Reader Letter: Communicating Your Needs To Your Sub

This reader has another common femdom problem- dealing with getting the head space right when your frame of reference is decidedly focused on partner pleasing. Add that age old bugbear of personal anxiety about your attractiveess, and you have a thorny problem worth examining.

readerletterHi Miss Pearl,
I just wanted to say I love your site. You have really given me perspective and help to evaluate how I want my relationship to be, not how others think it should be. I do need some advice though!
I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years.  He has been in one previous D/s relationship that ended badly, and has not been in one since. I have recently discovered, especially since being with him, I enjoy being more dominant. The problem is, I have never been in a D/s relationship, and I feel like he is more experienced than me. He also seems reluctant to try things with me, and is convinced I want to be dominant just for him. He also has a hard time telling me anything that he likes, he only says it is about a “headspace” for him. From the things he says, I think he needs a nurturing/loving domme. I also think he has some shame about the things he likes it bed, and usually leaves it up to me to try new things. I find he does open up more the kinkier the things we try.
The problem is I feel like I have hit a wall. I know what I want, and I have all these fantasies, but when it comes to trying them I get anxiety. I end up stopping what I want to try and we just have vanilla sex.

I feel like I am lacking the confidence (I am a bit chubby, and have some body issues) to take the reigns, and combined with my anxiety it’s holding me back. What do I do? How do I get over this anxiety? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Dear M:

Some of your problems are things that you can work on with your partner, some is his stuff to deal with, and some of it are things you need to work on to help yourself heal. I’m going to start with you, because it’s easier to work on yourself than change others.

First, you:

You deserve to take care of yourself emotionally and feel good.

It sucks not to love your body. That part has to come from inside. As much as I can try to point you in the right direction, you will probably find a good therapist can better give you the tools to help build a self image that helps you recognize how beautiful you actually are. I’m going to come out and say that you can be morbidly obese and be captivating.

Look, you’re probably like most of the people living in the top and middle bits of North America. That means, by clinical terms, a little “overweight”. No biggie. Your ancestors for the last thousand years busted themselves to make that possible for you. Only a minority of heterosexual men are specifically wired to their preferences enough to find this anything close to a draw back. If it makes you unhappy or causes you health problems, by all means discuss it with a doctor, but don’t let your body ever stop you from being a femdom.

Some of the most beautiful women in history have had your general configurations- we immortalize them in art. Still other women are erroneously remembered for a beauty they never official had- Cleopatra, for example, was written in her era as not being particularly physically compelling. Her charm was in being an educated, confident polymath and her power was in her self assurance. The aftermath is that we remember her as pretty because guess what- power is beauty more so than the other way around. Getting back off the tangent, take the time to surround yourself with role models who look like you, to remind yourself that a soft body is not a bad body.

The other thing I noticed is that your question is laced with things you think he needs. I feel like his needs are overshadowing yours in your decision making process and this may be causing part of his impression that you are just doing this for him. Maybe he’s a black hole who takes without giving any input, but I don’t see you talking about your specific fetishes and desires, just his lack out output.
One of the hardest, most vulnerable things about femdom is it asks women to be selfish after a lifetime of being told our strength and power in in how we understand and control the needs of others. Being dominant often means putting ourselves out there- we have to deal with the expectation we should be assertive, mean, but even more frighteningly, suddenly we don’t just have needs but also wants and whims.
He’s not getting that your main want right now is reassurance you are desired. But, you are also leaving yourself out of your own sex life when you only look for what he wants.

Now, him:

With your partner, there are some things he needs to stop. One of them is the “you are just doing this for meeeee”. He probably thinks he’s helping, but it’s is seriously undermining since he’s essentially telling you that your sexuality doesn’t exist. Since you already have problems with self abrogation, this is creating a negative feedback loop, you are looking to get your dominance appreciated and he is trying to spare you doing him a favour. He needs to start pushing himself out there and surrendering his needs, just as much as you do.

