Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Emotional Issues in Dom/Sub Relationships

A few years ago, I met a girl online who lived in Southern California. After some days of chatting online, she lobbied me for a phone call. We spoke for five hours. That began what you might call long-distance dating, a daily mix of friendly and sexy IM exchanges and phone conversations. This gal was unusually smart, charming, talented, and apparently really kinky. And she had some challenging, though not uncommon, emotional issues, which I didn't recognize right away. Or perhaps I was willfully blind to them. At that time, both my social and professional lives were, well, a bit comatose. I saw her as a lifeline.

A pattern developed between us. I felt that we belonged together, so I would try to pull her in closer. She had her doubts, and would become grumpy or withdrawn. I would feel rejected and protest her resistance. She would dig in further. We liked each other, and we had lovely moments on occasion, so somehow we kept recovering enough from these spirals that we continued to perform them for a year and a half. I could see our dysfunctional dance, but I couldn't find a pathway out of it. That was maddening, as I like to imagine that if you can see it, you can solve it.

Over time, as my professional prospects revived, I regained some faith in myself. I began to see our inevitable entanglements as absurd. Her grumpy refusals at my offerings of intimacy were comical. I started laughing at them, out loud, sincerely. And voilà, that broke the spell; once I was laughing, she couldn't help but laugh too. I also stopped insisting that she was the perfect girl for me. I'm happy to say that we remain good friends.

Everyone has emotional vulnerabilities, weaknesses. Almost any time an event provokes a sudden, strong emotional response in you — anger, sadness, withdrawal, self-loathing, confusion, helplessness — the most likely culprit is one of these cracks in your psyche. The present situation or conversation has simply driven you into that fissure, triggering a response that's disproportionate to the moment.

But suppose an acquaintance insults you? Wouldn't anger or withdrawal be an appropriate response? No, a non-triggered response to that kind of random offense is bemusement or skepticism. He's probably having a hard day; it's him that's off, not you.

Emotional weaknesses and the responses that accompany them are typically formed in childhood, when we're all naturally vulnerable because our boundaries and understanding of people are still forming. But they can develop later in life, given repeated hard experiences. Digging into the past to discover the roots of your emotional issues may be helpful, or it may not. The key to managing them is gaining self-awareness and learning good coping behaviors. Once you stop rehearsing them, they will naturally become less poignant with time.

Emotional issues can do serious damage to otherwise healthy relationships. When triggered, you stop thinking clearly, and may assign the current situation or loved one full blame for the strength of your hard feelings. Most lovers don't take this too well; disproportionate reactions are rattling, and being blamed for them is frustrating. The damage is even worse when one partner's reaction triggers an issue within the other, whose subsequent emotional response then re-triggers the first one. Such interlocking issues cause a kind of death spiral that's difficult to escape. Issue interlock is, in my view, the single most common killer of good relationships.

As I recounted above, it is possible to break through issue interlock. The key skill, which anyone can learn, but is surprisingly rare, is strong emotional boundaries — knowing where your own psyche stops and another's begins. You should assume that anyone's reactions, especially strong reactions, are about what's going on in their own head, not between the two of you. If you can remember that when your partner falls down, they're less likely to pull you over as well.

D/s relationships thrive on the exceptional, magical connection that forms between dom and sub, and the altered states that this bond allows them to venture into. When emotional issues are triggered for one or both of them, it can impinge on their D/s dynamic. If their leader and follower roles desert them, suddenly they're facing each other like egalitarian acquaintances, just when one most needs the other's support. The simplest means to stop a damaging interaction is for either partner to speak their safeword (or simply say "safeword"). Then stop talking; focus on your breathing. Then ask yourself what you have been doing to contribute to the discord. Then admit that to your partner, and ask their forgiveness. It's wise to wait a while before attempting to discuss that particular emotional vulnerability with them.

It is essential that you develop self-awareness of your issues—what triggers them and how you react. Know that it will take time and determination to do so. It's also important that as you gain awareness, you brief your partner on your vulnerabilities. An observant partner will tend to figure them out ahead of you, and can try to steer you around or out of them, which helps in developing your own awareness. And it's crucial to learn to notice when you've fallen into one of your emotional fissures, and to remind yourself that you're not thinking clearly, and that whoever is in front of you at that moment is not the cause of your pain.

