Monday, July 23, 2018

The Top Ten Needs of a Dominant


I have to admit, I’m not exactly sure where last week went! I had this post drafted and ready to go and then realized it’s been two weeks. I think that’s what happens when it’s summer around here. Blink, and it’s gone! In any event, here is the post I meant to post last week (apologies), and I have another post unrelated to this, so I have that scheduled for later this week to make up for not posting when I said I would. I should tell Jason. Maybe I need a spanking for that. We’ll see what he thinks (I may be a little needy). 😶 

But before I get into this list, a word of caution.

Often, submissives are the ones who present this lifestyle to their dominant partners. And often, when a submissive desires this relationship or lifestyle, he or she expects the dominant partner to immediately take to it like a duck to water. Now, sometimes they do. Most of the time, they don’t. In many cases, if the dominant partner doesn’t wish to lead, expecting them to do so can be burdensome.

So it very well may be the case that a submissive thinks his or her partner really doesn’t want this lifestyle. In some cases that is true, but in most instances that I’ve personally observed, it isn’t that the dominant partner doesn’t want the lifestyle. They want time to grow into this. They want to see sincerity from the submissive showing that they want to submit. So when I say that submission often enables dominance, it’s because actions speak louder than words. 

Talk is cheap. Anyone can say, “I want to submit.” How many can show that in action? Are we able to show that we wish to respect our dominant partners? How do we defer to them in the little things?

So my word of caution is for those who are new to this, who desire this: please don’t read this and think not my dominant. He doesn’t want this. I wish he did. Instead, I challenge you to truly think it through. Is there anything in the list that may apply that perhaps looks different in application than one might think?


Without further ado, to coincide with THE TOP TEN NEEDS OF A SUBMISSIVE , I’d like to humbly offer a list based on my observation and experience on the top ten needs of a dominant. (Thank you to those in my group who contributed to this list!) Like the other list, it's by no means exhaustive or absolute, but perhaps may shed a little light. 


THE TOP TEN NEEDS OF A DOMINANT
1. Respect

Dominants want to be respected. Most dominants love when their submissive partner says “May I.”

“May I speak with you?”
“May I have a minute with you later?”
“May I visit my sister during the holiday?”
“May I spend that money on new pillows for the living room?”
May I is formal, but so is sir. It shows that we wish to defer to their authority in the subtlest of ways.

Dominant partners don’t always lead the way we wish they would and that is how it should be. We don’t live this lifestyle for anyone else. Our relationship is unique. Sometimes, respect means accepting things we don’t want to. It means holding our tongues. It means finding the little ways of deferring to leadership that lead to the bigger ones. It means building up our dominant partner in front of our friends and family, and never saying belittling or disrespectful things in front of others.

Since texting is also a form of communication these days, I ask, do we text respectfully? Do we wait to listen before speaking (or texting) back? Do we respond respectfully when replying?

The need for respect should not be confused with the expectation of respect. Just because a dominant partner hasn’t grown into this role enough to demand respect doesn’t mean they don’t deserve it.



 2.   Acceptance.

No dynamic plays out like the next. Sure, some are similar, and that’s often where friendships are born. But no two people have the exactly same relationship.

Dominants often want to be accepted for who they are and how they live their role.

One of the easiest ways of harming the relationship is by comparing one’s dominant partner to the next. I used to do this, and it was so detrimental to our relationship. I would be absolutely devastated if Jason ever decided to compare my lack of submission to how well another submission lived her dynamic. So why did I think it was okay to compare him to other Doms? I think I lied to myself back then, and told myself I was helping our relationship by telling him what to do. Well I definitely wasn’t helping anything.

Acceptance of who he was was a crucial turning point in our dynamic.

Eventually, I accepted that he was the type of guy that didn’t want to go on forums or talk at length about discipline. That he wanted to keep our lifestyle private, and that he wanted to do things on his terms.

No one is perfect. Doms are no exception to this rule. Accepting who they are is a crucial step in making this all work. It’s also the most loving thing to do.

 3.  Guidance.

In order to meet our needs, our dominant partner wants to know what those needs are. How can we present those needs in such a way so that we aren’t telling them what to do, but rather openly and honestly explaining our needs?

I often prefer “I” words.

“I love when you care about me enough to help me set boundaries,” instead of “You need to tell me what to do.” See the difference there?

In BDSM relationships, there are hard and soft limits, and though D/s dynamics aren’t the same, there are many parallels. What are your hard limits? What are your soft limits? What is it that you like? What is it that you don’t?