As a part of that, he needs to understand that sexuality is a back and forth. It is not one person’s job to bring the entertainment for the night and react and he can’t use his submission as permission to be a lump on a bump. That being said, a lot of people being communicative really challenging, and his base state may be what he’s presenting. Only going by your description, he may just count himself lucky he gets sex on whatever terms you decide it happens.

I hope that helps you have something to talk about together. Wildcard and I use a weekly brunch at a cafe (my treat) as a nice space out of the house where we can discuss these things and that check in time outside the bedroom is very important to us.

Now, BOTH:

Right, so now you’re prepared to talk about it together, I recognize it’s still a little daunting to get your sub to open up. Now before you get out the hammer and chisel, there are a few tools you can use as conversational aides.

First of all, avoid accusations. It always goes one of two ways. Either the conversation gets derailed by mea culpas and you reassuring him, or if he’s a defensive soul, it gets fighty. Acknowledge the problem is a mutual challenge that you need his help with. Neither of you are going to get anywhere until you both put your kink cards on the table.

To do that, there’s a wealth of resources like mojo upgrade or fetish checklists that you can share with each other. You may even find this makes things easier as sometimes face to face conversations can be overwhelming for even the best of us. Communicating your needs shouldn’t be a bridge too far- between the pair of you, there’s bound to be some material to work with. However, it has to come from both of you.

Miss Pearl

A Perfect #PunishTuesday Spoon Spanking Session

Seventy-Three Demerits. He’d earned them over the course of the week, fifty from an orgasm sans permission (it might have been a forced orgasm on my part, but I’m a cruel, capricious Mistress when I want to be). The rest are for little misdeeds: broken rules and bratty behavior. And ok, after a major flu that left me poached and miserably stuffy, this wasn’t *actually* the right day, but the health related rain check. #PunishTuesday is the concept I hold to, no matter if “Wednesday” is the actual word on the back of my cute days of the week panties that evening.

With the heath related holiday, when the actual day came around, he was already excited. Blame it on days of teasing, and reminding him about his mounting sins and the punishment he was due for them. Even so, I sent him out of the room to get into the right head state.

Getting Ready & Setting The Scene

While he was gone, I took the time to prepare my space by cleaning. True, dozens and dozens of sub people will blow raspberries here- he was off relaxing and I was corralling the forest of water glasses and tea mugs that accumulate in the bedroom, stuffing the loose laundry into the hamper and making the bed. I know this is not the standard BDSM fantasy. I know someone is already typing up “but a TRUE sub would…” Nonesense. I like the control it gives me to clean and make a space orderly. It’s meditative and it makes me feel like all the parts of the space are ready to respond to my needs. And I wanted to get my head right too.

I don’t believe dominance is a put on, or a fake thing. But, for most of us, the so called lifestyle is not a 24/7 all on all the time experience. 50% of the population is kinky, but we hardly all build our relationships around that one facet. Sure, I need Wildcard to be into kinky sex to make things work, but it’s just as important he can empathize and enjoy the other things I value. And for us, as with most couples, there are hard boundaries on where my power eclipses his. This is how we take two separate, independent people and put my power over his.

I make the bedroom look how I wish, getting the covers smoothed flat; checking the ready to go restraints; plugging in the pretty fairy lights that serve as a lamp; and putting out toys on the bedside table. Then prepare myself. I take off my clothes and step into white heels from my collection, glossy, with a platform in the toe that makes me taller. Indoors they don’t feel like hobbles, they feel like power, nor is my nudity a vulnerable exposure.

I do my eyes with a stroke of black and my lips in a bold matte red. As a last touch, (because if you can’t be yourself in the boundaries of you sex life, where can you?) I dash off a little heart on my left cheek.

It begins.

He is naked, except for the brown stripe of collar around his neck, already sporting a swinging erection. His ‘preparation’ was clearly touching himself and I take advantage of that, leaving the overhead light on to catch every bit of an intense self edging session on camera. Only when he’s so intensely close to exploding his face is in a rictus of intensity do I let him ease off, but the video goes in my little library, to be enjoyed at my leisure.

