LovingBDSM

The Loving BDSM Podcast

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13 Things New Dominants Need to Know

If we tried to write a totally comprehensive list of everything a new Dominant needs to know, we’d be here for a while. So consider this a “top 13” kind of list. Getting these things right will set you up for success in your D/s relationships. The rest can be learned as you go.

The biggest thing a new Dominant really needs to know, remember, and believe is that your D/s relationship is about you and your submissive. You’re in this together (for as long as you want to be), and what one of you does or doesn’t do impacts both of you.

Communication is Everything

There are only two real “rules” in BDSM or D/s, and one of them is communication. Not only do you need to listen to your submissive, you also need to talk to them, too. No, they should never be expected to “just know” anything. Your submissive won’t know what you don’t tell them — including your expectations, your rules, and your feelings.

You might not be comfortable with communication at first, but this is a learning opportunity. It’s okay that you don’t always know the right words to say. Being willing to sit down, listen to your submissive, and then speak from the heart does more good than saying what you think you’re supposed to say. Be real. Be honest. And speak up.

Always Get Consent

The second “rule” of BDSM is consent. It’s something you should actively seek throughout your relationship. Consent doesn’t stop once your partner agrees to be your submissive. It’s an ongoing, living, breathing, moving thing, and you need to get used to it. Sometimes you’ll hear about “seducing consent” from your submissive. That’s a fun way to do it, for sure. But sometimes you simply have to speak plainly and ask for what you want.

When you do something new, talk about it with your submissive first (remember, communication is everything). If you’re trying a new kinky thing, let your submissive know what to expect — so they can give informed consent. Unless it’s been negotiated earlier, do not “surprise” your partner with something they don’t know about.

Trust Must Be Earned…and Kept

Trust is a funny thing…difficult to earn (for some of us) and easy to lose. The quickest way to lose trust is to lie, disregard consent, and treat your partner like a non-entity. The best way to earn trust is to be honest, communicate openly, and be consistent. You’re asking for control over another human being. Make sure you’re worthy of the trust they’ll be placing in you.

On the other side, you need to be able to trust your submissive, too. This goes beyond not lying to you. You need to know you can rely on them to tell you when things are good and bad. (They should also feel safe to do so, and if they don’t feel safe, it’s important to find out why.)

Check In Regularly

While checking in with your submissive can (and should!) be an everyday thing, I’m specifically thinking about any kinky play. Never rely solely on a safeword or safe gesture (when they’re unable to speak). Yes, have those in place, but don’t wait for them to be used. Especially if either of you are new to each other or the kink you’re trying.

Checking in doesn’t ruin the mood or make you look inadequate or even nervous. It shows that you care about your submissive’s well-being and needs — and that you know the importance of continued consent. You can ask for a color: red means stop, green means keep going, and yellow means slow down. Or you can say, “Is this okay?” or “Should I keep going?”

It’s Okay if You Don’t Feel Confident

As a new Dominant, you aren’t expected to know everything about BDSM or being a Dominant. (No one knows everything about it. We’re all still learning.) Some of the things you’re being asked to do — like take charge of another human being — will be new to you. Feeling unsure of yourself or worrying that you might hurt your partner are normal feelings. They’re actually a great indication that you care about your submissive’s well-being.

Time and experience will grow your confidence more than anything else.

  • Start small and slow in your D/s relationship.
  • Don’t implement too many rules all at once or you’ll overwhelm yourself and your submissive.
  • Ease into new kinky fuckery. Practice first!
  • Talk to your submissive about how you’re feeling.

Don’t Hide Your Emotions

There’s this awful stereotype that Dominants are supposed to be the strong, silent type who never get nervous, scared, or anxious. They never feel any emotion other than confident and in control. Blech. I hate this stereotype.

You’re human. Of course you have emotions! And they don’t have to be hidden from your submissive. In fact, if you’re trying to build trust, get better at communication, and deepen your D/s relationship, they shouldn’t be hidden. So open up. Admit the things that are on your mind. You never know how your submissive may be able to help…or simply be supportive.

You Don’t Have to Wear All Black

(Or leather, latex, or anything you don’t want to wear.)

If you want to wear head-to-toe black when you’re in your Dom gear, go for it. But you don’t have to. If you prefer to wear jeans and a t-shirt, you’re still Dominant. John Brownstone has spanked my ass and helped me remember who I belong to, while wearing his pajamas.

