A couple of months ago, Laina, a dominant woman in her first D/s relationship, emailed me for advice about her submissive boy. For the most part, Laina is happy with the relationship, but she’s puzzled by the fact her boy doesn’t seem to want her sexually. He doesn’t seem to have (or express) “pure, hot, carnal need” for her. (Of course, we all define ‘want’ and ‘desire’ differently, and we enact them in different ways–I suspect that’s part of the problem.)
After my own recent realization that I had accidentally trained J not to kiss me and subsequent musings on the expression of desire (struggle and aggressiveness vs. aggression), I remembered this email. It speaks to some of the same issues I’ve struggled with, so I figured I might post it to see if anyone–especially the submissives–could offer Laina (and me) an explanation.
I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year now (it’s one of the best out there). I love reading your perspective on things both banal and bad-ass. It’s always entertaining, mostly because I am also the wicked smart (ass) dominant female in my relationship.
This is my first real dom/sub relationship and my submissive is just perfect – he’s an intellectual, funny, sexy, and he takes what I offer him with amazing stride. He always tells me how beautiful I am and makes me feel like the most important person on the planet.
So everything is perfect right? Of course not (is it ever? Really?).
So here is the problem. Sometimes I wonder if he wants me for ME or for what I can (and do) do for/to him. You see, he never seems to want me sexually… pure, hot carnal need. It irritates both me and my ego.
Every relationship that I’ve had in the past (vanilla relationship) has involved boys who would tremble in my presence, but NOT because of fear/anticipation of what I might clamp onto them or stick into them. They were in awe of ME and my beauty (have I mentioned that I am smoking hot? ;D) and they wanted nothing more than to get me naked and fuck me. It’s a nice feeling… being crazy desired. I suppose I have come to expect this unabashed wanting and admiration, so when it did not present itself in my new relationship I was wondering if it was me or part of the submissive mindset.
For someone who says such beautiful things, I would think he would act on them physically. I want to be with a guy who I have to beat away (sometimes literally) with a stick (or a cane) because he wants me so badly. I just don’t get any of this with him.
If he just doesn’t feel it, I suppose that’s fine (no, it’s not), but if it’s in there somewhere, how do I go about accessing it?
I’m sure as fuck not going to just go up to him and ask him to attack me like I am an intoxicating sex goddess (I am…I really am). He should be doing that all on his own, right? RIGHT?! We don’t get the opportunity to see one another very often, so why doesn’t he take every available moment to caress, stroke, lick, kiss and otherwise adore me? Don’t submissive men know that even dominant women like this?
Being in a dom/sub dynamic is fucking amazing, but I don’t want to forgo the intoxication of want and need and carnal desire in order to have it. WHY CAN’T I HAVE BOTH? I don’t want to compromise.
[my response to Laina, abridged]
Hi, Laina. :)
I’ve had the same frustrations, the same questions, and the same irritation as you do. But unfortunately, you’re going to get far more commiseration from me than answers or useful advice.
I don’t know how much of the blog you’ve read, but rest assured I’ve had similar experiences and similar frustrations.
As for whether or not the lack of pure, carnal need (or the suppression of desire, or failure to express desire) is part of the submissive mindset, I don’t know. I’ll tell you what I’ve gathered about the prevailing ideas ‘out there’ in the ether, but frankly, I think they’re all total crap. (For the record, I can’t point to any one source–what’s below are my impressions based on what I’ve read and heard over the past couple of years.)
Submissives aren’t supposed to want.
Bullshit. Submissives want. Everybody wants. If the thinking is that they want, but aren’t supposed to want, that notion seems counterproductive to the nature of relationships in general. Relationships are about mutual fulfillment (among other things). If submissives didn’t want, then why would they seek out dominants?
Submissives have been trained not to voice desire.
To some tiny extent, I get this because the superficial, reductive explanation of D/s relationships is that they’re all about what the dominants’ want. In theory, this is fine for what it is (reductive and superficial). In practice, though, I call bullshit yet again. J voices desire all the time–he’s not shy about asking for what he wants. He asks me to hurt him, to use him, and to fuck him all the time. And yes, while we both enjoy those types of play, sometimes it feels like play is all about my expressing desire for him and never about him expressing desire for me. (Sure, he asks to lick my pussy all the time too, but even that feels more about him performing a service than about wanting me.)
Submissives don’t act on desire or express desire (specifically, the type of desire that’s enacted as lust for their dominants) because it ‘ruins the dynamic,’ or because it’s ‘topping from the bottom.’
To be clear, this seems limited to the types of seeing, touching, and enjoying that enact submissive’s desire theoretically separate from or unrelated to the dominant’s desire and pleasure. For example, wanting to see a dom naked because she’s fucking hot, wanting to grope a dom because he wants to feel her body, throwing a dom on the bed and fucking her silly because he wants to fuck her silly (all assuming the dominant is amenable, of course).
This ‘rationale’ feels manipulative to me. It feels like a warning to dominants to stay in their prescribed roles or else they might fuck up the dynamic. It feels like an excuse for submissives to be passive, only being ‘active’ insofar as the activity serves to satisfy the submissive’s own kinks.
Anyway, none of those lines of thinking helped me and I doubt they’ll help you. I wish I could offer you some advice, but seeing as how I sometimes struggle with the same issues, I have no words of wisdom. At least you know you aren’t the only one.
So, what say you, submissives?
- What does your desire look like? Is it primarily focused on being of use and/or being used? Is it ever “pure, hot, carnal need”? Is it ever lust for your dominant?
- Do you feel as if you’re supposed to suppress desire for your dominant?
- If/when your desire is “pure, hot, carnal need,” do you act on it? How do you act on it?
- Have ever acted on your desire and then felt it damaged the dynamic? Does acting on desire make you feel less submissive? Does acting on desire make you perceive your partner as less dominant?
- How do you ensure it doesn’t damage the dynamic?