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51 Comments:

At May 27, 2013 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome!!!

 
At June 17, 2013 6:35 PM, Blogger Blue Moonlight said...

I can't begin to tell you what a relief this post is to me- it explains a lot, as well as gives me a healthier insight to a man I have recently begun seeing. I am not a member of the BDSM community, but a man I feel deep feelings for recently told me he's been a Dom for over 25 years- which freaked me out a little -to be honest. He is 10 years older and we have a great deal in common. Intellectually he is unlike any man I have ever known, and our connection, interaction, attraction, and compatibility is (as you said) almost magical. My issue mostly is that I am not what anyone would consider submissive, and even he admits I would be an amazing Dominatrix, but this doesn't really interest me. Even worse,I can not imagine anyone thinking I would be submissive in the full sense of the word. Yes, there are few things (I think) I would decline to do with this man because I think he's simply amazing...but on the other hand, I don't think I could allow him to actually hurt me, or humiliate me. I'm definitely not turned on by things like that.
He has made it clear he wants to control me sexually- to introduce me to things I have not done before, and he is doing a good job at fully gaining my trust.
He is clearly dominate, yet- also sweet, thoughtful, tender, vulnerable (to me) and very honest about past relationships.
He is very much what you described here, and you have given me a sense of peace about moving forward with this man.
If you have any advice or suggestions, I would greatly welcome them. This guy is a keeper; and while I can't see me being bound and gagged and beaten with a cane (no way!!!), I also can't reasonably walk away from a man who has given me no reason to think he would do such things- except for the terrible images of abusive men portrayed by the media
in this lifestyle.
You are obviously NOT all animals, and the women are not all idiot punching bags.
I appreciate the beautiful way you wrote this- thank you.
-Blue

 
At June 17, 2013 7:27 PM, Blogger Will said...

Hi Blue, thanks for your appreciation; I love hearing that my words have made a difference!

The topic you raise deserves its own article, which I might title I'm a Vanilla Gal Who's in Love with a Dominant Man... Help! You've now pushed this topic to the top of my todo list, so stay tuned.

Briefly, I've worn your gent's shoes -- fallen in love with a vanilla girl who agreed to try being my sub, though she disliked being hurt or humiliated by me during sex. That romance resulted in a lot of anguish for both of us, despite our passion for each other.

One of the items in the newly-published article What I Look For in a Submissive Partner is: "Wants kink for the way it makes her feel." I've yet to meet anyone who thrived by embracing S&M solely for their partner's benefit. To be bonding and sustainable, there has to be something in it for you.

I rarely give advice to anyone I've not corresponded with at some length. But from what you write, you're not kinky, and he is. For his sake and yours, go your separate ways. You'll each find others who can love you the way you need to be loved. I know that's heart-rending to contemplate right now.

 
At September 10, 2013 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a bf who's a Masochist, and we've been dating for almost seven months now... I love him very much.... I've been abused in my past, and even though I don't like hurting him, I still do it for him... Even though it hurts me, emotionally. He treats me like a princess... He's very submissive to me, as well, and wants me to be his Dom? Domanatrix? Whatever you call a girl Dom.... He would never hurt me intentionally, he's very sweet. How would I go about trying/ or doing it?

 
At September 10, 2013 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you could say I'm "Vanilla?" when it comes to this.. He's never had a Gf before...

 
At September 10, 2013 10:01 PM, Blogger Will said...

Hi. In my response to the previous commenter on this post, I wrote that her question could be titled I'm a Vanilla Gal Who's in Love with a Dominant Man... Help! Just replace Dominant with Submissive, and we have your predicament.

You should not be doing things with a boyfriend that are hurtful to you, even if he desperately wants them and is an angel to you otherwise. Does he not recognize that he's hurting you by pressuring you to do things that you find distressing? If you can take enjoyment from some aspects of the "domme" role, perhaps you have a path to explore BDSM with him. But the truth may be that you two are not sexually compatible.

I delved into this issue in Why Doms & Subs Should Not Date Vanilla People.

