I received the following question via formspring:
I am entering into a D/s relationship with my wife. I am new to the lifestyle and could use some general advice.
This really is a good question, and one that I think all new Doms need to ask. It's never wrong or bad to seek help and direction, even as a Dominant. Especially as a married couple that has been together a while already and now wants to introduce this dynamic, I think getting off on the right foot is essential. This beginning period can not only make or break whether D/s works for you, but can also have either a very positive or negative affect on your overall marriage. I don't know exactly what has transpired between the two of you at this point, so I will touch on some high points I think are vital.
First and foremost above all else...she has asked you to be her Dominant, not be domineering. Being a dominant is about taking control and leading the way. It's about guiding yourself and her as you move forward, while caring for and appreciating all she is and gives to you. It's loving her and doing what you feel is in her best interest. It is NOT being an overbearing controlling asshole that does things just because you can or think she has given you that right. You need to do things with a purpose and with a goal. To help her grow and progress as your wife and your submissive. To help you grow as her husband and her Dominant. Do things with the idea of it bringing you closer, opening you both up more, and enabling you two to go further than you could before. Don't get stuck on a power trip, or think you can do whatever you like now. Not even close!
I have said this time and time again...communication. Communication is everything. The two of you have to be able to be completely open and discuss things about yourselves and your feelings like you probably never have before. Notice I said..."the two of you". This goes for you both. You can't expect or demand she be open and share with you and you not be willing to do the same. This level of talking and sharing likely won't come easy. For most people, they have never been this open in their lives. So, you can't expect it to change and both of you be good with it overnight. It will take time and likely some pushing by each of you to keep the other open. It will get easier, though. If you can't talk and can't be open with each other, then you might as well just quit now. Open honest communication is the cornerstone of a good relationship...D/s or vanilla. Communication also includes listening. Become a great listener. It's great if she is open and shares with you, but if you aren't really listening or understanding what she is saying, then it's lost it's effectiveness.
Trust and respect! These are very important once you get going with the relationship. This is a two way street as well. You need to trust and respect her as much as you ask her to trust and respect you. This can take time to build, but your words and your actions, along with your consistency will help build this for each other. Trust and respect can be hard to build, and I feel like they cannot be asked for or demanded. You earn trust and respect...it is given, not taken. Yet, it is very easily lost, and hard, if not impossible, to regain once lost. By the mere nature of D/s, so much trust has to be in place. Without trust and respect for each other and what you do and give to each other, you can go nowhere.
Lastly I would say that you both have to understand that there is no right or wrong way to do this. Don't get caught up in the hype or stereotypes of what you see or read. You two can make this into whatever you want it to be and whatever works for you. Incorporate the parts you want and need and leave the rest on the shelf. It doesn't matter how anyone else does this, or what anyone else tells you. You can make your D/s relationship operate however is best suited for you both. In addition, don't be afraid of wanting things that seem wrong based on what society thinks or teaches. If you both are interested, then look into it. It's ok to be kinky and to want and desire weird things. Everyone has their own kinks they enjoy. Also realize that what you like or are interested in will change and evolve over time as you go. That's perfectly normal and to be expected. Don't be afraid of this when it happens. It's very likely that what may be a limit for you today, tomorrow will be something you crave.
I'm sure there is more I could list, but I think these are the basics and some of the most important aspects when starting out. Nothing can replace experience. You can read and research until your head hurts, but nothing takes the place of actually being involved and knowing how things really play out and feel. This can be the beginning of a beautiful thing for the two of you. Don't rush it, take it slow and one step at a time, and enjoy having this in your marriage. It can bring you closer and enable you both to feel things you never imagined. It can be like finally finding yourself, when you didn't even know you were missing. Embrace it and each other and enjoy the ride.
If any of my readers have other points they would like to mention, by all means feel free to leave it in the comments. By no means do I think my list is all-encompassing, and I'm sure I left off some important aspects. Feel free to share your own views on this topic, as I think this can be a great discussion point.