If you wouldn't mind, suck my peepee, woman of ill-repute.
February 25, 2011 9:14 AM   Subscribe

How do I act more controlling in bed?

It seems to be a trend that the women I'm attracted to (or at least end up sleeping with) "like it rough" or want me to be controlling in a more general way. As in giving orders, light hair pulling, arm pinning, etc. The trouble is, I'm perhaps overly sensitive to actually hurting someone or forcing them to do something they don't want to do. As in, I'm unwilling to risk either. It's not that I'm averse to the idea of power play being a possible part of a healthy relationship or that the idea doesn't turn me on.

I have a fair bit of experience with light bondage, but how do I get comfortable with freeform domination? I don't think anyone concerned is looking for gimp masks and whips, just exercising a degree of physical and mental control that I'm unused to wielding on someone for who I care a great deal.

So, any advice?

P.S. Sorry this is anonymous, but, you know, TMI for some of my real world associates who are on here.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (13 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

SM101, The Loving Dominant, and The Control Book are the standard texts.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:21 AM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

Ask her what she likes, and what her limits are.

Talk about this in a non-horizontal, non-naked setting where things are casual and you have coffee. Be open, maybe do a little research beforehand so you have examples to throw out. She might be shy and need coaxing, she might be up-front about what she likes. Work out a safe-word even if you're not exploring the deep end.

This way you know what she likes, what she doesn't like. This way when you get aggressive in bed, you can be pleased because you know it's pleasing her. This way you're confident and deliberate, which is always sexy in bed.
posted by Mercaptan at 9:25 AM on February 25, 2011

The trouble is, I'm perhaps overly sensitive to actually hurting someone or forcing them to do something they don't want to do.

Ah, but anything she really doesn't want you to do she will tell you about before hand, yes, when you have a relaxed chat about things over coffee with your clothes on, yes? And she'll have a safe word or other sort of tap-out that lets you know when to stop? These things are as much for your comfort as for hers. (A lot of people forget this.)

exercising a degree of physical and mental control that I'm unused to wielding on someone for who I care a great deal.

Ah, but she really wants you to do it! Doing what somebody likes in bed is a great way of showing that you care, like getting their car valeted or cooking them their favourite meal. It's also a great way of showing trust - if you're an intelligent person, and you sound like you are, you wouldn't be more controlling in bed with someone you didn't trust and who didn't trust you, yes?

Anyway, hop on over to the black - that's People from Metafilter on FetLife, make a nice anonymous account, and feel free to ask us questions and read information on all of this stuff.

seriously, they're going to have to start teaching this stuff in health class at school soon!
posted by By The Grace of God at 9:28 AM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

Good advice so far, and of course a safe word, agreed to early on, can be freeing for both of you. You'll know you're okay as long as she does not feel the need to use it and she can feel safe knowing it's there in case things get too intense for her.
posted by misha at 9:28 AM on February 25, 2011

Oh, here's a little justification - if you're attracted to women that like it rough, it's most likely a good thing that you're interested in making them happy. That makes you a good guy. Have a cookie :)
posted by By The Grace of God at 9:34 AM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

The way I ended up easing that kind of play into my comfort zone was to create a persona. There is a fair amount of theater in D/s play (uh, please insert "speaking for myself" when I make a comment like that) and part of getting used to it is to jump in and start. The acting has to come from within, though. In brief - identify what it is that you object to in that kind of play, then imagine who would be like you who did not have such an objection, and write that person's character notes. See what kind of shift it would take for you to be more like that person.

I took a course in this kind of persona-generation.

After a time, I think you do not take on the character of the persona, what happens is that the walls around your comfort zone move or diminish in size.

Seconding "People from Metafilter on Fetlife.
posted by jet_silver at 9:35 AM on February 25, 2011

People new to dominance often fear that they will "lose control" - given a little more power, they feel they might go overboard. This is a reasonable concern, especially when there may already be some inequalities in size or strength between partners... so good for you for considering them!

A few things that might help:
  1. First, whatever you do in bed is done as much for your partner as for yourself. You are not "imposing your will" on another (even if, during play, it might appear that way.) You are responding to hints, clues, and enthusiastic responses to bring more pleasure to your partner. It might (ideally should) thrill you too - and you should always be enjoying yourself - but it's not all about you. There's little danger of power-tripping if you keep this in mind.
  2. Go slow. Because this stuff is exciting, there's a temptation to dive in deep. Take it a few steps at a time. There's many variations with spanking alone, for example.
  3. Talk. A lot. Communicate beforehand - safe words, as mentioned above - but also talk after. Post-care is really important, and insightful. Find out what worked, what she wants more of, what could be different.
  4. Associated with the above: this stuff is 50% mental. What is going on inside her head is just as important as any physical sensation. Whisper thoughts in her ear and see how she responds.
Primarily, have fun. One possible clue: if neither of you can laugh in joy or pleasure sometime during play, you're probably doing it wrong. If both of you are laughing and smiling, even even things get rougher, that's a really good sign.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:00 AM on February 25, 2011 [8 favorites]

As an FYI lots of women like a guy to take charge in bed and are not at all into the trappings of BDSM. So don't start chatting about "safe words" and bondage until you're sure its not going to be a huge turnoff.
posted by fshgrl at 10:18 AM on February 25, 2011 [7 favorites]

Spend some time searching AskMe under different terms (eg "dominant," "kink," etc) -- this is a question that has been asked before, and some of the previous answers might be quite useful. Here is one (from a female perspective, but a lot still applies) back in 2007; here is one from earlier this year that is really close to your question; there are plenty of others.

