How can we both tie each other up?
October 30, 2012 9:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm submissive. He's submissive. Now what?

We're both fairly sexually inexperienced in real life, but have indulged in quite a bit of kinky porn/erotica/whatever. We've had (highly highly vanilla and really not that good) sex a few times, but finally got comfortable enough to talk about what we're into recently.

I love being told what to do, restrained, whatever. I've really only done that with one other person, and it was rad, but still, my experience is so limited. He really digs dominant women, and I'm not even really comfortable having vanilla sex on top - I get so self conscious.

I'm worried that this will turn into an incompatibility that will destroy our relationship (which has been going really, really well otherwise, and is new territory for both of us). I think we're both GGG, but not really into it, if that makes sense. Plus, we're both really new to this, so specific acts/scripts are welcome.

Any tips?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Maybe take some acting classes? Playing is all about acting, whether you are furries or whatever.
posted by JJ86 at 9:06 AM on October 30, 2012

Take turns? Neither my wife and I would identify as sub or dom, but we definitely have times when we take on those personas, depending on what the other person is in the mood for. If you put in an honest effort to "fake it 'til you make it" you might find you come to enjoy the dominant aspect as well.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:40 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd say save your $$$ and then visit a dom who can give you both pointers/lessons.

You can take turns.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:48 AM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm a switchy-to-sub guy. Most of my partners have been switchy-to-sub women. Often my failures to top are from simply not knowing what to do, rather than not being interested. When neither of us are up to topping the other, this is what we've done:

The person who's being tied up instructs the other person on how they want to be restrained/dominated. You can do this while in progress, but in more complex scenarios, its sometimes helpful to have something thought out (and written down, if you're embarrassed by it) so the other person can "get into character," so to speak.

If you feel selfconscious when topping, would blindfolding him help?
posted by modernserf at 10:45 AM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

When my partner and I got together 19 years ago, I told him that I was strictly a bottom. This turned out not to be true; we happily switch. For me, it was partly serendipity that I was able to top him, just being able to tune into that part of myself. But it was partly a willingness to try. You might try experimenting with just a little of this or that at a time, with no expectations for a full sexual encounter. Or look at written or video porn and try to see yourself in the top; what seems hot from that perspective?

I think one of the keys to good sex is getting over that self-consciousness you talk about. That was harder for me when I was young. Maybe some exercises where he's looking at you, you know he's looking at you (can be very hot for a bottom!) and you're just getting used to being in the limelight. Lighting can make a big difference--enough to see, warm, but not too bright. Candles or the classic red cloth thrown over a lamp. If you feel self-conscious, a blindfold on him could be a good idea. Anything that will push you just a little bit, not too much at once, but help you build confidence that you can be exposed and it is safe and OK.

Another thing: my partner and I recently embarked on a very fruitful era of new exploration. Some things we did:

1. Promised each other that we could stop whenever one of us wanted or needed to.

2. Promised to take care of each other emotionally if that happened--no stopping and dropping out. Instead, if we need to stop, we cuddle up immediately, pet each other, talk about it, talk about feelings, reassure each other that we're there for each other and everything is OK.

3. Talked in advance about the reality that some things won't work out, or will be awkward when we try them. We have had some laughably awkward moments trying new positions, or when he tried to tie me up in a certain way and it didn't work because the rope wasn't long enough for my big meaty thighs. We've tried a couple of things that one or the other of us went "meh" about, and a couple of things where we said, "I'm going to have to try that a few more times before I can make up my mind," and some things that we have known right away we wanted to add to the regular rotation.

4. We made lists! We made three lists each: "I know I like to do these things." "I would like to try these things." "I fantasize about these things but am pretty sure I don't actually want to do them." I added a fourth item: Something I knew from a lifetime of experience that there was no way I was going to do. But he put it on his "like to try" list. So one night when I was feeling very brave, we tried it, in a very low-pressure way, just a little taste. And it was OK. So we tried it again. After some experimentation, it became one of my favorite things. I find it so hot now that I worry I will bore him by doing it too much. For me, being able to try it in a low-pressure environment, where I knew it really really really would be OK if I ended up saying, "OK, I tried it, I'm not into it, I don't want to do it again" let me put down my defenses and find the part of me that was really into it.

