I see a lot of posts about the nuances of D/s and about how D/s relationships are more about the dynamic than just the sex. I’ve always wondered: what about switches? I’m a switch who sometimes goes full dom and sometimes full sub, and I’ve never been in an actual relationship of any sort so I don’t know what D/s is like for switches. It can’t be all about the importance of the dynamic or the need for structure, because the structures and dynamics are constantly changing. What are your thoughts?



I’m going to tag my friend and colleague @heels12345 for this one, for her insights on the life of a switch. I’m out of my depth here. Heels?

Thanks Instructor ????

Starting at the beginning, you’ve said that you’ve “never actually been in an actual relationship of any sort” This means it’s probably better to classify the activities you’ve been doing as Topping and bottoming.

A Top is someone who takes the control for a set period of time (often in a scene or ‘bedroom play’), without the expectation of an on going Dom/sub relationship and all that entails. A bottom is a person who gives up the control in the above context.

A Dominant/submissive relationship is where two or more consenting adults, discuss, negotiate and agree to a relationship structure where there is a power exchange. The beautiful thing about this is that it is individualised for what suits all the people in the relationship. No two relationships are the same and don’t let anyone tell you there’s only one way!!

A Switch is a person that identifies with both sides. That doesn’t mean you have to be both a Dominant and a submissive, you can be a Dominant who also bottoms, a submissive that Tops, or a Top and bottom under different circumstances.

How does this work in a D/s relationship?

To start with, know yourself. When you imagine yourself in a relationship, are you usually the one in control or the one who follows? It often helps if you have your primary relationship that way (not a necessity, I am myself feel more Domme but my primary relationship is submissive). That doesn’t mean you need to give up your other side, but instead think constructively about how you get both sides.

  • Switch within yourselves. Ok, so sometimes two Switches together can balance their relationship to be able to switch between each other (I know a few couples and kudos to them because I believe I’d have a brain meltdown). Often in this structure they will have a natural order for their relationship and switch under certain circumstances/conditions.
  • Have a poly/open relationship. Here people can have a secondary relationship with another person and express their other side in that relationship (what I do with Sir and kuche – my sub)
  • Another poly/open structure involves having your primary relationship one way but being able to Top or bottom the other (scenes only no ongoing D/s relationship)

Not every Switch wants to express both their sides, they may be perfectly happy knowing they can switch, but have no desire to do so – and that’s perfectly fine too.

I recommend talking to as many Switches as you can and seeing what difficulties they have had and strategies that work for them.

Heels ????????

Lovely, supportive explanation from @heels12345.

Key takeaway: there are (for instance) Subs who are rope tops and pain-only masochist Doms. Also Doms and Subs who switch. And switches who are neither Doms nor Subs.

It’s not like football where you only play offense or defense. Or ballroom dancing where you only lead or follow.

Quick question: who decides you’re going to switch? Not subtle enough? Who insisted you both switch randomly and who agreed to the plan?