Fetlife can be a useful place, and you can be as anonymous as you want. Come say hi at the MeFi group.

The trouble is, I'm perhaps overly sensitive to actually hurting someone or forcing them to do something they don't want to do.

Sex isn't good unless it's good for the other person, too. These women are telling you how to make it good for them. So if it helps to have some random internet person telling you that acting slightly more dominant in bed is ethical, moral, and a shit-ton of fun, let me be that person.

You avoid hurting them by, well, not hurting them. There's all the difference in the world between spanking someone's ass just hard enough to make it red, and hauling off and punching them in the gut. And you avoid forcing someone to do something they don't want to do by making sure to communicate really, really well. That means talking before, during, and after, as well as being totally in tune with their non-verbal communications throughout. And it means having some kind of "safeword," so they can say "no no no" without things stopping, but they always have an ironclad, 100 percent guaranteed way to make things stop instantly, no questions asked.

In case you hadn't noticed the theme here, there's an irony in that the person who is "dominant" is actually in the position of making sure that the supposed "submissive" is enjoying themselves, is within the limits of their tolerances and interests, and is feeling safe and can stop things at any minute. It can be a lot of work, and sometimes you can feel the responsibility. The submissive gets to let go, the dominant always has to have the bigger picture in mind, and be more aware of the other person's reactions and feelings, rather than just letting loose.

In other words, it's cool if this isn't you. Maybe you are somehow ending up with women who want XYZ, while you really want ABC. That doesn't make you a dull, vanilla, unexciting person. Your sexuality is your own, and is as rich and vibrant as anyone else's, whether or not you want to tie people up and treat them like dirty sluts.
posted by Forktine at 10:18 AM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

When you're talking about what would be fun for both of you, perhaps suggest being more verbally commanding vs. physical? I have some friends who *love* being told to put their hands above their heads and keep them there. Also, switching - being dominated would probably give you a lot of insight into what your partners like and some into what it feels like to be on the sub side of the equation.
posted by momus_window at 10:25 AM on February 25, 2011

I second what fshgrl wrote - there are lots of gradations of control. It can be really sexy when someone is so enthusiastic that he is naturally in charge in that moment. This feeling of being devoured, that the other person can't resist you, might be what is meant by some of the women who are talking to you about wanting to relinquish control. I have yet IRL to explore any formalized S & M, not sure it's my thing, but being made to feel irresistible by someone just on the verge of not being able to control himself - that is appreciated once in awhile, to be sure. Control in some cases might be confident, directed enthusiasm as opposed to, for example, the use of any physical instruments, so communication is key.
posted by analog at 2:38 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

The appeal in control/rough play is often not a lean to explicit BDSM but a desire for more intense sexual experiences. I do think this is a different dynamic and safe words, etc. would likely be out of place here. Really I find fshgrl's answer on point.

A partner "taking charge" is not necessarily a call for domination/humiliation from the other partner but more for the opportunity to suspend thought - permission to get caught up in something more primal. I would say the idea is more like that the more aggressive partner is being somewhat selfish, carried away enough by the lust the other partner provokes to just go for exactly what s/he wants - confident but respectful but losing control with the force of desire, sort of thing.

I think it's important to not impose a generic "kinky fantasy" trapping on your partner when you amp it up like this - don't automatically think she wants you to call her a whore/slut or be spanked because she is naughty, etc. Some people get into those clichés... to other people they're crappy clichés and they can take you right out of the moment, or become something to be endured/ignored to get to the good stuff. Not to mentions someone who likes it rough may well want to resist your commands and/or rough you up right back, hair pull for hair pull, smack for smack, bite for bite.

It's good to work it up slowly and gauge her responses. Kiss, then a rougher kiss, then kiss with a light hair pull, pull harder. Roll her over, hold her wrists, kiss, begin touching all over while holding her down. Watch her. At any point if you're doing what she wants, it's probably going to be really obvious - she'll lean into it, writhe, moan louder, do it back to you. And if she's not into it, it's probably going to be really obvious too - she'll wince, or do it but not moan/say anything. If you move to smacking, spanking, or biting, start light, and make sure she seems to be into that before continuing. Verbally, focus on how you feel ("god, you feel so good, you're so hot, you're making me so hot, I'm dying to fuck you, I can't hold back, tell me how much you want me too" etc.).

Don't lash out and don't force; don't jump from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds. Build each thing on the next, keep amping it up, and follow your partner's cues. It's quite likely if you keep it verbal she's going to respond pretty clearly and follow up on what she likes. And talk afterwards too; post-coital sex talk is great. Ask her what she liked, what she would like to try again, what she would like harder or nastier, what words she prefers.
posted by flex at 2:46 PM on February 25, 2011 [10 favorites]

*That should be "tell me how much you want it too". Nitpick, but it's a detail that counts - the confidence to make your partner ask, or beg for what they want.
posted by flex at 2:50 PM on February 25, 2011

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