Triggers and the responses that they elicit are something that everyone experiences to a greater or lesser extent in their lives. I want to reflect on two main areas of triggering that I experience regularly, negative emotional triggering as a result of my C-PTSD and positive physical and verbal emotional triggering within our D/s.
Part #2…the D/s stuff
Cuiplash and I reflected recently upon what things work well for each of us in terms of triggering our Dominant and submissive mindsets on a daily basis. I’m not talking about triggers used during play or the difference between submissive mindset and subspace here as that is, for me, an entirely different experience. What I want to explore are the small acts that, on a day to day basis, act as maintenance triggers for our D/s.
For me, the main triggers that elicit responses and nurture mindset are visual, verbal and physical. For him, they are the same. I would say that neither of us are in a Dominant or submissive mindset 24/7 because…life, although our marriage structure now is clearly D/s. We have, as many in the ‘lifestyle’ do, agreed rules about communication, honesty and respect and these foundations underpin how we are with each other.
It helps us, however, amongst the daily busyness of work, school and raising children to connect with small triggers that are enough to just touch on what we have here and there. The effects are not hugely long lasting, but they remind each other that we are considering each other’s needs and for that small moment in time, amongst everything else, we are thinking of the value of our D/s. They are not set as rules, or even protocols, but have just evolved to become part of what we do and how we interact and they are pretty fluid and flexible.
Touch really is my primary trigger, and Cuiplash will use this in a number of ways. The way he may hold or grip me during a quick kiss or meeting or departure would not be noticed by the majority, as they are very subtle, but the power lies in the intention. A circling of my wrist with his hand, a wrap of my ponytail in his fingers or a grip of my nape during a hug are strong momentary triggers we have established over the years, amongst others. Similarly, the ways I react to these touches are triggering to his mindset. I will also hold his hand a particular way or cuddle him a certain way, and these are other examples of touch triggers for us.
Verbally, we also worked out a few triggers, one example is the introduction of a sub name that he can use to refer to me in either company or private that is simply my initial, and would appear to others to just be a pet name or nickname he has for me. Cuiplash will use this specifically to remind me, either as a warning or as a term of affection, that I am his submissive and the effect is pretty instantaneous.
More recently we had to replace my day collar necklace as my previous one was accidentally snapped by our cat catching a nail on the chain and we decided that, rather than going for a similar design, I would choose one with my initial, again to act as a touch and visual trigger. When Cuiplash touches the letter, his intention is clear to me.
Check-ins are something that we started right at the beginning of our D/s, and tend to be used during our working week. Depending on the commitments of our working days either one of us will check in with the other, as pre-agreed, via messenger. I really look forward to receiving or sending these during a busy or stressful day as it briefly gives me pause to calm and think of him.
Obviously, no two D/s dynamics are the same, and what subtle triggering acts will be of value to one will not work for another. These are just a few of the things that work for us and our triggers have developed and changed as time has gone on. The need for increased triggering to soothe and calm, or even a relaxation of our triggers will be very dependant on our particular needs at the time. It really is up to each couple to define what creates an emotional trigger that elicits their Dominant and submissive mindset, however briefly.