Jun 172014

Today’s reader question is from Domina Wanna Woo[1] of Romance, Arkansas.

Q: Do you ever want to be “woo-ed”? Flowers, chocolates, thoughtful cards for no reason? My sub and I have a great relationship but sometimes I need the affirmation that he is in this as much as I am… but as the domme, how do I let him know this?

Submissive Male Woo-Pitchers Wanted

selected tweets about wanting woo

see here for the whole conversation

Are you a submissive male? Do you pitch woo? If so, dominant women are looking for you.

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to the ‘woo’ we’d like pitched in our general direction, but it’s all about how we give and receive affection. While I’m not fond of the reductionism of the “5 Love Languages,” it’s a useful framework for discussing the various ways people express and experience love, desire, and affection in their relationships — through words, service, gifts, time, and/or touch.[2]

I’ve written about the expression and experience of desire in the context of my current relationship, and it’s still something I struggle with. At times, I’ve not felt ‘desired’ in a way that I appreciate. I want to be wanted — pursued, desired, lusted after. I want aggressiveness and I want to be kissed. That hasn’t happened as much as I’d like, in part because I’m not as secure in my dominance as I should be and in part, because it’s difficult for J to enact desire in a way that feels submissive.

Anyway, the point is this: dominant women want woo.

Don’t believe me? See this conversation, and this
, and “Romantic Shit” by Mistress Lilyana.

So… how do we get it?

The “Right” Answer (spoiler alert, the right answer sucks)

In general, the ‘right answer’ is talk to him about it. In the context of a D/s relationship, (as the domme,) the ‘right answer’ is to tell him to do romantic shit. Command him in your best Porno Dominatrix voice: “Go get me some flowers, boy! Or face the wrath of my comically oversized novelty dildo!”

But those answers suck balls, right?

The Problems

Problem #1: Solicited Woo / Woo-on-Demand

If you tell him to get you flowers, then any forthcoming flowers are the result of him following orders and not the result of actual wooing. Those flowers will be more obedience than thoughtfulness, and it won’t feel like woo to you.

Problem #2: Token (of his) Affection

I can’t speak for all women, but the more time I spend in relationships, the more I think that women want cards and gifts and flowers as a sign of love and appreciation because they don’t really feel appreciated or loved (at least not to the degree that makes them happy or in the way that speaks to them). The language in your question, “sometimes I need the affirmation that he is in this as much as I am” is troubling.

I want all the kink AND all the romantic shit… Woo me. Sweep me off my feet, damnit.

Are you not getting ‘affirmation’ in your day-to-day relationship? Or, are his expressions of affirmation (reassurance? affection?) different than what you need to need to experience those things?

Wanting ‘affirmation’ doesn’t sound troubling all by itself, but uncertainty about whether he’s “in this” in the same way you are — that sounds like a much bigger issue than wanting more romantic gestures.

My Advice (spoiler alert, it kinda sucks too)

I’m not the best person to answer this question (nor most questions, really), because I’m terrible at asking for attention, and when I manage to do it, I struggle to accept it as sincere. Of course, the blame for that falls mostly on me since I’m the dominant and I make the rules (and fuck all if that isn’t a kick in the ass). My unsteady occupation of dominance, insecurity, and hell-bent on self-reliance set up a lot of bad precedents early on.tokens of affection

I don’t know how far along you are in your relationship, but don’t set bad precedents. If you need wooed, you’re going to have to tell him. I assume simply telling him isn’t an ideal means to get what you want — since it’s the obvious solution, if you were amenable, you would have already done it. I get it. I really do. But you’re going to have to do it anyway.

To mediate some of the woo-negating forces of having to ask for (or demand) romantic gestures, you might want to build some choice, flexibility, and pseudo-surprise into your request (or command).

Cards and chocolates aren’t my thing, but if I wanted those sorts of romantic gestures, here’s what I’d do.

  • I’d give J a list of romantic gestures that I would appreciate. They would be specific enough that he couldn’t “fail,” but broad enough to give him some choice. For me, that list would include no-cost items (thoughtful note, a song that makes him think of me, a written account of a special memory) and inexpensive, small gifts (my favorite perfume, a bauble from one of my favorite Etsy shops, a new hot chili sauce).
  • I’d also give him some direction about how often I’d like him to do/get one of the things on the list (maybe once a month, depending on ability, access, and expense).

