Illustration by Cécile Dormeau

S&M could save your business (or relationship)…

S&M requires commitment, it often leaves people fulfilled, and eager for more. There are lessons to be learned.

During ‘work’ when they are doing a scene an S&M or, to give it its full title, BDSM (Bondage and discipline, Dominance and submission, Sadism and Masochism) team gets results because:

  • They are prepared: They have all done their research and have the correct equipment readily available.
  • They are there for each other: A Dom can’t dominate without a Sub being submissive and vice versa. They are aware of this and make an effort to help the other blossom.
  • There’s a clear contract/brief: The team has expressed what is off the table (hard limits) and made the other members aware of it — the ‘Statement of Work’ is clear.
  • The ‘workplace’ is fit for purpose: It’s clean and any distractions help stimulate thinking and feeling.
  • It’s a ‘test & learn’ environment: Each scene is discussed and then built upon using lessons learned.
  • Time is structured: A scene has a distinct start and finish time.
  • Roles & Responsibilities are clear: There are distinct roles and everyone knows who’s responsible for doing what.
  • People communicate clearly: The team is aware of the rules and how to communicate what’s happening for them e.g. if agreed, “No” doesn’t mean stop, the safeword (often red) does.
  • People communicate succinctly: They’ve agreed a language and they’re aware that the lack of pleasantries, when things get heated, shouldn’t be taken personally.
  • They are customer focussed: Whether a Sub or a Dom they know what their ‘customer’ wants and their focus is on delivering it.
  • There are defined measures of success: They work towards hitting agreed goals (or not as the case may be).
  • There’s timely feedback: Levels, often numbers, are used to provide timely feedback on tolerance which is instantly adopted.
  • There’s a willingness to experiment: Creativity is encouraged. The team is always up for trying new things to enhance the customer experience and keep them on their toes. They are able to ‘pivot’ and change their approach if they find something isn’t working.

In summary, the above facilitates trust and enables the team to become a real partnership. The list creates a space for the people involved to act from a place of feeling and therefore are present as their true selves. Each team member is dedicated, has the utmost respect for what their partner brings, and gives space for the other to investigate without fear of judgment. They are open, honest, work together, focus on what they are doing, and on improving how they are doing it.

On top of all that, at the end of the day, if mistakes are made, the team hug it out, look for the lesson and know they’re able to try again another day.

Varying the level of physical contact in whichever way one would like, who wouldn’t want to work for a business (or be part of a relationship) that was like that?

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