It’s important to communicate those needs in an open, honest manner, devoid of passive aggression.


I used to expect Jason to know my needs, and if he didn’t, I would act out to get those needs met. When I needed attention, stress relief, consistency, or pretty much anything in the top ten needs of the submissive, I would sometimes brat out to get those needs met. It was childish and self-centered to do that. Over the years, I needed to find ways of communicating my needs to him.

If he was to be my leader, he needed feedback from me. He needed to know when my needs were met, and when they weren’t. So instead of allowing these things to build up to the point where I reacted in childish ways to get those needs, we developed our check in system.

I asked him recently if he still liked our check-in’s. He said, “Yes, I do. It sets the whole tone for the day.” When we spend time in daily communication, I am able to give him the guidance he needs to lead me, and I’m also able to show him I respect him as leader of my home.


There are many other ways of communicating. Journaling, blogging, weekly meetings, undivided attention before bed at night. 



 4. Trust.

Jason needs to know I trust him. When I place myself in his hands to be disciplined, guided, and cared for, I show him that I trust him. One of the reasons why BDSM relationships bring a couple closer together is often because the level of trust required is intense. In a Dom/sub relationship, we trust our dominant partners with more than our bodies: we trust them with our hearts.


How do we show that trust? It sounds obvious, but one of the simplest ways is simplying by saying, “I trust you.”


I trust you to make this financial decision. I trust you that the decision is for the benefit of our family. I trust that even though you’re a father and you sometimes parent differently than I do as a mom, that your way is valid. I trust that you won’t hurt me. We say we trust in our words and in our actions.

I wrote about this at length IN THIS POST


 5.  Appreciation.

A simple “thank you” goes a really, really long way, and it’s so important in a Dom/sub relationship.

Thank you for leading our family.
Thank you for working so hard.
Thank you for taking the time to meet my needs.
Thank you for the best night of sex I’ve ever had.
Thank you for the flowers.
Thank you for being a good father.
Thank you for spending time instead of playing your new game on Xbox.
Thank you for providing for us.

And sometimes as a submissive, we need to really take this further.

Thank you for spanking me when I needed it.
Thank you for helping me improve. 

Thank you for stopping me when I was losing my mind.

Thank you for not allowing me to spiral out of control.
Thank you for taking control.
Thank you for leading me.


And the list goes on and on.
Have we thanked our Doms lately?

6.  Praise.

Dovetailing on appreciation, a dominant partner needs praise. This is one of the hardest things for me. Words of affirmation are not one of my love languages. So I have to make a conscious effort to praise him for the things he does well. This past weekend he spent time sanding a stairway of ours that he’s working on, and I totally didn’t realize he’d done the work (I was distracted at the time, as it was quite obvious he’d done it). I had to stop what I was doing and tell him how much I loved what he did. He needs this from me.

I think I sometimes think because he’s the dom, he’s this all-powerful, all-knowing guy. Well, he’s human. And he’s one hell of a Dom. So I need to tell him that. Praise him for how he is with me. I wrote more about this HERE

7.   Communication

Hand in hand with guidance, a dom needs open and honest communication. Since most Dom/sub dynamics involve a female submissive and male dominant, my advice is to K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, sister. I’ve spent forty years of my life observing the male species and daresay that a good majority of them like straightforward, honest communication.

Don’t spend hours trying to explain what you want. Say, “I really need a spanking. Would you help me with that?”

Don’t spend hours talking about your needs. Cut to the chase. “Could you help me get to bed on time?”

If your communication is lacking, spend some time trying to figure out why. Is the timing right? Talking to my Jason when he’s on his way to work, or at work, is pretty much completely futile. He’s a focused guy, so when he’s on his way to work or at work, that’s where his focus is. He doesn’t want to talk about budgets then. He doesn’t want to spend hours discussing rules. For him, it’s pretty much the worst time ever to talk.

When is a good time? At night. When the kids are in bed. During morning check-ins. Date nights. Weekends.


Letters and emails often work well, so he can read at his leisure.


8. Honesty

Along with communication, dominants need honesty. So, so many times, I’ve not wanted to tell Jason how I really felt about something because I was afraid. Afraid he’d not want this dynamic anymore. Afraid that he’d pull away from me. Afraid that once he found out what I’d done, I’d get my punished.

But if he is going to lead me, he needs me to be honest. If I’m not able to handle being honest with him, then I’m not sure how this dynamic can work.


Honest about my needs. Honest about my rules, what I’ve done and what I haven’t. Honest about my fears. Honest about my emotions.