 
At September 11, 2013 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He doesn't pressure me at all... He actually gets very upset if he thinks he hurt me even in the slightest... He's actually exploring it as well... He hasn't tried a lot of things... It's still new to him too... I've tried things like biting, ect. And he seems to like it... I've gotten some what used to it... I've read up as much as I can on it, like, using safe words, ect. How do I support him in doing this, then?

 
At September 11, 2013 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like being the Dom that he wants me to be?

 
At September 11, 2013 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what do you mean by "Taking some enjoyment in some of the Aspects of the Domme role? Like what, for example?

 
At September 12, 2013 11:58 AM, Blogger Will said...

Hi. This is a complex issue; it's hard to give good advice with the info about the two of you that I have. Feel free to email me at thejourneyofwill@gmail.com.

Re taking enjoyment from aspects of the domme role... Do you like telling him what to do? Making rules for him? Do you like his reactions to any of the pain-play things he wants, such as biting or spanking?

Doms want kink for how it makes them feel, not simply to satisfy their partners. Your questions on how to "support him in doing this" and "being the dom that he wants me to be" imply that you're interested in BDSM for his sake, not your own. You may not feel pressure from him, but perhaps you're pressuring yourself to give him things that are strange to you?

 
At September 12, 2013 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll e mail you thanks

 
At September 12, 2013 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do like his reaction....

 
At March 09, 2014 10:35 AM, Blogger April Tanner said...

I wish that I had traveled the D/s road when I was younger. By being submissive to the right Dom I believe I would have been stronger emotionally than I am now. I have made myself so hard and immovable due to trusting no one but myself that it would be a relief to submit.

 
At May 15, 2014 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. I have been with my fiance for almost three years and I found out she into bdsm. I am trying to get used to being the dominant and she has been a sub for several years. I found out that she was talking to another man that used to be her dominant and she is wanting me to become a dom. She has been talking and video chatting with him and she is not liking the way I am dominant to her. I want to be with this girl and be a dominant but she wants it now. How can I speed up me being a dominant? Please reply quickly thank you.

 
At May 16, 2014 9:33 PM, Blogger Will said...

Well first off, know that she is at fault for failing to tell you that she's into BDSM when you got together, or at least before you got engaged! Next, becoming a dom simply for her sake is unlikely to work out; you have to want D/s for yourself, for how it feels to you. (See Why Doms and Subs Should Not Date Vanilla People.)

Assuming that a dominant role is fundamentally appealing to you, you should identify the aspects of it that turn you on the most, and develop those first. Perhaps specific sexual practices like bondage or spanking, or making simple rules for her to follow, or just freely making demands of her whenever the mood strikes you. Getting used to a different mode of interaction, and the extent of its possibilities, takes time and experimentation. Don't be pressured into trying things that are less exciting for you; let yourself be driven by your own desires and at your own pace. (See also BDSM Relationship Variations.)

If she expresses any impatience with you, reach your hand into her hair and close your fist around the hair close to the scalp so that you've got her head snugly, point her eyes towards yours, and firmly remind her that you're three years behind schedule because she failed to bring this to your attention when you started dating.

 
At June 02, 2014 6:56 PM, Anonymous Patricia said...

Will, i love your blog site and am finding it very beneficial in understanding this new world i have found myself in. i was introduced only a year ago and He has been a Dom for 20+ years. Where do i start? i have had to be dependent upon myself for most of my life. 61 years old here and old habits are hard to break and Lord knows i'm trying! i'm not collared at this time~perhaps that might help?
I totally blew it yesterday and am hoping He can and will find it in His heart to forgive me. my tools for communication are not up to par...to say the least. He is well versed in communication. i wanted answers to my understanding; or misunderstandings! i have no one else to talk to so where does a novice start? We have been living together for the past few months and i do look forward to having a sister around. (the only things i've learned about more than one woman in a relationship is from the tv show "sister wives") i understand that i will have to give up ego but i don't have a firm foundation yet.
The problem for me arose when i found out via a social media site that he wanted to meet up with an old lover and see where that would go for us. i'm assuming it's us! i felt embarrassed as they would have met up at an old school friend's house and originally i was going to go if we could have the farm covered. i was devastated to find out in such a manner especially when this is supposed to be an honest relationship. i wanted my Dom to understand my feelings, embarrassment, hurt, confusion and anger. Again, remember, i do not communicate well, especially in the Dom/sub world. i want to, i really do. In the beginning of our relationship He told me He would be gentle with me, introduce me as we progressed. That i would be a part of the process in introducing another woman into our relationship. He revoked that recently and then the above came about and like i said i totally blew it. i communicated in a vanilla fashion as that is all i've known. Not that i didn't try to hear Him, to understand what He was saying, what He wanted, and how it was going to be. My pain was so great i can barely think of Him not wanting me anymore. i miss his firm but gentle touch. i love dressing in my bustiers and getting down with Him. He knows i am open and ready for what comes my way! Some things do have to be done slower, easing me in so to speak. i need to remember that He cares for me and wants me to be happy to. At least i think so.
I'm reading books again as of 2 days ago. When i happened upon your site i thought perhaps you might have some inciteful words of wisdom for a woman who has no one else to talk to. No one else to call and ask "what do i do now?", "how do i..."
i have not felt as alive as i feel with Him. i love to please Him. i am most happy when i am giving service to Him.
i appreciate your time~ thank you. Patricia

