A Chat About Poly D/s Dynamics, February 5, 2020

Poly D/s Relationship Tile

Content: Poly D/s Dynamics.

#fetchat date: February 5, 2020

#fetchat is a weekly Twitter chat for anyone interested in exploring the world of kinks and fetishes. The responses below were comments made by #fetchat followers. The answers are posted as they appeared in the chat. We’ve removed the identities of those responding out of respect for their privacy.


Can you share an example of what a poly D/s dynamic might look like?

Our guest said:
A1 prt 1 – So in my answers I feel it best to quantify I can really only answer in a subjective way. I can share my experience but know that my experience might be very different from another family’s experience. In our poly household (outside of D/s,) I am pretty much the leader (the one who wears the pants.) Making financial or overall important decisions. However, in the D/s dynamic I am Mistress only to my wife. To my husband I am a sub light, or more of a bottom. My husband and I were together for ten years first before we brought our wife into the dynamic. Ten years ago started dating our wife and have been a poly family for ten years now but only been a poly D/s family for the past five. This question was tough for me because tbh I’ve not met any other poly families that are ALSO in D/s dynamic. I have encountered other poly families not in the lifestyle though.”

Other folks said:

“hm, many different variations are possible. I guess the biggest difference to me would be the ration of Ds to subs in the poly relationships. Could have a sub with multiple Ds, or a D with multiple subs. And then you have the switches. So it could be quite complex?”

“Struggling to word this since there’s lot of variations. I think the common one people think of is the Dominant with multiple submissives who may or may not have relationships with each other. I’ve run into one or two submissives with two Dominants also.”

“as initially the poly sub and 5th ‘spoke’ to a woman who was at the time an owned slave to a Master. I eventually became her primary for a time and we also become switches with each other.”

“Well I mean its basically any variation of dynamics as there is variation of poly dynamics lol. I had thought myself FIRMLY on the right side of the slash but have some how managed to not only not be bratty but be more domme with one partner. Although I am pretty solidly sub with my two long term relationships and quite contented.”

“Our Poly dynamic is a poly DD/lg dynamic, my Daddy is Dom to both of us littles and we are both switches.”

What are some differences between poly and poly D/s?

Our guest said:
“In my mind the differences are nuance. Maybe because of how our dynamic works. Getting into the D/s lifestyle didn’t change things much.I learned about the lifestyle back in 2015 when I started researching for a book I wanted to write. I started to learn and realize…Oh there’s a name for that. My hubby and I really do more top/bottom than D/s but my wife and I were always in the D/s groove.I mean other than the obvious there’s the kink involved in a D/s relationship that might not be in a general poly dynamic.”

Other folks said:
“This makes me laugh. I mean whats the difference between a D/s relationship and a non D/s relationship? This isnt particularly quantifiable You can have any variation of dynamics. I am 24/7 live in submissive with my NP and would be similarly if my other partner was here more often. So I guess we get to be “lifestyle” more then just in the bedroom. And How do I manage two doms? Well they take turns pretty well. Ha! They joke I created my own personal patriarchy. Its loads of fun when you dont wanna do something good for yourself and they all gang up on you together lol. I am definitely a better person for my Doms”

“First thing I think is that my M/s has rules/protocols that will overlap and affect other partners even though they weren’t designed that way. i.e. Daddy has the right to go through my phone at any time. This is a possible invasion of privacy w/future partners. So, for me personally, it means finding poly partners who are power exchange friendly/knowledgable. Also means Daddy and I modifying protocols in regards to poly relationships.”

“at first blush, I’d say the D/s aspect would not be part of the relationships’ core elements (could still do BDSM though, just not be a defining part of the relationship). It may also affect the “social hierarchy” (so to speak) as D/s isn’t just about sex.”

“I like @MrSexsmith’s take on D/s and non-monogamy.”

What are some things that are important to communicate when discussing a poly D/s relationship?