The clothes don’t make the Dom. It’s about what you do and what you say — and how you make your submissive feel, that matters most.

But if leather, latex, or all black help you get into the Dom headspace, go for it. The point is that there are no rules to this, no matter what porn, Tumblr, and others want you to believe.

Remember Your Submissive’s Needs

If your first thought about being a Dominant is that it’s all about you, you’re in for a rude awakening and a lot of broken D/s relationships. Yes, of course, as individuals we want our needs met. But this isn’t all about you. Your D/s relationship is also about your submissive.

It takes both of you to make a D/s relationship work. When you focus on each other’s needs, you have a better chance of success. And yes, it’s sexy for some submissives to focus only on our Dominant’s needs. But that only works long-term if we know our needs are being taken care of too.

Your Title is Earned, Not Demanded

An immediate red flag of a fake “Dominant” is the demand to be addressed by a title. If you’re telling a submissive you just met to call you “Master” or “Sir” or “Mistress” or whatever…you’re doing it wrong. So. Fucking. Wrong.

And, in reality, when you do find a submissive you want to be with, you might decide together to use a different title. Why? Because who you think you are as a Dominant may be completely different as you get to know a submissive. You may find other facets of your kinky personality you didn’t know existed. You also might not care what your submissive calls you…as long as they call you.

Educate Yourself

All kinksters have more success with D/s and BDSM when they educate themselves. Learning together with a partner is fun, but the learning doesn’t stop when you’re single, either. In fact, that’s when you should ramp things up and learn as much as you can — about yourself, about things you want to try, and about the kinky community.

A better informed kinkster is a safer and (sometimes) happier kinkster.

If you’re a new Dominant in a D/s relationship, and your submissive offers resources to you, don’t immediately ignore them. A lot will be learned through doing, but there’s also a lot to learn before, during, and after, too. If you’re a reader, look for books and blogs. For the listeners, there are plenty of podcasts (ahem) out there. And if you prefer to watch, there are YouTube channels devoted to BDSM.  Check out our list of resources to get you started.

Reach Out to the Kink Community

The lone wolf thing we think about some Dominants might seem sexy in erotica, but it can be downright lonely and isolating in real life. If you have access to a local kink community, find an event to attend. Fetlife is great for this with most local groups putting their munches and other events online. This lets you meet other kinksters and realize you’re not alone. It’s also a great way to talk to other new and experienced Doms and educate yourself.

But if all you can do is talk to people online, do that. Avoid those who speak in cliche and stereotype about D/s, though. The people who are most likely living it and may offer real insight don’t do that. They’ll tell you how they do it but that there’s no one right way to be a Dominant or submissive. Most importantly, they feel like real people. And that’s who and what we are…not caricatures in a story, but real people who navigate D/s in our own way.

Remember Your Submissive is Your Partner

As a Dominant, you might have the power and be in control, but your D/s relationship is a partnership. How much so depends on the type of relationship you have. When you’re together, work together. Talk about what’s on your mind. Admit when you’re unsure. Seek their feedback.

Whatever you do as a Dominant and in your D/s relationship is supposed to be good for both of you. But you’re not a mindreader and you shouldn’t make assumptions about what your submissive wants or needs. Yes, you need to get very good at listening and paying attention. You can learn a lot about your submissive that way. But the success of your kinky relationship depends on both of you, so treat your submissive like the partner they are.

Don’t Forget Aftercare

Aftercare is most associated with big BDSM scenes involving lots of heavy play (like impact play). But it’s useful after seriously kinky sexy or a mindfuck scene that involved no nudity or even touching. When you play, always check in with your submissive afterwards. Providing aftercare is unique to the person. Some people want cuddles, hugs, and food. Others want to be left alone with their thoughts. But always talk about it and check in.

Aftercare isn’t just for submissives, either. Don’t be surprised if you feel a little overwhelmed after a scene or good sex. Depending on your play, you may have just physically exerted yourself in new ways. You’ve definitely given your mind a workout. When your submissive checks in and wants to help you later, don’t immediately discount the request. Getting reassurance and other feel good moments may help you remember that you’ve done a good thing that your submissive really wanted.

To the experienced kinksters, what else would you add to this list and why? For new Dominants, are there questions or concerns you have that we didn’t address in this post? Share in the comments below or talk to us on Twitter!

