I may step into a fairly large Pile with this topic, but it’s something I’ve had a bit of time to think about and form an opinion on….
Long distance TPE relationships (LDR) versus “in person”.
I, and my little fae are part of a group, as I have mentioned that has an abundance of LDR folks in it… in fact it is also led by an LDR couple. People insist that LDR TPE is just as valid as in person TPE and can actually breed a stronger emotional connection…. This is where I have to call bullshit.
As disclaimer now that I’ve worked you into a rage – This is simply my view and my opinion. Feel free to comment and debate if you’re so moved…. Change my mind or help me see things differently.
Now, I think LDR TPE can work over short periods, however long term I do not believe it is sustainable. if Online BDSM is all you want, and have no Plans to close the distance with your Sir, or sub you are missing out on one of the largest parts of TPE/BDSM – The physical.
Human beings by nature are physical creatures, we crave physical contact… as most are aware physical contact releases oxytocin which is responsible for all manner of emotional effects, including development of trust, love, social bonding and generosity. All of which are very important building blocks in any relationship, from mother to child, all the way up to Master/slave.
Another benefit of touch in a TPE dynamic is the ability to train. How to stand, how to sit, walk, carry yourself, Slave positions. A large part of training these things is immediate feedback and correction.
Which leads us to punishment, I won’t get into the debate on corporeal punishment(cp) here, but I will point out that it is a method for a Dominant to administer correction, ordering a submissive to spank themselves is largely dependent with them swinging hard enough for a pain response. On the other side of non-cp the onus of following through with a corrective task or lesson is reliant on one person, the submissive. The Dominant, for example, gives the submissive lines as a punishment – if the submissive chooses not to do them, or half ass them then the Dominant may escalate to restriction of contact, which IMO is the same as short term abandonment. Here the onus is on the submissive to carry out, and be honest about carrying out the tasks and lessons, as I believe that lack of proximity severely limits the “bite” of the Dominant.
My largest concern with LDR TPE relationships is how often do you see your Sir/sub ? twice a month ? Twice a year? Never ? Sex is a normal (and large) part of the lifestyle, and vanilla life, masturbation can fill that void for a while, but everyone needs sex! (more so if you’ve had it and are now in a “dry spell”) If a Sir or Sub rarely see’s the other half of a TPE dynamic, are there other partners to fill certain needs ? is your LDR an aspect of a poly lifestyle, or an open relationship ? Are you being honest with your partner about sexual needs being met, and can you address those needs long term ? If you’re Monogamous, are your physical needs being met within the constrictions of how often you see your partner ?
Also, Some times LDR TPE relationships are solely about the TPE, and in the interim, the normal or vanilla things get overlooked. Are you compatible with your partner in the more mundane things ? do you like the same movies, music, places to hang out ? Or is the limited time you have together on skype, text and the phone All about tasks, lessons, and sex ? Considerations need to be made as to whether or not you are compatible as a cohesive unit, rather than simply a TPE dynamic. In a Face to Face relationship these questions are easily answered by attending events, movies, concerts and going out to eat together.
Another Large part of TPE is communication as I hinted at in the above paragraph. Open and honest communication is paramount in any successful relationship, be it Vanilla, poly, or TPE, but perhaps just as important is the information conveyed when we communicate. According to a study done by Albert Mehrabian 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken. If we apply this to modern methods of communication even when we use Skype or a webcam program 55% of either partners communication is largely inaccessible to the other. Your partner and yourself then must rely on being able to be concise, clear and willing to displease one another through hard conversations if the need arises and be perfectly clear on how you feel, or why something The dominant has ordered isn’t working. Are you capable of having the hard discussions even though it may consume a full days worth of contact with your significant other (or more)? Furthermore can you do so without relying on body language to help give you insight ?
One other thing that seems to be counter intuitive to LDR’s and unique to TPE LDR’s is Freedom. One of the highlights of “vanilla” LDR’s is free time. Time to do things for YOU. In a TPE relationship A submissive’s overriding thought is to first do things with their Free time (from work, children, etc) that will benefit their Sir, and make their life more comfortable. As a Submissive or a Dominant, are you going to be satisfied that by doing tasks you assign and seeing the other grow as a person is enough? Will the personal growth of your partner be enough to sustain you long term ? As a submissive, will you be satisfied not being able to get your Sir his morning coffee ? or Not being able to fix his dinner, rub his shoulders or lounge at his feet ? How do you quantify service in this area ?
As you move forward do you have a plan in place to close the Gap ? or is this relationship just a way to safely experience elements of TPE ?
For the reasons I’ve mentioned and the things I’ve outlined I really don’t see an LDR TPE as being on the same level as a face to face relationship, Doubly so if the LDR in question doesn’t have a “distance closing plan” in place (even a loose one). Over all because of the Nature of a TPE BDSM relationship I think eventually you need to move into a face to face relationship in order to have a lasting and full-reaching relationship of this nature.
As I said at the beginning, feel free to prove me wrong, or change my mind…. Can a Fully LDR TPE relationship work ? I don’t think so.