Our guest said:
Discussing boundaries and roles is so important. When my wife and I started a D/s relationship there was concern that even though she was okay with sleeping with our husband, she didn’t want him to dominate her. We all talked about what we wanted, and our husband feels he’s more of a voyeur than anything so he was fine just topping both of us but not necessarily being her Dom or mine. Wife doesn’t mind him watching our scenes. So we found a nice balance. Because of trauma the wife’s past she is uncomfortable being dominated or spanked by men. So, I’m more than happy to lend my happy ass to my hubby and let him spank away. Energy-wise I don’t feel like he’s dominating me though, so it’s more of a top/bottom dynamic.”

“I think jealousy is the hardest one in a poly relationship. Our relationship isn’t closed. It’s open. We are free to date whomever. All of us learned that really getting in touch with one’s own feelings and learning more about yourself, your needs, your traumas, can all…”

Other folks said:
“Good areas to discuss! 1) That everyone knows what a poly relationship is and isn’t, 2) what D/s is and isn’t, 3) and why one wants to be in one. So, the usual expectations and boundaries of a relationship, just with some different complexities to consider.”

“Its always good to have everyone on the same page. Boundaries are important and not stepping on others toes.”

“Clarity to all parties involved to the degree possible of the nature and limits of the various relationships, and of the D/s hierarchy. And that things may, and likely will, change in some ways over time.”

“Everything. Most importantly limits, expectations, and speaking up when you need support. Communication is the number 1 important thing in both D/s and poly, so when you add them together crank your communication way up!”

What are some ways to mitigate communication challenges in poly D/s relationships?

Our guest said:
” One of the things I found to be so interesting when I began in the poly life. My hubby and I never really had com problems. Then when the wife was added, it took a while to realize the way I communicate with her was NOT the same way I could communicate with hubby.This was hard at first b/c I interpreted her ‘needing time’ as dismissal of my feelings. I’d get hurt because she didn’t respond the way hubby did. It was a huge eye opener for me to learn this. Ultimately we figured it out though! Also I didn’t even realize this until I got into a poly relationship but sometimes going to a counselor can really help. It can be difficult to find, but there are people who specialize in poly, kink, and LGBT lifestyles.”

Other folks said:

“Direct communication. Don’t create a situation in which one partner ends up being the messenger between two others. Also, utilize neutral headspace time if it works for you and the dynamic – where all parties speak on equal ground with no repercussions #fetchat”

“Communication in any relationship can be challenging. Learn about how to communicate, talk about how to communicate, and work at communicating. And yeah, you will make mistakes, so give yourself and others both grace and feedback. Also, if you get stuck, ask for help.”

What tips would you have for someone looking to explore a poly D/s dynamic?

Our guest said:
“I feel like I lucked out that none of us in our relationship are abusive. It’s a sensitive subject but in the poly and kink community, just like any other community, it happens. My friend had this happen and it left a bad taste in his mouth for poly living. I think the reason we were lucky to avoid this is because all three of us were in abusive relationships prior to coming into our triad. So we kinda had been around the block. But educate yourself and know what to look for, so you can get out quickly if need be.”

Other folks said:
“be curious, have fun, be safe. There is some terminology that might be helpful to understand, & red flags you should watch out for. Find a community to talk to about it, & check in with yourself & everyone else every so often to see if everyone’s needs are being met”

“Can I just share @MrSexsmith’s article here cause it’s very helpful when it comes to figuring out how to navigate this. It’s pretty much what I point people to when starting to talk about combining the two”

“A basic one, but communication is key and can’t be separated from everything else you need.”

“Find mentors and folks you trust to learn from, be open and honest, have the hard discussions and don’t shy away from relational challenges (even when it’s scary), make sure you understand your and your partners’ boundaries. Ask questions. Be curious.”

“People shouldn’t confuse avoiding those challenges with “being nice.” Sometimes “being nice” is the best way to hurt someone. Especially since things that matter most, often are also the hardest things to confront/address.”

Do you have a poly D/s success story to share?

Our guest said:
“I feel really fortunate to have a successful poly relationship with my two spouses. I don’t know what I would do without them. They are my everything, and love and support me. We have six kids together and it’s been wonderful to have a family together.”

Other folks said:
“The one I was in went pretty well, partially because the ‘hub’ had experience with both poly and D/s before I entered the picture. One good resource I’ve heard about but not yet read is a book called The Ethical Slut, though I think it’s more poly focused vs. D/s.”

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What are your thoughts?