I ran into a very interesting submissive online, and I had to share it here because – well because it ended up being a very good lesson for me to learn.
Primarily, what to watch out for.
The Set Up
So, another Dominant asks her fellow female Dominants what specific challenges they face with submissives. I’m interested in this, since I have not chosen a submissive yet (I’m still in the learning stage, after all). It would be good to know the expectations a submissive will have of me as a female Dominant and what things can go wrong so that I can prepare.
A submissive came in and declared the female Dominant to be a fairy tale because she had never met one who could effectively dominate her.
Hook, Line and Stinker
So, my first thought was that this was a submissive who just had a bad experience. It can happen. I had an okay exchange with her, doing my best to be even and respectful. Others were not so lucky. She maintained a belligerent attitude throughout the entire discussion until she was finally banned for breaking forum rules.
Respect. Always respect. Even if you dislike something or have had a bad experience.
And she just could not seem to take that rule to heart.
As I continued to read her posts, something else became apparent: she had poor expectations of what she expected power exchange to be or what a Dominant is actually supposed to do. While she may have had one or two legitimate bad experiences, that she maintained the incorrect expectations of a D/s exchange means that she will be destined to never have the type of power exchange relationship she is wanting.
Mostly because what she is wanting is something no good Dominant will do. In essence, she expected to have a Dominant just tell her what was going to happen in the scene, and do it. No real discussion of limits and expectations. No getting to know the Dominant before a scene. The Dominant, in her mind, is just supposed to go and magically know how to not break limits.
The irony in this is that she did not like to scene with male Dominants because in her experience, male Dominants always pushed limits.
If you’re sitting here silently scratching your head, imagine it from my point of view. The expression of not liking male Dominants was pretty early on in the conversation, before she actually laid out how she expected scenes to go from a submissive point of view.
The Take Away
We talk about how you should sit down and discuss scenes, but what I saw in that exchange just really drove home how important it is to not take answers like “I have no limits” or “I’ll safe word if you go too far” or “I’m sure you can figure it out” as answers when discussing limits and boundaries.
And please, submissives, don’t try to offer up those answers to a potential Dominant. If you have found a good Dom, one who wants to understand your limits, then be courteous enough to offer them up. If you don’t know them, figure them out. If you’re not sure how far you can go, it is okay to set up soft limits for yourself, as long as you make sure that you let the Dominant know. Something like “We’ll, I’m into temperature play, but I’ve not really had a chance to see just how much heat and cold I can take. I’ve set myself a limit of medium heat wax for candles and brief contact with ice. It’s a soft limit because I would like to see what I can take beyond it.”
That is perfectly acceptable. It gives the Dominant an idea of a starting point for you. It also sets the expectation immediately for the potential Dominant that you will want to push the limit. In that one way of limiting your “limitless” self, you have set up a structured guideline that your Dominant will be able to use to help you reach the limits you want to find.
No unknowingly breaking limits.
You see, your Dominant’s job is to guide you through a scene. Your Dominant’s job is to take hold of the power you give over.
Your Dominant’s job is not to tell you what power you will give up. Your Dominant’s job is not to tell you your limits and what you will take. When you sit down with your potential Dominant to discuss, you have to know what power you will hand over. Yes, it can be tedious. BDSM is not the way it is in fiction. It is not even the way it is in my fiction all the time.
In Heather in Haven, Heather and Mistress Victoria have a very quick discussion of limits. In a real, healthy BDSM dynamic, nothing would have occurred the way it does in the book. Heather would have been introduced to Victoria in a more Vanilla setting. The two would have talked about limits, desires, and needs well before Victoria even touched Heather. They most likely would have had several meetings to socialize and talk before ever having a scene together.
But – Heather in Haven is a fantasy. It is fun in the fantasy to have that sudden meet up, the arrangement of submissive being led to her perfect Dominant. It is not how it works in life, and if that is what you expect, then you will never find yourself fulfilled in a real D/s exchange.