Help Encouraging Dominance

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by AlexisMedici, Jun 12, 2012.

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  1. AlexisMedici

    AlexisMedici New Member

    I've been browsing the newcomer section of this site for a few days now, as well as the general fetish thread, and felt it appropriate to start my own thread... hopefully I'm doing this all right.
    I've been in an almost damn near perfect relationship for over two years now. Likewise, though, it lacks a certain amount of sexual satisfaction. I'm completely open with my partner about my desire to be submissive and have been since before we ever were "together". We've talked about what I'm interested in, what he's interested in, what makes him uncomfortable, and what he enjoys... I've been able to get him to experiment-- we have a bolero strait jacket, we have handcuffs, floggers, crops, vibrators, anal toys, ropes, cuffs, and his own open hands. If I'm persistent and just a bit ornery I can initiate something, but once we get started he seems to quickly be at a loss. Normally, I can only coax a "scene" into lasting for maybe 5-10 minutes before it sort of crumbles into regular sex. When we talk afterwards he always seems to convey that while he enjoys the power and the pleasure he gives me by his dominance, he can't get over the fact that it feels forced, and in his words "a bit cheesy".
    I've tried to supply him with a wealth of ideas. In all reality, I'm very comfortable being sexually dominant. In past relationships, I was able to explore many fetishes as a Top. Using this experience, I do my best to guide him without being forceful, but it seems like it just isn't working.
    The reason I offer such a drawn out explanation is that because this relationship is so goddamn close to being perfect, the prospect of remaining sexually unsatisfied is terrifying. Not that I'm certainly going to be with this man forever, but I definitely see this relationship lasting a good while longer. I genuinely feel that BDSM can work for us, but that there's something holding us back from achieving a satisfying level of kink. Lack of creativity? Fear of failure? I do believe that my partner is uncomfortable with having a status of power, despite that fact that he desires it...
    I'm not really sure what sort of advice I'm looking for. It would be great to hear anything, but maybe if there are some subs who have learned to humbly initiate scenes or something of that nature? I'm open to any and everything. Let me know if you need more information, and thank you for taking the time to read this.

    (I originally posted this in "general fetish", realized that was probably the wrong thread, couldn't figure out how to change/delete the post, and ultimately thought it best I re-post it here if I actually wanted to draw the correct response. All apologies for the inconvenience and... newbie-ness?)
     
  2. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Hmm. I think you need to ask him why being dominant feels 'cheesy'. What does he mean by that?

    1) Does being dominant feel like a bad Gothic romance?
    2) Is he afraid he'll sound cliche, like a bad guy in a bad movie?
    3) Does he feel embarrassed to be expressing his desires?
    4) Is he worried you'll laugh?
    Those are just a few of the possibilities I can think of. Until you understand what's at the heart of his objection, it will be hard to suggest ways to address it.

    Having said that, though, it seems to me that he doesn't feel that dominance is a genuine part of him, that he's performing a role that doesn't feel right to him. That might mean that he's just not very dominant. But it might also mean that he's having trouble finding the genuine feeling of dominance, so that it feels like he's just acting a part in a not very good movie.

    So talk to him about what might feel more genuine. For example, one thing that I find incredibly powerful about dominance is the idea that the sub gives his dom true loyalty. This idea moves me deeply. For example, in the last of the Lord of the Rings movies, the scene where Sam tells Frodo "I can't carry the ring, but I can carry you" chokes me up, because it seems like such a genuine statement of a submissive offering strength to his master. Similarly, the recent film The Eagle (with Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell) offers a wonderful depiction of a literal master/slave relationship in which the slave finds honor and loyalty in serving his master, and that moves me as well. So these are examples of a view of power exchange that strikes me as deeply genuine, moving, and desirable. I want to be a master who can inspire that sort of loyalty in a slave, and want a slave who can give me that loyalty and support when I'm feeling weak. This type of power exchange speaks to me on a profound level.

    So talk with your bf about what in BDSM seems genuine to him. What part of being dominant speaks to him, and why? Then, once he's identified it, explore ways that he can bring that feeling into your play. BDSM play tends to break down the barriers between dom and sub--when a sub is in pain, he's being very honest and not putting up walls. So part of what feels genuine about pain play is the honesty it creates. What does he find that interests him?
     
  3. Hi Alexis,
    It must be really frustrating to be so close to an ideal relationship. If it’s any consolation your partner is certainly a lot further along the road than many of the other folks who ask for advice here.


