Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What I Look For in a Submissive Partner

This article sat in the drafts folder for weeks; I found it hard to finish. It forced me to reflect on some things... I'm single, and dislike being so — I'm a better, more effective man when I have a committed partner. I don't do kink casually, so being single means my dom side gets almost no love. Pondering my search is dispiriting, as it's a process that has no clear calendar. And it troubles me to wonder, after talking with a lot of kinky girls over the past few years, whether the girl I'm seeking even exists. I'm a tall order to fill, no question, but if I don't admire a girl in multiple ways, I wouldn't want to acquire her.

But here it is at last, written for myself as much as for you. I've tried to highlight generally valuable qualities in a submissive partner, and deemphasize things which are singular to me.

Possesses a strong will. As a friend of mine who's the master half of a master/slave pair likes to say, "A good sub has a spine of steel." Ultimately, it is inner strength that lets a sub give of herself in profound and intense ways, and carry on this way year in and year out.

Wants kink for the way it makes her feel. Doing it "for his sake" may seem like a submissive attitude, but activities which are not rewarding to her, either during or afterwards, are ultimately depleting and unsustainable.

Shares a few significant, non-kinky passions with her partner. D/s partners must have vanilla chemistry; they can't spend every minute of the relationship in a kinky fog. (For example, I go partner dancing twice a week, and if my girl wasn't into that, I'd feel like she didn't really know me.)

Attentive and curious. These are essential for a submissive partner, since she has to learn to read her dom, and to respond to his needs or goals in any situation where they've agreed she will submit.

Desires and acts on feedback. A dom may wish his girl to adjust her behavior in ways small and large over time. When I offer input, I want to hear, "Got it, thanks for telling me!" However, she may not effect big changes overnight, those usually require practice.

Grateful. I, for one, need to hear that my partner appreciates me, believes in me, feels blessed by my company and all it entails. Such offerings can help assuage occasional "dom's guilt".

Strong emotional boundaries. She's not easily offended or triggered or manipulated. What others may say to her won't knock her off-kilter or lodge in her self-perception. It's important to hold boundaries with family, colleagues, friends, and one's lover. One of the goals of D/s is to dismantle boundaries between dom and sub, but even so a sub needs to recognize it when her dom says something to her that's due to stress or confusion. (See also Emotional Issues in Dom/Sub Relationships.)

Self-esteem. This has been a challenge for many of the women I've dated, both vanilla and kinky, and thus something I've come to expect to help a partner with. But an emotionally healthy girl will have some inkling of her abilities and gifts, even if she has doubts about them in some contexts.

Communicates rationally when under stress. The ability to hold oneself together when stressed out or upset is invaluable. Of course, there are limits to how much duress anyone can withstand before they shut down or lash out.

Loves learning and is addicted to it. A big mind is a huge asset; I'd be bored by a girl who didn't devour new knowledge and share parts of it with me. In doing so, she enriches my understanding of her, the world, and myself.

Enjoys some kind of challenging physical activity. Moving keeps her in touch with her body — a big part of the brain is devoted to the body after all. The practice could be dance, hiking, running, a gym circuit, ultimate frisbee, yoga, tai chi, gardening; the list is endless. It needn't be mindless exercise for its own sake. Also flexibility and strength are particularly helpful for more intense S&M work. :-)

Awareness of nutrition. This is essential in today's food market, because competition has steadily driven vendors to offer huge portions of addictive foods at bargain prices. A healthy diet is high in lean protein and very low in sweets.

Not preoccupied with consumptive activities. I find that undertaking challenging, creative projects together, whether out in the world or at home, is more bonding than ordinary entertainments like shopping, dining out, traveling, and the theater.

Willing to push back when wise. Any dom needs a reality check from time to time. If he suggests something foolish, or is about to dive into some chasm, he'll benefit if she pipes up.

Doesn't set arbitrary limits. Claiming some kinky thing is a "limit" without reason — other than "ew!" — isn't a sign of an open mind. That's not to say that a sub should say yes to something out-there early in the relationship. Intense activities need a strong container, which takes time to build.

Aligned ambitions. Some subs have big life goals for themselves, and so may not be well-matched to doms that wish to be the sub's focus whenever she's awake. Some doms enjoy it when a sub has responsibility and authority at work; they may not be compatible with a sub who's less invested in career progress.

Chemistry. Note that the above characteristics do not create rapport with someone, in and of themselves. Chemistry counts for a lot — although having it cannot compensate for the lack of must-have features.

What's Irrelevant

Intro/extroversion. I'm somewhat introverted, and have had both introverted and extroverted partners. Both have enriched me. I would only suggest that a personality that hates crowds should not be paired with one that only thrives as a social butterfly.