Learning to communicate honestly but succinctly, because he really prefers me to cut to the chase, has taken time. But, it can be done.

From Tumblr


 9.   Sex.

Let’s be blunt. This doesn’t apply to everyone. But it applies to many. Some people have lower sex drives than others, and the reasons are many and varied. Medical conditions? Age? Personal preference?

But most of the Doms I know, including my own, have a high need for sex. Sometimes, this need is hidden, because dominant partners have learned to temper their needs when they had small children, their wives took on new jobs, etc. Just because they don’t ask for it doesn’t mean they don’t want it.

But if they do ask for it? Well. We know what we have to do.

Next to spanking, submitting sexually is one of the best ways to fuel a dynamic. Oral sex, sex in the middle of the night, frequent sex, kinky sex? Bring it. All the time. All the ways. Shut the TV off, put the phone down, get a babysitter, do whatever you need to do: if your Dom needs sex, give it to him. He doesn’t care that you’ve got stretch marks. He doesn’t care that you think your tummy’s flabby. He wants you.

More about this in a lengthier post HERE


  10. Time 
  
As I mentioned in my last post, Doms and subs are unique creatures. When we submissives come to our dominant partners, we’re asking for a lot. In most cases, we’re asking them to let go of long-held, mainstream beliefs in equality. We’re asking for time and attention. In some cases we’re asking our partners to go out of their comfort zones and cause us pain (and not all of them readily embrace that. In fact, it’s pretty rare, at least at first).

If we’re asking our partners to Dom us, we can’t expect them to manufacture time out of thin air.

Does he have a job? Do you have children? Do you have a home he cares for?

To us, the lifestyle might seem like it should naturally incorporate into our day to day without causing any sort of disruption, but that’s very, very rarely the case. In most cases, if we want to be dommed, then we need to “clear the deck.” Maybe we need to take on putting the kids to bed at night. Maybe we need to hire someone to mow the lawn or spend less time out at night socializing with our friends.

If you want a full-time Dom, you need to give him full-time Dom hours. Hey, maybe your best friend’s husband puts the kids to bed and cooks dinner every night. Is he a Dom?

Being a dom is a job. And yes, it’s a rewarding one that has the potential of bearing amazing fruit, but it takes time and energy to do.

So if you’re a submissive who’s presented her needs to her dominant partner, and would like to see your roles embraced more fully, I have a challenge for you. Spend some time asking yourself how you can clear the decks for him. Working Dom/sub relationships aren’t always organic; in most cases, they must be cultivated with time, attention, kindness, and open communication.

If he's under enormous stress or work, or his mother is sick and he's caring for her needs, then often his energy is zapped. It makes domming so much harder to do. Of course, we have things that zap our energy, too, but I'm assuming we want this dynamic to work. So let's take a look at how we can do that. 

Now over time, as you develop habits and come to a mutual understanding of things, the ability to Dom does become far easier. Jason does it now intuitively, just as I obey him intuitively, but this is only after nearly six years of dedication to this dynamic played out fully, and over sixteen years of filling our roles.

If you’re a Dom reading this:

Doms, submissives are also unique creatures. If she’s clearing the decks for you and asking you to dom her, and you’re willing and able, keep in mind you can’t expect to give her the attention your friend gives his wife and expect her to be satisified. If you want to reap the incredible benefits of this dynamic – foster intimacy and peace in your dynamic, ramp up your erotic vibe in your relationship, cultivate peace, draw closer -- you’re going to have to work a lot harder than the average guy… at least at first. 



But before you groan, anticipating a life in which your future entails you spending every waking moment meeting the needs of your wife, take heart. Once the needs of a submissive are understood, the actual amount of time and effort you need to put in is far less than you might think. A smack on the ass as you walk by her in the kitchen. A text through the day asking if she’s done her chores. Maintenance with regularity. Just a few minutes of your undivided attention. If she needs time to process and you find it draining, consider instructing her to journal or spend some time meditating.

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I hope some of you have found these explorations of needs helpful. Please do take what you like and leave the rest, as we're all unique creatures, and we don't all mimic one another's needs. However, my hope is that understanding our needs a little better can help our relationships flourish. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Top Ten Needs of a Submissive

“I think he’s just playing at this.”

“I don’t think this matters to him as much as it matters to me.”

“He hasn’t spanked me in two weeks/four weeks/a month/a year.” 

“He doesn’t care if I break a rule or not.”

“I shouldn’t have to tell him what I need. I don’t like to ask.”

