So this question popped up in my fetlife feed, and with the original author’s permission I reprinted.
So, I have a lot if issues. I’m new to all this and really need a mentor in general. [To keep things short] I’m going to try my best to narrow things down and hopefully find some help that way. For one, I’m kind of shy. I like to get to know people before I’m comfortable enough to act “dommy” around them. And then I also like to take other people’s feelings and abilities into consideration. I guess you could call me a soft domme? But then all of that just causes issues for me, like people expect me to be a super dominatrix bitch right away, or they expect me to make all the rules and boss them around. What do I do with all this? How do I get over this shyness so people will actually take me seriously and not call me a fake all the bloody time? Then, if someone actually gets past that, I’m not sure what to do with them. They usually suggest that I give them tasks or whatever, but it’s always sexual, and I’m not interested in sex all that much. What I really like is the aspect of control. Anyway, in short, I don’t want my D/s relationships to revolve around sex. So what I can do? And what are some tasks that I can give them to do that aren’t as sexual? 19FDomme
Figuring out how to get what you want is a challenge at any age. Being a dom, especially a female one, means dealing with a whole bunch of expectations and stereotypes that may stand in your way. As you’ve probably already noticed, there’s a lot of expectations put on us to be “in role” from day 1 and develop some sort of persona rather than simply relaxing and being yourself. Part of finding satisfaction as a Dom is getting past what others want for you and discovering what you want. When it comes to diagnosing your problem, I want you to think about this sentence. You wrote: What I really like is the aspect of control.
This is very reasonable and a huge part of dominance as a personal identity- it’s no wonder people trying to use you as a fetish dispensing machine are boring and frustrating you! A key part of dominance is the near addictive draw to that sensation of power. It might be benevolent and nurturing, or it might be sadistic, but it can also be one of the most challenging parts of getting your needs met.
The first thing to remember is that submissives are not interchangeable, so things not working out with one sub does not mean you are a bad dom or not a dom. Building a D/s dynamic is about finding someone you work well with, and no one relationship is a perfect copy of anyone else. This can feel frustrating, because you are probably bombarded with attention and loads of guys are promising they really want to submit, but most of them are just asking you to fill their fetish needs. Even if they are ready, eager and willing to try to make you happy, at this point, no knowing you, all they can offer is suggestions based on what they want and what porn tells them you want. This can make the whole thing seem not for you.
Unfortunately, beyond the problem of getting to know people well enough to actually serve them, rather than the abstract idea of a dom, inexperienced subs will also forget that doms are people too and may act pouty if they don’t get the fantasy they were expecting. Because of this, you may feel like you have to put on an aggressive, unapproachable persona with everyone you meet in order for possible play partners to take you seriously. Actually, you can consider not doing that your idiot filter- the ones who expect you to be Mistress WhippyBitch straight off the bat really don’t care who is dominating them- and have demonstrated they don’t want to take the time to get to know you.
Dominance is intimate, and it’s vulnerable. It involves being capable of being selfish, and admitting that you want things badly enough to have someone do it for you. Meanwhile, wanting to care about your sub’s needs and feelings doesn’t make you a weak dom, it makes you not a raving pyschopath. Pornography (and the marketing copy of professionals) gives the impression that dominants are unyielding bullies with zero empathy and a constant presence. It can be natural to be very shy about your dominance if you feel like you have to overcome that public perception! Any sub that calls you ‘fake’ for being who you are instead of their fantasy is not worth your time. That’s because being a dom is not about what their kinks mean to them, it’s about what your desires mean to you.
For most people, BDSM is sexual. I don’t know, in your case, whether for you it’s a psychological power trip, or you’re just not particularly promiscuous with your favours. Be that as it may, it’s okay to want to do things your way because it’s your sexuality/personality and that’s going to be constant even when you are single. While professionals excel at packaging femdom into a one size fits all approach, finding something that works for you is about finding your own kinks. You said get the most satisfaction from a sense of being in control- so if you want to build on that you need to develop what sort of control you want. Power can be about giving people things, or about denying them.
Here’s some very basic advice in that line:
1) Take the time to educate yourself about what is and isn’t okay regarding limits and safety advice. That way you will feel secure knowing how to keep your sub protected while being able to call out nonesense when you encounter it.
2) Confidence is born from being able to feel in control of yourself. I already talked about recognizing time wasters and learning to banish them. You should also decide what your standards are and commit yourself to being willing to cut people off who disappoint you – with reasonable expectations, subs being idiots to you will no longer feel like you failed and you’ll save your energy for the ones who are worth it. You can also know that you are going to be extremely desireable to your potential partner – good subs are worth their weight in gold to a dominant, but you don’t have to put up with “eh, close enough!”.
3) All that fetish stuff- the tying people up, etc… is about creating a feeling. You should only do it if it helps create the feeling you want to experience in you as well as in your partner. If it isn’t your kink and it doesn’t make you happy, you are not less dominant for saying no.
4) Do the leg work in your courtships because it lets you control for interactions more so than if you just sit in a chair waiting for subs to petition you. This may sound all awkward and weird, but start with a few positive comments and the mere fact that you made the effort will get them standing up to attention. On the other hand, don’t let people mistake passivity for submission- it’s okay for subs to get fulfillment out of your planning and aggression, but they should never make you feel like some sort of under paid manager and entertainer.
5) There is no such thing as a free lunch, so make sure that subs trying to ‘serve’ you are clearly understanding and expressing what they get out of it. A common route for wasting time is the service-for-fetish bargain a lot of people are offering. Service can be many things, but it’s supposed to be a tangible gesture of a sensation of subjugation or worship, not a work exchange.
6) Don’t express yourself sexually or socially the way you think dominants are supposed to want it- own what you want. If your personality is mousey and soft, don’t let other people force you to speak louder to be more dominant- make them stop and listen to your whisper.
7) Lastly, watch out for the hype- once one’s confidence is built up, it’s easy to buy into the idea the idea that dominance puts you above inputs from subs. Outside of a pre-agreed upon dynamic they are your equals and even then, don’t let yourself miss out on all the valuable guidance and feedback your partners have to offer.