Q&A: How Do I Stop Feeling Nervous About Submitting to My Dominant?

For first-time submissives or even those entering a D/s relationship after a break (or a break-up), I think it’s normal to feel nervous. Especially if you’ve had to spend any time of your life being in charge or taking care of yourself. So if you’re facing a power exchange relationship, and you’re feeling scared about submission, you’re definitely not alone. This is the question we received most recently about this:

How do I get over my nervousness and stop feeling scared of giving up control as a submissive?

If you’re a relatively new submissive or this is a new D/s relationship, and you’re not a little nervous, I’ve got questions. Like…have you heard of subfrenzy?

So yes, it’s not unusual to be nervous, and I think you’re showing a bit of wisdom if you are. Giving up power and control to another human being requires trust and confidence — in them, if not yourself. In new situations, this change ought to make you at least a little nervous.

That being said, if your fears and nerves are stopping you from taking the next step, here are a few things you can do.

Keep Building Trust

As someone with personal walls a mile thick and a lot of trust issues, I’m never going to shame anyone for needing time. Time to build trust and feel comfortable. It’s very possible that you’re just not ready yet, and you need more time to feel confident that your Dominant partner won’t hurt or betray you.

If, like me, you do have serious trust issues — due to bad tapes or a previous broken heart — let your partner know you’re not quite ready. Look for patterns in their behavior. Talk about your concerns. Watch their reactions. Over time, a partner who’s actively trying to gain your trust will be consistent and dependable. (Or they’ll at least try to be…no one’s perfect.)

Start Slow and Small

Eventually, as long as this is a person you want to submit to, you may just need to take a leap of faith. But you don’t have to jump off the side of a mountain into a 24/7 power exchange. Your leap doesn’t have to be epic to count.

Instead of agreeing to a lot of rules and a complicated protocol, start with one thing. Maybe you’ll send a text message at the same time every day. Maybe you’ll ask for permission before a specific activity.

This allows you to test submission out and figure out how you feel — and how your partner handles being the Dominant. Don’t judge your entire D/s experience on how you handle one task. Sometimes the first thing we try isn’t the right thing for us. It’s not about how well you perform or if that act of submission fits you perfectly. It’s more about how you feel about giving up control and how your partner handles their power over you.

Talk to Your Partner

Thinking you need to keep your fears to yourself will only cause more problems. You’re not weak or a fake submissive just because you’re nervous. You’re human.

But if you don’t tell your partner how you feel, they’re going to try to move forward based on the assumption that you’re both on the same page. If you agree to something as a submissive, but your fears stop you from acting, your Dominant will be rightly upset — but not at the correct thing. They’ll think you didn’t do what you agreed to do or that you don’t want this dynamic. It’s your responsibility to tell them how you really feel.

If you open up and explain your fears, then they can adjust their expectations. This is an opportunity to learn how they react when you share your feelings. (If it’s not a good reaction, that’s something else to deal with — and maybe you were right to be nervous about submitting.)

Ultimately, I think it’s a normal reaction to be a little nervous about doing something new, like submission. It’s also understandable that you might be fearful if you’ve gone through heartbreak or dealt with bad/fake Doms in the past. Only you can decide if you’re ready to move forward, but you don’t have to jump in with both feet. Sometimes dipping a toe into submission is a much better (and smarter) option.

Want to know more? Check out these resources:

How to Feel More Submissive

Why Patience is Important in D/s

Going Slow and Having Patience in D/s Relationships (podcast)

Myths Submissives Believe About Themselves (podcast)

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