A reader writes:
So far, the “adventure” into the D/S lifestyle has been very good to us. But, I am feeling like we’ve hit a roadblock. I’ve tried talking to my Dom about it, but I think part of it stems from the time he grew up in. BDSM in his mind, even our D/S play, is all about being rough and aggressive. He feels it hinders him being slow and sensual. Except for that and a minor indiscretion, which we talked through about boundaries and how much other know of our life, starting this journey has brought out a deeper connection for us.
He feels as if he’s learning new things not just about me, but also himself as his previous relationships never went this way. In a way, it’s also been helping a little with our distance issues and the separation anxiety, plus depression we entered because of outside forces. When we discussed the issue of others knowing too many details, he admits that he feels like a teenager again, he has a new zest for life and has basically bragged about how good “his kitten” is for and to him.
I really would like to find a way to explain, as I’m not sure I’ve been good at letting him know that this exploration is not just about me and my wants. That it is for him too, that he can be the best Dom who is aggressive, possessive, demanding and rough, but can still be tender, sensual, sensitive, cuddly and caring.
Thanks for your email. I’m glad to hear that you are both enjoying a Dom sub dynamic and that it has brought a deeper connection with each other.
From your email it seems as though your Dom is telling people about the type of relationship he has with you and you’re not keen on them knowing. And there’s also the perception in your dom’s mind that he can’t incorporate more romantic and tender qualities into the dynamic? Have I got that right?
Let’s tackle the first one. You not wanting him to discuss your dynamic is a perfectly reasonable ask. His desire to talk about it is also reasonable. As it’s all new and exciting it can be difficult not to want to shout it from the rooftops!
In these situations, the answer is communication (which I’m sure you know already). You have to sit down with him and state how you are feeling and what you need, in a calm manner. And then wait for his response.
For example, “When you talk to others about our BDSM dynamic I feel uncomfortable and vulnerable because I’m scared it will affect how they relate to me. Could I ask you to not talk to people about it?”
The parts in bold you would replace with your emotions and your rationale for why it makes you feel that way.
Notice how you aren’t saying directly he makes you feel uncomfortable and scared like “you make me uncomfortable when you talk about it”. Instead you are owning your feelings.
Now, he can react in two ways. You’ve made an ask of him, and he has every right to say yes or no to your ask (remember an ask becomes a demand if you won’t accept the answer you don’t want to hear). Listen to his answer. If it’s the one you wanted then all is well.
If it isn’t, then listen to what he has to say. Then try and figure out a compromise that gets both of your needs met.
Throughout all of these discussions your power dynamic needs to be not present. You must both be equal. It can be difficult for some submissives to have these types of discussion because their sense of wanting to please their Dom overrides their wants and needs, and they end up doing whatever the dominant wanted all along.
To help with this, choose to have the talk in an environment which you don’t engage in D/s. For example, don’t do it lying in bed right after sex!
I hope if you follow the advice above you’ll come to an agreement that gets both of your needs met.
Now onto the second challenge. You mention you want him to know this isn’t just for you and you also want him to explore. So my question is: which of you wants the more caring and tender Dom.
I might be mistaken but it sounds like it’s you, not him.
If you had said “my Dom is worried being tender and sensitive isn’t what a Dom is supposed to do” that would be different. It may just be how you phrased the email, but it sounds like he’s enjoying exploring his more aggressive qualities.
Once again I suggest the same approach as above. Sit down and communicate :).
If you need him to be more sensitive and caring then ask for that.
If it genuinely is because he wants it but doesn’t believe that’s how a Dom acts (which is common, as porn never depicts this stuff) then I recommend he reads some of the articles in the Diaries of a Dom section of my site where I talk about how scenes unfold, but also aftercare and general interactions with my sub.
I also highly rate the movie Secretary which in the final few scenes depicts a troubled and sadist Dom showing tenderness and love towards his sub.
By the way, I’m not sure if you’ve seen my sex menu template? It has a list of 350 things to try, but some of those are the more tender things such as hugging, etc.
If you filled it out together it may help him understand more of what you want and see that being a Dom isn’t always about the rough stuff!
I’ve also written here about what being a Dom means to me, and much of it is about a focus on being kind and caring:
I don’t know if they’ll help, but thought I’d include them just in case.
Phew, that was a longer answer than I intended! I really hope it’s given you some food for thought. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know communication is gold in BDSM dynamic, no matter how uncomfortable it can be in the moment.