Today’s reader question is from Domina Wanna Woo of Romance, Arkansas.
Submissive Male Woo-Pitchers Wanted
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.