Hesitant Boyfriend- How to Get Past Scars?

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by Foreverbunny91, Dec 4, 2011.

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    **[I would like to post a TRIGGER WARNING for anyone who has been abused, out of respect for anyone in the forum with PTSD or abuse-related issues.]**

    So, I you guys have had some really helpful suggestions for getting my somewhat vanilla boyfriend to get into a dominant role during sex... But tonight I discovered (although I kind of new this already) the real reason why he is hesitant to be my Dom, despite expressing an interest in all of the *perks* that come along with it and in doing whatever it takes to bring me deeper satisfaction. I also came to a better understanding of myself... Let me ramble on for a while, and I will eventually come to my point and my question.

    First of all, I was never raped or abused myself. I was raised by a single mom, who had developed a very bitter attitude towards men. She has her reasons, and I won't ramble on about them, but they include domestic violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, bad relationships, alcoholism, unfaithfulness and bitter divorces. These things have happened to many women in our family (including my mother), and she wasn't shy in telling me how things were. I grew up learning that men aren't to be trusted with anything- especially not your heart. A girl who grew up in a healthy family would have taken my few mishaps with boys, bounced back, and been OK. I took them as proof that what my mother had warned me about was true and that I needed to guard my heart. I did it not by avoiding men, but becoming very controlling over them. I'm also insecure, which had ended up making me basically a control freak in my romantic relationships. (Please don't lecture me about how unhealthy and wrong this is- I've seen a counselor for this and am continuing to work on it, as I realize this is super unfair to my boyfriend.)

    Four years ago, I was 16, dating a senior going into the Marines. This is when I had started noticing that I was sexually submissive. This scared me a bit, to say the least. I figured out that I did like being restrained, and I let him know that... After we broke up, he had told me he knew I was submissive in bed. I really denied that... When I started dating my current boyfriend (let's call him E), I told him "I like to be the seductive temptress at first and control what you do, then after we get into it, I like you to become a beast and take control of me." He was a virgin, and I loved that. I loved the comfort of knowing I was the first girl, and that I could mold him into the way that I liked. It gave me this weird sense of trust. We explored sex like a newfound world. I started to trust him more and more, but as our relationship grew, I grew more and more controlling. I realized this was hurting our relationship, but for me I felt if I lost control, I would somehow get hurt and lose him, too... Not until a year or two ago did I start to work on this, and I've gotten A LOT better.

    So fast forward to now. My reluctance to try anal sex has been gone for years now (and we both indulge in anal from time to time), and I'm pretty much over my fear and resentment of oral sex. We've been dating for almost 4 years, and he's melted away most of my emotional barriers. I know he's not going to hurt me physically or emotionally, and I have come to terms with my sexual fantasies. I first realized I wanted him to roleplay as a father figure, then I realized I needed a Daddy dom, as I also want to submit to his control and to be used for his pleasure. I want to be his treasure and his play thing. I don't want this all the time- just in the bedroom when it's feasible for him (as I know he likes to do other things, and he's expressed an interest in submission as well).

    However, through my past selfish, neurotic, manipulative behavior, I have basically conditioned him to be the opposite!! He told me this in the car today, after a slightly failed attempt at roleplay. (Not sure scene would be the correct term here, since it did not involve a particular setting or set-up or props or any form of punishment...) I didn't want to ruin anything by being critical, so I did not say anything, but I could tell he was uncomfortable, so I said "You know, when we're doing this you don't have to ask to do anything. I actually prefer that you just go ahead and do what you want, and tell me what to do." He then said "Well, I guess I'm just hesitant to do that- in the past when I've done things that may be offensive to you without asking, you reacted badly. I think actually one time you said to do things without asking before, and I did something that made you mad at me. You get this disgusted look on your face..." I told him that he doesn't need to be scared of that anymore, and that he can do it when he's my Daddy, and I will say a safeword if he says or does anything that I don't like.

    I was thinking of telling him to just not ask before he does anything sexually ever again... But I'm sure that won't go over well somehow:confused: I was also thinking that another reason is because he may like being submissive more than dominant. He has been kind of basically throwing the idea out there then saying he's not really interested for years- now (after our last hotel adventure, which was our first time really getting into a scene and him really dominating me) he's interested in trying it once to see what it's like during our next hotel room visit in a few weeks. (I need some advice about this as well, but I'll post about it later in a different thread.)

    So what do you guys think? Anything you suggest I try to boost his confidence? Thanks in advance for anything you guys can give me!
  2. Knots

    Knots Member

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    Start small, build it up; don't throw him in at the deep end and scare him away. Discuss what you'd like to do, any things you want to avoid, etc, so he knows precisely where he stands and if you don't like something, safeword and make it clear that that's what you'll do; avoid the situation where he gets that feeling of you being disgusted, because that's really not very pleasant.

