Q&A: I Have a Hard Time Asking My Dominant for What I Want

We know, from experience, that when one kinkster has a question, others can benefit from the answer. Going forward, we’ll answer the questions we receive in a blog post or podcast episode, so everyone can benefit from the answer. Plus, we’re only one perspective, so we hope others with their own experience will comment below to share what they’ve done or how they handled a problem.

Now, to the question:

I have a hard time asking for what I want from my Dominant. For me, it’s a mix of confidence and anxiety. Do you have any advice that I could use to help myself ask for what I want?

The best answer I have, as a fellow submissive who lacked confidence in the beginning of my D/s relationship, is time. You need time to grow into your power exchange and to learn to trust your Dominant. A lack of confidence and feeling anxious show that you’re likely worried about the outcome of expressing yourself: rejection, receiving questions you can’t answer, being laughed at, something. Once you learn that your worst fears won’t happen, it’s easier to feel more confident and less anxious. That often requires time and experience.

That being said, it takes much more than just time. Asking for what you want and need is a skill, like any other. You’ll only get better with practice. There are a few ways to start small and slowly work up to asking with ease (or at least a lot less anxiety):

Write down your thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs.

You don’t have to be a professional writer, and your grammar and spelling don’t matter. This is meant to help you organize your thoughts. You can also edit yourself when you’re done so you make yourself as clear as possible. Take as much time as you need to get it all out of your head and onto a screen or a piece of paper. Once you feel like it’s as clear as you can make it, give it or send it to your partner and let them know you’d like them to read.

Once you do, be patient with them. They need time to read it and process what you’ve said.

Tell your Dominant you’re struggling.

Instead of worrying about telling them what you want, tell your partner you’re struggling to express yourself. You’re communicating your concerns in a way that lets them know what’s happening and that you can talk through together.

If you’re a Dominant who’s on the receiving end of this, listen more than you speak and ask questions instead of immediately trying to “fix” your submissive’s problem. Ask why they feel anxious or what they’re worried will happen. Find out what’s going on in their mind when they imagine talking about their desires or needs with you. From there, it may be easier to formulate a plan.

For submissives, if your Dominant asks these questions, do your best to answer them. You can’t correct a problem until you’re willing to talk about it.

Start with one desire, want, or need.

You’re not the only person who would be overwhelmed if you blurted out every single kinky desire you’ve got. Your Dom would likely be unable to keep it all straight or feel like they have to learn or do it all now. (Pro tip: submissives aren’t the only ones who lack confidence or get nervous about D/s). So instead of telling yourself you have to declare EVERYTHING you want, start with one thing.

Doing this helps you learn how your partner handles your desires. This adds to the experience of learning to trust them with your feelings and emotions. Assuming they handle your needs with care, you’ll learn they’re a safe person to trust other wants and needs with, too.

Use a BDSM checklist.

BDSM checklists are a great tool for new D/s relationships, but they can be used by anyone at anytime. Instead of having a really intimate conversation at first, you can remove yourself from the moment a bit by looking at a list on a piece of paper. You’re not sharing all your sexual secrets, you’re simply discussing items on a list that you may or may not want to try in the future. This also helps your Dominant figure out what kinky activities to start with and where your boundaries lie. BDSM checklists provide guidance and make it easier to express the things you’d both like to experience — with a little less pressure.

If you subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you get a free checklist.

Hopefully that helps! If you’ve been in this situation as a submissive, comment and share what you did to overcome anxiety and finally tell your Dominant exactly what you want.

Have your own question? Ask us here!

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