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Submissive and romantic love

19 October 1997

This discussion took place on #SanTara on Sunday, the 19th of October, 1997

The discussion revolves around the differences, and what they actually are, between romantic love and submissive love.

Symbols and abbreviations
Smilies: symbols that represent smiles (when viewed sideways)
BP Blackprince
LM LordMilz
Alexa^^ A Pro Dom (Professional Dominatrix). Owner of dina (a slave)
MrEos A male Dominant
jalinari A female submissive
spider_doll A female submissive
warrigal^ A submissive
LordMilz A male Dominant
sarah_ts Transexual, biologically male
frogaroo A male Dominant, "owner" of alycia

Alexa^^ A little info on the topic before we begin; two of us here are working on papers regarding the topic--essay-type things--and while this night isn't just to pinch ideas for that, it is a topic that I think Doms, especially, could use info on via the website

OK. I just need to remind everyone that the meeting is logged and will appear on the website in a few days

If anyone needs/wants to have their names removed just see MrEos

I didn't put any 'points to discuss' on the list post. What we are hoping for is your views on what the differences similarities and correlations might be [between submissive love and romantic love]

Has any one here an experience on the topic or wish to share with us first up their opinions?

BlackPrince Me ponders... Yes, I have Alexa. I am trying to arrange my thoughts
Alexa^^ Nods
BlackPrince OK. In some ways I think submissive love is a deeper form of romantic love. It is somehow MORE

thinks some more

I think the difference lies in the yielding, if that makes sense

Alexa^^ How would you deal with a slave that had romantic intentions and yours where purely scene-related?
BlackPrince I would talk first. I would explain that our interests diverged and were obviously not congruent

It seems to me that if a Dom/me entered such a scene the sub could get BADLY hurt and I would say so

shuts up for a bit...

Alexa^^ Nods

How about an example, and then people can give their opinions and comments?

Dom states intentions are non-love-related. sub agrees and says it is acceptable. After a time that changes; sub or Dom grows to love in more than a sub/Dom relationship. The other doesn't. How best can that be handled?

warrigal^ I find that at times some people get confused between love and the more Physical side
frogaroo I agree. Love is *one* kind of pleasure
warrigal^ Many people that I know use BDSM as a foreplay they play. It is a game, not for real, and do not understand the real needs some of us have
frogaroo My sub needs *some* foreplay to enter a scene better. The name of the game being to release the right chemicals in the brain. Foreplay accelerates this process with alycia.

I think the love potion AND the pain potion are very close

BlackPrince Tell me something--difficult, I know--but are women more prone to the "love" syndrome than men?
Alexa^^ I believe that most ages of women are prone, but that younger males tend to be more strongly prone to falling in 'love/lust' and are more easily hurt when they realise that there are 'different' loves. It is a matter of relating on two different levels, and of being able to operate without 'romantic' love, a necessity that makes it difficult for either gender

I just wanted to make a point about being in love and loving are two very separate things for me when I am relating with subs and slaves

BlackPrince I would like to pick on the chemicals thing...

There are chemicals involved--we all know endorphins.The other that seems to be involved is serotonin. I think the second lot is a "love" chemical and maybe in frog's case you have to have BOTH

frogaroo Both endorphins AND serotonin (love) act upon dopamine
BlackPrince Nods


frogaroo I refer you to a title by a bioneurologist called Jean-Didier Vincent: "The biology of passion". A must.
Alexa^^ Beams

Thanks, frog:)

sarah_ts There are different levels of submission as well as love

For me, the level of submission I give to someone depends on how much I am attracted to them and they to me, so it is not just a case of one or the other, but a mixture of both

Bunter many of you know of my recent mail to the list about the "horror" scene [ed: this relates to a scene where an older Dom abused a young sub]

The sub is now head over heels in love with the Dom

BlackPrince Nods

Bloody chemicals again ;)

Alexa^^ I disagree

It is more than chemicals. Not all emotional processes can be as simply defined as chemical imbalances

frogaroo The lowest common denominator of our emotions IS chemical. Sorry, Alexa
Alexa^^ Nods and understands that

But how do you relate that to the emotional without being impersonal?

