Woman In Control is my favorite blog that I have had a chance to follow over the course of my blogging history. Some recent back and forth comments got me thinking a bit about things and I wanted to further explore my thoughts on them without clogging up the comments with some borderline off-topic material.
The evolutionary process of D/s relationships and the changes that occur in both Domme and sub over time is a topic of great interest to me. It is always interesting to see the trends that arise and what options couples use to keep things interesting.
The topic that has most recently been on my mind is whether it is possible to recapture the exhilarating charge of early contact and fledgling D/s relationships that are still in their formative phase. I believe this is something that is possible for a Domme that enjoys the courting/training process. I do not think it is quite as possible for a veteran sub to feel this on the same level. I think the key to these situations has to do with the frame of reference.
An experience Domme already has a good idea of what she likes and dislikes, what she will enjoy and what she will expect from a sub. If she enjoys the training process, she can derive great pleasure from shaping a novice sub into the form that she wishes. During this process, she stays who she is while the sub undergoes a complete transformation. If it is the process that brings her pleasure, this experience can be repeated with a new sub.
However, once a novice sub has been trained, he is now a veteran. He will have developed things he likes and dislikes about the lifestyle. There will be activities that bring him pleasure and activities that bring him pain. He will develop an idea of his role and what is (or will be) expected of him. Once this happens, I do not think it is really possible to wipe the slate clean again. If he enters into a new relationship with a different Domme there may be the initial exhilaration and fear of the courting process and undergoing her training but certain things that have been etched into his psyche are likely to remain. When the initial getting to know you process wears off, it is common to compare his previous experiences to the ones he is currently having. e.g. a sub who previously served a Domme that was a firm believer in chastity devices may feel a bit off if he serves a different Domme that believes in the honor system, especially if chastity served as a strongly intimate bond between the sub and his previous Domme.
Within a relationship, I believe it is possible to keep refreshing the excitement by shaking the sub out of his comfort zone soon after he has acclimated to it. This puts an enormous load on the Domme. The early stages of a D/s relationship are terrifying for a sub. They need to prove themselves worthy: capable as a sub, interesting as a person, and able to connect with the Domme in a meaningful and positive way. There is a great deal of fear because of the risk is so great: your greatest fear is rejection. If a sub is accepted by a Domme, he reaches his first comfort zone but the first shake up often follows immediately. Rules and conduct get tightened down, punishment regimens begin, and so on. The sub learns her expectations and adapts himself to meet them. At some point, he will err less and less and the subsequent need for punishment diminishes as well. This is the second comfort zone. Many D/s relationships can stay happy for a long time in this state but as both Domme and sub change over time, it is common to see the parameters of the relationship change at this point as well. Additional rules, stricter punishments, and experimentation with new activities can all serve to remove a sub from his comfort zone, restore fear, and force him to adapt himself even further. I believe the majority of the more extreme lifestyle activities come about in this way and I do think this is the closest a veteran sub can get to experiencing the same terrifying exhilaration as he does when entering a lifestyle relationship for the firs time.
I do believe in a relationship founded on trust and love that things inevitably work themselves out in this way.