Today’s reader question is from May B. Bad Domme from miles outside of FemDomNation.
Both she and her husband have expectations that aren’t being met;
May B. isn’t sure whether she’s a bad domme or her husband is a bad submissive.
May B. Bad Domme
True Dommes and Legitimate D/s Lifestyle Dynamics
First, there’s no such thing as a ‘true domme’ or a ‘real domme’ — there’s no certification, no membership card, and no officially licensed swag. There’s no ‘legitimate’ or ‘illegitimate’ lifestyle, either — everyone is different and each D/s couple has to do what works for them.
It sounds like you took steps to do just that by discussing what sort of relationship dynamic you wanted and by articulating a list of expectations. Of course, as you already know, it’s not as easy as that.
D/s Relationship Expectations
I don’t understand what it means when he says you don’t “take care of him like a true domme should.” Does taking care of him include things like pressing his jeans and making dinner? Or is it something else?
Regardless, no single activity, role, or chore is automatically the responsibility of the sub or the domme (or the male or female, for that matter). You shouldn’t assume he will do the chores because he’s the sub, nor should he assume you’ll do them because you’re the wife. Household chores are something you’ll need to discuss and divide up, not necessarily as part of a D/s dynamic, but rather, as something every couple should do in order to maintain a household.
You mentioned there’s a list of expectations — does it include what you expect of him? Or does it include expectations for both of you? If it’s only expectations for his behavior, you might try coming up with a parallel list of his expectations of you. It sounds like he has expectations (for training, for household chores, for “care,” etc.), so maybe you should talk about what those are.
Training a Submissive… or Not
Honestly, I’m not into “training” (as the term is often used in kink circles), and I don’t have any clue what your husband means when he says you should “train him.” He shouldn’t need “training” to say “ok” when you tell him you’re going to write on him. He’s a grown man — he can decide to do what you ask or decide not to. There’s no “training” involved in that. If he’s submissive, he should want to submit. He should want to be good to you because it makes you happy, and because it makes him happy too.
Instead of codified training and punishments, I prefer to think of relationships as systems of mutual positive reinforcements. Positive reinforcement should happen naturally, but perhaps you can approach it more consciously. If he meets your expectations for the week, tell him so. “Thank you” is always nice, but maybe you can do something to make him happy — it could be kinky fun stuff, or a nice dinner out, or watching his favorite movie with him.
In general, positive reinforcement is great, and again, it’s something that should happen naturally in good relationships (at least some of the time). Just be careful about how you approach it — I wouldn’t recommend setting up an explicit set/system of rewards. If you do, then you might set a bad precedent where he fulfills your expectations because he wants a reward — not because he’s being submissive. There are many reasons an explicit action/reward system isn’t a desirable relationship strategy, but even if you can ignore those reasons, it’s just not sustainable in the long term. You can’t “reward” him for everything all the time, especially not for household chores and responsibilities he’s supposed to do anyway (without any D/s element) as part of his role in making your household work.
Fantasy and Reality
I think you’re probably right to suspect your husband is more interested in a sexual fantasy than in the significant relationship/lifestyle adjustment it would take to be submissive (all the time). Lots of men want the sexual fantasy, but far fewer want to shift relationship dynamics outside of the bedroom. That’s fine… as long as he’s honest about it and you both come to some sort of agreement about what you both want.
Here’s the bottom line, if D/s isn’t making your relationship or your life better, and if you’re not enjoying it, then call it off (the D/s dynamic, not the relationship). It sounds like it’s giving you nothing but trouble, causing more harm than good in your relationship, and making you feel angry/frustrated/inadequate in the process. Talk about it with your husband, make changes if you can, and if it doesn’t work, then go back to the way things were or find something else that works for you.
Remember, D/s isn’t the goal. Happiness is the goal — if D/s doesn’t help you achieve it, try something else.