 
At June 02, 2014 8:02 PM, Blogger Will said...

Patricia, ethical polyamory requires that the parties make an agreement about how they pursue trysts, or practice relationships, with others. Having a D/s context doesn't change that, or mean that an agreement can be "revoked" without consequence! It sounds like you originally had such an agreement, which he broke by acting as you described. If so, it's not surprising that you became upset.

Inhabiting dom and sub roles with each other requires trust, intimacy, safety. When you lose that, reverting to a more vanilla mode is reasonable, and probably preferable to walking away. Using a safeword is one way to flag a return to vanilla interaction. Then simply stating your feelings, and indicating how strong they are, is the best way to proceed. Try to avoid "freaking out", e.g. raising your voice, making accusations or demands, etc. If you do become agitated, try to catch and calm yourself, or even suggest resuming the discussion later.

 
At July 20, 2014 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have recently found myself talking to a Dom. I have no clue on this whole life style. I know I get please ur from pain, and pleasure from pleasing others. He is amazing. Sweet, funny, caring. All that stuff that every female wants out of any relationship. I am very interested in this life style so much that it somewhat takes over my life. And so does he. My attraction to him is crazy. I wake up in the morning just waiting to hear from him. The last few nights I have been going to bed till around 3am because if I am talking to Him I will not sleep untill he tells me to. Than I am so tired in the morning its hard to function. But thats it I cant sleep untill I know he wants me to. I feel as if I am falling into a sibmissive position for him very quickly but he dont want a relationship with me because I am so new to dbsm. He just wants to mentor.WHAT DO I DO TO STOP FALLING HELP

 
At July 20, 2014 4:41 PM, Blogger Will said...

I've written a few articles that touch on the issues you're facing:
The Dangers of Dom/Sub Gravity
Two Kinds of Subspace
Subs Don’t Need “Training” but Doms Do

In the "training" article, I mention that relationships formed for the purpose of mentoring should be non-romantic, and that your best mentor candidates are fellow subs. The fact that your phone calls with this dom are depriving you of necessary sleep could indicate that he is not prioritizing your well-being, as a mentor should. In order to recover your equilibrium, you may need to suspend communication with him. It is of course a mistake to engage in D/s with someone you've not met in person and established compatibility with, or to devote yourself to a dom who is not willing to do the same for you.

 
At August 28, 2014 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this article. I found it enlightening.

I have been a sub for almost 8 months now. I was happy until last month, when I noticed that my Dom seemed to communicate with me lesser than usual. Sometimes he would go on more than a week not speaking to me. I know he was busy looking for a job but when he told me last Monday that he got the job, I expected he would have more time to communicate now that he has that out of the way. But it has been 3 days since, I have not heard a single word from him. This gesture makes me feel insecure and unsafe. That I agreed to this because he promised to protect me emotionally. But it seems to me that he is not. It's as if he's not telling me something that I should know. That I am afraid that one day, he will leave me, or he is just setting me up so that it would be easier for me to move on. I do not know what to do.

 
At August 31, 2014 2:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will said: If she expresses any impatience with you, reach your hand into her hair and close your fist around the hair close to the scalp so that you've got her head snugly, point her eyes towards yours, and firmly remind her that you're three years behind schedule because she failed to bring this to your attention when you started dating.

