Feb 242012

In the earlier stages of our relationship, J often made suggestions about activities and techniques. That’s to be expected, as J is experienced and I am not. He knows a lot more than I do, and most of the time, I’m comfortable learning from him. His suggestions only started to bother me when it felt like he was pushing more than he was suggesting.

We talked about it, and while he said he didn’t intend to be pushy, that’s how it felt. He respected my feelings and he’s made good on his promise not to push me anymore (or at least, he’s been careful not to give the appearance that he’s pushing). Besides that, as I gain more experience and confidence, he has fewer opportunities to make suggestions anyway.

Since he’s making fewer suggestions, sometimes I want to know what he’s thinking about–I want to know what he wants. I enjoy the feeling of knowing what he wants and I love having the power to give it to him (or not). But recently, J revealed it bothers him, as it’s a confusing question in the context of our D/s dynamic. Why would I ask him what he wants when I’m supposed to be running the show? Why would I want to know if our playtime is supposed to be about what I want?

There are a couple of reasons why I might ask J what he wants.

  1. First, sometimes I ask J what he wants because at that particular moment, I have no preference as to what sort of activity we do next. We have a slowly growing repertoire of things we do during play/sex time, things we’ve tried and liked and things we’re comfortable doing. On a given night, if we’ve already done whatever it was I was hot to do, I don’t really care what we do next.
  2. Second, sometimes I’ll ask him what he wants because he’s been particularly good, sweet, and pliant and I want to reward him. For example, we spent last weekend together, and he was such a good boy on Friday night. We tried some new things I was eager to try, none of which were incredibly heavy or exciting, but they were on my “to try” list. I’ve been practicing some of my finer rope skills, and so I wanted to try binding his cock. He was very patient, and more important than that, he picked up on my attitude and mirrored it in a such a way that I felt comfortable and secure. He laughed with me when I made mistakes, started talking to myself, or made jokes about my incredibly slow progress. He also seemed excited about my wanting to try urethral figging, even though he really doesn’t like urethral play. Although not everything worked the way I wanted (stupid defective ginger), I thoroughly enjoyed myself and went to sleep feeling satisfied, confident, and downright Domme-y. Because he had been so lovely on Friday, on Saturday, I wanted to reward him by doing something he wanted to do.
  3. Third, and most importantly, sometimes I ask him what he wants because I want to make sure his needs are being met–I want to be sure he’s emotionally and sexually satisfied too. I believe him when he says that he finds general fulfillment in making sure I’m fulfilled, but on a given night, perhaps he’s eager for a beating or for bondage that I haven’t delivered. If it’s something he wants, and I’m eager to do it too, then I’m happy to deliver that beating or arrange that bondage.
  4. Last, but nearly opposite to the reasons above, sometimes I ask what he wants simply because I want to deny him [evil grin]. On a particular evening, I might feel as if he’s had too much of what he wants, or perhaps I might be feeling particularly contrary. For example, if he admits he’s dying for me to abuse his cock, I’ll absolutely ignore it for the rest of the evening… just for fun. Knowing what he wants and having the power to deny him gets me hot. Besides that, sometimes I’m not feeling particularly dominant and the ability to deny him in a particular moment helps me to reestablish a more dominant headspace.

On any given night, any or all of those reasons might motivate me to ask. My suspicion is that J is afraid I’m enabling him to top from the bottom, which is something I’ve been concerned about in the past. Perhaps J’s still feeling that concern, but it’s rare for me to feel that way anymore. These days, I’m a lot more comfortable being dominant the way I want to be dominant, in the way that seems to be working for us. I’m not as worried as I used to be about embodying a prescribed role, behaving according to a theoretical dynamic, or following some set of rules for a D/s relationship.

J is going to have to understand that sometimes I ask him what he wants because that’s what I want–to give him what he wants. And sometimes, I want to know just because I’m being mean.  :)

  11 Responses to “what do you want?”

  1. THIS I love reading! As someone who will Top and has someone who likes to bottom, I have a hard time with confidence about how to not look like an idiot (he's bottomed for many a Domme and, well, I'm still such a newb that I fear that look… you know the one… where you're getting frustrated because you aren't doing something exactly how you planned it)

    I need to just let go of that, huh? Do something he wants because once I start doing it, I love it but that damn pride gets in the way!

    (pushes pride aside… emails boy to tell her what all he likes & wants to try/do… waiting… for. response.)

  2. Been there, done that. Still often there… with the pride and the frustration and all that.

    I wrote most of this after getting an email from J. He said (and I quote,) "I have found that if I do not say 'please do X – Y & Z to me' you tend to drift and hang out. I went out of my way to not ask for anything a few times, and you ended up asking me what I wanted."

