this is a guest post for Kinky Disability written by my Dom and fiancé. He is very new to kink and power exchange, esp when learning about and dealing with disabilities, and i wanted to include that in this series bc of the unique position and perspectives that such a path brings. bc while self-care within the kink community and bdsm practices is important, so is the support and understanding of our loved ones and peers. as the community is full of ableism, learning Doms frequently don’t learn about the limitations that a partner with disabilities may have, and thus have little to no understanding of how to approach it should such a time come. our partners (be they in kink activity, romantic, etc) need to be able to grow and learn with us if our community is to grow and thrive, esp in regards to inclusion of people with disabilities and combating ableism.
I’m able bodied, sane, and in a position of privilege, and I’m also in a Dominant/submissive relationship with my beloved fiancée, who is disabled. I’m rather new to the relationship, and in fact, I’m new to the concept of privilege. My fiancée is the person who explained the principles behind ableism and privilege to me. We are now in a sort of pseudo-D/s relationship. I use the pseudo prefix because I am not familiar with the ideas of D/s. My fiancée is slowly explaining the concepts and fundamentals of a proper and successful D/s relationship. Ours is a relationship of learning and progression. I will not lie or even attempt to lie and say that I know everything there is to keep my relationship healthy and successful. I am, however, doing my best to keep them happy and give them peace of mind.
It’s not much a guest post unless the guest is thoroughly established and proven to be credible. I am no expert on psychological or physical illnesses. I am not learned on D/s relationships or fundamentals. In fact, I just learned about ableism no more than a year ago. It would be foolish of me to say that I know everything there is to know about privilege and D/s. I will say, however, that I know enough to be able to analyze and understand my own faults. I will admit that it is difficult at times to catch my own ableism, and I still, sometimes, say things that can trigger people. However, I’d like to think that I learn from the mistakes that I do not catch. Then again, assuming anything about yourself in a positive or self-boasting manner is often, if not always, seen as arrogant and pretentious. I do try to correct myself, though.
I was – and probably to some degree still am – ableist. I started dating my beloved long before I knew about the degree or severity of their disability. I knew of a few things, but I did not know of nor did I bother to ask how they affected their life and daily routine. As we came close, we struggled from time to time because I continuously attempted to solve my beloved’s disability and problems with logic and calculations; I was trying to quantitatively measure my beloved’s mental and physical disabilities. Needless to say, I drew them to tears at one point, and as I think back about it, I am stricken with shame as I write this. For a moment, just a moment – a fraction of the quickest second, I felt my hands tremble. It wasn’t a lot; my beloved and I did not argue a lot, but the arguments we did have were rather intense and frustrating for me because of my limited perspectives. I must admit, looking back upon the arguments, that they, in a way, taught me more and more about ableism; you see, we started arguing at first, and during those arguments, they would counter me with different ideas and concepts that were alien to me. I found that I had little to fall back on in terms of rebuttal except for moot points and technicalities, which do not work outside of patents and the courts. At that point, I thought to myself that if I’ve nothing to counter my beloved’s counter, then I’m either incredibly untalented at arguments and debates or, just perhaps, my beloved had a point and I should listen instead of argue. So, I did. In fact, I started listening a lot more after I read something my beloved wrote to me. The idea was and still is simply fascinating to me and serves as the governing theme to all my current thought patterns; “The number of trees in a forest need not matter. All that matters is that there is a forest, beautiful and ever growing, ever changing.” That’s when I realized the new perspective my beloved was instilling into me. I had been, and to some extent still am, too fixated and focused on the definitions and criteria of what is or is not a disease and what is or is not a legitimate argument either for or against a possible cure and/or remedy. I was dedicating myself to trying to tell my beloved what they probably have already heard a 1,000 times before me. In essence, my beloved’s little quote is a monumental influence on how I look at all situations now; while we cannot forsake the governing dynamics and fundamental roots, focusing too heavily on the tiny details takes away from an entity as whole. Thus far, dating my beloved is more than just a humbling experience; my fiancée may have well given me a leg-up at getting into law school.
Now, about the whole D/s relationship, I’m new to that, too. From what I have gathered and learned from my loving fiancée, it is about an exchange of trust wherein both partners act within their own and their partner’s limitations in order to demonstrate a sort of emotional hierarchy. Though, hierarchy may not be the best word. D/s seems to be about exchanging services between partners to satisfy the need to feel either dominant or submissive. I didn’t actually have a need or desire to feel dominant, and truth be told, I still don’t feel an actual need, desire, and yearning to be dominant. I do, however, feel a need to satisfy my partner, and they’re satisfied by feeling submissive. Thus, I guess you could say I desire to be dominant because I desire to satisfy my partner who desires to be submissive. I’d be lying, though, if I said I’m not developing some forms of dominant mannerism. As to the type and degree of dominance I’m developing, I’m keeping that private.
I’m in two situations; I’m dating a disabled person; and I’m in a D/s relationship. When it comes to being the Dominant to my beloved, I have to keep in mind of their disabilities. There are physical disabilities that make certain situations difficult if not impossible. Then, there are certain concepts and ideas that may prove to be very mentally traumatizing. However, dating a disabled person does not mean you focus on their disabilities; that’s not different than dating a non-disabled person and focusing on their faults or features that trigger your pet-peeves. That also isn’t to say, however, that dating a disabled person is exactly like dating a non-disabled person. As I said, I do not focus on their disabilities, but I do have to keep them in mind when we’re going on about our daily lives. My partner does not need special attention, my partner needs me to simply notice, learn, and pay attention to their needs. Most of the time, a simple kiss, cuddle, and snuggle will go a long, long way.
I’m not an expert on disabilities, and I’m still ableist in some situations. I even make my own partner feel uncomfortable sometimes, but I’m still learning. I do everything I can to make my partner happy. They submit to me, and in turn, I am given the privilege and responsibility of making my beloved partner happy, safe, and loved.