Submissive in Seattle

Talk to your partner!

Talk to your partner!

Seriously, do it. That’s always the answer to relationship questions. Even in… hell, especially in D/s relationships. More communication is a good thing.

About once a week I see a thread pop up on /r/BDSMCommunity that goes something like this.

My SO is submissive and I’m sort of new to this whole being a dom/me thing, what are some ideas to help me be the best ever/rock their world/please them/”punish” them/ or for things they can do for me? Please help.

First of all, Awesome that you are open and interested in what turns your partner on, and setting aside the fact that having your partner come out as submissive means you now have someone who not only wants to please you, but gets off on doing what you say, and if you don’t have any ideas of what to do with that you are dangerously unimaginative.

There is an internet full of images like these and you can’t figure out what to do with your shiny new (wants to be your sex slave) sub!?!

Setting that aside, what you need to do is talk to you partner, and what I think the big thing you need to figure out, if you want to be the dom/me of their dreams is: “What do they get out of submission?”

The thing is, not all subs are the same. We’re all different people, and where some are really into certain acts, others are all about fulfilling their partners desires, and others still wildly have different reasons they like the idea of submission.

Me, I want to feel owned and desired, So I’m very open to anything that hits those buttons, dominance and submission are big for me. Masochism is a nice shortcut. Bondage is not terribly interesting. (But, of course if Tavi were really interested in tying me up, I’d want to do that for her.)

I’m also really interesting in certain acts, but that’s neither here nor there.

I think that once you know what it is about submission that is hot for your partner, everything else should be quite a bit easier to figure out. However, I get that it’s not always easy to communicate these things, from either direction. I would suggest that if you can’t get a good picture of what your sub wants from talking, ask them to write you a letter, or e-mail. Or have them write down a story or a fantasy, or send you some porn they like with a brief explanation of what makes it hot.

Do that and I bet things will start falling into place.

And Subs, sharing what makes you hot is not topping from the bottom (and even that is bollocks.)  Dom/mes aren’t magical psychic sex genies. You don’t need to push your fantasies, but sharing them, just putting the things you like out there makes it far more likely that you might actually get to do them someday. (I totally had a little trouble figuring out how to share something, and ended up just texting about it, and Tavi is keen on the same things!)

18 thoughts on “Talk to your partner!

  1. Neophyte

    Communication is almost always good. I can safely say I haven’t yet regretted talking about anything with my play partner. Our conversations have covered things that are hot and desired already, things that are sexy but that I didn’t feel ready for yet, and things that will probably always be limited to fantasy. One of the things I wasn’t ready for the first time we talked about it has come to pass, although very tentatively — needle play — and I hope to try more in the future.

    The lesson, kids, is that thoughtful, honest communication is good.

  2. writingthebody

    Hot pics…and a good topic – fantasy is like a closed system in the mind of the holder, I guess the beholder of the one with the fantasy has a right to expect to be let in, to be allowed to alter it, to participate in it – otherwise it is just marionettes./…

    1. Peroxide

      Thanks I tend to write first and then pick out some lovely images to go with whatever I’ve written and sometimes they work especially well together/

      I don’t know that I’d call fantasy a closed system, I feel like my fantasies are pretty heavily influenced by what’s going on in my life.

      1. writingthebody

        Sorry, it is my fault. I was not very clear – you are right that fantasies are socially linked in their genesis – and in their effects. I meant rather that the kind of fantasy you are criticising where one imposes a fixed scheme on another, that is a closed system in that it does not admit the other person. But even in its genesis, it came from somewhere, so even in what I meant I am wrong I suppose. In a way. Sorry, I should have thought it through more. Some of the comments below are interesting too…

      2. writingthebody

        And my goodness I love that gif – it still comes up near the top of the topics I follow (masochism tag, I think) – she could slap me all day, whoever she is! Then again this is another underthought response….in the end the face gets puffed up and bruised and I get a black eye, and anyway, what is in it for her? It is just my maso fantasy at work…..I guess that is what we come with – whereas it is up to us to find meeting points?

        1. Peroxide

          This gives me two thoughts. One if you don’t already have one you really should get a tumblr, that’s where I steal all my best images from.

          Two, she might enjoy slapping you all day. If she’s a sadist, I am so so happy that Tavi gets off on hurting me. That she thinks its hot when I cry.

          1. writingthebody

            Yes, it is true that the nearest I can come to crying is if I am being slapped…it needs some pretty well placed verbal stuff to work though….I bet you look lovely when you cry…..

  3. Naga di Kandang

    Excellent points. I tend to be (just a little bit) obsessive about making sure I’m heard, and I forget what I’ve said. So our balance to that is I keep an online document of fantasies I’m having, and update it — including noting what’s high on my mind — around once per month. That leaves the control entirely with Jalan, but keeps the communication open on what makes me hot. She can then know when she is or is not doing one of those things, making the decision according to her goals for a scene or experience.

