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Archive for April 20th, 2009

Today I answer two letters that deal with the question: what happens when one of the partners in a desired BDSM scenario is reluctant for one reason or another? It’s a tricky one, but not unsolvable.

I have to say, you are almost a dead ringer for my fiancee. She is also six feet tall, size 12-13 shoe, shoulder length naturally curly brown hair, and with a sensually curvy athletic gorgeously feminine but strong body. I have a question for you, if you don’t mind. She is a sweet, sweet girl and I’m a huge trampling fan. I’m a little over six feet tall and weigh about 155 lbs. I’m kind of wiry and thin. Being a tall strong girl like you are, you probably know where this is going. She’s not a dominant person and I would like her to be more aggressive to help her out in life. I want so much for her to trample me, but I know she thinks she’s too heavy, her feet are too big, blah, blah, blah. What is a good way to ask or warm her up to walking on me? I asked her once about a year ago. She very, very tentatively did so and then quickly stepped off. I’ve been afraid to ask her since. I’ve told her that I’m going to drag a dominant side of her out someday, someway (Marshall Crenshaw anyone?) and have slooowwwly warmed her up to resting her feet on me while laying on the floor. She’s still a bit shy about it. But I want her to take the plunge and walk on me. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much for listening!

MJ

Dear MJ,

Marshall Crenshaw notwithstanding, this is a territory where you must, if you’ll forgive the pun, tread lightly. I’m hearing that you have a particular desire from your fiancee – namely, that she trample you. This seems like something that the two of you could work up to, and I’ll talk more about that below. But be careful about the other thing I’m hearing, here: trying to force your fiancee to be a dominant.

In my experience, there’s very little more annoying than a submissive male trying to talk his female partner into dominating him when she doesn’t want to and it’s not in her nature. It’s not that people cannot be taught to dominate, and there are beautiful examples of experienced submissives training “from below,” as it were. But the would-be dominant must be willing – and wheedling, offering submissive gestures in the hopes that she’ll pick up the role, or suggesting that you’re going to “drag” her dominant side out, is probably not going to help you, and will probably just make her feel anything from annoyed to inadequate.

The good news is that you have a specific desire, and having your woman trample you does not sign her up for becoming your full-time Mistress. It doesn’t even have to mean that she’s being dominant – there is a difference between being a “top” (i.e. the “active” partner in a sexualized activity) and being “dominant” (i.e. the one holding the power in a power-exchange roleplay dynamic). You may find that she has a dominant streak eventually, but the first thing for you to do is guide her, safely and consensually, toward the activity you desire, without pushing for the whole enchilada.

As far as asking: you say this is something that really turns you on. If you’re not shy about that fact, she may be more able to get into it if she’s interested in your pleasure. You say that she’s shy about her size; she may be afraid of hurting you. Try setting up a safeword with her, and let her know that you will definitely say the word if she is truly hurting you. Try starting, as you said you have, with you lying on the floor while she puts her feet on you, and work your way up to her fully standing. She can start by just pressing you with her feet while sitting, then resting part of her weight on you with one foot from standing. Make sure she has something, like a wall, to hold onto for balance, and make sure she’s only stepping on safe places on your body: upper back, chest, butt, and thighs. Hopefully, she’ll find that she enjoys it for its own sake, and if you’re really lucky, she may eventually find that dominant streak in herself. If not – then at least you have a new piece in your sexual repertoire.

And don’t forget to keep telling her how incredibly sexy she is. I appreciate the compliments, MJ – but it sounds like your foxy fiancee needs them more.

My boyfriend is a self-proclaimed Dominant. Okay. I’m not what I’d call a naturally submissive person, but I’m really, really ready to give it a go with him. Really. Very much so. BUT – in my trying to explain that it was going to be quite a step for someone like me to engage in that side of the “play” I somehow managed to convince him I’d not truly like it. He doesn’t believe in “switches” he says, and any attempt by me to try to engage provokes comments like “But I know you don’t really like that” from him. DO I HAVE TO TIE MYSELF UP MYSELF! WTF?!?

I don’t understand the “no switches” rule; the idea that he doesn’t want to do anything I don’t truly WANT is… well… nothing short of sweet but I don’t know how to convince him I want to when I do want him to take the “this is hard for me, but in a good way” part seriously. And plain old “how to get it started” advice. A guy acquaintance suggested handcuffing myself to the bed, but… that seems hamfisted, pardon the pun.

Here’s what I’m hearing, and I’m sorry if it sounds harsh to your “self-proclaimed Dominant:” he’s insecure, and he’s misinformed.

First, the misinformed part: switches exist. In fact, if he’s been paying attention, he might notice that a large part of the overall BDSM culture grew originally out of the gay leather scene, in which, in olden days, every dominant was a submissive first. That was the way you came up in the ranks. So by the very nature of old school leather, every dominant is also a submissive. Even laying history aside, you can let your boyfriend know that I and many of my kinkiest friends are personally insulted by his assertion that we switches simply don’t exist. It’s like negating the existence of bisexuals. So: Dear Boyfriend: come join reality! It’s fun over here. We have cookies. And lots of sex.

Laying aside my own pet peeves, though, is the larger point that will probably be of more use to you: he’s scared. He probably wants to do things to you that he finds really hot, but he’s still afraid that that means there’s something wrong with him. BDSM dynamics require boatloads of trust, and it tends to be the dominant’s job to hold a lot of that trust. It is very, very easy to make a mistake and break trust in this type of dynamic, and so sometimes dominants are reluctant to play with people they’re not sure about. What if he hurts you and you hate it? What if you laugh at him? What if you find out something he’s into and freak?

Clearly, your words aren’t enough in this scenario to convince him that this is what you want. Tying yourself to the bed is a little hamfisted, indeed. But you might try something similar. Different triggers, when you’re being sexual with him, might open that headspace for him and indicate your availability. Some classics include kneeling at his feet, crossing your arms over your head when he’s on top of you, or undressing in front of him while he’s still clothed and watching. Try one of these if any of them turn you on, or something else simple. And keep talking: if you care deeply for him – and it sounds like you do – let him know that you’re not going to think less of him for wanting some nonstandard things. Have him introduce some of the things he’d like to do to you in dirty talk before actually doing them. Tell him to write you a letter or email with a fantasy scenario he has in mind, and pledge to yourself not to react badly to it, even if it’s not totally your cup of tea.

It may seem ironic, with him being the dominant and all, but you need to draw him out and make him feel safe.

Let me know how it goes, folks! I’m always reachable here at the blog, or at delilah@dommedelilah.com!

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