Enjoys pain or humiliation. Many subs don't enjoy pain for its own sake, yet still gladly endure it, and eventually come to crave it, as a service to the dom. Others do relish certain kinds of pain, however there's always methods a sadistic dom can apply to cause distress in a sub who usually gets off on pain.

Labels: ,

25 Comments:

At June 14, 2013 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how life is...single you don't like it but being married is not easy also. Finding that special person is hard. (it takes alot of compromising especially once you tie the knot). I am married. I starting to find BDSM quite interesting but never done it before but people are giving me hints I might like it? So I have been reading online about it...what it is and etc. I don't think it is tall order of your wishes...it is common in my opinion. If I was looking for a mate I will feel the same way too. I agree with you on on some points and for other points I don't know about BDSM that well so I can't be a judge of that yet.

Just keep yourself busy in the meantime. She will come.

I enjoyed reading your posts these past 2 or 3 weeks. I just came upon it 2 weeks or 3 weeks ago.

Annie (NJ)

 
At July 04, 2013 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Will I stumbled upon your site researching a out BDSM. Over many years I have gone back and forth with whether or not I should try to find a Dom. I am taking the steps now, but don't know what steps I actually should take. I'm not dating or married currently. It's not easy finding your mate. I know that first hand. Is it any easier finding a Dom? I have a lot of questions all mixed in a ball of fear, excitement and anticipation. I'm in NY and they say NY has everything which makes finding things a little harder. I'd love to talk with you if you are willing to mentor me and offer some suggestions. Just let me know. I am following your blog now and look forward to reading. Thanks

J

 
At July 04, 2013 11:09 AM, Blogger Will said...

Hi J. From my experience, it can be a long process to find someone with whom you have both vanilla and D/s chemistry. But I do think that NY would be a good place to look.

There's a few other posts on this topic here that might help:
What to Look For in a Dom/Master
How to Interview a Dom/Master Prospect
Online BDSM Dating Tips

I'm happy to answer more private Q's via email as well, my address is on the right margin.

 
At July 06, 2013 8:20 AM, Blogger karen marie said...

Hi, Will, I'm trying to re-find your blog about being unhappily single. I as a NC foothills/mtn. raised woman want to post a comment to that entry. I cannot understand why men out here in our age group don't want anything with us. We many of us, foothills/mtns raised women grew up observing healthy interactions, what is now called BDSM practices, in our parents marriages & we can't figure out what all the hulaboo is about!

 
At July 10, 2013 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I have been flirting with the idea of being a sub, because I enjoy being bossed around, and even hurt a little, sexually. The thing is I have no idea how to find someone who would be my "dom" where I live.. I am currently in a sexual relationship with someone with dominant traits, which is probably why I like this man so much, but it is not serious or exclusive so I don't feel like I could talk to him about this just yet.. any tips? I would describe myself as everything you wrote here so I think I have a lot to offer, and I really want to see how much I would enjoy this type of relationship, it's not something I want to forget about or put in the back of my head without at least trying.. I guess we'll have to see what happens, loved your blog, btw! Thanks

 
At July 10, 2013 1:53 PM, Blogger Will said...

I don't think a relationship has to be serious or exclusive for you to bring up your interests, desires, fantasies, etc. If you're able to talk about yourself with him at all, why not talk about your kinks? You don't have to unload everything that's whirling in your head at once, just pick a topic you think would resonate -- perhaps bondage, or spanking, or even "I love it when you boss me around."

As far as where to look, OKCupid.com is a mostly-vanilla dating site which is kink-friendly. It uses a questionnaire to match you with like-minded people, and among the questions are quite a number about S&M and D/s. Fetlife.com is a BDSM "community" site which doesn't have dating features per se, but has local-area discussion and personals groups for most metro areas in the US (and many around the world).

If you wade into the kinky dating waters, see my answer above with links to other articles here on that topic.

 
At July 10, 2013 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you! I already read them all, have had a busy morning as you can see;) I appreciate the advice and I will definitely bring it up with him, the thing is I'd feel... safer, for lack of a better word, learning about this with someone who already knows and who could teach me, rather than both of us learning together, but since I live in Baja Ca, Mx it just seems so unlikely to find someone with such preferences here.

I will browse through the sites you gave me and see if I can at least find someone to help me determine whether or not the "lifestyle" is really an option for me or not.. Thanks!

 
At July 13, 2013 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with J. NY have everything but definitely hard to find.

Annie (NJ)

 
At July 28, 2013 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another wannabe-sub is here to thank you Will!