    1. Peroxide

      I definitely like to use multiple forms of communication. Some things are just easier to write than speak about.

      Like I said in the post I was nervous about sharing a fantasy, both because it’s a tad embarrassing, and because I’m not sure how it’ll play out, but I managed to work it into a text convo and everything went better than expected.

  4. Ferns

    I don’t disagree with you, We bang on about communication all the time. The thing is that for a lot of people, they *know* full well that they should be doing it, but they find it hugely difficult to actually do it, and do it well.

    ‘Communicate’ or ‘talk to her/him’ is generally not very useful advice because mostly people who are struggling just don’t know how to do it. Maybe they are just poor communicators, maybe they (as a couple) have developed bad communication habits, maybe the person is terrified of being hurt etc. Sometimes a ‘why don’t you try approaching it like this’ is much more useful than a very generic ‘talk to them’.

    I’d add that it’s actually *easy* to be an awesome communicator when things in the relationship are going well. Your example and Neo’s example, while difficult enough to bring up, were both positive fantasy-play-related things in the context of a happy working relationship. Try sitting down with your beloved and having a discussion about something that you know full well is going to hurt them really badly, or anger them, or disappoint them, or that could even be a relationship breaker – that shit is HARD.

    I’m not sure why I’m a bit ornery about this. I think it’s because I see people spout the communication mantra without seemingly any depth of understanding or appreciation of how very difficult it can be. Everyone nods in agreement as if they have said something terribly wise. It’s annoying.


    1. Neophyte

      To be fair, Peroxide’s whole post is a response to a common question that seems to be a positive play-related question in the context of a happy relationship. So that’s the context I replied in.

      I have had conversations with my play partner (which I don’t think is quite an adequate description anymore, but I can’t think of anything more accurate that I know it to be) about things that hurt to talk about. Polyamory is one of them; she’s polyamorous, and I’m not, at least not yet. I really worry that it’s something I won’t be able to embrace. I worry that it will eventually be a deal-breaker for one of us. But I’m working on it. I’m reading, I’m looking for advice, I’m thinking about it on my own. Most importantly, I’m talking with her about polyamory and my anxieties.

      Another example: about this time last year, I had a relationship end very painfully. One of the results is that I have been very cautious to get attached or let myself become emotionally vulnerable. On our latest date, my play partner asked me about it, asked me if I was afraid, and the truth is that yes, I am (or was, at least) afraid, in large part because of the pain left from a year ago. It’s something we’ve talked about since then.

      In both cases, what has made me able to communicate with her about these tough issues is that I trust her not to push me away because of these anxieties. And how did we develop that kind of trust? By talking to each other, a lot, and generally not about the weather or life’s stupid bullshit.

      1. Ferns

        That’s great to hear!

        I dropped Peroxide a note saying I was bristly in my comment here: it’s not about this post, him or you.

        I just get generally frustrated about examples where people trot out ‘talk to them’ or ‘communicate’ as advice as if it’s helpful and wise, when the fact is that if people knew how to do it and did it well, they wouldn’t be asking for advice in the first place.

        It’s unfair of me to bring my personal grrrr here when Peroxide was perfectly clear in defining the boundaries of what this post was about, but LIFE ISN’T FAIR!! *laugh*

        (sorry Peroxide!)


        1. Peroxide

          We’ve pretty much squared this away already. The big point of this post, what I probably should have highlighted more than the communication being a panacea, is that getting to the root of your partners desires is a good strategy for being an awesome partner.

          If you know why they kink on something you can better facilitate their fantasies, and really that can go both ways (I’ve realized, now that I’ve already written the post.)

  5. Dumb Domme

    “Dom/mes aren’t magical psychic sex genies.”

    Incorrect, sir! I am, in fact, a magical psychic sex genie.

    Also, I’m supposed to talk to my partner? Pffft. That’s not in the Domination Handbook. Silly Peroxide.

    1. Peroxide

      Since you’re psychic, I suppose you already know what I’m gonna write here. So I can skip it.

      If it’s not in The Domination Handbook yet, then it should be added to the revised addition.

  6. Mitsu

    “Dom/mes aren’t magical psychic sex genies.” WTF? They aren’t?? Maybe that’s why they also can never read my mind. 🙁

    Thank you for the reminder, Peroxide. I’m thinking about writing up a little excersize I used to do as a part of training new pro Dommes – it’s a series of questions aimed at developing a “dom character,” but I’ve found it helpful in my personal life also. Some new doms get stuck because they know what their partner wants, but they don’t quite know what they themselves want – so anything they do feels kind of service-toppy.

    1. Peroxide

      That sounds like a very useful piece to put out there. I see lots of people asking questions that they ought to be able to answer for them for themselves.

      It’s a bit strange to me to not know what you like, and I’m thinking now that this post should’ve also told subs that they need to learn what it is that drives their dominant partners.

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