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.


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


  1. Very very well said!

  2. While my list looks a little different from yours, I totally agree that those words letting me know he's thinking of me and I'm special to him can keep me smiling for hours!

    1. I'm glad you found something you can relate to. :) And yes, same here!

  3. You are wonderful. I love your reminders to communicate with each other and to let your dom do things his way. The D/S community is lucky to have you :)

  4. Dear J Girl. thanks for a great post (and blog). I am a submissive male and can relate to all the needs you posted. Just recently while having some company visit I felt neglected and began to neglect some of my required chores and I began to pout and give my wife attitude. When the company left we had a talk and she certainly stepped up her game. Every day for the next week I am to spend an hour in the corner. The only thing I am permitted to do while in the corner is study, recite, and remember the rules she has made for me. The most important one is "My wife is always right." She has also assigned me additional duties of pulling weeds every evening for an hour after I get home from work. While I can't say I relish spending a total of 7 hours in the corner and another 7 hours of pulling weeds, she has met a deep seated need in me and I am genuinely content. Thank you again for your insights.

    1. Vic, you are one of several male submissives you said they can relate to this list, and I love that! It shows we have similar needs.

      It doesn't sound fun to face your punishments, but I hope your dynamic will grow as a result. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Thanks, JGirl ... this one is a bookmarked keeper for me ... nj

  6. Dear J Girl,

    I read this blog post, and I can only agree with your writing - wow. Thanks for sharing!

    enrico, slave of Mistress Kate – Netherlands

    1. Hi, Enrico, I am glad you can relate and thank you for coming by!

  7. Good, good reminders. It's important for me to remember my husband isn't online playing like I am! He isn't reading erotic books or hearing about others spankings. Subconsciously, my perception of "harsh" or "stern" starts to evolve without my really noticing. Not really fair to him to expect him to know I thought something was kind of hot that he's never heard about.

    1. Exactly. I've been there. It is hard to remember, but I think it helps if we do!

  8. Two things: 1, I don't think I've ever commented here before, and 2, when I saw the "10 things" heading I just had to check out what was written from a VERY suspicious and skeptical POV. I normally find "10 things"-type posts or memes to be utterly trite.

    Then I read yours, and I found I couldn't object to a single thing you wrote! So "well done!" I'm impressed.

    1. Kdpierre, good to "see" you. Your comment made me smile. I love that despite you came to this post suspicious and skeptical, you still found you agreed with it! It's true, the top ten posts can be utterly trite, but they're a sort of "trope" in blogdom that need to be visited from time to time. I'm glad mine didn't fall into the trite camp for you! :)

    2. I'm still around and still blogging and adding the occasional new 'thing' to my website as well. Feel free to visit! The blog is a bit of everything from political to personal to humor. And from tame to raunchy at times. (Just like me. LOL) All the best!


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