This kind of advice is very hard to give because I"m not sure how what works for one couple will scale to other couples. My partner and I had issues that made sex challenging sometimes, and a lot of advice that focused on "do this," or "do that," would not have been helpful to us because we had an underlying dynamic we had to figure out how to handle first. And everybody's temperament and history are different. That's why I mostly focused on "this is what worked for us," and maybe as you read it something will resonate with you. Or maybe not. Either way, I wish you and your partner the very best as you work on this.
posted by not that girl at 11:54 AM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you're both that inexperienced, I don't think you should write off the possibility that the real reason you are both drawn to bottoming right now is that it's a lot less terrifyingly proactive than topping. I don't mean to question your enjoyment of bottoming, because if you like it, you like it! Rather I want to question whether your lack of desire to top is truly a lack of sexual interest in dominance or whether it might instead be a reflection of fear. Your feeling of not wanting to be on top even during vanilla sex makes me think that your insecurities are strong enough to be getting in the way of a true evaluation of whether or not topping might turn you on. It sounds like the same might well be true for your partner. I totally, totally empathize with this! I promise I'm not judging! But if this is a potential dealbreaker in an otherwise great relationship, you might want to consider exploring how to work through the insecurities and the fear before you decide that you're both pure submissives who couldn't possibly ever be interested in playing with a dominant role. Being intimidated and self-conscious is a problem that, although challenging, will probably be more solvable in the long run than structural sexual incompatibility. Best of luck!
posted by ootandaboot at 1:39 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

I wonder if it might help to recognize that there's nothing inherently dominant about tying someone up, or vice versa.

For some people, being a bondage top is a deeply submissive thing. Like, "I want to make you feel good; I want to serve you and work for your benefit; so I'm totally down with spending the next half hour making sure all the knots are just right and you're really happy with the way I've immobilized you."

Some people like it combat style, where nobody submits: "I'm gonna do my damnedest to tie you down, and you should do your damnedest to get away, and we'll see who wins."

Some people just like tyin' each other up with no roleplaying involved. Just, you know, hang out and be yourselves and have fun, only one of you is gagged and strapped to the chair. This sounds like it would feel ridiculous — and often it does, but sometimes it's ridiculous in a nice fun liberating way, where it lets you just be relaxed and goofy around each other.

Some people like topping from the bottom: playing in such a way that the alleged "victim" is really calling the shots. People in the kink world sometimes talk as if this was an awful shameful thing that nobody should enjoy (oh, the irony) but if it floats your boat to be all "Oh no Mr. Big Mean Evil Top, please don't throw me in that briar patch (hint hint)!" and have him go ahead and do it, then hey, rock on with that.

Basically there are just a lot of different ways to interact and play together, and lots of different possible combinations of answers to the questions "who's doing what?" and "who's actually in charge?" and "who's acting like they're in charge?" and so on. If kink was a simple binary opposition, with only two possible roles, and you were both trying to occupy the same role, then you might be in trouble. But it isn't that simple, there's nine million possible roles, and the odds are good that you'll find some combos that work for you.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:27 PM on October 30, 2012 [10 favorites]

Mod note: This is an answer from an anonymous commenter.
not that girl has it with making lists. These can be incredibly enlightening: about what your partner thinks sounds fun, what YOU think sounds fun, and what's out there in the world of kink in general. Googling provides a few. I'll provide my list of standby ones, with my preferred interface on top (pun intended):
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:41 PM on October 30, 2012 [6 favorites]

I'm not even really comfortable having vanilla sex on top

Extending what nebulawindphone is saying - there's nothing inherently submissive, necessarily, about the prone partner's position in sex. Whose hands are more free, since they don't have to worry about supporting their weight? Role is attitude, not who's physically on top of someone else.

From what you're saying it's both early in your relationship and early in exploration of kink for both of you, so try to focus on having fun exploring together and don't get hung up on what might happen down the road. You might both want to do something like read The Topping Book and The Bottoming Book, and discuss what piques your interest. Play around and enjoy yourselves!
posted by Hark! A Sock Puppet at 9:49 PM on October 30, 2012

Try being dominant. Seriously, just try it! He should do the same!

I was once in the same situation. All my fantasies involved being submissive. But then I wound up in a relationship with a woman who wanted to be dominated, so I gave it a try. Turns out, it's hella fun! Seriously! I never thought I'd like it, but I do! It gives me a chance to channel this whole other side of my personality.

Don't expect it to turn you on right away. It didn't for me. But I've found that the more experienced I become, the more I enjoy it. Granted, I'll never find topping as hot as being submissive, but I enjoy both quite a bit.

I actually think it's really healthy to explore both top and bottom roles. As an added bonus, this allows you to take turns topping each other -- everyone wins!

Bottom line -- have fun with it! Try different things, play around, experiment! Just remember to always play safe!

Feel free to memail me if you have more questions.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:34 PM on October 31, 2012

« Older What do Australian expats do about their super?   |   Don't send me passive aggressive emails during a... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.