    Like any relationship this is a two-sided problem. The fact that your explanation seems so balanced strikes me that you understand that it's not "his problem" or "your problem", but a challenge that you both have to address.


    OK...let's cut the crap and think about a solution.


    As I read your post I tend to home in on his remark about the scene being a bit cheesy. I can think of two reasons he might feel that way:


    1. Most people simply are not good actors. Good grief – a lot of people whose job is to act are not good actors! Roleplay is an acting experience. But when “non-actors†screw up an acting scene they feel very self conscious. It’s one of the first things that actors are taught – don’t worry if your mess up a line, just keep going!

    2. If acting is a rare skill then improvisational acting is even rarer. It could be that he has the momentum to keep a scene going for 5-10 mins as you say, but then simply runs out of inspiration. Maybe he needs a script :)


    Either way, once he feels that he’s run out of skill or ideas in a scene then he will start to feel self-conscious, and to him it becomes cheesy.


    This might sound crazy, but have you thought of getting involved in some kind of acting classes? There are a lot of evening courses you could go to together. Apart from helping with the roleplay it’s also an activity you can share, which would help you strengthen your relationship.


    The roleplay aspect can be a lot easier for a sub…in the extreme case you lay there in bondage, gagged and just take the punishment. Not much acting there :) But once you are both talking about the roleplay side of it, why not plan a scene together ahead of time so there’s a lot less improvisation required? Keep to a simple formula…or even use a story as an inspiration.


    In the short term you need to think about scenes that you find exciting, but place a lot less of an acting burden on him.

    Or think of scenes that only require active work from him in short bursts. Give him a mental break between bursts of acting and so take the pressure off.


    Cheers,
    Stanley
     
  4. subarama30

    subarama30 Member

    I think the problem sometimes when you take a guy who is used to vanilla with minimal props and no real need to use his head - the one on his shoulders ;) then men can feel a bit lost.

    I too, find that if I have to think too hard it's trouble - with dirty talk for example, I can think of a few things but then I kinda get stuck for ideas so go quiet and self conscious because I feel like an ass! It also feels tacky to me and forced because it isn't something I do naturally during sex and I find it off putting when I'm turned on so that could be the way he is feeling.

    Personally, I have never been into being part of a 'scene' per se, my partner can never keep in a character during role play for one but also it can feel forced to me too. When I first was getting my guy to explore his Dom side, it was almost impossible to get him to stay in that persona for very long at all, it took time for him to become confident enough in his own abilities to not let his softer side out until after we were finished.

    Maybe you need to think of a particular scene that you like and write down how you imagine it to go and then give it to him so that he has something to work from. Yes, it will feel too scripted at first for you but he needs to gain confidence and learn that he can be creative. Giving him a starting point to work from might help him, he can add his own things in as he goes along but has a general idea of what you want so that he doesn't have to think of everything himself.

    Also, it doesn't all have to be a verbal thing. I have plenty of times where my guy doesn't talk to me when we play, I find it a huge turn on having someone who is barely acknowledging you exist but has you tied down and is using you however they want. He just has this 'don't fuck with me' look while he is doing things to me, I might get the odd 'shut up' or 'don't move' but other than that he just manhandles me into position or where he wants me to go so no real acting required.

    Having said all that, there is always the chance that he just doesn't have it in him to do it, or doesn't really want the D/s aspect in the bedroom.
     
  5. AlexisMedici

    AlexisMedici New Member

    To Sebastian: I'm inclined to believe that all 4 reasons you listed play into his discomfort with playing into a dominant role. Unfortunately, as with many people, it seems that years of exposure to bad bondage pornography has ruined their image of what S&M actually is. I think sometimes, when we're playing and experimenting, he tries to come up with ideas, inadvertently starts to picture every cliche light bondage flick he's ever seen, and starts to feel almost disappointed... as if we're acting something like that out instead of something much more personal. I think this same association is what often prevents him from tapping into a more powerfully dominant side that I KNOW is there. It's exposed sometimes, but it seems that when he compares himself to these "cheesy" pornographic characters, he becomes too embarrassed to let loose.
    I myself am guilty of never viewing any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy... I suppose that's something I should get onto, after only just recently conquering Star Wars. But I believe I understand the expression of true submission that your trying to harken to. Story of O (the book), Secretary, and The Night Porter all come to mind when I think of passionate a very whole submission. I think my partner is drawn to being the kind of master that can inspire that degree of selflessness and loyalty, and that's what he views as being genuine and beautiful... it's just a matter of breaking down his own barriers in order to grasp that power. If I had to some it up, we're at a stage of trying to get "in touch" with his dominance.
     
