I have a dozen or so folks email me on a fairly regular basis. Most are women, but a few are men and even couples. And most of them reach out for my thoughts on improving their DD dynamic. Some are newbies struggling to calibrate their needs and desires with those of their partner while others are veterans who have hit a snag for various reasons.
I don’t consider myself an “advice” type person. I mean, I have opinions and ideas, but relationships in general are far too complex for me to give anyone solid advice via email. But squishy advice? Sure! LOL. Seriously. It’s even more difficult with the extra helpings of insecurities, guilt, longing, and frustration that often come with Domestic Discipline or Dom/sub dynamics or anything but straight vanilla stuff.
COMMUNICATE: Calibrate / be Vulnerable!
The biggest challenge I hear about is in calibration – the needs of one person is not being met. Typically, the lack of agreement as to what one is willing to give to the other person is because neither person has clearly articulated their needs and desires. It’s impossible to reconcile this if someone isn’t being honest with their feelings.
The answer isn’t about trying to persuade the other person into your way of thinking. Doing so could set the stage for resentment that would eventually rear it’s head somewhere down the line. It isn’t about persuading, but about explaining. In my experience, a loving couple is always able to work out something that satisfies both people. It just takes real talking. It’s that vulnerability thing I post about all the time. Open communication that exposes all of you, your thoughts, your dreams, your desires. The more vulnerable people are to each other, the closer they become and the easier it is to calibrate each others needs and each others ability to fulfill those needs.
It often means one or both people have to adjust their expectations regarding what they truly want and what they are willing to give to the other person. Such adjustments aren’t made through force or surrender, but through love and understanding. Of course, some relationships can only take that so far. It’s no different than any other aspect of a relationship. If something is of paramount importance and is unfilled, well, the relationship can just erode to shit.
Contrary to what most people think, it isn’t uncommon for the Dom to be the reluctant one at the start of a DD journey. They fear becoming an arrogant self-absorbed sadistic dickhead. Too many people equate being a Head of Household or Dom to being some or all those things. If that is their fear, they have a gross misconception on what their role should be.
To truly be a leader of the household, you have to be a good listener, and demonstrate skills like consistency, empathy, conscientiousness, wisdom, assertiveness, self-assurance, tough mindedness, high standards, and emotional strength and stability. See, pretty easy, huh?
Of course, that’s not easy. I wrote of this over three years ago in 160. I’ll take you to my Leader. It isn’t easy for men who have never been asked to be that type of person in their marriage or relationship.
Then, to add to their challenges, I find that way too often the sub will undermine the very dynamic they are asking for. It’s like telling your mate you want “z” from them and every time they give you “z” you disapprove and say, “How dare you?” Then you start complaining that they aren’t being consistent in giving you “z.”
And sometimes it is subtle. And that’s where I thought I could throw in some tips that can help ensure you aren’t unintentionally undermining the leadership of your Dom.
TIPS FROM JEN (and elsewhere)
I did a web search for inspiration to help me succinctly organize my thoughts, else this would be just another long ass post of Jen ramblings. [Hmmm, Jen. Too late, it already is]. Who said that?
Anyway, I came across a site that so aptly explained things, that instead of “borrowing heavily” (i.e. copying a lot), I felt it best to just link you there.
GIRL GAME: Encouraging your Captain to Lead, from The Red Pill Room.
This site isn’t being kept up, but it is full of great content. That particular post from 2014 is spot on regarding things a submissive does that undermines her Dom. I am not saying there aren’t things a Dom can do that undermines his authority, but perhaps that will be for another post. This one is about things the sub can do to ensure they aren’t undermining their Dom.
Oh, quick disclaimer. I know my writing, as well as that Red Pill site, write from the perspective of the woman as the submissive. I don’t do that in ignorance that such relationships can have the genders in any role. It’s just as a woman who is a submissive wife, the submissive female happens to be the perspective I know best and from which I write.
To summarize and comment on the Red Pill Room post:
- Make your expectations clear
This may sound like a very UN-submissive thing, but it is actually very submissive in that it shows you respect his leadership and are reinforcing that it is something you cherish.
- No wrong answers
Men can be tentative, especially at the beginning of a DD journey. That tentativeness can result in their feeling rejected anytime you correct them. A big reason couples fail early on in DD is that the Dom is made to feel like they are doing it all wrong.
- No backseat driving
Similar to #2, once he has decided something, don’t pick at it, don’t alter it, don’t add to it. Just comply.
That doesn’t mean you can’t clarify in order to ensure you understood his intentions. But there are ways to frame your questions such that they sound condescending or infer your rejection. For example, “What does THAT mean?” Ug. No good. Instead, offer your meaning to him and let him clarify, reject, or accept it. “What I understood that to mean is …. is that correct?”
Oh, make that, “Is that correct, Sir.” hee-hee.
#2 and #3 is where I found Maintenance to be of vital importance. If there is something I take exception to, or feel I need to better understand, I try to never question it in the moment. In the moment I comply because my compliance reinforces his leadership. Days later, at Maintenance, I can then ask, “Do you remember when you asked me to do x? I was wondering….” Respectful questions and inquiry are tremendously helpful in building his confidence and giving him the ability to improve without you explicitly directing that improvement.
- Failure is part of the process.
Success is never final, and failure is never fatal. We learn the most from failures. He can fail without feeling he is being a dick if we encourage his leadership and stay positive and stay focused on the successes.
- Reward and Support
Celebrate and reward victories! Reinforce all the behaviors you seek from your man. As for the defeats? Don’t rehash them. Instead, use them as opportunities to strengthen his leadership because if you accept his mistakes, he will gain confidence to take your dynamic to more victories.
It fits in with my Golden Rule of DD as shared in 158. Jen’s Simple Tips & Golden Rule of DD. That Golden Rule is that those embarking on this dynamic should always recognize the efforts and performance of the other. For the Dom, that means giving praise. For the Sub, it means giving thanks.
The fulfillment you should get from your dynamic is far greater than the agony of some temporary defeat. If that’s not the case, then clearly there are things the relationship needs to work on. And yes, maybe, just maybe, this dynamic isn’t for you.
Some people just like the “idea” of it, but none of the reality. If so, then relegate it to a part-time/kinky thing or simply fantasy. Nothing wrong with that! The point in a relationship is to find ways to fulfill each other and to have fun in exploring what fulfills the both of you, even if there are some missteps along the way.
And whether you agree with my lifestyle or not, taking the plunge into Domestic Discipline has been the most fulfilling adventure of my life. . . besides motherhood.