I laughed my ass off. This is such a beautiful comment, and so true.

 
At September 24, 2014 9:12 AM, Blogger Awaiting sub said...

Hi i was wondering if u can help me. I made contact with a Dom wanting to be a sub. Long story short we've spoken with each other and exchanged pics. His happy with me being his sub as i went through a telephone screening with him to see if i really wanted to be a sub or just a wannabe. Let me just mention he is an investment banker and always busy.
My question is everytime i text him he replies back instantly but not once has he contacted me after our conversation about when we will be seeing each other.
I just wanna know is this normal im amazed at the instant replies he gives me but he hasnt been the one to get in contact once. I have not messaged him in three days hoping he'll get in touch but nothing. What is going through his mind? Do u think he changed his mind?

 
At October 02, 2014 4:27 PM, Anonymous H S said...

In nearly the antithesis to one of your former posts. A woman I've developed a connection to that I don't develop to women...ever...has a history of being a former professional bdsm pornstar...she is a natural sub towards men but a natural dom to women. She does switch roles for pay obviously but her natural tendencies are as mentioned. By my profession and my background I am a naturally very dominant personality in any room but I have little experience in the "lifestyle" proper. We've played around a bit but I feel like I need substantially more formal guidance in the role of being a dom than I can ask from her without ruining what we have. We love each other as friends but even from that aspect it feels at this point as though it is destined to crash in to flames soon. In essence, I need advice on how to be a more effective but loving 24/7 dom because I don't think she will fully understand anything else, we just have different definitions of love. That said, if I can make her feel loved, it would make me happy...that and the first time I let her beat me with a whip it wasn't terribly unpleasant but I absolutely wouldn't let her restrain me in the process.

 
At October 02, 2014 4:58 PM, Blogger Will said...

Dear sub of the uncommunicative dom, have you told your gent that his recent unresponsiveness is bothering you, that you "feel insecure and unsafe" due to the change? If not, why? If so, has he addressed your concerns or avoided the issue? Is he behaving differently in person as well? You always have the option, indeed the responsibility, to raise your feelings with your partner, and perhaps re-evaluate your relationship on the basis of his response to you.

 
At October 03, 2014 9:41 PM, Blogger Will said...

Dear Awaiting Sub, you "went through a telephone screening" — did you also screen this dom candidate yourself? (See How to Interview a Dom/Master Prospect.) As to his lack of contact, it's hard to say why that might be, but it's certainly not a normal way to express interest!

 
At October 04, 2014 4:17 PM, Blogger Will said...

Dear H S, I feel the key to developing romantic dominance is to let your own desires and curiosities be your guide. Obviously, you can't dominate your partner by doing what she demands! Her focus, and hence yours, has to be on you. It helps if you can tap a stern or dark side of your personality that doesn't have qualms about being hard on your girl.

There are several angles you can work from: S&M (aka kinky sex, with bare hands or implements), spontaneous obedience (demanding favors of her frequently), or rules & habits (adjusting her behavior in specific settings to suit your taste). Perhaps pick the one which feels most comfortable to you and focus on developing that; or try one angle for a week or two, then switch to developing a different one. Learning any new skillset can be mentally or emotionally taxing, so be patient and allow yourself rest. And don't permit her to put any pressure on you; your own sense of urgency is burden enough.

 
At November 01, 2014 4:02 PM, OpenID Jennifer said...

Hello,

First, let me say your articles have been a God send to me. I'm recently active again s a submissive with slave tendencies. I've entered into a relationship with a Dom that was actually was a friend of mine first (look, someone got out of the friend zone!) and things are going well, though we are in different cities at the moment.

My question is based on emotions. I find myself wanting to make sure he is not upset and the moment I feel he gets upset it causes my to be anxious. At that point, all I really want to be is beside him, on my knees, so I can calm him down. But I find it' his upsets that cause this anxiety the most. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely happy when I can make him happy, or he even smiles. But what causes this tie to his emotions? I have never experienced anything like this before. Is this normal for this type of a relationship?

Thank you,
Concerned

 
At November 25, 2014 4:56 PM, Blogger Will said...