I really enjoyed your articles and I did send your links to my two best-friends just to make the point that "yes educated dominant male still exists on planet earth"
We are vanilla girls and since college I always been the "curious" one of the group.
I first wanted to understand the psychological aspect of Dom/sub realtionships thru reading "classics" Le Marquis de Sade and George Battaille and with online chatrooms.
Like the other women who posted coments to this article I find it difficult to live fully this aspect of my libido. All the men I dated are perfect "boyfriend" materials but most of the time I felt very disapointed in the bedroom, I tried to give them hints about what I really crave and even tried my best to communicate very openly (when I felt they have earned my trust) but it did not work. I consider myself healthy-balanced-caring human being , and take actions to lead my life with these standarts so I dont let my misfortunes in the love departement invalidate me (even I heard my last boyfriend saying "you are noot normal, how can I f*** you harder?" lol).
Dating online scares me a little but reading your advices gave me a boost of confidence, maybe I will pass thru the other side of the Mirror soon :)

Please keep writing on the subject, if you ever gather enough material to publish a book I will advertise for it in my circle of friends here in Montreal gladly!

T from Montreal

 
At July 31, 2013 2:17 PM, Blogger Pineapple3000 said...

Firstly, thank you for sharing this information. As a girl who has little to no sexual and 'relationship' experience, it has helped me think on my position as someone who wishes to become a sub. In my bleak inexperience, I find myself a little lost and uncertain since I don't know where to go for confirmation and for finding the necessary elements. Probably nothing a few hours of internet surfing won't fix :P

Again, thank you!

Anna (Montréal)

 
At August 07, 2013 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I just stumbled across this blog while searching for more of an understanding of a D/s relationship. I really appreciate the complete honesty here. It's helped me a lot. The thought of becoming a submissive has been in the back of my mind for quite sometime now. I had just never found anyone willing to be fully dominate with me or who had an understanding of what it truly means to be a Dom, until very recently. I just barely started a D/s relationship with someone. Reading up on it has been helping me immensely though. Giving me more detailed knowledge and what to roughly expect.
As odd as it sounds, it's comforting to know I fit another Dom's standards as well. When I was reading this page I thought you were just describing me. Haha. Anyways, thank you for writing such a great blog.

Hannah (Los Angeles)

 
At December 21, 2013 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say your blog has really been helping me a lot. I've thought about being a sub in passing a few times, but never seriously until recently. I've been trying online dating and have been talking to a guy for a little while now who has been very open about being a dom. Talking to him has really interested me, and scared me a little. But the more I read, the more I think I can go forward with this. So thank you.

 
At January 17, 2014 9:38 PM, Anonymous missy said...

Take comfort. She's looking for you too.

 
At January 28, 2014 10:47 AM, Blogger Saltyqueen said...

From my vanilla point of view, I like this.. I really dig this.. I must say that this kind of relationship is probably what most non BDSM strive to acquire... a deeper understanding on many levels.

 
At March 01, 2014 5:47 PM, Blogger just4laughs3275 said...

I'm an older newly divorced wonan who had been curious about the submissive side of the "lifestyle" for quite sometime. Is there a possibility for a woman over 50 to find someone to start this journey?

 
At March 07, 2014 12:21 PM, Anonymous Gingerly said...

Wow ... Great article. All of the. You really do help provide some insight to those us like me who are new and are trying to find their way. It's quite a journy and learning experience and its a journey with in ones self.

I do have a question if you don't mind.

I'm know that a huge part of being a sub and dom are being open and honest to both your self and Dom but ... I've have some Terri me experiences and life as a child and I am not able to go there even with myself. I do have a lot of hurt there and I'm afraid that this will impact and or prevent me from being able to have a good sub/Dom relationship

 
At March 11, 2014 4:26 PM, Blogger Will said...

Just4laughs, you ask, "Is there a possibility for a woman over 50 to find someone to start this journey?" In a word, yes. But as I've written elsewhere in the blog, persistence and patience are necessary when seeking someone who matches you in both vanilla and kinky ways. And at this juncture, you might consider which of those two sides is most compelling or urgent for you...

 
At March 11, 2014 4:40 PM, Blogger Will said...

Gingerly, you write, "I do have a lot of hurt there and I'm afraid that this will impact or prevent me from being able to have a good sub/Dom relationship." Emotional scarring from childhood or previous relationships can indeed prevent one from having a fulfilling romance, kinky or otherwise. A good way to deal with such issues is in therapy with an effective, compassionate counselor -- which can take several tries to find; don't settle for a therapist you don't click with. Also, given a caring kink partner, you may find that BDSM play itself is healing and mind-expanding! See also Emotional Issues in Dom/Sub Relationships.

 
At May 29, 2014 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We do exist & we're looking for the right Dom! I can't profess to be 100% of those things 100% of the time but I'd be willing to at least try for someone I cared that much for. Thank you for writing this, granted I know this is exclusive to you & your preferences but there have to be other guys out there looking for some of the same qualities (I hope).

 
At June 06, 2014 12:09 PM, Blogger Andrea Glass said...

