Submission 101: Why Dominant Burnout Happens

Good Afternoon Friends! 

Today I want to talk about burnout because the struggle can be very real for many Dominants and Caregivers. I want to dive into behavior patterns and discuss common pitfalls (and how to avoid them!). We are going to tear apart the misconception that to submit means that you never make any decisions for yourself. And finally, we are going to round out this post by discussing how you can grow into love with your partner as opposed to “falling” in love, to create a more stable, healthy, and lasting relationship. Are you ready? Then, let’s dive in! 

I. You are Not a “Witless Sub”:

The most common mistake that submissives make (usually with good intentions) is that they get into a D/s relationship and suddenly want the Dominant to make “all of the decisions” (a.k.a. “The witless sub”). They mistakenly believe that the more decisions a Dominant makes, the happier off they will be. However, this is a false and dangerous approach to take in your relationship that often leads to the Dominant feeling burned out. Yes, you need to surrender power. Yes, you need to learn to be obedient to your dominant. But a more healthy approach to power exchange is to negotiate ahead of time what areas of your life your Dominant will control, and what areas they will not.

Sit down and discuss them at length. Learn to balance responsibility. Some Doms don’t give a flip if they pick out your outfit because they are too busy in the mornings as they get ready for work. Others are very concerned with what you wear. Talk or negotiate things together as a couple and find out what works for you. Listen to what your Dominant’s realistic limitations are and work within those parameters. You don’t want to suddenly bombard them with “getting permission” for a million things, or having them make a million decisions about your daily life on top of their other responsibilities. Learn to pull your own weight as their submissive

You can still help out your Dominant or Caregiver while you are regressed. You can scrub the dishes in a sink full of bubbly soap while listening to music that makes you feel small and happy. You can make the bed (complete with a million stuffies by the pillows). You can organize the bills in a pretty, colorful folder or go grocery shopping for food that they give you on a list. Yes, we are Littles and that means that we love to be pampered, swaddled, and loved on. But never forget that a healthy D/s relationship is one with give and take. Your Dom or Caregiver is counting on you to give back to them too. 

Now I’d like to pause here and discuss tasks. I’ve mentioned many times, especially for long distance couples, that giving tasks is a great way to keep a sub focused and connected to their Dom while apart. But what is the right amount of tasks to give a sub? How should tasks be given? How can you be certain that the sub is actually completing each task? And what if you’re completely stuck for ideas on what tasks to give your sub? My recommendation is to focus on the tasks that have the most impact and will help your sub in their everyday life. For your convenience the Captain and I have created a Little Space Tasks Chart for your sub to fill in and write down each task that they need to accomplish. This 7 day chart can be used all week long. In addition, we have a “Ultimate Task Ideas for Adult Littles” printable for you to use as inspiration to help navigate your Little in the way you feel is best!

II. The Second Common Pitfall: Emotionally High-Maintenance Submissives

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who constantly needs validation that you love and cherish them? At first it can be sweet and endearing. The person wants to say “I love you” many times throughout the day. They might regress and yearn for tons of encouragement to do their tasks. They might become fussy if they don’t have all of your attention. But what begins as seemingly sweet can quickly lead to Dominant burnout if the sub is too emotionally high maintenance. If you are struggling with insecurities, use your D/s relationship as a space for healing to help grow past those struggles. I encourage you to write your feelings down in a journal to your Dom. Let them read your deepest thoughts and feelings to understand the root cause of your fears. By creating a space of transparency you can then begin to work together to have a healthy balance of affirmations and encouragement in the relationship.

I was talking to a Dominant friend of mine and he mentioned to me that many Littles in the lifestyle often come in with the “sugar baby” mindset. Now, for those unfamiliar to the term, sugar babies are not classified as being a part of the little space community and are defined as:

“A Sugar baby is a young attractive man or woman who is looking for financial support and gets it from dating sugar daddies– the sponsors and mentors who may provide an allowance, give gifts, buy fancy clothes, pay for dinners, vacation, etc.” (Source)

Our lifestyle as adult littles does not revolve around the Dominant paying for your companionship. We submit from a place of love, desire, and a need to serve. We submit from a deep desire to surrender power and a selfless place of wanting to uplift our Dominant. If you have the type of love language that enjoys receiving gifts, that’s fine! There is nothing wrong with your Dom or Caregiver giving you gifts when they choose to do so. But I highly discourage any Little who comes into this lifestyle thinking that they are going to get gifts from Dominants simply by portraying themselves to “act Little”. You are not a sugar baby and every Dominant’s budget and hard-earned money should be treated with respect.

III. Behaviors to Avoid (a.k.a. Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself):

There is a company that often puts out lists of “eat this, avoid that” to help guide people into healthier eating choices. Today I’m going to use this model to breakdown common behavior mistakes that subs make, and give you a better alternative to consider. It is my intention with this list to help everyone work towards achieving the healthiest, stable D/s relationships possible. Honestly, I have made so many blunders over the years with The Captain that if I can help one person not make some of the same mistakes as I have, then I consider this list a “win”. That said, let’s dive in.

Submissive Behavior: Avoid This, Do That.

IV. People Don’t Fall in Love. They Grow in love:

I remember when I was a young girl I loved reading fairy tales. My favorites were romances (of course!) and they would usually end the story with, “…. and they fell in love and lived happily, ever after”. Many times we are raised to believe that to love someone means that this grand, cataclysmic event occurs and suddenly we are head-over-heels, smitten for another person. The reality is that there are a million ways that people come together in loving relationships. How a couple comes together to develop love is unique, but having a loving, stable relationship usually shares similar qualities.

The most basic quality is that it takes time and growth to establish love. People grow in love. That “honeymoon” stage of infatuation, exciting, over-the-moon excitement at a new relationship usually only lasts between 6-18 weeks. However, my goal is to help you navigate past the initial stage in your D/s relationship to reach a deeper place of love with your partner. That new, exciting stage will begin to shift to a period of adjustment. You will learn your partner’s intricacies and patterns of behavior. You will begin to compromise and work together to function more efficiently. And then that feeling of love will deepen into something that is more sure, stable, and strong.

Continue to work on yourself and hone your skills that you’re bringing into your D/s relationship. Your Dom has certain needs that they wish for you to fulfill. Strive to work on fulfilling those as you become the best version of you that you can be. Every relationship begins with a willingness and commitment from both partners. But how you weather the storms and stay together is the desire to work on yourself and become the best version of yourself for your partner. You can do it, my friends. I’m cheering you on every step of the way!

Alright my friends, that’s it from me for this post. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, hit that like button and let me know. Smash that follow button if you’re new around here, and I will see you back here for the next topic!

Much love, 

~Penny x

8 responses to “Submission 101: Why Dominant Burnout Happens”

    • Awww thank you! Doms work so hard to care for their subs, I just felt that it’s important that more attention be brought to keeping the mental health and well-being of Dominants in place. 🙂 <3

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