Submission 102: How to “Fire” Your Dom (If Need Be)

Good Morning Friends!

How is everyone doing today? A very happy Wednesday to you! First, let me say….

Today I’d like to kick things off with a little story and tell you about my first Dom/sub relationship. We’re going to call him “M”. Before I got into the lifestyle I had heard about BDSM, but much like the vast majority of vanilla people who are uninformed, I associated BDSM with just S&M. So, there I was (7 years ago) playing World of Warcraft (For the Horde!) when all of a sudden a guy sends me a private whisper in game. I didn’t recognize him, but at the time I was in a guild that had labeled itself as “kinky, open people”. I had joined because I thought, “Hey, I like open minded people. Hubby and I are sexual with each other. This could be cool and I can make some friends!”.

So, the guy messages me and we start chatting. Initially he was warm, eager to get to know me, and I was happy to do the same. I noticed right away though that while I was warm and open, he was very reluctant to answer anything about himself. Up until that point usually people wouldn’t mind telling me what time zone they are in, how long they had been playing the game, etc. But this guy was really closed off. So the conversation became more of him interviewing me instead of a natural-flowing dialogue. He commented that I seemed to have a natural submissive personality just from the way I carry myself and speak. I remember saying, “Ha! Do you think so? I dunno… I can be really outspoken sometimes”. I looked over at hubby and asked, “Do you think I’m submissive?”. He shrugged and smiled at me. I didn’t think so either. The conversation moved on.

One hour turned into two and somehow we kept chatting. I learned that he lived in Seoul, South Korea, so of course me being a giant nerd, I gushed about how much I love K-pop, kimchi, and all things Korean. This seemed to warm him up a bit. Then, after a few hours of talking he said, “I want to try something with you”. “What is it?”, I asked him.

“I want to dominate you” he said.

I honestly thought he was talking about an in-game roleplaying scene. So, I replied, “Sure! Where can we meet up? And how would you like the scene to go?”. I bet he chuckled behind his keyboard at my naivety. He explained that he wanted to connect with me outside of the game and dominate me…. as in domination and submission. “How can I reach you outside of the game?” he asked. I paused and immediately ran over to talk to hubby. I explained everything and though he is protective of me, he said that I could carefully explore this if I wanted to. “Okay” I told M, “I am married, so, as long as it’s just as friends…. that’s fine”. M assured me that he was perfectly fine with it just being friendship. I gave him my Google Hangouts info. and a moment later I got the tell-tale ping!

Over the next week or two we chatted up a storm. He never explained to me anything about power exchange. He never taught me about safewords, or taught me about what consent really meant. But, my dear friends, I am a curious cat. I always have been and always will be. So, your girl began hunting information on my own! 😉 One night we were talking on voice chat when I asked him, “how do you know what my limits are?”. He paused and his mood shifted on a dime. His tone became stern and cold. “How do you know about this?” he demanded. I explained that I had researched BDSM online, and one article that I had read told me that I should have hard limits and soft limits. I heard him audibly take a calming breath. It was my “first infraction” in his eyes so he didn’t flip out completely. “I don’t want you researching anything about BDSM” he said to me firmly, “I don’t want you getting mixed up about what BDSM is and what it isn’t. You only need to learn what I tell you. Do you understand?”. I was shocked and left speechless. I don’t do well when I think someone is upset at me. It makes me want to cry, truthfully. “Yes Sir” I mumbled feeling utterly dejected. He never did answer my question about limits.

Over the next few months he would pull me into a cycle of buttering me up with play sessions where I would orgasm for him on voice. He would control when and how many times I came. He would sit with me and praise me for following his command. In return, as my reward, I could ask one question about his personal life. It took me almost a month to learn his actual name. I was so sucked into his roller coaster ride that I didn’t find it baffling that he was so closed off. While we were sexually playing with each other, and he was psychologically dominating me, a part of me still felt hungry to know more about the lifestyle. So, I began researching and learning in secret. I kept the information to myself, but inside I began changing.

Finally, one night I blurted out to him, “I think we should have a contract”. The conversation came to an abrupt halt and he went ice cold again. “Have you been researching again?” he asked. I confessed that I had. “I am never signing a contract” he seethed. I pleaded with him that contracts are good! They are just framework for a relationship and give a record of the rules, safewords, hard limits and soft limits. They include a list of kinks, fantasies, and fetishes that wish to be explored. They can be something sacred and beautiful between a couple that, once signed, is a commitment to put in a keepsake book. But M wasn’t having any of that and furthermore now that I had opened my eyes to knowledge, I was different in his eyes. “You don’t need to have hard and soft limits” he said sternly, “I am your Dominant and I know your limits”.

