The fear of getting it wrong: How to turn your greatest weakness into your greatest strength

Overcoming the fear of getting it wrong

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“I don’t know what to do”.

“I can’t be a Dom until I’ve learned everything.”

“How do I start when I don’t have any experience?”

“My partner expects me to be this super Dom but I have no idea what to do”.

“I need to plan everything and get the scene perfect in my head before I do it”.

I’ve heard these phrases from many beginners who want to try out dominance and submission with their partner.

I include myself in this group.

Days before I meet a partner I’m thinking of all the ‘moves’ I’m going to do, all the toys I’m going to use, in what over and at what moment. I rehearse what I’m going to say, thinking through the words carefully in my head.

This approach does work.

It can deliver incredibly effective scenes for your partner.

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But what about you, the do-er?

When it comes time for the sex, you’re so focused on your plan that you fail to savour the moment and really experience the pleasure.

You’re stuck in your head, worrying, fretting.

Am I doing it right?

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives

Are they enjoying this?

What should I do next?

The fear of making a mistake

There are many reasons for being ‘in your head’, especially when engaging in risky sexual activities such as BDSM and dominance and submission.

It is you, the Dominant, who is responsible for the safety of your submission. It is often you who is the one doing the doing.

If you were to abandon all thinking there’s a good chance you’d overstep a boundary, ignore a safeword, or fail to recognise your submissive is in subspace, unable to speak.

However, you can overthink things.

I occasionally receive essays in my inbox from Doms who have meticulously planned elaborate scenes, writing the entire thing out blow by blow (pun intended).

On the one hand, I’m impressed. They clearly care about the pleasure of their submissives.

On the other hand, these are often people who are beginners, who have never engaged in BDSM before!

They have gone way overboard attempting to avoid failure by planning everything.

The problem is they get so caught up in the planning, or worrying they have forgotten something, their confidence is sapped, and they never even get a chance to run the scene with their partner.

It’s not just the Dominants either. Submissives, whilst not planning scenes, have similar concerns about ‘getting it wrong’.

  • What if I do something my Dominant doesn’t like?
  • How do I know what to do then?
  • Am I normal for wanting these things??
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No wonder you can’t fully relax into your submission with all of these thoughts swirling around you head.

Why fearing the worst kills a scene

Have you ever been walking down a flight of stairs, and you get to the last two and think to yourself “Oh look, there are two more steps to go. Brain, don’t do something stupid like think there is only one step left”. And then for some explicable reason, you trip down the last two sets of stairs?

This has happened to me so many times.

Sometimes thinking about what we want to happen interrupts a natural, unconscious process we do many times a day, causing us to fail.

It’s how hypnotists can put people into a trance simply by interrupting a routine handshake.

Overthinking a BDSM scene is the same. Not only will you be so caught up planning it, but by the time you get to perform it, you may end up tripping yourself up.

Not only that but there’s another factor at play.

Your partner can tell when you’re in your head.

They can just feel it.

Everything feels that little bit clunkier.

And guess what – you being in your head gets them wondering why, which gets them in their head.

And then you notice that, and get more into your head, worrying something is wrong.

Which they then notice, and the cycle repeats.

By trying to ensure everything goes right, you end up doing the opposite.

Breaking free

I, therefore, propose to all you overthinking beginner Dominants and submissives, that 2023 be the year of The Grey.

It’s not Black and White. You don’t have to take the All-or-Nothing approach.

Embrace the Grey.

That space where you’ve planned some stuff, but you also allow yourself to focus on your pleasure, going with the flow and doing what feels right in the moment.

That space where it doesn’t matter if the scene isn’t perfect.

That space where it doesn’t matter if nobody orgasms.

That space where you delve a little bit deeper into your dominance, dropping into your body, abandoning your thoughts.

That space where you are still present enough to ensure consent and safety remain front of mind, but everything else can be relaxed.

Accept that not everything will go right, and that’s ok.

Accept that the first time probably won’t be great, and that’s ok.

Know that at some point a safeword may get used because someone got a little carried away – that’s what it is there for.

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You might just find that by doing this you accomplish something which transcends meticulously planned scene.

It’s not easy to find The Grey.

The only way to find The Grey is…well, to be in The Grey.

Get there and stay there as long as you can.

Build up your stamina for The Grey.

Deep down I know my real pleasure lies in The Grey.

This year I want to spend more time in that realm.

I hope you can too.

The Art of Submission. A course for beginner submissives
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