“Do you think you deserve to be tied up?”

It’s important for me to get him to state preferences. I don’t like black hole or starfish subs, who passively flop into the scene and expect this to do down like I’m some sort of housekeeper cleaning a particularly warm carpet.

I also make him ask for the cuffs that extend from under the mattress, holding him around the wrist, face down. It’s just your basic under bed system by Sports Sheets, versatile, safe and above all idiot proof, but once the velcro hooks he’s no more going to go anywhere than if I used locks and buckles. I like the medical/mundane nature of it, just like how washable my strapon harness is, all nylon and straps. It’s better than half assing it- that’s the problem a lot of the fetish stuff has, trying to take you into another sort of world with hints of high end fetish wear, and all you get is cracking, fraying pleather or whips that shed their caps on one hit.

This is real, and he’s about to feel real pain, so he gets a warm up. I’d made him ask for that too, escalating a patter of hits to rise the blood in the firm rounds of his ass. He’s very male, furred without vanishing into the pelt, coloured a little golden, like wheat seeds. He loves the cuffs on his wrists, and I can feel that they are bringing him into a state of accepting relaxation (dare I invoke “surrender?” or is that too cliche?) even as I pick out the wooden spoon.

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Fame, Art, Beauty and Fear

I lead a charmed life, for all that I’ve had my share of cowpats and nettles.

The last week (Thursday) another person came up to me at my monthly munch and said they were a fan of my writing. This is the third time it’s happened, the first time this year. They’re always so shy about it, and I’m always so touched. Because the thing I take for granted is something people sincerely love. Because ME. Me. Me! ME! Also me.

I’m kinda, sorta famous in that vague sort of way that means people on the internet into my niche might think to mention me. It’s a fundamental thing like liking salt and fat or craving a warm spot when it’s cold (or a cold spot when it’s warm) that positive attention is amazing.

But I’m also scared of being popular.

You’re not supposed to admit you like fame and adoration and you are certainly not supposed to think you deserve it. Not unless you are playing a character ala Dame Edna, or some other fabulous over the top glitter clown like Lady Gaga. Just about every web celebrity I know talks with the same cliches about how much (s)he is humbled by the love, a hundred, a thousand, even a million people caring what they think. Even smugmasters like my gaming idol Jim Sterling occasionally break character to give the dance of adulation. (If you like vidya games and want to see a funny openly poly pansexual feminist guy riff on all the foibles of the industry, check him out). I kind of don’t feel humbled when you praise me. I feel important. Then I feel fucking terrified.

It’s scary because I worry that everyone will notice I lap up the adulation and because I feel incredibly vulnerable. Internet cool is about a balance between insincere meaness (for the LOLz!!!) and sincere rage (SHITLORD! GAMERGATE!) and gratitude (I LOVE OUR FANDOM! YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!). Everything is pointed out, nothing is ever pointed in even when your art is selfies.

Nobody likes a person who says they are smart, pretty and important. “Do you know who I am?!” is the phrase of social self immolation. On top of that, I’m a woman in an environment known for hostile targeted campaigns of doxing and abuse, writing about intimate sex stuff that could be used to humiliate and deny me employment.  I mean I’m pretty sure my bosses, presented with “Pearl is a sexy sex minx!” would be more uncomfortable with the person bugging them than me. My family knows I write smut, even the conservative ones because my father has no filtre. But you never know what sort of damage a determined doxer could do. But it’s still unsettling…

What if I like this too much? What if… putting myself out there means people hurt me?

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Reader Letter: Do Femdoms Have Sex?

A reader wrote in with this question, a very common one, usually asked by new femdoms wondering if they will ever get to have sex again, and new subs wondering what to expect when they meet the dom of their dreams. Does femdom mean nothing by cock cages and cunnilingus in queening chairs? Do femdoms have sex without $8000 worth of leather and bondage furniture? Of course long term readers know we do, but it’s still worth putting more information on the subject out there.