Shuts up now :)

BlackPrince It isn't a matter of IMBALANCE at all, I think. I think there are neurological/chemical processes happening all the time and it is a matter of which is FELT. The FEELINGS that are experienced are the key.
LordMilz I cant accept the "raw chemical reaction" idea without it seeming like we are slaves to a set of chemical processes and don't have any choice

In addition, I don't define love as emotion therefore I don't accept that it is chemically based; it is an action

frogaroo LM, it depends if you subscribe to the notion of romantic infatuation or to that of sexual felicity
Alexa^^ OK. Taking the case of this sub via Bunter's interpretation of events; wouldn't you say that it is as much a matter of psychological conditioning as a chemical process? That her conditioning has affected her as much as her chemicals? That her experiences past and present have led to this, not just a chemical reaction to stimulus provided by the Dom?
BlackPrince OK. I think that what LM said is at least partly correct--we are not totally slaves to the chemical processes; we can modify them through our feelings. It's an adjustment process happening all the time--based on FEELINGS
sarah_ts I don't think that sub of Bunter's is a good example for this discussion. It would be better off in a discussion about why do so many people stay with those that hurt them physically and emotionally.

What I'm saying is that many people are so afraid of losing the small amount of affection they have, they put up with anything

Alexa^^ LM, did you have comment to make?
LordMilz Yes

To frog's [earlier] comment: I don't subscribe to either actually. I don't tie "love", as I described it, to either romance or sexual behaviour. I relate it to a pure commitment of someone to choose the good for another person over their own person good

Alexa^^ Thanks, LM. Anyone else care to comment?

OK. How would some of you describe the _differences_ between romantic love and sub[missive] love to a newcomer?



BlackPrince I am taken by sarah's earlier comments about different LEVELS. I think that the key is there. I see sub-love as a deeper form of romantic love
Alexa^^ I see it as two clearly distinct entities :)

How would you clarify your position, BP?

sarah_ts Maybe you see them as different because you are primarily a top, not a sub?
Alexa^^ No. I have felt that way long before. Perhaps it is an experience-related opinion
jalinari For me, i think it is a bit of a case of the chicken and egg syndrome; neither exist in a vacuum devoid of the other. However, the D/s context can, i think lead to ummm... greater depth, but also greater potential [and] emotional harm if abused :)
MrEos I think that the necessarily deeper intimacy required in a BDSM relationship fosters a deeper emotional relationship (ie. love). A vanilla relationship doesn't necessarily require that same intimacy to function
warrigal^^ Nods to MrEos
Alexa^^ Nods to MrEos
sarah_ts Nods to MrEos
BlackPrince OK. I agree with MrEos. I think that is what I meant about sub- love being deeper than romantic love. And, in clarification to sarah, I am a long way from being just a top. I subbed for 3 years full-time. While I am now almost exclusively dom, I do know the difference
Alexa^^ An example: I _love_ dina [Alexa's slave] but I am not _in love_ with her, and there _is_ a difference. For us it didn't lessen the experience or lessen the commitment to her collar for each of us
spider_doll Intimacy, trust, understanding, self-awareness, caring, understanding and sharing are all required in a good D/s relationship. They are also good building blocks for a "romantic" love but they do not necessarily lead to it *soft smile*. And BDSM does not necessarily need Romantic Love, but it does need what most term love to be in a good relationship. (I agree with Alexa: love but not in love)

But it is the rare few who find both. To find so much Y/you need from one [person] is a lucky thing indeed

jalinari i suppose love is a term i use very, very rarely as there are far too many different connotations placed on it by others. Two people rarely mean the same thing by it. With my Dom i will use words such as affection, commitment, trust...
LordMilz OK. Regarding things as emotional, what do people think of this? I know of a few 24/7-oriented submissives that are without a Dominant at the moment. They tell me that they already "LOVE" their potential new Master/Mistress even though they have not met them yet. To me this is not emotional; it is a choice the submissive is making
BlackPrince Hmmm... Well, I would be careful about that. It seems to me that subs who a priori commit to the notion of "LOVE" well in advance of meeting their Dom/me, are almost always heading for problems
MrEos I tend to feel that love is sort-of template-oriented. The closer someone is to the template the more likely love will be the result
BlackPrince I agree with MrEos. Interesting idea!
MrEos If a key requirement for someone to feel love is, say, that their partner must have red hair, then they are well on the way when they meet someone with red hair. If a key requirement is that their partner must dominate them, then a Dom is also well on they way, even before he has met the sub
warrigal^^ Nods to MrEos
spider_doll Nods in partial agreement, but knows that most will never learn the subtleties of their templates
Alexa^^ Nods and agrees cautiously with MrEos