    Sometimes being dominant outside of the bedroom can help, even if just in a few tiny ways or just a few things which need permission ("can I have a shower please?" as oppose to "right, I'm going to have a shower now."). Whether this is helpful to you two or if it'd destablise the dynamic, I don't know.

    From what you've been saying, you should be quite soft on him if he cocks up/doesn't perform perfectly, as it seems he's quite devoted to you* for him to feel like that and then still carry on trying. Just try and be supportive, as oppose to "pushy".

    *Don't know the man, solely going on what you're saying.

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    Yes, Knots, we're both really devoted and committed to one another. We're planning on getting married after college, and he's been looking at engagement rings:)

    So you're saying, for example, I should encourage him to be more dominant by being more submissive outside of the bedroom? I don't mind if he's dominant outside of the bedroom a little- maybe more than that as long as it's not all the time. Seeing as he's just the opposite which creates quite a few issues (I'm surprised the poor guy has survived this long with me!!), a little more dominance wouldn't hurt!

    Yeah... I really have to work on the whole pushy thing... If I don't get my way immediately, I tend to resort to pushiness- a trait my mother accidently fostered in me. I'm very much a bratty little girl:D But being with someone who's learned not to argue (his mother was more persistant in her discipline), it causes great issues:(
  4. Knots

    Knots Member

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    What I'm suggesting is you incrementally encourage it in small steps, which in some situations can be good to do outside the bedroom, just so he gets comfortable with the idea of being "in charge"; ultimately, how you introduce it incrementally needs to be your judgement.

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    Hmmm... Small nudges in the right direction I've found to be helpful in the past, so I think I wll try that.

    It is currently 4:08am in my zone of time, so I must be getting to bed. Thank you very much for your advice:)
  6. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    You're asking him to do something fairly difficult. 1) He's got a submissive side. 2) You trained him to do what you wanted. 3) You've reacted poorly in the past to his attempts to dominate you. Now you're telling him to do whatever he wants. That's a pretty tall order.

    Knots is right. You're pushing him into the deep end. Start slowly. Plan for a time, a scene in the bedroom or an evening at home, when he will be complete in charge. Set up a safe word that tells him you need him to stop, and then tell him that unless you safeword, he gets whatever he wants apart from stuff you've agree ahead of time to put off limits. Afterward, talk with him about how things went, what both of you liked and what you didn't like. If things go well, plan for another scene a few days down the road. If that goes well, maybe set a regular night for him to be in charge.

    In the FAQ, I have a post on how to kinkify a vanilla boyfriend. Read that, especially the stuff about what vanilla guys have trouble getting into BDSM. It will help you understand male psychology a little better (I hope).
  7. JettOnly

    JettOnly Member

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    Good advice from everyone as even - and of course they are all more experienced than me so feel free to ignore

    Although the idea of a safeword might make it sound OK for you - it might actually be making it difficult for him because to get his confidence to dom you he might need to be able to run a few scenes and get them 'right' and to him pushing you to safeword might knock his confidence in his abilites - if that makes sense

    I cant remember what it is called but I have seen in several places on the internet kind of kink lists
    Where he could present you with a whole load of kinky stuff and you could fill in whether that is something you really want to try, are unsure about and no way are you wanting
    This is way before a scene and gives him an idea of things without you telling what to do and what not to do
    he knows if he isnt feeling so confident he could be picking things from your 'like' list and if he feels a little more confident then he can dabble in your 'not sure' list gently

    It sounds like you pair care deeply about each other and have a lovely relationship - but you also have things to work out within yourselves - and when you do that together it will make you so much stronger and closer
    So go gently as gently, confidence can be like a teeny animal that needs gently coaxed out and encouraged

    So try and not critisize him (I know you dont mean it that way) with at an end of a scene telling him he could push you more or whatever - that could knock him a little
    Try a bit of positive reward, praise him for what he did do, tell him what you really loved - and as he pushes things be even more full of praise, making him feel how lucky you are for having such a good dom

    Yup its manipulative - but in a nice way

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    Senastian, you are completely correct. I had not realized until I thought about it how difficult this would be for him. I can see the fear whenever he tells me to do something. It's probably a conditioned response, so I cannot blame him for it:( in my own selfish defense, I didn't react badly to all attempts at dominance in the past- just the ones I did react badly to were REALLY bad reactions. I also used to react very badly to requests for oral sex... And now I'm telling him to tell me to suck his cock when we play... Yeah, I think that might qualify as asking a lot:(
    And I must be blind because people keep telling me about that post and I keep looking in the faq but I still don't see it:( Would you happen to know what page it's on?

    Jett, I think you might be onto something... He is a very sensitive and fragile guy, and in the past has been reluctant to continue having sex after accidently hurting me or penetrating me too deep (I have a tilted cervix). Due to the fact that i'm also very emotionally fragile, I think not using a safeword at all may have negative affects. But I do admit to being safeword happy at times. I think I will try to avoid using a safeword when not totally necessary... I highly doubt there wil even be a need for one as we both aren't into pain play n he has trouble even spanking me hard. He definitely won't use humiliation, either. I also love the list idea!! That would help him a lot I think.