In episode 150, we’re going to focus specifically on confidence in Dominance. Check it out!

Feeling Dominant or Submissive When You’re Single LB149

This week, we’re talking about what it means (and how you can) feel your Dominant or submissive when you’re single. For many of us, D/s is an inherent part of who we are and how we express ourselves. While many of us would prefer to express that side of ourselves in a healthy, happy relationship, it’s possible to get in touch with that part of yourself when you’re single, too.

In this episode:

  • Become a kinky patron on Patreon and help us create more and better kinky content!
  • This episode was suggested by Princess Rara on Twitter. She asked specifically about how to feel submissive when you’re single. We wrote about that in a blog post, but we wanted to talk about both sides of the slash.
  • Feeling Dom or sub outside of a relationship is, in part, about whether you see that as a role you play sometimes or an inherent part of who you are.
  • If it’s an inherent part of who you are, there are a lot of things you can do — but only if they help. If it just depresses you to do, don’t do it.
  • Ideas for submissives
  • Ideas for Dominants
  • Why it matters

Links from the show:

6 Ways to Feel Submissive When You’re Single (blog post)

Follow Princess Rara on Twitter

Become a patron on Patreon

Support the show

Postcard Project

Subscribe on YouTube

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us Twitter

Message or friend us on Fetlife

Contact us!

Sign up for our newsletter

Listen to the show:

iTunes

Google Play

Spotify

Your favorite podcast app!

Watch on YouTube

6 Ways to Feel Submissive When You’re Single

For many of us, being Dominant or submissive isn’t situational. It’s not just about the partner we have or the power exchange we negotiate.  Whether we’re a Dom or a sub, it’s who we are…an inherent part of our nature. You’re not just a Dom when you’re dominating someone else, and you’re not just a submissive when you’re actively submitting.

A lot of submissives ask us (and each other) how to get that sweet, nice, warm, satisfying, etc subby feeling even when they’re single. There is no one right answer, and it depends on your personality, your view of submission, and even why you’re single right now. Painful break-ups can make some of these things more difficult.

But if you want to get in touch with your submissive side while single, here are a few ideas to help you. Shout-out to Princess Rara for this topic idea.

Educate Yourself

None of us should ever stop learning about BDSM, not as long as our interests, kinks, and desires continue to grow. While you’re single, this is a great time to educate yourself about a lot of things: red flags, communication, different kinks and fetishes. You don’t need to be directed by a Dominant partner to go learn about something new. You can (and should!) do it for yourself.

Why does this matter? The more you understand yourself as a submissive, what healthy D/s relationships can look like, and BDSM, the better able you are to see through the wannabes, posers, and fakes. Plus being a knowledgeable kinkster means that you’re able to try new things and explore in new ways once you do have a partner.

Join the Kink Community

It’s scary being new to any group — online or in person. As a submissive, it can feel more daunting because of the expectation you or others might have of how you “should” behave. A single submissive may have to watch out for fakes and “Doms” but you also have a lot more freedom than you realize. You don’t have to follow a protocol set up by your Dominant — you can approach new people, strike up conversations with strangers, and simply be yourself.

(For the record, there’s nothing wrong with being a submissive in a relationship in the community — but some of us do have rules and expectations we set up in our D/s relationships. And sometimes your community will have their own rules or protocols, too.)

If you’re going to a munch for the first time, message the organizers on Fetlife and let them know you’re coming. Most are happy to look out for new people, and especially single submissives. The same is true when you go to a local dungeon or BDSM club. Let someone know you’re coming, and you’ll likely have a welcoming committee or someone to hang out with until you’re comfortable.

Make Kinky Friends

If you’re single because you just went through a D/s break up — which is freaking awful — you know how lonely and isolating it can be. Your vanilla friends and family may not understand why you’re so devastated, even if they know you’re kinky. Having kinky friends (both Dom and sub) that genuinely care for you can help you get through the rough times.

But even if you haven’t gone through a break-up, having your own circle of like-minded friends is a wonderful way to connect to kink and BDSM. You can joke, tease, laugh, and talk about certain things that you might not be able to do anywhere else. Plus, if you do meet someone new, you have a group of people offering support and (maybe) calling you out on your subfrenzy. Which, frankly, we might ignore in the moment, but we usually need.