But I think a lot of subs confuse 'devotion' with 'love'; moreso 'being in love'

spider_doll Nods in agreement with Alexa; definitely agreeing
LordMilz As has been pointed out, one can have a clear picture of who they will love and the more 'ticks' the happier they are, but my point was actually that no emotions are involved; no scenes are involved, no chemicals are involved; therefore something else must be involved. What is it?
Alexa^^ Nods to LM
jalinari Just a thought; there is, to me, a vast difference between love of a situation and love of an individual. i suspect that it can be very easy to *need* or to love a particular situation of slavery/subbiness wherein the identity of the Master/Mistress is not an issue. But, yes, i agree with spider as well. i suspect that many of us do not know when it is a situation and when it is the individual that we are attracted to
MrEos I just wanted to point out that my template theory doesn't imply that people know what their template requires. I just want to theorise that it exists and that it determines how easily and quickly someone will fall in love... their predisposition to it, if you will
Alexa^^ smiles

Thanks, MrEos. Is the essence something similar to devotion? Or is it something else again?

Any ideas anyone?

LordMilz I believe it is a choice, or a decision, an action; but I would prefer to hear how people experience it and what they think it is
frogaroo LM, I don't understand what you mean by *action* in the context of Love
LordMilz Well, maybe this will explain it...

I have already decided to love my slave, no matter who they are. Once they are my slave I will love them. It wont depend on endorphins, emotions or feelings, I will just do it, and I have come across submissives that describe a similar 'sense' of what love for them is

frogaroo Thinks that this sounds like mystic love
LordMilz No - it is love in action
sarah_ts So does that mean you only love them for the fact that they are your slave, or will you only pick slaves that you think you will love?
LordMilz No. It means that whoever I have a relationship with of that level I will love; and it does not depend on anything they do, say, are, etc. It is a decision I have made
sarah_ts shakes head
Alexa^^ I think that it is a matter of personal definition of what love is
frogaroo Nods
Alexa^^ We each have our own [definition] but problems arise especially in BDSM when people don't effectively communicate what it is for them

Having said that I have still had situations arise when a sub has 'fallen in love' after accepting terms that did not include that

spider_doll Nods, agreeing with Alexa, but it is the same in any relationship
Alexa^^ No, spider. I think that in BDSM for me, the clarification MUST be made ASAP, then when confrontation arises, or conflict, there is an agreement to go back to. Not all BDSM D&s relationships are between 'lovers'
warrigal^^ Nods to Alexa
spider_doll Agrees, but communication is the basis for any relationship; just more formalised in BDSM
warrigal^^ Nods to spider
sarah_ts I understand what you are saying, Alexa. My main experience in D/s is with professionals. When I see one, although there is an amount of feeling on both side, it is purely a professional situation and will very rarely amount to more. If it does then it has crossed the boundary--similar to doctor/patient relationship
Alexa^^ Nods to sarah

But is it possible for you to say 'hell, I love that dom/me'--and mean it--but not be in love? Can you act upon your love as devotion without emotional detriment to either of you?

sarah_ts Yes, Ma'am, it is... and almost certain to happen :)
Alexa^^ Smiles

Thanks for clarifying, sarah

MrEos LM, without wanting to sound critical, it sounds like a confusion between intimacy and love
Alexa^^ Agrees with MrEos
LordMilz No. No confusion. I am already in negotiation with my intended slave who is in the US. We are not intimate, yet I have still chosen to love her, and I will continue to love her even when we are intimate
Alexa^^ So differences then, tend to be in individual perception of love, intimacy, etc.? Any more differences?
BlackPrince I think that you are right, Alexa. It is a perceptual thing and, what's more, it is a TWO-way thing. So each diad (couple) defines these things for themselves
sarah_ts That's the fun of experimenting :)
Alexa^^ OK, then. Correlations between the two? How, when where to they interrelate? Submissive love and romantic...
LordMilz I don't think that they do correlate or interrelate in any predictable way. It comes back to what BP said about it being specific to each diad. There may be none of one, and all of the other, or a mixture
Alexa^^ Smiles

Couples or lovers is one way. Does it cause conflict in scenes with couples when the Love factor is, or could, determine a punishment/treatment?

BlackPrince For me the answer is clearly no to your question. I don't love her any the less if I have to punish her. It is a separate issue for me
Alexa^^ To clarify, I meant would love and its after-effects be a determining factor on _giving_, or on _how_ you scene?
frogaroo I'm a Dom who met a girl who met a Dom... For better of for worse :)
Alexa^^ Grins
BlackPrince Grins at frogaroo

Well said!

Alexa^^ I know it might sound like I am slack, etc., but I did find that when I felt more intimately for dina on a 'chemically and emotionally' deeper level, my judgement of her misdemeanours was swayed by possible affects to our 'outside' relationship

OK. Does anyone have anything they would like to add?


OK then, folks. Thanks for coming :)

You can see the result on the website soon

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