Jul 022014

Today’s reader question comes from Wrestling Rita from Tumblrville, Interwebz.

You know you can ask me anything over there, right?

poster - guilty of mishandling tools

Do you ever feel ashamed/guilty/etc about your desires as a dominant? How do you deal with that? Asking as someone who is wrestling with herself and thinks you seem pretty wonderful.

Thanks for the kind words. :)

Sorry to hear that you’re wrestling with yourself over your dominant desires. It won’t make you feel any better, but you’re not alone. You didn’t identify your gender or sexuality, but if you identify as a cisgendered, heterosexual woman, dominance probably isn’t something you’ve been enculturated to embrace — it’s unfamiliar. Hell… if your a cis/het lady, you probably aren’t all that comfortable articulating your desires… or even having them. After all, culture educates us to believe that women are meant to be the objects of desire — our role is to fulfill desires… not to have them.

Anyway, glad to hear you’re acknowledging your dominance and your desires. :)

I toyed with him for hours and rationalized it as ‘all in good fun… I’m not really a sadist.’
But last night, I caught myself smiling…

To answer your question, yes. I have felt guilt and shame (or something like it) over my sexual (and relationship) desires — not necessarily my desires as a dominant, but my desires as a sadist.

In the beginning of my relationship with J, I was only ‘playing’ sadistic (or at least I thought I was?). I was going through the motions — play acting as a “Domme” in order to fulfill my partner’s desires.

I like to think of myself as a person who goes out of her way to not hurt people, particularly people I care about. Because I knew my submissive was a masochist (something he had known about himself long before we met), it was easy enough to rationalize sadism as something I was doing for him.

I didn’t feel much shame or guilt because I wasn’t really a sadist — I wasn’t hurting him because I enjoyed it — I was hurting him because he enjoyed it (…right!?!?).

But somewhere along the line, I had to admit that I was sadistic. My realization wasn’t the product of any mental steps I took to think it through, but instead, it was the product of finally recognizing my physical reactions — my body reacted to hurting him. It turned me on.

It took a bit of mental gymnastics to come to terms with that, but since I was already in a situation where I knew my partner was a masochist, I never felt shame or guilt about it enough to make me hesitate. (I hesitate because I don’t want to hurt him too much, not because I like hurting him too much.) In some ways, it was a relief to realize that I wasn’t (role) playing anymore.

I feel awful for what I did, for the satisfaction of it all, for the high it gives me. I feel guilty for having used him like a toy and guilty for how good it felt.


My guilt and shame — the sorts that bother me — aren’t about general desires, my sexuality, or what I want out of sex and love.

My guilt comes after I’ve acted on my desires — after I’ve dominated (hurt, fucked, commanded, consumed) been sadistic with J.

It’s top drop, and I’ve written about it before. My first attempt was articulating what top drop feels like. Two years later, I found myself better able to identify drop, but no better at preventing it or making it go away.

“Guilty! Of Mishandling Tools… Good Tools Deserve Good Care.” by Packer. (1941 – 1945). Work is in the U.S. public domain.

  8 Responses to “dealing with dominant desires: guilt and shame”

  1. Hi DD,

    You said:

    You didn’t identify your gender

    The commenter did identify herself as female. She said:

    Asking as someone who is wrestling with herself and thinks you seem pretty wonderful.

    • Possible Response #1: I made a mistake… there’s a first time for everything. :)

      Possible Response #2: I saw that. I was just being extra sensitive about gender identification. I mean, perhaps she’s gender fluid, and when she asked the question, she identified as “she.” But maybe when she reads the response, she identifies as “he.” (did you buy that? didn’t think so)

      Possible Response #3: When I went back to review a draft of my response, I realized I had assumed the writer was a “she.” (I didn’t reread the question, just my response) I went back and edited to account for what I thought was a gender-biased assumption on my part.

      (FYI, #3 is closest to the truth.)

      DD regrets the error… all the errors… past, present, and future. :)

  2. Interesting topic and I’ll weigh in with a couple opinions and personal experiences. I’ve never really experienced “top drop” as you call it….. but have questioned a few times if I’ve crossed a line. When I first started training my (then boyfriend) husband I questioned a couple times if I was doing anything detrimental to his mental health due to all the verbal humiliation…..which I enjoy dispensing. I wondered if my endlessly telling him he was a sexually inferior male with an inadequate penis might have an impact on his self esteem.

    And of course from a personal health safety standpoint all the spanking and caning and ball busting/beating is a concern. I would never intentionally do anything that would permanently injure him, but I do love doing it and the harder the better. Sadistic? Sure……and proudly so, lol. But only in a sexual manner, not beyond that. :)

    • Thanks for chiming in with your experiences and thoughts, Vanessa. The more the better!

      I questioned a couple times if I was doing anything detrimental to his mental health due to all the verbal humiliation…

      I think that’s a good thing — there’s always room to make sure that what you’re doing isn’t doing permanent or unintentional damage to someone you love… which for those of us newer to dominance than you are, is probably a great reminder.

      spanking and caning and ball busting/beating is a concern. I would never intentionally do anything that would permanently injure him,

      Yes to this! Again, for us relative newbies, it’s difficult to know how much is too much until you’ve already gone too far.

      In my case, I think any top drop I have is exacerbated by the fact that I’m in a weird some-weekends-together relationship. When he disappears the morning after something intense happened, I don’t get that feedback and reassurance that all is well… and the spiral of doubt and worry begins…

  3. Don’t spiral and worry.
    Take a lover, lol.
    Joking…..or not….whatever suits you. :)

  4. Hi,

    Being new here, I’d like to refer to one of the older posts you linked here (the last one). You said you felt bad with all of it being about you. That you were not really worrying about your sub but about the possibility of losing him and how it would suck for you.

    I have a little different perspective and I hope it might be helpful. I noticed that every healthy relationship is based on egoism. When I go grab a beer with a friend from highschool I don’t do it for him. I do it for pure hedonistic reason – my own pleasure. It works the same even in family – I do visit all the people I’m related to, but if I have some closer relation with any of them it’s because I like them, not because I owe them anything. And what is incredibly important for me is seing this work both ways. That someone choses to spend time with me, basing on his/her pure hedonistic instinct, to fulfil their egoistic needs with my company.

    I cannot be sure if it’s a general rule, or just my problems with self-esteem, but I do believe it’s the first one. Treating the other person as your basic need, you might fulfil his own need of being valuable. And you can assume, that – aware of that or not – he does the same. As long as you do care for the guy and want his well being I can see nothing wrong with that.

  5. I definitely struggled with feelings of guilt and shame early on. It went so far that I convinced myself I was submissive because I couldn’t deal with the idea of wanting to control and hurt people. Somedays I still wrestle with it. The only answer I have is that knowing my play partners want to hurt or be controlled as much as I want to hurt or be in control makes it okay. At least for me (and obviously for them).

 Leave a Reply