Negotiate a Scene

In this case, you’re more of a bottom than a submissive, but if negotiating a scene lets you experience something you haven’t done in a while or that you crave, titles are meaningless. Bottom or submissive, you’re getting something that makes you feel good. While you can do  kinky things to yourself, sometimes it feels good to have someone do it to you.

If you’re out in your local community and have met a few people you trust, this may not be as hard as you imagine. Set ground rules. Establish limits. Discuss safety and aftercare. And don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for yourself before, during, and after your scene.

I’d recommend watching your potential top do a scene with someone else before you negotiate your own thing. Most Doms or tops can and will adapt their play to the person they’re with. But watching helps you  get a sense of whether they understand safety, know how to use the toys, and care about their partner.

Give Your Sexual Fantasies Free Reign

Okay, this one assumes some level of sexual activity or desire from you in the form of masturbation (and not everyone wants that) but if you enjoy it, it might be what you need. Maybe watch porn, read erotica, or just let your fantasies run wild while you use a sex toy, touch yourself, or simply give yourself a mental sexual thrill. Imagine all the things you might do as a sub in a D/s relationship. What would you say? Would you kneel? What are your subby kinks?

Should you fantasize about a former partner/Dominant? Only if you feel good when you do it. If the thought of that person sends you spiraling down into loneliness or any other negative emotion, think about someone else. Back in the day, my fantasy Dom was usually faceless but he (and sometimes she) said all the right things.

Do Whatever Makes You Feel Submissive

Is there a collar (that’s not filled with painful memories of a former partner) you always love wearing? Do you enjoy wearing corsets, latex, or leather? Are there activities that get you in touch with certain aspects of your submission? For me, those are the things that make me feel my babygirl side — animated movies, knee socks, and giggling over silly things.

Whatever those things are that put you in touch with your submissive side, feel free to do them — for yourself. You don’t have to do them for a Dominant in order for them to be valid. They only have to be meaningful to you. But also, be honest with yourself…if they cause you pain because you’re doing them alone, let them go until you’re ready to do them (if you ever are).

Some submissives, when they’re single, don’t want to focus on D/s or their submission. That’s okay, too. You need to do what makes you comfortable and happy. If you think one of these activities will help, and it only makes you feel worse, stop. Don’t force yourself to do it and feel miserable the whole time. But if it makes you feel good and you enjoy it, go for it!

In episode 149, we’re discussing how to feel your Dominant or submissive self even when you’re single.

Okay, for my single submissive friends (or those who have been single in the past) what do you do to feel more submissive when you’re not in a D/s relationship? Share in the comments below or talk to us on Twitter!

 

What It’s Like to Hide My Happy Poly Relationship

Last year, the story of my life altered forever. On a November day, my Sir told me he wanted me to move to his city when I completed school. To be a tangible part of each other’s lives. In one day, the solitary future I’d anticipated changed completely. Instead, I chose a future that included him. And not just him! But also his live-in lady, his Most Significant Other. Plus their mini-menagerie of cute pets.

I was cautious at first. Was he joking? Daydreaming? If I took it seriously would he freak out?

A few hours later I asked, “…how much did you mean about me living there?”

“Every bit of it,” he promised.

Moving for Love

Then everything started to really change. It had been changing incrementally in the previous months. When we started texting every day. When we started beginning and ending our days with emoji kisses attached to “good mornings” and “sleep wells”. But that was when everything started moving beyond the electronic screen. A transition where the feelings and bond we’d been developing could manifest in the real world.

Ironically, this was also when the hiding began.

For professional and familial reasons, we can’t be out except to a miniscule list of trustworthy friends. My Sir and his lady have to seem monogamous to the rest of the world. Until I am lucky enough to have a primary, I appear to all the world as ‘single’.

Not openly sharing an online relationship is easy and perhaps largely appropriate. It’s even more true when the two of you live far apart and connected in the first place through FetLife.

Built-In Support

It’s less easy to explain why you’ve suddenly decided not to go off to live in a cabin in the Oregonian woods after grad school and instead will embrace your full potential, pursuing a career in a big city on the opposite coast. It wasn’t a huge leap. It was a good fit for my profession. I had friends from my undergrad days in the area. There were relatives nearby. But the switch still slightly confuses my mom.

Some of my excitement and confidence to take on this adventure had to be dampened. My Sir had encouraged and mentored me as I grew through my studies and ambitions. I knew I would have a significant other and his other significant other waiting there to support me (when I first met my Sir’s lady, she gave me a great big hug). These were amazing forces enabling me on this path. And no one could know.