These are things I used to say and still, sometimes, struggle with. These are things that I hear other submissives say on a regular basis, and I daresay these complaints come from a place of being desperate to have a need filled. There have been times when I wrote posts Dear Hoh/Dom/Guy with the paddle trying to explain those needs. But today, I have a different sort of approach for you.


Before I launch into this list of the top ten things a submissive needs, I’d like to explain a little something.

Submissives and dominants are almost always just regular old people. They’re not like god-like, muscled heroes in my romance books (romance is often escapism), or the kickass heroines. They’re usually just normal people, who live normal lives, like me and Jason. They have kids and in-laws and jobs. They go on vacation and bounce checks and lose jobs and watch sports games, raise children and grow old.

But even though we're normal people…submissives and dominants have needs that are slightly different from the average couple. So even though we look like the average couple, and we do things like the average couple, we really aren’t. We tend to have needs that vary, and not understanding those needs can cause some major upheaval. 

For now, let’s get started with this list. It’s by no means exhaustive, and by no means applicable to everyone. However, it’s based on my observation over the years.


Ten things submissives need 

1.     Attention

Recently, I came home from a super stressful day. A dear friend of mine suffered a tragic loss, and I was so emotionally drained. Earlier in the day, I had asked Jason, “May I have a few minutes of your time later?” 

“Absolutely,” he responded.

So we rearranged our evening. My youngest was put to sleep in her own bed instead of crashing in mine as sometimes happens. Instead of his gaming and me reading a book, we put everything down and I crawled up on his chest. I told him everything that had happened. He listened, held me when I cried, and after just a few minutes of his undivided attention, I went to sleep. Jason isn't a super talkative guy, and I really need his attention, so I've learned to find other ways of processing things (like this blog) rather than chewing his ear off. Instead, I go to him when I really need to talk, respecting his need for quiet and space. But when I need him? He's there for me. Are we perfect? Well, no. But over the years, we've learned to come to this compromise. 

One of the biggest appeals of a Dom/sub relationship is knowing that I’m the center of his attention. That I’m special to him. Hearing him call me his “little girl,” or send me a text that says “Daddy loves you,” or “Daddy’s proud of you,” just those little tiny things that remind me he’s thinking of me, fill me with joy. Holding onto the collar at my neck or the bracelet he puts on me in the morning with my “daddy’s little girl” charm reminds me that I’m his.

When he disciplines me, or doms me, or wades in and lifts a heavy burden from my shoulders, I’m reminded of how special I am to him.


2.   Consistency

Jason holds me to rules. He doesn’t give me much leeway, and I love him for that. I know what he expects of me. I know if I break a rule, he’ll discipline me. We both know that when we’re embracing our roles, we are both happier and our home runs like a well-oiled machine.

I broke a rule last night. I deserved to be punished, and I knew it. I also knew there was no way he would let me off the hook. I needed him to discipline me, and he did.  

However, consistency doesn't always mean punishing me when I think I deserve it. He certainly does reserve the right not to punish me if he thinks it's better not to. Consistency is a response,  not always the action I want, the recognition of an agreed-upon rule that was broken, or something similar. 

To keep that consistency going, it’s my job to tell him how I’m doing, to tell him if I broke a rule, or need added accountability. It’s also my job to clear the decks for him so he has the emotional energy to be my leader (more on that in next week's post).

It’s his job to make sure I don’t get away with anything. To be the strong, immovable Dom in my life when I’m waffling or struggling or I need to be brought back to center.


3.     Accountability

Those who are submissively wired, especially babygirls, tend to be goal-setters. They want to meet their goals. They brought up this lifestyle because they’re sick of trying to do things on their own and failing. Maybe their house is messier than they like, they aren’t getting up on time for work, they want to hit the gym more regularly and lose some weight. Maybe they don’t like the way they feel when they lose their temper with the kids or overspend at the mall. They know they need someone who’ll make them tow the line, and they’re happier when that happens.

4.     We want to feel wanted

Jason will come up to me wherever we are and take what’s his. It’s not uncommon for him to grab my ass while he walks through the kitchen, or give me a good sharp spank when we’re out on a date. He’ll tangle his hands up in my hair and tug my head back for a kiss, or wake me in the middle of the night because he wants sex. He’ll ask me, “how’s my baby?” or text me, “I love you, babygirl.” Mostly? I freaking LOVE this. It makes me feel loved. It makes me feel wanted. Being his submissive means I’m his special girl, and I crave that love and attention. Even the smallest little dominant gesture from him can have me floating for hours. 