Hi Jennifer, your anxious response to his "upset" state of mind could be due to your natural empathy, or previous experience (in childhood or adulthood) of someone close to you not dealing well with their own burdens, or an unrealistic sense of duty towards your partner. Asking yourself "what is the origin of this anxiety; what do I fear might happen" whenever it occurs might help you get clarity on that.

How he feels and behaves is of course his responsibility, and although you can lift him by your devotion, you cannot shift that obligation from him. Empathy is beneficial in that it gives you insight into his feelings without him having to describe them. But not to the point of stress on your part — you need to remain at peace in order to be completely present for both of you. As for latent fears you might have, see Assuaging a Sub's Fear of Abandonment.

 
At January 01, 2015 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Will I am a submissive lady in a loving relationship with my partner of 2 years. We have a child together and between us 5 other children. He is Dominant both domestically and sexually. But of late, I'm talking the past 3 months. He's avoided and ignored at times my communications on the subject. We've had some very upsetting rows leaving me feeling insecure and at times ashamed. I crave a harder take on bdsm than him and during these past months he's told me I'm wanting him to be someone he isn't. I am heartbroken and bewildered as we have been practicing bdsm successfully and much more intensely than now for over 18 months. I'm lost.

 
At January 03, 2015 1:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I are both vanilla but over the past year I have become extreamly interested in the D/s lifestyle. I believe I am a naturally submissive person and want to explore the possibility of him being dominant. What I need to know is how to broach the subject without causing discord in our relationship.

 
At January 03, 2015 2:29 AM, Blogger Will said...

See On Communication Within a Dom/Sub Partnership for some tips on raising the topic of BDSM with a partner.

Dear lost, when you reach the point where you and your dom are each triggering upset reactions in the other when trying to engage, outside support in the form of a counselor is really helpful. There are kink-aware therapists, but you may not need such expertise for the specific issues you're having.

 
At January 05, 2015 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post helped me a lot but still leaves me with one question. My dom tells me that I am not emtionally and mentally ready to be on his level, because I have a hard time expressing myself and that if I cannot overcome that I could never be on his level. I feel that I am emotionally and mentally ready to be on his level, living the life 24/7 with him having total control. This is the life that I know I want.
I have always known that I have a hard time expressing myself and I feel that is because no one has ever cared about what I had to say, including before I knew I was a true sub.
I have been trying to figure out exactly what he means by being ready emotionally and mentally, because in my mind ... I am.
Do you have any advise for me?
Submissive

 
At January 05, 2015 6:35 PM, Blogger Will said...

Yes, a whole article full of advice: On Communication Within a Dom/Sub Partnership. Also, here are some questions to ask yourself: Do you feel your dom cares about what you're thinking? Does he make that clear to you? Has he suggested any techniques or resources to improve your expression skills? Has he told you what he needs to hear to know that you are being transparent with him? Would seeing a counselor help accelerate your efforts?

 
At January 05, 2015 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Will. I have read the article On Communication Within a Dom/sub relationship. I found it to be very helpful and inspiring. I know my dom cares about me and he has made that very clear to me. He just wants me to make my decision to be a slave 24/7 with an imformed decision and for the right reasons.
Thank you very much for your help. I will continue to read your blogs.

 
At March 08, 2015 5:22 AM, Anonymous Committed Slave said...

I've been with my master online for a while, I'm meeting up with him at the start of next year but in this moment of time I'm getting close to a potential serious boyfriend. So now I have the tough decision whether to risk losing my master for this or lose a potential husband. I honestly would prefer my master at this point in time but I don't know what he wants out of our real life D/s relationship and if it's not going to lead to anything but great sex, I'd rather go for the potential husband whom I can get married too. I've talked to my master about the topic but it never answers my questions.

What should I do? Any advice?

 
At March 08, 2015 7:20 PM, Blogger Will said...

Regarding the possible boyfriend, if you and he lack kink compatibility, it might not work; see Why Doms & Subs Should Not Date Vanilla People. As for the "master", I'd question his readiness for a real-life D/s relationship if he's put off meeting you for a year and can't clarify his vision for a relationship. Perhaps consider reaching out to doms who are more available, and preferably local to you?

 
At March 09, 2015 12:14 AM, Anonymous Committed Slave said...