Now I’m in a new apartment with a new job, adapting to and exploring this new home. Am I also having more sex and kinky fun than I’ve had in years? You better believe it! But even better: I’m doing all of this with someone cheering me on. I have a close friend, a great mentor, a cuddle buddy, someone to exchange “I love yous” with. It’s wonderful. It’s transforming my life for the better.

Hiding Our Poly Life

But we’re still trying to figure out how this new life can continue while shielding ourselves. We’ve been discussing ‘cover stories’ about how we met for social events. We can’t decide on one. Evasions and omissions are one thing. An outright lie is another. Let alone one you have to keep straight between three people.

My mom and I are quite close. She’s been worried about me coming out here, starting almost from scratch. I’ve kept my mom largely in the dark about my support system here. I tell my mom “I went out with friends last night” or “Don’t worry about me being sick, I have friends that will check up on me.” What that actually means is “I’m having fun with and being taken care of by this amazing person that you will never ever know about.”

I think my mom would like to know that I’m seeing someone. She would like to know that I’m being looked after in this new big city. I don’t think she’d like to know that person also has a live-in girlfriend. Even if said girlfriend is absolutely lovely and they have a pair of adorable dogs.

Sharing My Joy and Happiness

There is a lot of prejudice against what many see as a ‘closed loop’ relationship, the one that can’t spiral upward with societal relationship ‘achievements’. The non-monogamous relationship. The “it’s just sex” relationship. There’s a prejudice that the only worthwhile relationships are ones that have a prescribed potential story arc: meet, love, move in, marry, kids, death. Investment in a relationship without that potential on the table is seen as a waste. Instead, the plot line of multiple relationships is assumed and seemingly preferred to be ripe with conflict and unhappy endings. Outright infidelity is easier to talk about than successful non-monogamy.

Why do we have to hide these joys? Sharing pieces of yourself with another. Growing in trust, respect, and love. Finding support when you need it most. The different stories that are just as worthy, the endings that are just as happy, are unacceptable to tell.
Some would say supportively: “Well it’s nobody’s business but yours.”

It’s true. Sure, no one really needs to know about when Sir chained me to the futon and fed me sushi (but let me tell you it was super fun!). However, it’s unfortunate to not be able to share, to celebrate what we’ve found and are enjoying. It feels deeply invalidating of our happiness. It adds stress that isn’t fair for us to endure.

And there’s the tiny but real possibility that it won’t always be about hiding happiness. Suppose we break up? Worse, what if one of us gets hit by a bus? We’d have to squirrel away that whirlwind of feelings everyone else has a right to openly express during heartbreak and loss. Another story that we’ll never be able to tell.

Currently, our story is: we’re happy. But to the larger world, the story is: just not the ‘right’ kind of happy.

About Bittersweet Mercy

Bittersweet Mercy is a bi and bold millennial who tries to save the world under one name by day and at night writes, performs stand up, and plays under aliases. She is greatly enjoying her new life in the DC area.

Jealousy in D/s Relationships LB148

Most of us use the term “jealousy” as a catch-all for worry, envy, insecurity and other negative feelings in a relationship. So let’s talk about what we mean when we say we’re feeling “jealous” and how we can deal with it in a D/s relationship.

In this episode:

  • This episode was suggested by Precious who specifically asked about how Doms deal with jealous submissives, but it’s such a big topic, we didn’t want to focus on just that.
  • Jealousy impacts both sides of the D/s slash.
  • It’s a catch-all word we use, but there are two parts to it: envy and insecurity.
  • Envy isn’t just what you feel when you’re single and want a partner and everyone else has their perfect D or s. It happens in relationships too.
  • If you don’t talk about envy, it can fester and breed resentment — hurting your relationship.
  • Insecurity is much more common and tends to come from fear and bad tapes.
  • It can lead to dangerous, abusive situations though.

Links from the show:

5 Signs of Unhealthy Insecurities in D/s Relationships (blog post)

Understanding Bad Tapes in Your D/s Relationship (podcast)

Professor Sex

Loving BDSM Resource Page

Become a patron on Patreon

Support the show

Postcard Project

Subscribe on YouTube

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us Twitter

Message or friend us on Fetlife

Contact us!

Listen to the show:

iTunes

Google Play

Spotify

Your favorite podcast app!

Watch on YouTube

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