Reader letter do femdoms have sex?

Dear Miss Pearl:

How often do femdoms have sex with their subs? When I ask this, I am of course not considering the pro dommes. And my question is that, apart from “play”, how often do dommes engage in actual sex as most vanilla people think about it ie. the actual-cock-thrusting-into-the-vagina type? Including what may or may not be vanilla, (as the domme could very well be using him as a sex toy) AND just having missionary sex, how often,  from your experience, do you think dommes do that? How well do you like it, compared to “play” without any of it?





Dear JustCurious:

Basically you just asked: do we want to fuck our subs; does sex and play mix; and do we just do vanilla sometimes?

Yes, yes and yes!

To be precise,  femdoms have sex about as often as vanilla women do. And by that I mean penis-in-vagina, penis-in-mouth, penis-in-butt; fingers in all of those; and all the lesbian interpretations of that apply for the non-straight femdoms. Unlike in porn, which generally caters to the very specific fantasies of submissive men, femdoms are just normal folks with a fetish and a particular perspective on what we see as romantic. True we might like all sorts of BDSM related activities and get off on it, but femdoms are still women. Excepting an asexual minority, we have sexuality and all the needs that go with it.

For example, in my case, I could tell you that for me how often I have sex ranges from “every day” to “every few months” depending on if I have a regular partner and how high his libido is. I enjoy sex with Wildcard. It might be with all the kinky trappings or it might be a happy quickie at the end of the day.  Talking to other femdoms leads to a similar picture. Most of us have at least one special person that we like to make whoopee with, and we usually don’t find skipping some of the fetish trappings makes us feel less powerful.

I like penis-in-vagina sex. I still need clitoral stimulation to come, but my sexuality includes both the penis-in-vagina thing inside and outside of play. I would not be happy with a vanilla partner, but neither would I want to forgo anything but the explicitly kinky.

However, I can see why you wanted to ask. As you pointed out, both porn, and the standards of professionals have given us a very messed idea of what a normal femdom relationship looks like. For professionals, the extra risk involved in sex and the laws against sex work encourage the average dominatrix to make it abundantly clear that your penis goes nowhere near her vagina. In porn, producers generally try to pack as many activities into one video as possible. You will see sex, but it is always done in an over the top fashion so that even the slowest viewer can tell that this is very, very dominant.

Femdom porn also plays up how little the lady wants to do with her sub. Unlike femsub, where the first the the dom seems to do after hitting and tying her up is cram a dick in a hole (in the case of, tiresomely, almost always in an ass because anal is Le Edge). Nobody asks male doms if they are somehow losing power by having an orgasm. And prodom advertising will loudly bray about the clients never daring to let their willies out because ejaculation Must Never Occur, as least according to a reasonable amount of their client base. Hey, if your way of dodging deeply puritanical and invasive anti-sex work legislation is to erotically tell men not to have sex, who am I to throw stones?

But this means that when a newbie dom is setting out to have fun, she often hits the expectation that certain things are verbotten. She’ll encounter lots of sources telling her penetration is submission (that’s a pop culture thing, we can’t even blame porn for that one) or if she does want a dick, it better be by treating the guy like a human dildo. About once every three months some poor woman on a femdom forum will ask if she’s still allowed to give blow jobs.

Part of the whole reason (other than the art part and the attention) I write this blog is a reality check. So I’ll state this again:

So yes, femdoms have sex with their partners, whether those are switches, subs or some other identification. And I’m sure some of you will even weigh in, in the comments to confirm that.


eLust #84:

Elust 84 header
Photo courtesy of A to sub-Bee

Welcome to Elust #84 

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #85? Start with the rules, come back August 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

About Those “Apple Thighs”
Why the Hell Haven’t I Rebelled Yet?