Thanks, but I believe my Master has valid reasons for not getting in touch sooner. But I have no excuse on his behalf for the fact he won't share his thoughts on out future together.

We Skype almost every night and if not we are messaging, I would feel awful if I found another Master, but how do I find a local master?

 
At May 29, 2015 7:58 PM, Anonymous Aurora said...

It would appear to me that much of the advice on this blog, stripped of the kink, would make excellent advice for everyone in a relationship. Humans are relational creatures and relationships are resilient. They survive nearly everything except manipulation and silence.

 
At May 31, 2015 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a woman with a very strong personality. I am domineering and have a very little patience, short temper. It is the same reason why I think I my previous relationship did not work because aside form being a girlfriend and a friend, I was also a mother in the relationship making decision and controlling my partner.

When I replied to an ad in Craigslist, he was looking for a local who is on the heavy side. Later on when he replied he mentioned about domination. With the explanation, it seems I was fit to be a mistress. There I realized that maybe the reason my previous relationships didn't work because they did not understand or appreciate me.

But I am not sure if emailing this sub of mine every day grew him tired of me that he is not communicating now after our email that I asked me if we needed to sign a contract when i just said rings can bind us into a relationship instead of a piece of paper.

Should a domme pursue a sub or move on?

 
At June 03, 2015 5:30 PM, Blogger Will said...

Note that a D/s contract and a marriage license are very different things! The next step after establishing basic kink & vanilla compatibility via email or messaging should be to meet in person. Discussions about how to construct a relationship are more productive, and titillating, face-to-face. If someone is not interested in meeting after a reasonable electronic exchange, then yes, move on. See also Online BDSM Dating Tips.

 
At July 07, 2015 3:30 AM, Blogger Andiesolive said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At October 15, 2015 2:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extremely relieving! I was searching the net for this type of information and I intend on reading it again and a again. Thank you so much.

 
At October 27, 2015 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just a quick question. can Domme change after having kids. i can't and don't want to continue to control my husband anymore. he thinks im testing him. it's being going on for 2 year. no intimacy. my husband enjoying the pain. . I'm suffering because can't explain to him that i changed. thanks. Natasha

 
At December 16, 2015 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT article, thank you, it told me I was doing things mainly correct in my situation :)

 
At January 11, 2016 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a new sub and the Dom I'm with I've known for over 8 years. At first he explained how he's a Dom and it really peek my curiosity. We txtd all the time at first and met up for heavy making out. But it seems now he doesn't return my texts. When he does its great but sometimes just to say how's your day? Its very very frustrating . he always calls me his baby girl a tells me how we need a play day. Its just the lack of communication that drives me nuts. I don't want to smother him but I feel I need more. Help

 
At April 11, 2016 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly, there are those who role-play a Dom/Domme. In truth they really are nothing but children getting to play with a new toy for a bit. They don't care or are oblivious to the pain they cause to others and sometimes even think that the sub is just role playing as well. i'm in a D/s relationship as well as the submissive and there's a strong urge to want to do everything possible all the time to please my Domme.

The thing people will do though, is forget that there is an actual relationship, with people with feelings and needs. Some of these "Dominants" really aren't a Dominant at all rather, they are a submissive with a ton of repressed emotions due to upbringing where they are merely acting in a way that they feel is pleasing their family, religious beliefs, or any number of ways of fitting into a social norm. ANY good relationship needs to have an honest exchange and insight to both partys' feelings. It can be very unhealthy when a Dominant feels the sub is having an off day and the sub thinks they did something wrong when the fault is on the Dominants side (insert hate mail here) but, if everyone is honest and you factor in that both are still humans... well.. no one is right 100% of the time.

Then there's just people who prey on others, they'll use a push/pull technique to get into someone's pants and then when they get bored, find someone else. It's actually not as uncommon as people would like to hope but, it's insanely effective and creates self esteem issues where they feel they have to prove their worth to the offending party. It's basically where everything feels like it's going good, then it's a slight, a small insult here or there sometimes with a few days space between talking. It creates frustration and an eagerness to want to find out what's bugging the other person... and then please them because the victim in this feels like it was a misunderstanding and wants to do everything possible to "make it right." This is just someone who is using people for their own gain and has no care in the world about their victim... it's not an honorable thing to do..

