Dear Rhonda,

I am just finding out about D/s relationships. We are long distance and my Master has ordered me to research and learn about D/s. After reading your article, I am still not sure how long distance D/s goes for people. What is actually happening that is different from sexting? If you could please answer me here or email me, I would appreciate it.

Thanks, Elisa

Dear Elisa,

Thank you for your question. Firstly, I want to qualify my response by saying there is no set way to do any kind of relationship. The rules and protocols of your relationship are what you and your partner(s) negotiate.

So, is a long distance D/s relationship different to non-D/s long distance relationship? It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Domination and submission are about the way you relate to one another. You may relate as Master and slave only during sexual encounters, or at particular times and in certain situations. Is it just sexting? Again, it can be, or your play can extend far beyond that.

This research task set for you by your Master is a good example of how this can work. Presumably, your Master is not there with you, texting or video messaging you while you carry it out, so it is something you are doing outside your interactions.

There are many possibilities for what you and your Master can do when apart. In that way, a D/s relationship has some advantages over a non-D/s long distance liaison. But the scope and boundaries of your D/s play is something on which you and your Master need to agree. Your boundaries may be completely different from the boundaries another D/s (or non-D/s) couple establish. It may involve tasks, behaviours, restraints, restrictions, or apparatus (collars, chastity belts, and so on), depending on what you are both into. Your Master can command you and you can report on your compliance. And if your Master’s commands are too much, you can still use your safeword by phone or text.

As with any long distance relationship, you will encounter rewards and challenges. Good communication and trust are paramount.

I wish you the best of luck. Please do write back and let me know how you go.

Rhonda x

This question was originally asked in response to ‘What is the difference between BDSM, D/s and S&M?’ (text edited for clarity)

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