it means that you can do rudimentary things like fill up your gas tank or run to the store for milk without having to ask your Dom for the cash. So what if you and your Dom want your Dom to have total control over the money? This is a difficult scenario to answer without offending people, but here it goes:

Your Dom having

total

control over the money is dangerous.

I am NOT saying that your Dom is dangerous. I am not trying to imply that your Dom might be out to hurt you by keeping control of money. If you have a well-established relationship with your Dom, and you’ve talked about the implications of giving up your financial independence thoroughly, then go for it, but if you’re submitting for the first time, or in a new relationship, be aware that an unrelenting insistence that your Dom have total control over finances can be a red flag for abuse. Do not give up your financial identity unless you know with certainty what your Dom’s intentions are.

That said, there are other risks in inadequately preparing yourself for financial dependency, even if you do have that great, trusting relationship with your Dom. It comes down to presence. For better or worse, you need to exist in some financial capacity. Divorce, death, chronic illness, severe injury, etc., are completely unpredictable things. If your Dom has complete control of all the finances and you have no access to the accounts, and he/she gets into an accident and ends up in a coma or dead, how are you going to provide for yourself?

Talk to Someone Who Deals with Money for a Living.

If you and your Dom are talking about introducing financial dependency into your lifestyle, don’t take shortcuts, and don’t risk your future well-being because you like someone else to have control. Talk to an accountant or a lawyer. Make sure that you are adequately represented in case something happens to your Dom. Make sure that you and your Dom understand how the finances work. Make sure that the accountant or attorney that you speak to is set up to represent BOTH of you.

Know that you’re taking a risk.

It doesn’t matter how long you have been with your partner; giving up your financial independence is My aunt was married to her husband for 5 years and running a business with him for another three when he convinced her to sign her part of the business over to him. Two years later, when she had fallen out of the habit of watching the accounts, he used his access to the money her parents left her to clean out her accounts, one withdrawal/deposit at a time.  It took another eight years, a diagnosis of breast cancer, and a really poorly hidden affair for my aunt to discover that her husband, whom she trusted implicitly, had stolen her money. He then moved to another state to be closer to the woman he was having the affair with, leaving my aunt and her son with no money, and then refused to divorce her because he considered it his right as her husband to do what he wanted, with whom he wanted, and with whose cash he wanted. The only reason why my aunt wasn’t left completely helpless was because she and the accountant for the business were able to go back and track her husband’s illegal transactions, because even though she had stopped watching the accounts, her name was still on them.

Obviously, that’s a worst case scenario, but if you’re going to become financially dependent on someone, you need to make sure that you have an out clause somewhere. Financial dependency definitely falls under the “RACK” perimeters for me, and you need to make sure that if you pursue that aspect of submission, it is your responsibility to be very well informed about how the finances work, about your rights if something happens to your Dom, or if your relationship dissolves over time. The successful, safe implementation of financial dependency comes down to being well educated, exceptionally prepared, and a great willingness to have everything go wrong somewhere later down the line.

There is obviously nothing wrong with being financially dependent, if it works for you, and if you and your partner make an effort to educate yourselves on the risks and fail-safes for keeping both of you protected should the worse happen to either of you. I know that there are a lot of couples, D/s and vanilla alike, who work just fine operating under the highly traditional roles of breadwinner and housekeeper/parent, and they find it an enjoyable arrangement.

This is what it comes down to:

financial dependency is not for everyone. It’s not even for most people. In fact, I highly discourage any type of financial dependency, unless you and your Dom have undergone marriage or civil partnership, because it leaves you so vulnerable and under-prepared if the relationship ends.  If you do decide to make it part of your dynamic, do it because both you and your Dom want to. Talk about exactly what expectations you both have for the situation. Make sure that you discuss any reservations that you have completely openly, and make sure that you work together to create a budget that will ensure that the household run smoothly and that your needs and wants can be met on your Dom’s income.

As I said, my experiences are limited to circumstances that are a byproduct of other choices that my Dom and I have made. There are a lot of safe, workable ways to implement financial dependency, and there are tons of people who do it successfully without being rabidly for or against the dynamic. If you’re currently thinking about becoming financially dependent on your Dom, or you’re currently enjoying the dynamic, write a comment below explaining how you and your Dom make it work. Do you have suggestions for things to look for when starting out? Obstacles that had to be overcome, or legal/financial advice to give to those considering it?