D/s newbie seeking help
April 11, 2008 9:45 PM   Subscribe

Help for a couple starting to experiment with a D/s relationship.

My partner and I have been starting to experiment with a Dominant/submissive sexual relationship. I am the submissive, she is the dominant. I've been looking for a good way to let her know that I'm in the mood to play. Are there any good ways to stay submissive and still initiate?

We've joined a group in our area, but any book and/or website recommendations (especially for submissive men) would be great.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

posted by rokusan at 10:01 PM on April 11, 2008 [4 favorites]

Send her a text message?
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 10:04 PM on April 11, 2008

Wear the dog collar. (Hey, when my dog brings me the leash, I know she needs to be walked.)
posted by SPrintF at 10:15 PM on April 11, 2008

topping from below :(
posted by 1 at 11:50 PM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

i was originally just going to say 'no one likes someone who tops from the bottom' (a line that came up in a conversation with a dominatrix friend of mine) (as i see in preview, user 1 beat me to it, heh)

then i remembered that snark never really helped anyone and i gave it some thought.

here's my actual response...

as i see it, subs who act like brats to get punished are being manipulative and trying to control what they gave up control for, so be careful with that advice - having said that -

you can ask strangers on the internet about how to be a good submissive to your (mistress, madam, ma'am, domme) female or you can sit down with her at a neutral time, a time when you're not feeling needy and she's not feeling demanding, and ask her how she would like you to approach your desires.

something like "[insert affectionate name here], i know we're both new to this, but at the core of being your submissive is wanting to please you above all. how would you suggest i broach the topic of wanting to be your boy (slut, ponyboy, whore, bitch)? what way would please you the most?"

in this thread some books or websites will probably be suggested, some good advice levied, i'm sure. just remember, some people like to have hot wax poured on them while midgets shit on their heads and every orifice is stuffed with a tropical fruit of some kind, some people like cock 'n ball torture, breath play and denial, yet others are there for dirty talk and fuzzy handcuffs. it's a broad spectrum of activities that get labeled under BDSM. in the end she is your female and you are her male and it is up to you guys to define what these things mean.
posted by nadawi at 12:15 AM on April 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:51 AM on April 12, 2008

You asked about books. The last time I checked, which granted has been a while, the two must haves were SM 101 and Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns. These are old books but they are classics intro guides and I do not believe they have been supplanted in the literature, which is extensive these days.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:01 AM on April 12, 2008

Uh... beg, motherfucker?
posted by SassHat at 1:05 AM on April 12, 2008 [3 favorites]

That depends on the unique dynamic of your relationship and the particular mechanics will be different for every couple. Some dominants would consider any overt or covert request for play to be 'topping from the bottom' and unacceptable; as a dominant woman myself I have no problem with my submissive respectfully letting me know he is in the mood to play (I am not a mind reader after all, and while I may be a top I do not consider that to be a licence to take what I want when I want regardless of his feelings) but I am the one who decides if play does actually happen and if so what form that takes.

This method was worked out between us though and this is what you need to do. All relationships are about communication and it is especially important with D/s ones that ground rules and guidelines (as unsexy as that may sound) are in place to ensure a safe and satisfying experience for all involved.

The best book specifically about bottoming (though if you are both entirely new to BDSM, there are some excellent ones for dominants too) I know is The New Bottoming Book.
posted by Acarpous at 1:13 AM on April 12, 2008

I always did something...slutty, I dont know if your a guy or a girl so adjust to suit.
+Be a little animalistic, one time i crawled across the floor and rubbed my head, like a cat all around its legs.
+Wap it out, arrange some way your partner can see you have got whichever body part out especially for them. (Again for me, knickerless bends and such, not as corny as you think!)
+Asking them to feed you, asking something that puts them in the position of control.
+Kneeling/begging as above is a good one.

I cant think of any more specifics right now, but ill keep thinking.
posted by Neonshock at 1:15 AM on April 12, 2008

I suspect those who make free with the dismissive one-liners don't have much relevant experience. Otherwise they would understand that this is a non-trivial question in a D/s relationship -- especially one where you spend most of your time together out of role.

And no, initiating play with your Domme while in role is not (necessarily) topping from the bottom. There are indeed graceful ways to seduce a Top -- subtle signals that underscore her authority over you rather than undermining it. (Even then, a truly toppish Top will sometimes respond to those overtures by letting you spend the evening polishing the silver with a raging case of blue balls.)

Truly, only your Domme can answer this question. Only she knows the cues that bring her Topself out. Is it a ritual, like kneeling or bringing her your collar? Is it a sensory cue, like rubbing her feet, or running her a bath, or arranging the room in a certain way? Is it a scenario, like addressing her by a certain title, or "misbehaving" in a particular way?

