What I want in a submissive…

hands+tied+rope+I want to see your eyes wide and glassy, vulnerable, your mouth in a pout and myself loom above you. I want to feel that you feel helpless, and that however I twist and pull you, you will follow.

I want to feel your desire, like an anchor chain, a need for me that would make you crawl on your belly for me, beg me, debase yourself and fight for me.  I want to make you do all those things to prove to me what I can already tell by looking at you. I want you to fear me, just a little, as something you can never handle completely. I want there to be masochism, but balanced by both lust and a little rebellion.

I want male flesh. That means I want to feel my hand hold a solid jaw when I make you look me in the eye, and I want to feel muscles that are, by nature, stronger than mine when I push you down and make you yield and when my hands hold yours to the pillow, pushed over your head so I can loom and kiss you. I want you to be beautiful for me, to make your body into something you hope I will take as an offering, and something I will take from you. I want to see you stretched and stripped, taught to flinch when I touch you, yet crave to rest your head on my lap.

I want you to fight me, so I can break you, than take those shivering bits and pieces and put them back as strong as before. I want a tough toy that takes, claw and teeth and pain- I want a fragile toy that I can bend with a look. I want a victim- I don’t want to cosset and I don’t want to think about a “slave heart” when I strike you, nor wrangle whether you are a “natural submissive” or whether I, indeed, am True. I don’t want to be a Nice Mistress or a Goddess type role who leads you to a higher place; I want you to be outraged at the indignity and the liberty I am taking with your flesh, your mind and your self… and turned on by this. Consent is crucial, but I need you to have the imagination to feel vulnerable when you are perfectly safe with me.

And yet, as much as the resistance matters, I want you to want it so bad you admit it. Oh, I don’t mind if it’s not an easy confession, but one that has to be coaxed out of you under time or duress. But I want you to know you are mine. I want you to feel that you belong with me above all others, because I, myself can worry that I am to be found wanting.

That takes confidence, from you, to think of yourself as the best for me. I know it’s a lot to want in a partner, much less to want in a submissive. But, I also know I want you, warts and all, even when you’re not in the mood and what I need to do right now is be a supportive person more than a dom. Or when it’s incredibly complicated. I want you to be human and real. I want the effort more so than the perfection. I suppose a lot of it is wanting my wants to be validated. And in the end, I guess that’s what everyone wants.

FAbQ: What Is a Dominant or Submissive and How Do I Know What I Am?

This is intended to be a regular feature on this blog, in which I try to talk about the absolute basics. I personally won’t be able to teach you elaborate rope tricks or fancy ways to flog or how to make someone orgasm on command. The goal here is to cover the things people say they wish someone told them when they were new, and to answer the Frequently Asked beginner Questions.

This time I’m going to look at dominance, submission, how to figure out what to call yourself and most importantly, the sanity rules.

What is this, anyway?

One of the first pieces of confusion that comes up for new people is finding out how the Dom/sub thing works in real life. Sure a host of porn covers the things they might do, but it really doesn’t explain possibilities in reference to how it tends to go down with real couples and also people are generally not given a sane approximation of the limitations of a D/s (that’s Dominance/submission or Dom/sub) relationship. It also doesn’t let you figure out what to call yourself if you’ve only ever had fantasies.

First, the sanity check.

  • All submissives do not have to do what all dominants say just because Dominants are dominant.
  • Individual submissives do not have to do what their particular dominant says they should do, without prior negotiation. If you agree to a D/s relationship this is not automatic implicit consent.
  • There is no central licensing system for dominants or guild system of training. Despite desperate hopes, even tales of “Old Guard” or “Leather Families” do not replace common sense in the quality of the dominant. The dominant can be as inexperienced or more inexperienced than the sub.
  • Every D/s relationship is different. Some involve sadomasochism, some do not. Some are built on pure obedience, some involve deliberate disobedience on the part of the sub.
  • Dominance and submission are identification labels not personality types. Doms can be shy and quiet and nervous, while subs can be aggressive and outspoken and have fantastic careers.

Now, some terms:

Dominant: The dominant person is a relationship is the one who is in charge. Dom, domme, dominatrix, master, mistress are all used to refer to this sort of person. The way you become dominant is by deciding one day to call yourself that. The way you act dominant, more often than not, is to convince someone else to call you that too. However the act of the stereotypical dominant (you know the one in leather chaps or the latex corset who is whipping someone?) can also be referred to as a Top if the level of compliance/disobedience is less important than the hitty bits or rough sex. Generally dominants get a warm fuzzy feeling from control that may be sexual arousal.

Submissive: The submissive is the one being told what  to do. How accurately these commands are followed is really defined by what sort of relationship two people want to have. The submissive might like thinking of themselves as a slave, a pet, a servant, or simply the other half of a happy couple, maybe even all of the above over the course of a night. The sensations only version is a bottom. Generally submissives get a warm fuzzy feeling from someone being in charge of them. This could be arousal, feeling ‘safe’ and any number of other pleasant sensations.

Switch: Surprise! Some people are both! In some relationship people switch off on the roles with each other sometimes. In other cases, people feel dominant towards some and submissive towards others. Some switches are more there for the sensations, for example they could be equally happy being spanked or spanking. Switching isn’t even on/off and some people like ambiguous dynamics.

Okay, that’s nice but what am I?

A lot of people starting out don’t really have a clear idea of what they want to call themselves. Even your taste is porn is no help, for example it’s not uncommon for male subs to enjoy female submission as masturbatory material and many dom women find the stereotypical pro-dom shtick causes them to flee the room. If you’ve never done all this, for example you’ve never been spanked or actually had control over someone outside the safe limits of work you probably just have a vague idea some things are kinda hot.

It’s okay not to know what you are. If you’re filling out a profile, put yourself down as ‘unsure’. You have all the time you need to figure it out. Me, as a masochist I was under the impression that I’d be happiest as a sub. A friend who is entirely submissive mislabeled herself as a dom. Neither of us had the world explode on us as we worked out what we were.

Plenty of people even shift how they ID over the course of their life. However if you’re urgently trying to figure out a leaping off place with a label you can either go generic with ‘switch’ or give your fantasies a holistic look. Unlike a lot of quizzes I’m not going to think about whips and chains because if you’re not sure that’s probably just more confusing.

Are you more comfortable (in your fantasies!) being in charge or having someone else tell you what to do?

If your nurture someone are you being ‘responsible’ and taking care of things or are you ‘serving’ them with pampering?

If you like the idea of someone handling all the details of a problem or task for you is it because they are being responsive to your needs and letting you delegate or are they in charge and you feel great because you can just do as you’re told?

Your lover gives you a token to wear, like a neck charm or a bracelet or maybe a jacket  When you put it on do you feel “Mine, mine, mine! My person!” or “I am marked and connected to them!”

I phrase the questions this way because not all dominants do the ‘harsh’ thing and not all subs are into passive. You will need to decide even beyond that, what kinds of dynamics you like. This could be anything from 1950s household or full bore wicked dungeon slavery games to equals with bedroom wrestling. And it’s all okay.