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

IDENTITY – hiding the evidence
friday flash–service

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Good In Bed

Erotic Fiction

Pubic Disturbance
Colds and Lust
Sex Machine
A Dirty Bathroom Floor
I’m Sorry I’m So Silent
S’il Vous Plaît
Edge of Morning
Dancin’ (Most) of the Night Away
Airport Arrivals

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

42 Kinds of Casual Sex
Living in Fear – An Essay on Male Entitlement

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

How To Give A Bare Handed Spanking
Reconciling dominance and love
She’s a Very Kinky Gor

Body Talk and Sexual Health

Run the good race

Erotic Non-Fiction

We Made A Resolution To Make Love Everyday
The 20 Minute Orgasm
More on cunt, corridors & Schroedinger’s cock
Stoned Birthday Sex
Room with a View
I’m Not Done With Your Throat Yet
It’s a strange path to trust.

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Poly and Pets

Writing about Writing

Why Write Erotic Fiction?
ELust Site Badge

The New Theme & Website Updates (Not Porn)

Hi guys, quick webmistress note:

I’m in the process of giving the site a moderate facelift, so I’m giving you a heads up that some things might get broken in the process (eg the contact forms).  Rest assured that I will continue offering the free erotica I always have (the main reason you guys come out here). While I’m doing that, a few things may seem wonky or broken- I apologise for any problems you may encounter during the transition, as well as any wonky layouts.

I feel like the blue theme wasn’t helping you get the content you were looking for, and I’m happy to take feedback from you about anything you feel needs to be adapted or anything you’re finding particularly clunky here, as I plan continuous improvements. Berkson already weighed in that he missed the “O” logo, for example. 😉

Seriously, I’m opening myself up to your comments- even “moar of X, less of Y plz”.

Design Goals:

  • New header logo
  • Expand text box for better blog reading
  • Rework art elements to fit new template
  • Put Fav Icon back

I’m going to keep the jetpack generated mobile theme for now (why fix what ain’t broke?) but I’d love to know if you’re getting and weird errors or whatever. Changing the browser based theme appears to already be helping my bounce rate. I’m also going to redo the contact forms- it might be a co-incidence but I feel like I’ve been getting more feedback not less since I disabled it.

I also want to go through old content and start adding missing attribution/sources to the images I use.  Although a lot of this is very much amateur experimenting I feel like I haven’t properly credited people where credit is due.

I realise it may not be as seamless as hiring a professional, but having an ugly site was seriously killing my desire to actually update the damn thing. I also freely admit my social media feed may be full of frantic “wtf?!” questions as I try to figure out what the hell I’m doing.

The end goal is to get something with the uh… professional (maybe not the best word) quality to try to showcase what I do best. I take a lot of pride in my writing, typos and all.

And yes, I’m going to keep posting. Life’s been incredibly hectic (I am running a real life LARP, a monthly munch,  work full time, and am juggling a health problem) but I’m in a good head space. I’ve been particularly happy with Wildcard who has been incredibly supportive and has started to contribute photos from his own hobby.

However, I do want to mention something else.

It’s always awkward to talk about money but…

Right now the sponsored stories and custom stories basically pay for web hosting. I’m one of the top searches for “femdom stories” on google, and I’m competing with sites with thousands of contributors. I know you guys like my writing, but I feel like I could do better artistically – I want to be able to pay to commission sexy art to match my stuff. That means more sexy femdom porn for everyone.

Hell, even using money to hire a cleaner for my apartment gives me more time to focus on creating porn.

So would you guys be okay with a tip jar or patreon set up? Do you think you’d want to participate? 

Femdom Review: Safe Words by Drury Jamison

Safe words by Drury JamisonTitle: Safe Words
By: Drury Jamison

Tl;DR: Your standard thriller romance, with a jaded cop hero, but  bonus femdom self discovery.