Most likely you'll evolve a whole lexicon of signals, dozens of subtle or overt ways of invoking each other's erotic personas and signaling your desires. The dance of D/s seduction, especially when woven throughout ordinary daily interactions, can keep you both at a simmer for days.

One thing to keep in mind is that her bitch goddess persona may take some advance warmup. Even though you've been hot to trot all day and you meet her at the door in a collar and a ball gag, she may not be ready to play Ilse, She-Wolf of the SS until she's changed her bra and had a cocktail.

On the other hand, waking her up with breakfast in bed and her favorite form of pleasuring can let her know that you want to play that night -- while giving her the whole day to spend thinking up diabolical things to do to you when she gets home.
posted by ottereroticist at 1:57 AM on April 12, 2008 [4 favorites]

I'm a man, but not a submissive man. And we are not living the hardcore, fulltime d/s lifestyle. So add caveats as needed -- I am sure that the dynamics are very different when the roles are reversed and the man is submissive.

Things that work really well:

-- initiation by doing nice things, being of service, activities that can easily transition into sex. Things like giving a shoulder rub, or bringing your sweetie a cup of tea/coffee/wine/etc. It's like, you can bring a cup of coffee, drop it on the table next to their elbow so it slops over, and stomp off to do your own thing. Or, you can make their coffee the exact way they like it, in their favorite cup, and bring it carefully, set it down on a coaster, kiss them behind the ear, and sit on the floor leaning on their leg while they rub your hair and sip the coffee. One of those is a lot more seductive than the other, you know? And your whole day is filled with those moments if you look at it in the right way. All of those are opportunities to transition from the routine to intimacy, if approached correctly.

-- asking directly and clearly, but submissively. It is not un-submissive at all to say, I am desiring X, I am in the mood for Y, I want Z. You may or may not get what you ask for, but the asking is not a contradiction of your role. Communication is key here, and saying things clearly is good communication.

-- like Neonshock says, there are a lot of things that women can do in terms of dress and positioning to signal sexual availability. I'm not sure what the male equivalents are, but they certainly exist. Come into the living room in your sex pants, and you will send a very clear message.

Things that haven't worked so well for us:

-- whining and demanding. Works well for 4 year olds, not much of a turn on in a relationship.

-- most of the book/website portrayals of d/s relationships. Great if it floats your boat, but a lot of that stuff just didn't overlay well onto our lives and our desires. Make sure you are living your relationship, not someone else's pretend relationship.

Lastly, don't beat up on yourself for not instantly getting all this figured out in a seamless way. It is really complicated and sometimes difficult, often embarrassing. Humans are tricky, and negotiating new boundaries and new identities is best thought of as a long and slow process, rather than an instant transformation. And even when you have it figured out, things change and evolve, so you will always be renegotiating things and relearning how to signal, what is ok, and so on. Particularly for submissive men, I think that this is a role that goes against a lot of societal pressures for "how men are" and "how men should behave," so there will never be a seamless fit with the outside world; those pressures don't disappear just because you are bent over a couch and are being paddled until your cheeks are rosy, you know? But that's my outside perspective; it may look very different from the inside.
posted by Forktine at 7:42 AM on April 12, 2008 [4 favorites]

You might try asking her how she'd feel about your keeping a daily journal, which would be a place you could indicate your feelings, fears, concerns, and yes, desires. If she was interested in you doing this, and in her reading it regularly, she'd know what you wanted and could respond accordingly. This also could be helpful in other aspects of your relationship, because I guarantee this won't be the last communication challenge you encounter! :)
posted by justonegirl at 7:50 AM on April 12, 2008

I am a dominant woman in a longterm relationship with a submissive man. We had a lot of trouble in the beginning around the concept of initiating sex/play. He didn't enjoy having to initiate because he didn't think it was appropriate given his "place." If he was too subtle about it, I'd miss the cue entirely and I'd just think he was being nice. It was distasteful to me if he whined or begged or made overtly sexual comments.

So what we came up with is this: he puts his head on my lap. It's an affectionate gesture, it doesn't feel like pressure to me, and it puts us both in the mindsets we need to be in. I can run my fingers through his hair until I'm ready for more. I have time to think about what I want to do next. I have a handful of his hair and his throat in my hands. If it's within reach, I can easily put the collar on.

Personally, there is a big difference between being inspired to want to have sex and being inspired to be dominant. I might want to have sex just because I see him getting out of the shower, but I'm not necessarily going to pull out the whips and chains. If he lights candles and brings me a cup of tea while I'm in the bath, he's got a much better shot of being tied up. Remember: even if your woman deeply enjoys being dominant, it's still some degree of effort to do what we do (especially the bondage), so don't be a slacker on your end.

On that note, 4 out of 5 female dominants surveyed adore men who do housework. Spontaneously do her dishes or laundry and you might be in for a wild night.
posted by desjardins at 11:29 AM on April 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

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