Anyways, merely just saying be aware of what you're really looking for and what it is you are actually getting. There's nothing wrong with a D/s relationship we've been in one for 8 years but, there are times when one should take a good hard look at what it is that's going on and if there's questions should be discussed openly. If only one part of that relationship is willing to be open... it wont last.

 
At July 07, 2016 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. Um I've been trying to search articles on more information, but always seem to have questions afterwards. So I'm not exactly sure where I fall here or how... I've pretty much been attracted to the thought of a dom/sub relationship, but never actually met anyone practicing the style until recently. I tried to ask as many questions as I could before our friendship ended abruptly.  Now I'm kind of lost.

All the articles I keep reading say they will discuss lifestyle and not sex, but then talk more about the toys and definitions. Does dom/sub have to be apart of your whole life (such as giving him all control) or can it mostly (not that it wouldn't spill over) stay in the sexual area? I believe I like to be both dominant in some areas and submissive in others. I was told that would consider me a switch, but then where does that fall or come up? I've never read a article that mention switches. Would I still be considered a switch if I mostly enjoyed submissive sexual play more than dominant? I just more enjoy control over other aspects of my life and wouldn't mind on special occasions being more dominant  (in the idea of like... taking a slight lead by being ontop while he relaxes or tying him up and pleasing him repeatedly). I don't really like to teach or have total control, but being told what to do and being submissive is fun.

I have also not really had a lot of experience in this area (still a virgin) so when discussing future things - are you allowed to not like something? I like the idea of trying everything, but no one likes everything. How do you work past it if you don't like it but they do (such as nipple clamps)? Or like is the dom supposed to be able to do what he wants, regardless of your feelings? An example. I mentioned making love to my dom friend (I meant sex with love involved) and he thought I meant cats craddle (like the slow, one speed, grinding type of sex) which he was very against. He said he wouldn't ever want to do it and if he did it would probably be weeks into the sexual part of things since "he just doesn't want too". Like as a dom are you just allowed not to want to try something if your partner is wanting to try it? Also does the same go for a sub? Because in the same conversation I mentioned nipple clamps sounding too painful since my nipples are sensitive (I was still willing to try, but have the idea I won't like them) he got upset as if I should be totally at will to trying sexual things while he was not.

Are there certain quirks that don't work in dom/sub relationships? Like I enjoy giving head and would love to go down on my partner at random times (when it's save and they are accepting) during a random given day and then go back to doing our day... could certain dominant actions like that break the doms feeling of power or do damage to the relationship?

I think that's all the questions at this moment. Thank you for your time and wisdom

 
At November 20, 2016 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for your words. You are so insightful and honest...have such a sharp understanding of human behavior that goes beyond, and obviously encompasses, BDSM. I've got a set of questions but I haven't found answers for them anywhere, not even here. I'd like to write to your email directly, if it's possible. Thank you so very much once again.

 
At November 20, 2016 11:23 PM, Blogger Will said...

Sure, feel free to drop me an email at thejourneyofwill on gmail. Pls note I don't necessarily have an answer for every conceivable question :-)

 
At November 23, 2016 11:02 PM, Anonymous Shadi said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. I came across your blog when I googled "BDSM emotional effects". In my case, I am not at my ideal emotional state because of homesickness and lacking the support of family and friends. I am a sub and have recently met a Dom who is a love avoidant so he made it clear that I shouldn't expect any emotional support from his side outside the play. That being said, I am a little worried about my emotional attachments or other emotional effects of our play. Please let me know if you have any idea on how i can avoid the risks.

 
At November 24, 2016 10:47 AM, Blogger Will said...

If you have had kink play partners before and know how you are likely to react emotionally to a kink-only engagement with the gent you refer to, then use that as a guide for whether and how to proceed. If you haven't such experience to go on, I would guess by the way you phrase your question that you hunger for someone you can turn to for more than BDSM. If that's the case, this man may not be a great match for you. On the other hand, if you are a masochist with a taste for psychological discomfort, it's possible you'd "enjoy" the denial of emotional input by someone you develop feelings for! In either case, it sounds like you should put significant effort into making some new friends with whom you can connect emotionally.

 

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