    And praise is definitely something I can do;)
  9. JettOnly

    JettOnly Member

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    Just remembered something :)
    A friend of mine a few years ago was having a really difficult time in her life. She put a load of weight on and really wasnt taking care of herself - and her confidence was at rock bottom
    When we did get her out it really didnt seem like she even washed - she looked terrible

    another friend of mine who was visiting from another city - to me - seemed to go overboard praising her for how amazing she looked

    I pulled her up and asked wouldnt it be more supportive if we had a word with her - but she ponted out that the girls confidence was so fragile that she needed built up
    Much better to focus on the thing that looked best about her at the time and make her feel good about that

    So I worked hard on finding something that looked less bad than the rest - for example the 2 week old nail varnish may - rather than comment on how chipped it was compliment on the amazing colour - then next time she had made an effort to have freshly applied nail varnish

    Over the course of a few months I noticed a really big difference in the amount of things I could really compliment her on.
    and the feedback went both ways - Im not all that good at complimenting people but my compliments were rewarded by her makeing more and more of an effort and feeling better and better about herself

    She never needed being told she didnt look good - a mistake we all too often make.

    I wonder if that wouldnt help your boyfriend a little bit - not telling him that he could have made you do x y or z a little more - but to tell him how amazing you found it when he did that - next time he might have the confidence to do more because he knows it is good for you too

    I dont mean that you shouldnt have a safeword - but - and especially if you say you are safeword happy - you possibly for a little while should not be pushing things anywhere hard enough that a safeword is likely to be used
    So you learn to trust him that you let him push you more - and he learns confidence that he can take the responsibility and has the skill that you can both enjoy the experience
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  10. JettOnly

    JettOnly Member

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    theres one list I found in a simple search - there are loads and I would totaly adapt one for yourselves
    Even get a bit horny together and talk about fantisies and stuff to add to the list - whether they are things you would want to do ever or not
    and again make sure you are turned on when answering the list too
    and he dosent have to do all the things on the list - even if you say it is something you really want - it he dosent fancy it then its up to him - hes in chanrge

    better one I think for you
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  11. Knots

    Knots Member

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    This is actually a really good point from Jett. Criticism is often less productive/helpful than praise when it comes to confidence building.

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    Thanks Jett, those are great lists!

    So is criticism ever good, do you think? Or should it be the same rule you have with children, where you try to praise X more times than you criticize? Since he's actually expressed a need for feedback without criticism, I should just cut any criticism- constructive or otherwise, until he's gained a fair amount of confidence.

    I don't like the idea of training or conditioning my partner, but I suppose this happens without me purposefully trying to do it, whether I like it or not, so it might as well be in an advantageous way, right?
  13. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

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    It's the 5th post on the 4th page of the Newcomers FAQ, the one in the General BDSM discussion section.

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    Haha- I was about to say "Dude, it's NOT there," but then I looked again, and you said the 5th post on the 4th page, and I was looking at the 4th post on the 5th page -_-;; LOL.

    Sex whenever he wants wasn't possible before (due to sex anxiety), but now that I'm pretty sure I'm better, I think that might work:) *ahem* I may have to figure out how to repair things if panic attack does occur. Oral sex whenever he wants would probably work better, as the fear of pain or having to stop won't cause a panic attack and ruin it for him.
  15. subarama30

    subarama30 Member

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    I totally agree about positive re-enforcement. My guy was totally vanilla too, well except from the odd bit of biting, he showed no inclination towards anything kinky. Me dressing up was as far as it ever went and role play was useless as he could never stay in character.

    Anyway, I quickly realised through advice from people on here (thank you all) and trial and error that the key was to be really open and honest about what I wanted, I mean specifics so there was no confusion on his part about what I was asking for. It can feel weird being sub and feeling like you're telling your Dom what to do but he needed a guide and then once he got more comfortable in his abilities and realised that he wasnt hurting me he could do his own thing and got more creative.

    If there were things I felt he was doing too softly, rather than being all 'thats weak' I would just be more playful in my struggles next time and act out to encourage more aggressive restaint or impact until he got the message. He learned pretty quick that if he told me to do something and i replied 'make me' then it was game on lol

    I have had to coach him through times when he has marked me pretty bad or made me bleed and freaked out about it and not wanted to carry on. I cant even imagine how he would have dealt with the psycological aspect of being a Daddy. I think this alone might be an issue as it can be difficult for a lot of people to wrap their heads around.

    Again I agree with others that if he has a sub side himself it will be slower going for him to get used to certain things. I can imagine that he would be hesitant too if you have had panic attacks on him in the past when he done things or asked you to do them as he's not going to want to repeat something that was painful to you psychologically.

    Good luck.

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