Release within D/s is hard to deal with. Usually like in any relationship you have grown into a life together with all the small little rituals and daily routines. Most of all when you are in a relation you are not alone. Release and a break up are similar, however there are differences. When suddenly released or after a bad release people are lost and deeply sad. But most of all they are lost in because of the routines and rituals that suddenly stop.
A bad release feels like the following poem I once wrote
as I stand
I lost the
So why is a release in D/s so devastating?
Starting a D/s relation means training, it is not simply love and adjusting to the others lifestyle. Like living with the fact he doesn't put the top of the toothpaste back on. It is one that keeps control and putting all he time and effort in and the other giving up control and putting all her effort and time in making sure she does according to the others wishes and demands.
In release you have to deal with all the feelings that come with breaking up a relationship and with dealing with giving up control, trying to grasp that power back and dealing with your self on a daily basis is usually very hard to do.
Within a D/s Relationship the Dominant choses usually to find ways to help you coping with life. He researches tries and finds out what fits you best. And within that dynamic rules and regulations are made. Within the power exchange he maintains those rules. For both it is hard with a release to let go. For Him to stop ruling for her not to seek them. They are usually the basic, the balance of the D/s. It is the backbone. For a submissive it feels as if that backbone is gone. The dominant has to step back for his control. Both is very hard to deal with. Some Dominants have ways to keep on pulling the leash so to speak. It is very hard for a submissive to cope with. As it entangles her feelings. As for the Dominant to cope without controlling.
Within the D/s dynamic we feed on powerexchange. That gives safety, for both. A dominant give structure and gets unconditional obedience in return. The Dominant needs the submissive as much as the other way around. He care as much as she cares. So that dynamic gets lost for both. And whatever release, good or bad, has to deal with that.
The most important thing in release is empathy, understanding both that it hurts that there is some time needed to cool down. There are ways to do that and recently I read something on the blog of Uncle Agony about 'release' and how a dominant was doing this:
....'She said that she and her Mistress had broken up. It was at her Mistresses instigation. However her Mistress was insisting on a six week period of after care.The Mistress had to "repair" the submissive so that the sub would not be "dysfunctional". This involved a whole series of rituals as well as vanilla meetings. The submissive is going through with this even though she finds it a sadistic torture. She is doing it because she feels that her ex-Mistress needs it."...
(more and the comments you can read on the wonderful insightful blog of uncle agony)
So this dominant is realizing she has to let the power exchange go. Although I do think the way she goes about it is quite rigid and I do wonder about the empathy, even though it seems very empathetic it worried me as for me it felt as if she was no longer considering the feelings someone goes through during a break up, which is of course part of the dynamic as well. The dominant had decided to stop, which hurts and perhaps the help in this case is not so much wanted.
I truly belief that if you release with a ritual it helps the dynamic. Because most of us started with negotiating and some had a ritual of collaring or any other way. I once found this beautiful way to describe it:
..."Release must never happen without the ritual of letting go during which a submissive or slave kneels and gives up the collar willingly. All the emotions that have driven the relationship to this point must be shared and talked about at this point. Dominants, be kind to the submissive, even if it is a transgression that has caused this to happen. Be patient and teach instead of judging. Submissives, respect the decision of the dominant. You gave this man or woman the control and need to accept this decision as part of their responsibility to ensure that steps are taken to ensure that the best interests of both parties are taken into account."...
Because within release there is also a part of a break up and with breaking up we go to a series of feelings like; denial, anger, hurt etc. This is until the stage where we accept that it is over and done with and that the relation is fully over.
If we look at breaking up there are a few things we can do and those things will help within the D/s dynamic as well.
* Avoid each other for a while. It will give both the chance to adjust to the new way of living. If you look at D/s you can think of a way to talk about what had been the rules and how to let go. But a dominant should stop interfering once that is settled.
* Use close friends to talk about your feelings. And do know that those feelings are valid and that you need to go through them. Support be your own "team" is important for you and only for you.
* Crying is a very healthy thing to do. Cry if you need to it releases you of anxieties, pain, anger, sadness and is cleansing. To cry is also to let go, actually anger is a way of holding on.
To have your own team to help, those who know of the D/s dynamic will understand where you go through and will give you the time, space and love you need to get back on your feet again. You need support but also to reflect yourself and hear how the others look at how things were.
What helps also is that a release after a while gives you the knowledge about what you need and want. How you want it, because you always want to get back in the saddle after falling of the horse. We all need to rebalance to have the resilience to start all over again.