    My first thought was a big fat "fuck you, J."

    My second (more reasonable) thoughts were that 1) Yeah, J, after hour six or seven of playtime, I run out of ideas and I'm usually pretty fucking tired by that point, and 2) sometimes I "drift and hang out" because that's what I want to be doing.

    My actual response was a draft of what became this post, somewhere between explaining and justifying my behavior.

    Two things have helped me to be more comfortable. First, the more time that goes by, the more I'm convinced that J is into me, not that he's into having a Domme/any Domme/ideal Domme. Second, really letting go of trying to be a Domme–giving less of a fuck about whether I'm doing it right has, ironically, actually allowed me to feel and be more dominant.

    So, hell yeah. Email that boy and ask him what he's into. If nothing else, it's fun to learn, and learning = knowledge = power.

  3. I think you might get a better response if you ask "do you want___?" It is easier to process yes or no questions, and since you suggested it, he may feel like you are still in a position of control.

    Or at least I think that works better for me.

  4. @Peroxide: "might get a better response if you ask 'do you want___?'"

    That's good advice for maintaining the dynamic. In our situation, there are two slight problems with that 1) He will always say "yes," and 2) we do epic play sessions, and after 6 hours, my brain is fried. If I'm still physically "awake," I'm happy to play some more, but I'd like to be able to turn my brain off, have him choose what to do next, and just go with it.

    I've considered that means I'm "less of a Domme" and lets him top from the bottom, but as time goes by, I care less and less about that. I figure if I'm not Domme enough for him, he can ask to be released and go find someone else who is Domme enough.

  5. We don't play the way you do, but what if you had a stash of play ideas, like little slips of paper with activity suggestions on them, and when the well runs dry you can pull one out to determine the next activity? I know it sounds a little dorky…

  6. @Liza: I've actually thought about doing something like that, but then I always come back to thinking, J, if making a suggestion about how best to abuse you next damages your feelings of submissiveness that much, then they weren't all that strong to begin with.

    I'm pretty sure I'm settled in my thinking that J is just going to have to suck it up and deal with it. (and then I stomp my foot and walk off in a dramatic huff…) :)

  7. "I'm pretty sure I'm settled in my thinking that J is just going to have to suck it up and deal with it. (and then I stomp my foot and walk off in a dramatic huff…) :)"


    "J, stop being a whiny little bitch! I asked you a question, now answer it, and then shut the fuck up!"

    Also, if you don't quite like his suggestion, a simple "No, try again…" might help your mindset.

    Just sayin'.


  8. @Ferns: "a simple "No, try again…" might help your mindset."

    At this point, surprisingly, it seems like his mindset is far more in jeopardy than mine. I'm fine with what's happening… it's J who seems confused/disappointed by it. And to that, I respond with a big fat *meh*. As I responded to Peroxide, if I'm not Domme enough, then he's welcome to ask to be released to find someone who is Domme enough for him.

    I'm okay with not being Domme enough… if he's not okay with it, then that's his problem. Not mine.


  9. " it seems like his mindset is far more in jeopardy than mine."

    Right, sorry. Change it to "a simple "No, try again…" might help your mindset."

    "…if I'm not Domme enough, then he's welcome to ask to be released to find someone who is Domme enough for him. I'm okay with not being Domme enough… if he's not okay with it, then that's his problem. Not mine. Right?"


    But, just quietly, it's never so simple, is it?

    If J seems confused/disappointed, then that impacts you in a bad way, and if that keeps happening, then you may start to feel unhappy or angry about it. It's not really an 'if you don't like it, piss off' situation. I'd think it would be more likely that his disappointment (if it continued) would eventually have a negative impact on you and then bleed into the relationship.

    I know, you two don't communicate well (except by telepathic guesswork!), but this would be a great example of a time where a simple conversation would sort it out. Maybe he would say 'Oh hell no, I'm not disappointed at all, are you crazy?!' and/or you explaining your mindset just as you did in the post with the 'here's why, deal with it!' thing, and he would swoon, and you would be done..

    Back to my previous comment, though, I was assuming that that conversation wasn't going to happen… I'd be totally lying if I pretended I didn't do things sometimes that are designed *just* to kick him back into the mindset I want. When it's something easy, it's a win for both of us and I still get what I want. So yeah, take my previous comment in that context.


  10. *sigh* Correction:

    "Right, sorry. Change it to "a simple "No, try again…" might help his mindset."


  11. I know I am not dominant or aggressive. I fall victim to the tender sexual type. I won't always admit it but when they find that spot then I am hooked.

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