5.     Understanding

I remember a while ago telling Jason, “I think I’m a weirdo for feeling this way.” He reached over, tugged my collar, and said, “This tells you that I don’t think you’re weird.”

We’ve talked about my craving to submit to him for years. He accepted it early on, when he saw the fruits of our dynamic playing out so beautifully. 

I think the single easiest way to crush a submissive is to make them feel that what they want is somehow wrong, deviant, or disordered. Society tells us women shouldn’t submit, that only children are spanked, and that solid relationships are built on equality. So when we seek a relationship that values submission, discipline, and an agreed-upon imbalance of power, it can be hard to go against the grain. We need to know the partner we love understands this about us.





6.     Discipline

We like knowing our dominant partners care. We love having rules and accountability. And even though discipline can totally suck--I mean, I don’t really like being spanked at all--I also know I need this. I might fight it, and I’ll mostly dislike it, but I’m better off when I’m disciplined. 

I like having a bedtime. I like showing Jason my to-do list. I like knowing he expects me to respect him and won’t tolerate back talk or disrespect and daresay his expectation of respect was the turning point in our dynamic. I like knowing he wants me to make safe, healthy choices, and that he’ll make sure that I do. Because when he does, I feel loved.

7.     Validation

One of the reasons submissives are frequently the ones seeking out companionship in online groups or friendships with likeminded people, or why books like mine that explore Dom/sub relationships are so popular, is because people love knowing they aren’t the only kinky person out there. They like knowing they aren’t alone. 

Doms rarely care as much about this, which is why most online forums are decidedly submissive-led. When Jason decided he wanted this lifestyle, he wanted to make it his own. He didn’t want or need advice from other Doms. He didn’t want a mentor or a rule book or any instruction from another guy, because he felt that would detract from both the intimacy and privacy of our dynamic, and because he wanted to do things his way. That’s kinda common for a Dom.

Submissives, however, not only often need outside validation, but they often need their Dominant partner to also assert that validation. That they’re not weird, crazy, or childish for wanting this.

8.     Stress relief

We don’t just like to be spanked for punishment. Sometimes, we crave a good centering session, to remind us who’s in charge, or to just help us get rid of the stress of the day. But when we submit, we also crave the mental freedom of letting go. Of trusting someone else to lead. Submitting gives us freedom, and we need that.


9.     Routines

Jason and I have a morning ritual check-in. I’ll be honest, we miss that sometimes because of extenuating circumstances. Recently, we missed this but I was exhausted by night and he was, too, so I just asked him, “Can we check in tomorrow morning?” He said, “Absolutely.” So that means I need to leave time for this. I need to be sure since we have things to do today that I’ve taken care of what needs to be done. We can’t manufacture time out of thin air, and a check-in takes time. A check-in here involves me kneeling, going over my rules, then going over his lap to be put in my submissive place before I take on the day. 

When I travel apart from him, we keep this routine so we both stay on track. I like knowing he cares and he likes knowing he left me in a good place. 




10.  Structure and ritual

Similar to our routines, we crave our little rituals. Our collars and jewelry that remind us to submit. Piggybacking on that, we also crave structure: the Saturday morning maintenance session. The before-bed reading of the submissive journal. The daily wake-up text reminding us to behave. Lots of couples have special rituals and symbols. I once read a blog of one couple that had a corner time ritual, in which she would strip and wait for him to return home from work while waiting in the corner. It was a sort of meditation she learned to crave. The possibilities are endless.

Routines and rituals give us the structure we need, and most submissives thrive under that structure. I have a bedtime and rules throughout the day I’m supposed to follow. I have times when I’m allowed to cheat on my diet and times I’m not allowed. I have a system in place for when I work, and I’m supposed to stick to that. These guidelines help me.

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Now,  perhaps you’re a submissive who’s read this list and nodded through many or all points.

Please don’t make the mistake of handing your dom this list and saying, “Hey. This. Do this for me.”

My question to you is, how have you communicated these needs? Have you given him the time and space to find the energy to Dom you? Unless a Dominant is naturally dominant and/or brought this lifestyle to you, it will take tons of time, patience, and open communication to learn how to communicate effectively. 

Remember that our needs don’t trump everyone else’s, so we must cultivate patience and maturity when asking for what we need, and when you do get what you need, it’s crucial to continue to submit with love, and to build up your dominant partner and thank them for meeting your needs.

Next up, how do we make this dynamic work? How do both the submissive and dominant partner have their needs met? Come back next week for the next post. J