There’s a handful of books with this title (and zip between the covers to do with it, other than an offhand romantic joke) but Jamison breathes some pleasant life into a by the numbers plot. A killer is stalking femdoms, and our heroine, Detective Eleanor Silver, ends up discovering a bit more about her own desires over the course of the investigation. Inevitably she has to become a femdom to catch a killer and the guy helping her out takes things in an equally real direction. Also she’s a troubled cop with a drinking problem and a great deal of dedication to her job to the point of burn out. This is policing written meaner and more dangerous than the statistical experience of the average police officer. Assume you are reading an erotic thriller novel, not getting an inside scoop into anything real. But, it’s ok. The skill of a genre fiction writer is in their ability to manage our expectations, much like a sex scene will always involve sex by some value of the term, but can be written well or poorly.

Safe Words, despite the generic title, is good.

Specifically, there’s a few things I think are worth calling out as being particularly well handled. The main one being that we see submissive men as a wide range of complicated people with lives outside the bedroom. There’s no cliches about high powered executives blowing off steam or docile meek folk- every single guy has the same range of human agency and can be a good person or a bad person.  The love interest, Anderson, shows both agency, preferences and a spine. He’s, dare I say, cute and not ruled exclusively by his kinks. He’s well adjusted and likes himself. I could see myself chasing him.

Silver is written with some of the standard romance heroine problems (dowdy wardrobe, just doesn’t connect with dudes), but she is a hundred percent turned on by sub guys, and unlike many books in the genre has a loving and adorably vulnerable attitude to femdom. She doesn’t think less of submissive men and crave a dom or a “real man”. He dowdy clothes are her desperately trying to gain the upper hand in a world where her femaleness is a vulnerability and as soon as she gets introduced to the idea of femdom we get to see her masturbating to the subject enough not to worry that she’s just doing it to keep her boy interested.

That private time is a sneaky way that Jamison manages to pack more erotic punch into a burgeoning romance. I liked this handling, as it helped illustrate what falling in love is like and avoid making the actual interactions between her and the guy she is falling in love with drag or feel gratuitous.

What about the hero?

Romance has a hard time with sub men. With the genre aimed at making men into sexual objects, a lot of novels fall flat by making the guy either a pushy weirdo or a non-entity. Anderson, Eleanor’s psychologist-guide to the kink scene, is a bit of a cipher as we don’t really get a direct window into his head, like a nuanced person with other stuff going on than his penis. That’s damning with faint praise, but in a writing genre where “he had an erection” is used as shorthand for “he is interested and interesting” it’s nice to see that Jamison tries to have him express himself through word and looks. As a person has his own agenda, reputation with other characters, and past relationships. He makes good and bad choices, expressing a lot of courage but also managing to convey a desperate attraction and vulnerability to the heroine that he keeps on a short leash to be polite.

Gender comes in here a lot. Our male protagonist is not a sissy, but several of the other male sub characters are (and one is actually trans), and some of the development of their relationship is Elanor realising she doesn’t so much mind being a woman as what she previous assumed was mandatory submission and passivity. Anderson’s version of a sub knows and enforces his limits with pleasant firmness (for example where explains he is not a sissy, and the Mistress he would obey would not want that) and we don’t fuck around with “no but your dick says you want this!” limit pushing.

What he provides is what most femdoms want, someone who affirms and loves who she is, and gives her space to express the vulnerability of command.

Okay, what about the book as a whole?

I think my favourite part of this is that there’s enough characters that you get a lot of examples of femdom relationships with real humans- and see a spectrum of sub guys from the killer (anyone who has gotten an unhinged inbox message knows how believable it is that there is a Buffalo Bill knock off out there); nice, really loving husbands; hot singles, etc… When male submission in fiction tends to be treated like a bizarre anomaly or some sort of inborn fetish reflex that turns off a person’s personality, seeing it sketched out in a broader sense is much needed room to breathe.

We need more femdom books in general. On the plus side, the fact that it won a Golden Flogger award at  BDSM Writers Con means I hope we’ll see more like it. I am looking forward to the sequel where our Heroine gets to solve more mysteries and hopefully we see a continuation of her relationship with Anderson.