“But how???” I pushed back, “How do you know my limits if I don’t tell them to you?”. We hung up the call and after mulling things over, (and crying a bunch), I broke things off with him. It sucked but a fire was lit in my belly that could never be extinguished. I am a submissive. He got that part right. I knew that I loved and yearned to know more about BDSM. He got that part right too. But this lifestyle demands education, respect, trust, compassion, and protocol. So, I made it my mission back then that, (since I love to write anyway), that I would begin blogging all that I had learned in hopes of helping other subs not fall prey into the hands of a bad Dom.

In today’s post I want to talk about what to do if you need to break things off with your Dominant. It isn’t an easy conversation to have, but sometimes it’s necessary to get out of a toxic relationship. I also want to be clear that these same rules also apply to Dominants who are in a relationship with a toxic submissive.

Hurt people, hurt people. Always remember: if someone is deeply broken… they need to work on themselves before they engage in a power exchange relationship. That said, let’s dive into this topic together.

I. The Subtlety of a Toxic Relationship:

There are some people who get into relationships and the abuser comes right out and is violent or emotionally abusive. In fact, sadly, “on average, more than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the U.S. will experience rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime”. (source) And, “almost half (47.5%) of American Indian/Alaska Native women, 45.1% of non-Hispanic Black women, 37.3% of non-Hispanic White women, 34.4% of Hispanic women, and 18.3% of Asian-Pacific Islander women experience contact sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.” (source) Intimate partner violence is a massive problem that needs to be addressed and, unfortunately, the BDSM Community is often a magnet for people who have deep issues and come into this lifestyle unprepared and ill-equipped to be in a relationship.

When you’re in an abusive relationship often times it doesn’t begin that way. At first everything is fine and you’re feeling good about your partner. But in a power exchange relationship that is toxic, alarming behaviors begin to undermine the very foundation of what D/s should be all about. There are four main pillars in a D/s relationship:

  • Trust
  • Communication
  • Respect
  • Honesty

In a toxic D/s relationship you can have some (or all) of these to begin with, but then they begin to deteriorate. Why? Because a relationship is only as healthy as the people in it! If your Dom or Sub is suffering and struggling with their own baggage, there is only so much you can do as their partner to help them. Ultimately they have to want to help themselves in order to become better for themselves and for your relationship. If they don’t, which was the case with M, the relationship will crumble.

I’ve pondered many times why people with severe issues come into the D/s lifestyle, especially in the role of being a Dominant. Dominance has long been around in historical records. But being dominant and being a healthy dominant are two completely different things. There are certain attributes that you want to look for in a Dominant that (if present) will give some reassurance that the relationship will be healthy. They include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Compassionate
  • Attentive to details
  • Is able to speak towards you in a clear, calm manner
  • Never uses their temper to discipline or punish
  • Is respectful when discussing their ex partners
  • Is knowledgeable about the lifestyle, but also continues to learn more
  • Lives an overall healthy lifestyle
  • Has a strong sense of self in who they are and what they desire from a relationship
  • Is humble and respectful towards others
  • Has had prior experience in D/s relationships and has learned lessons from each connection

I could go on and on, but that is a very basic list of qualities to look for in a Dominant. Truthfully, the perfectionist in me wants to give you a “100 Things to Look for in a Dominant” list, but that will have to wait for another day. 😉

The last point I’d like to touch upon in this section is how the media “normalizes” abusive behavior. How many of you watch porn? (I do at times too). When I was writing my very passionate, “Dear Teen Vogue, You Don’t Know J**k About BDSM” post last night, I was reflecting on how much sexual violence there is on all media sources. In other countries outside of the U.S. many times violence is more censored. But here in the U.S. it isn’t uncommon to see rape, stalking, rough sex, and more in wildly popular TV shows and movies. Porn, of course, only exacerbates these fantasies and can make an inexperienced person think that the way a person acts in a porn movie is how they should behave in a relationship, which is highly problematic.

🚨To be clear: there is nothing wrong with having a rape fantasy or enjoying rough sex. There is NO KINK-SHAMING here, ever. I promise! <3 🚨

What I want to focus on is how Hollywood “normalizes” these abusive behaviors and the correlation it can lead to intimate partner violence. In other words, young legal adults coming into the lifestyle might see Christian Grey and assume that dominants are supposed to act like that to achieve great sex. In truth, Christian Grey is a broken, mentally ill mess with a boatload of issues and those issues cause him to have abusive behavior towards Ana. It’s important that we help the community, especially those newer to it, remember that: just because you see hair-pulling, scratching, and rough sex in videos doesn’t mean that you can just “do that” with your partner. Psychologically dominating someone can lead to very traumatic consequences. So, what we watch on TV and in movies… or porn… matters.