  6. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Another way to help him think of it differently is to explore the idea that BDSM is about living out one's fantasies. So ask him to describe a fantasy he has, regardless of what it is, and then find elements of it that you can play out. Emphasize that for the duration of the scene, he gets to be whatever fantasy he can imagine, that the fantasy becomes reality for a while. So rather than emphasizing a cheesy movie villain, he gets to explore what it would be like to be that villain in reality. Yes, it's not 'real', but it's 'true'.
     
  7. AlexisMedici

    AlexisMedici New Member

    To Stanley: Thank you for your commendation. I really do my best to represent the situation as it really is, and not just and emotional out-pouring of my jibberish frustrations.
    Funny, he and I actually met in a public speaking and acting class in High School... and just observing him in that setting, he is quite uncomfortable trying to slip into anyone else's shoes, though, we both seem to have a knack for improv. I had previously though of trying to do something with more scripted role playing, but had feared that since we were "acting out" a scene, it would feel even cheesier to him. However, further consideration has led me to believe that if I led into a role playing situation with a certain degree of subtlety, he would embrace having some character guidelines with open arms. To Sebastian I mentioned the film Secretary; and I'm feeling that might be a good simple start... Maybe I could just leave it on while I make dinner and start playing my part. I can see this working.
    He also; out of no where, made a comment about "playing doctor". I'm thrilled about this as doctor/patient is probably one of the easiest situations to play out. Either way, if any of these scenarios work out in the near future, I suppose I'll have to update here.

    To Subarama: I definitely relate to your views on "talking dirty". I often feel the same way, but I do believe that with the stage that my partner and I are at the verbal aspect helps to keep things moving. I can't entirely explain what I mean by that-- it just seems to help keep with the flow. He wouldn't know where to begin if I just asked him to "take advantage of me".
    It's really comforting to hear that you are in a relationship where you had to work together to fully explore your roles in BDSM, and have succeeded. If you don't mind my asking, how long did it take for your partner to come to terms with his dominant side? And did you have experience with BDSM before this relationship, or was it totally new to both of you?
    Since I am pretty sure he "has it in him" I definitely will pursue the route of playing with something a bit more scripted. To reiterate, I feel it's mostly the manner in which I present it that will bring about the results I desire.

    That's actually a huge element of the trouble we're having... in that he doesn't have "solid" fantasies, so-to-speak. I mean, he doesn't even have sex dreams! I'm constantly trying to pick apart the person he yearns to be, in the bedroom or otherwise, so as that I can service him in achieving goal in whatever way possible. Just sometimes, I really can't identify his aspirations, fantasies, dreams... If I could find a character that he wanted to slip into the skin of, would do whatever I could to let him, but I suppose there needs to be more psyche prying before I reach that area of his subconscious...

    To Stanley: Thank you for your commendation. I really do my best to represent the situation as it really is, and not just and emotional out-pouring of my jibberish frustrations.
    Funny, he and I actually met in a public speaking and acting class in High School... and just observing him in that setting, he is quite uncomfortable trying to slip into anyone else's shoes, though, we both seem to have a knack for improv. I had previously though of trying to do something with more scripted role playing, but had feared that since we were "acting out" a scene, it would feel even cheesier to him. However, further consideration has led me to believe that if I led into a role playing situation with a certain degree of subtlety, he would embrace having some character guidelines with open arms. To Sebastian I mentioned the film Secretary; and I'm feeling that might be a good simple start... Maybe I could just leave it on while I make dinner and start playing my part. I can see this working.
    He also; out of no where, made a comment about "playing doctor". I'm thrilled about this as doctor/patient is probably one of the easiest situations to play out. Either way, if any of these scenarios work out in the near future, I suppose I'll have to update here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2012
  8. subarama30

    subarama30 Member

    Alexis - no I dont mind you asking ;) I was the one with the experience in bdsm before we met and had interests in that area for years. I have been with my partner many years totally vanilla before I got the courage to bring up my true desires. He actually took to his new role better than I expected and tried to adapt fairly quickly, he seemed up for anything from the beginning but it was him feeling comfortable doing it that took more time. It has only been in the last year that we have really been exploring this together and he has come such a long way.

    I can relate to the no real fantasy thing, my guy doesn't really have them, more he likes certain outfits for me to wear but doesn't necessarily want me to play that role out just gets a visual kick out of what I am dressed as.
     
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