Many times over the life of this blog I've thought and written about the question of whether there is any real "standard" for D/s, or is it completely roll-your-own, based on the unique relationship between a Dom/me and a sub(s)?
My experience tells Me it's the latter, especially lately. But in My heart of hearts I want there to be a standard. If there is a standard, there is an objective way to tell good from bad, and a common basis for discussion. If everyone's experience is equally relevant and completely anecdotal, then there is, logically, no point in writing/thinking about D/s.
But every time I try to establish that there is a standard, I end up more or less proving the opposite. But perhaps the investigation of the question can be its own reward.
Lately I've been looking at the tumblr pages of many subs and Dom/mes. And while I can't claim to have looked at them all, or even most, perhaps, and the usual disclaimers always apply, there are a few conclusions I come to.
1. D/s is almost completely a private activity. To the extent that there was a D/s scene, it seems to have faded, at least from the notice or experience of people who create D/s tumblrs.
2. Few submissives are universally submissive. Rather, they are submissive to One. This demarcation extends to online interactions.
3. There is little discussion of the emotional aspects of D/s; the sexual is much more heavily stressed.
4. There is a general lack of critical thinking about any aspect of D/s.
Assuming that the above are even somewhat correct, they all mitigate in favor of the idea that D/s is a completely unique activity, based on each couple's (or group's, in poly situations) desires. And if that's the case, the question certainly can be posed -- what's wrong with that? If that's the way it is, then that's the way it is.
The short answer is that nothing's wrong with it. If it's a fact, then to argue against it is to be angry at the sun for setting, as the poem goes.
The long answer is that if it's not 100% a fact, then something valuable is to be gained by identifying those things might be applicable to most or all situations.
Part 2 to follow, shortly.