Trust in a relationship between a Dominant and a submissive requires more than the trust that one won't physically harm the other during play or a scene. The safeguard against real harm during sexual, kinky, or erotic activities is a safeword, but of course, the submissive has to trust that the Dominant will respect a safeword. That's a topic for another post.
The trust I'm talking about is a bit more mundane, less dangerous and sexy, and yet equally as important in any D/s relationship. This is different than the trust that the Dominant won't harm the submissive (in a way that they don't want to be harmed). Without this type of trust, none of the sexual trust matters. This is the foundation on which everything else is built.
Trust, in the sense that I'm referring to, is important in any type of relationship, but I'm going to specifically address long-distance relationships (LDR for short). Many people can't understand how a D/s relationship can occur when it's a LDR. The amount of communication and trust needed between two people (whether vanilla or D/s) is imperative for the success of any relationship. Because of the nature of Dominance and submission, trust becomes much more important. It's doubly important when distance separates us.
Let me give you some examples of what I mean by trust. In the world of Dominance and submission, it's very rare that someone online is using their real name. Typically, it's something that's clearly not a real name. In my case, "Kayla Lords" isn't my real name, but someone wouldn't know that unless I told them. The first step in trusting another is sharing your real name. Sometimes I only give my first name for a long time until I feel I can trust the person enough to share my last name - that involves a lot of communication for several weeks or months and the knowledge that they've shared their real name with me. Side note: once someone gives me their real name, I Google them, Facebook them, and/or look for them on Twitter. I want to see what, if anything, I can find out about them that may contradict what they've been telling me. I have trust issues, though.
Once a relationship progresses enough that both parties feel that it's a LDR, trust in a D/s relationship becomes much more important. The Dominant has to trust that the submissive is doing what they're being told to do. In my case, my Daddy has to believe that I'm going to bed when he tells me to, wearing what he wants me to wear, saying my mantra each day. Yes, I report to him that I'm in fact doing what I'm supposed to do, but without the trust, he could, would, and probably should question my every move.
Here's a big one. When I forget to do something he's told me to do - edge throughout the day, wear something (like a nipple charm), whatever - I admit it. Why? Because if I don't, I'm a big fat liar, that's why. Part of establishing trust is being honest even when it hurts to be honest, even when you're wrong. The next step shows his trust in me. I get cornertime when I don't complete tasks that I'm supposed to do. I HATE cornertime.
Guess what? I actually stand, kneel, or whatever in the corner for the entire time I'm instructed. Every time. I can hear some people wondering why the hell I don't just SAY that I've done it. Well, part of it is that whole not wanting to be a big fat liar thing. Part of it is being a submissive in a D/s relationship. On a certain psychological level, I want and/or need to be disciplined for my transgressions.
Trust does go the other way, of course. I trust that I'm the only submissive in my Daddy's life. I trust that he has my best intentions in mind - that trust is what helps me do what he asks of me.
Trust isn't unique to relationships between Dominants and submissives. Any good relationship has to be built on trust or it's simply a house of cards waiting to fall. The difference between the "vanilla" world and the D/s world, whether long-distance or not, is that without complete trust, there is no Dominance or submission - there's play-acting, pretending, and lying.
I don't pretend to have all the answers, but the one thing I do know is that without trust, basic trust, a D/s relationship, especially long distance, has no chance of success. It may seem silly to stand in a corner by yourself or wear certain things or do anything that the other will never see for themselves. But that's what makes it real and true. And that's what makes me, as a woman and a submissive, trustworthy.