In many different posts and articles and literature I’ve perused, there is always reference to how much trust plays into a bdsm relationship. M has commented on it, I’ve chatted with a sex therapist who has underlined it, and everyone has the same perspective.
Trust is paramount.
And trust takes time.
Trust and vulnerability are tangled together, and I’d wager they’re unable to be teased apart. The way we build trust is to progressively show another person our vulnerable spots and see how they handle it. The corollary is that we need to understand and know our own selves enough to not only recognize our vulnerabilities, but also to have the balls to defend ourselves if someone is not gentle with our soft bits. It becomes an intricate dance between seeing and understanding our own deepest insides, showing those insides to another person, and responding the reactions of that person to continue to honour ourselves.
The steps to that dance take some time to learn – we need to put the effort into ourselves so that we know and ‘get’ what makes us tick and where our vulnerable spots are hiding. Many times we have dramatic ‘learning opportunities’ when we allow an undeserving person to hold our heart. That learning can be a challenge to recognize and recover from – it hurts! But, we can take that experience and continue to develop our understandings of our inner self instead of shutting down and shutting others out.
Sometimes that intricate dance is created in a beautiful and intuitive way between two people: they read each other and are free with their feelings and thoughts, and are receptive to the feelings and thoughts of the other person. Trust builds fairly easily and they can get deep into each other as they unfold their vulnerabilities with care and support.
Despite the clear messages that trust in a relationship is so important, I truly didn’t understand or know what that meant until this relationship with M. Previously, I didn’t think it mattered much if I faked my climax. Or if I said that I like peaches too, or that I vote conservative. Or any of the myriad ways in which I allowed his opinions, thoughts, or feelings supersede mine. I see now that I didn’t trust my ex’s: to love me despite our differences; to know their own edges; to know my true self. I also see that I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t honour my own vulnerabilities – and I allowed people to hold my heart who couldn’t hold it gently.
In a bdsm relationship, knowing my vulnerabilities and my inner self is important – maybe not so I can protect them, but just so I know when someone is gentle with me, and so I can take steps to honour those soft bits in the dance with my partner. It’s also key for my partner. I’m laid out in front of him, tied and with reduced senses – he *must* know where my head is at. Part of that vulnerability is having him know my body (with all the delicious squishy spots that I usually hide) as well as him knowing my heart and soul (with all the spots that I think are unloveable and try to hide).
I see now: For him to be in control of me and the space, he *needs* to know that I trust him to make safe decisions in the moment. That means he has to know what makes me climax, or that I’m allergic to peaches, or any of the ways in which we build understanding of each other. I need to trust him to love me. I need to trust myself that I will voice when my vulnerabilities aren’t being honoured.
This level of trust is just as exciting and new for me as the actual acts we are doing. So good! ❤