Giving him that sort of list and additional guidelines would give him some direction about the sorts of things I appreciate, but still give him some flexibility to choose specific items or tasks and choose when to present them. It would help to ensure he understands my expectations, and would help me to feel somewhat surprised by the timing and selection of gestures.

[1] Yeah, I’m using “woo” as a noun. So what? [back to text]
[2] See here for more on what the “5 Love Languages” are. The framework was developed by Gary Chapman — you can find out a bit more at his website (warning: it’s religious), and you can take an online quiz to find out which of the five is your “love language.” [back to text]

  12 Responses to “wanted: submissive males pitching woo”

  1. Ha! When I saw your title I thought immediately of that twitter conversation.

    Then I started a comment here and it got really long, so I threw it over on my blog instead.

    Then I realised that I already wrote a ranty piece about this when Mistress Lilyana posted her thoughts. I forgot.

    Apparently I have things to say about it. Whodathunkit?


    • I’m still struggling with the unclear pronoun references in the first paragraph (it sounds as if I was frustrated at not being romanced by submissive men instead of Lilyana). I tried to accept it, but it’s unclear (and it’s about me, which makes my eye twitch). :)

      Anyway, I think you and I value romantic gestures differently, but besides that, we agree that even with ‘work,’ assigned romantic gestures won’t feel all that romantic.

      (Of course, I’m at a weird place in my relationship, so who knows if my valuing of such things will change.)

      Thanks for your thoughts on this. :)

  2. Cards and chocolates aren’t always my thing either but I do really like the occasional gesture.


    • In this relationship, I’ve only ever felt (slight) want for a gesture when I’m feeling less-than-ideally loved and appreciated. Of course, I haven’t been able to make those connections at the time, but in hindsight, whenever I feel slighted for not being the recipient of some gesture, there’s always some larger feeling of not being appreciated.

      And yes, the occasional gesture is nice. It feels good to be wanted (and worked for).

  3. Thanks for bringing this up. It is highly valuable to know this. Knowing may not solve the situation, but it can help. But, as an introverted person of few words or gestures, knowing this type of thing has helped me change, so I am glad to hear your perspective. And know that you have a lot of company in this.


  4. Such a quandary. Though, I do think you make sound advice despite the disclaimer that you aren’t the one to give it.

    • Thanks, Cammies. I’m perpetually surprised that people ask me for advice. I figured people would ask questions about me… (and oh how I was wrong on that…) :)

  5. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had anyone to pitch woo at, but as I remember it, woo pitching is a very individual thing that needs to be customized for every relationship so it wouldn’t really matter which side of the slash you are on.

    As I mentioned on another blog, the object is to make her feel loved, appreciated and protected and that being the case, her dominance, or lack thereof doesn’t really enter into it. I just want her to be happy.

    Pitching woo is especially important in an established relationship where both have gotten to know each other well and it is all to easy to allow the strength of that bond to be ground down under the relentless assault of the mundane details of life.

    A D/s relationship is just like any other, albeit built on a different structure and without a good, solid relationship that structure cannot stand.

    As far as the 5 languages of love go, I seem to be a “Words of Affirmation” kind of guy.

    • the object is to make her feel loved, appreciated and protected and that being the case, her dominance, or lack thereof doesn’t really enter into it.

      That’s the thing — we’re all humans, regardless of identity, behaviors, and preferences. Though the ways we express it and feel it are different, we all want to be loved, right?

      As far as the 5 languages of love go, I seem to be a “Words of Affirmation” kind of guy.

      As much as I rag on the 5 Love Languages, I do think it’s good for people to identify how they best express and experience love and affection. As for me, I don’t have a fucking clue. This relationship hasn’t been the norm, nor are we in a normal situation, so it’s probably best for me not to use this one as a means to make generalities. It’s all so fucking weird! :)

  6. Thank you so much for replying! This is just what I needed. And you’re right, I haven’t talked to him about it yet but looks like I’m going to have to. And sorry about the confusion, I didn’t mean for it to sound like there’s an underlying problem about him wanting the relationship, I just feel like the wooing helps validate those feelings!

    Thanks so much, really! At the very least I feel better knowing I’m not alone. :)

    • Hey OP! Thanks so much for checking in. :)

      I’m glad it helped, even though I can’t offer much in the way of helpful advice. :) It’s always helped me to know I’m not alone in my frustrations, so I’m happy it made you feel a little better too.

      Best of luck to you and your boy!

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