II. How to Cope with a D/s Break Up:

Now let’s turn our attention to D/s Break Up’s. I wrote about this topic more at length in this post here so in today’s post I’m going to keep things much more simple and straight forward. D/s relationship break up’s suck! They hurt immensely and for good reason. You’re open and more vulnerable with your partner than you would have been in a vanilla relationship. You communicate constantly, as D/s requires you to be ever talking and connecting with each other. And so when the relationship comes to an end it can feel intensely painful! My advice to you is simple: allow yourself to grieve. You need to feel the pain, (even if you are the one breaking things off), and allow yourself to move through the stages of grief.

There will be times when you feel sad, angry, empty, and every emotion in between. This is completely normal. Give yourself time to move through the emotions. It helps immensely if you can find a small supportive network of lifestyle/kink friends to lean on, as they understand what a D/s relationship is like and can better support you. As you begin to heal take time to look for the life lessons in the relationship. My relationship with M taught me not only what “red flags” to be aware of when entering the next D/s relationship, but also how much growth I needed to do as a submissive! Remember that term “sub frenzy”? Yeah, I had it badly and made some pretty poor choices back then. But, in my grieving process I slowed down, stepped back from entering another relationship, and focused on bettering myself as a submissive all on my own.

So, too, will you slowly begin to heal and move forward with your life. Know that there is another Dominant or Caregiver out there for you that will embrace you in a loving, healthy relationship. You are worthy of feeling safe and secure with your partner. You are worthy of feeling stable and grounded in your submission. You are worthy of being taken cared of, and nurtured by your Dominant, which will in turn help you to rise to better serve your Dominant!

III. How to Respectfully Reject a Courting Dom:

I want to wrap up this post with how to reject a courting Dom because before you ever have to break up with a Dominant, you need to be able to navigate the “dating waters” of the BDSM world…. and that means politely rejecting people that you don’t want to connect with. There are a few things to understand when someone messages you that you’re not interested in:

  1. It’s okay that you don’t “click” with every Dominant. This does not make you a bad submissive. Two people might not have an attraction towards each other or mesh well personality wise, and that’s okay! It doesn’t mean that either party is bad in their role. It simply means that you don’t work well together.
  2. Etiquette matters even online. Please, oh please, my dear friends… if you learn nothing else from this lengthy post, please remember this: you can always be kind towards people even if you are rejecting their advances. Kindness and how you carry yourself matters. You have no idea how someone is doing on the other side of the screen and if you lash out bluntly and reject someone it can really hurt them personally. You don’t want to do that so remember to use your manners and stay kind.
  3. It is okay to block someone if they keep pestering you. Unfortunately some people don’t take the hint of rejection well, even if you are clear and direct. In these situations, or if someone begins to get nasty with you, blocking them is perfectly acceptable. Just because you are a submissive doesn’t mean that you need to deal with someone’s temper or unwanted persistence. Protect yourself from these behaviors by blocking them and moving on.

So, how do you reject a Dom in a respectful way that won’t hurt them? Aaron Lee from “Healthy Framework” suggests using one of the following messages:

  • “Hey, Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, I’m not interested. Good luck out there.”
  • “I appreciate the time you took with your message, but I am not interested. Have a great day.”
  • “That was a kind message, but I’m just not interested. Thanks.”

Keep your message direct, clear, and to the point. Wish them well and leave it at that. You don’t need to offer up any explanation about why you don’t wish to pursue things with them. Most people will appreciate the gentle let down and move on. Again, if they don’t and you wind up with a nasty message in your inbox, block them and move on with your head held high knowing that you treated them with respect and courtesy even if they didn’t do the same.

Alright my friends, that’s it from me for this post. I hope you all 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

5 responses to “Submission 102: How to “Fire” Your Dom (If Need Be)”

  1. Oof, Penny. I walked away from Will for the final, final time tonight. Similar things, toxic, ugly and controlling behaviour – Matt and I are bad people because we agreed that there would be no sex outside of our marriage? I suggested that he had a pessimistic worldview (I didn’t) because I said that the text he’d mentioned to me seemed pessimistic? You just can’t help some people and you have to love yourself first. Big squeezes to you my friend, you do a marvellous job! X

    • Awww!! Thanks Helen! Big hugs right back to you, girl! Know that I’m here for you as you process Will and all of that. If you need me you can reach out to me on my email: PennyBerry@littlespaceleague.com and we can connect up to chat. I’m here for you, girl! Your words are always so wise <3 x

      • Thank you sweet, and I shall do. It doesn’t help that i have a nasty head cold at the moment, no thanks to my mother bringing it with her haha. After two years in lockdown, I’d almost forgotten what these feel like! X

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