Hi! I found your blog researching BDSM relationships. I've just recently become aware that I've been in a D/s relationship for the past 1.5 yr (Clearly, I'm the sub, and a bit innocent and naive. A new friend asked me if I was in a Dom/sub relationship. She's a sub and recognized it.) He & I naturally fell into our sexual roles, but I've always felt like I didn't get "the rule book." We've discussed our sexual preferences openly, and neither one of us are dissatisfied sexually, but I feel like maybe I was misled a little. Your description of your preferences are practically identical to my Dom's. So, I've gained a little more clarity & wisdom... unfortunately, b/c of my lack of previous understanding, we are separated now... Would you please share a little more insight into the psychology of a D/s relationship break up? My friend warned me that subs who lose their Dom will often go into a deep depression? Just trying to get a better understanding of his needs, and mine ;)

~ Krystal

 
At June 06, 2014 12:45 PM, Blogger Will said...

Hi Krystal, thanks for the suggestion! D/s relationship breakups is a topic I plan to cover in the future for sure. Yes, losing a dom or sub can be emotionally shattering, because the nature of D/s and SM is super intense, and thus intensely bonding. Losing that kind of bond is heartrending, so a deep depression isn't uncommon in its wake. However, those drawn to D/s tend to be highly resilient (how could you handle such sexual and emotional intensity otherwise!) and so will not generally be scarred by such a breakup. (Scarring may result from abuse during a relationship, but that's another matter. See Crossing the Line: Where Kink Becomes Abuse)

 
At June 12, 2014 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found my way to your blog out of necessity. And thank goodness you exist. Your careful and sensitive treatment of D/s issues is clearly visible in your writing.
My question is this:
How can one be sure whether one is a sub? I acknowledge that there are varying degrees of kinkiness. Some women may enjoy playing at subservience, accepting a mild spanking and others need to be whipped, stuck with pins, burned, etc.
I have suspected for some time that I am a frustrated sub, in a vanilla marriage. But how to be sure? Could you think possibly about writing an article to clarify this question?
An incident during sexual play with a boyfriend while younger, who seemed put off by what I asked of him, discouraged and dismayed me. Clearly I was misunderstood.
One thing you wrote left me feeling unsure. You wrote that you require your sub to suffer - does this mean in agony, or do you just enjoy seeing her writhe in discomfort or moderate pain? How can you have feelings for someone and actually enjoy their suffering?
I am new to this and still searching, so I would appreciate your advice. I don't feel like going into more detail here, but I do need clarification.
Thank you.

 
At June 12, 2014 3:10 PM, Blogger Will said...

Thanks for the article suggestion, I agree it's a topic I should cover! In your case, go back to what you asked of that boyfriend who "seemed put off by what I asked of him." Where did you envision that going in your fantasies? Imagination is a wonderful guide to one's desires. Also, do some browsing of BDSM porn to see what, if any, turns you on. There's a wide variety of it, from soft-core bondage to intense SM. And dip into the blogs of submissive women (tho don't be put off if you dislike someone's writing; keep looking). Finally, Fetlife has some decent discussion forums, and a lot of interesting (and nutty) profiles. (See also BDSM Relationship Variations.)

Regarding my use of the word "suffer", that's a charged term for many, and I certainly have no appetite for seeing my partner damaged, physically or psychologically, by our SM adventures or D/s dynamics. I do need to give a lover significant physical challenges in a sexual context, and to increase their intensity over time.

 
At June 13, 2014 3:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering. I have to say that your response asked a whole load of new questions, but also that I perceived the necessary escalation of intensity as something that may not be sustainable over time.
I don't feel that blood-letting or burning (and I have searched the net, and seen some scary things) appeal at all to me personally.
Relinquishing control, however, is immensely stimulating, and something that as an alpha female (and I use the term without wishing to offend), may also be necessary to finding equilibrium.
To be able to 'hold the fort' in everyday life, while also being able to relish in subservience in a sexual context is something that many women find appealing, I believe. Hence the runaway success of certain chick-lit authors who discovered this niche.
Wanting a certain degree of domination, and the necessary discomfort, or pain for those who take it to that level, may be more common than one realizes. Feminism has given women many things (birth control, the right to vote, etc), but it has also taken certain things away. Admitting to wanting a D/s relationship is not pc today.
I suspect my partner may be 'up' for exploring this slant on our relationship, but despite giving him hints, he hasn't picked up on it. Which brings me to the next question, can an alpha vanilla male (with certain dominant traits) become a happy dom? If it isn't himself doing the instigating, is this a problem?

 
At June 17, 2014 9:36 PM, Blogger Will said...

Re "Can an alpha vanilla male become a happy dom?" It really depends on whether he has latent D/s desires towards his lover. Social and professional dominance are not indicators of romantic or sexual dominance; some socially dominant men crave submission behind closed doors. There are many ways to unlock one's latent kinky desires, and a partner's fantasies or past experiences can be a powerful influence, so by all means, instigate! See also Discovering, Embracing, Revealing the Self.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home