Is this Love?

Master and slave - love


Are power dynamic relationships loving relationships?  Do they have to be?  Can they work with love?  or without it?

I guess it comes down to the individual relationship and those within it, and how “love” is defined.  Love means different things to different people and we generally accept that there are different kinds of love.  So what is love?



One hypothesis is that romantic love is the interaction of three basic brain systems that evolved for mating and reproduction:

The sex drive or lust—the craving for sexual gratification–evolved to enable you to seek a range of potential mating partners.   After all, you can have sex with someone you aren’t in love with.  You can even feel the sex drive when you are driving in your car, reading a magazine or watching a movie.  Lust is not necessarily focused on a particular individual.

Romantic love, or attraction—the obsessive thinking about and craving for a particular person–evolved to enable you to focus your mating energy on just one individual at a time.  As Kabir, the Indian poet put it:  “The lane of love is narrow; there is room for only one.”  

Attachmentthe feeling of deep union with a long-term partner–evolved to enable you to remain with a mate at least long enough to rear a single child through infancy together as a team—although many of us remain together much longer, and enjoy the benefits of life with a partner even when there is no goal to have children.


This may be a social normative view of love….after all…only room for one in love?  Many would beg to differ……. maybe you have a different definition for love altogether.

Of course, power dynamic relationships take many forms.  They may be part-time, full-time, long-distance, intimate, professional, sexual, non-sexual, etc.  I’ve known many people who have been in long-term M/s relationships with no sexual elements – but they had a great deal of “love” for each other.  Similarly, most of the long-term power dynamic relationships I know of in my immediate circle of friends and associates are loving and/or intimate.

Some people say that there is “no place for love in a Master/slave relationship” and some might argue that their D/s relationship is purely for play and not in any way loving.

Where does love fit into your power dynamic relationship?  Could you live without love in it? or would it be a problem to have love in it at all?

And if love is part of your relationship, which came first?  The relationship or the love?  I’ve certainly heard of many M/s and D/s relationships that started with the dynamic and love grew from within the relationship over time.  I’ve also heard many times of long-term loving relationships introducing the power dynamic much later in the relationship….sometimes after many years.

On 8th February we will be hosting a live meeting to discuss “Is this Love?”.  You are invited to join us and share your experiences, thoughts and opinions about love in power dynamic relationships.  You can find out more about how to join in our live meetings here: https://pdrelate.co.uk/live-meetings/

You can also listen to our previous discussion by registering (or logging in if you’re already registered) and visiting our Podcast page.

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