Jan 022015

t shirt that reads "property of my wife"

Today’s question is from Stealth Submissive Stanley
(from Covert City, CA)
I’m a neophyte at this, and so am seeking the counsel of a dominant woman. I’m interested in getting my wife to embrace the dominant role in our relationship. The complication is that she is very conservative, and the idea of dominating me would never enter her mind.
I am going to try an experiment for the next 9 weeks or so, and would greatly like some input on how to nuance this process. My thought is to begin pampering her, being extra attentive, but within limits. That is, I don’t want to alarm her by taking a radically different direction. Rather I hope to gradually inculcate this idea into her psyche, almost to where she does not even notice her rising feelings of dominance. Over the next few weeks I will begin increasing the frequency of my attentiveness and take it to greater degrees.
If a woman is not inclined to dominance (or perhaps does not know it), is such an experiment likely to be successful, or simply end in frustration and abject failure?
What you suggest is called “stealth submission” — it’s a strategy men[1] employ to turn their wives into dominants.
In stealth submission, the husband simply assumes a submissive position without telling his wife. He acts more submissive (and/or subservient) towards his wife, slowly and
secretly (or stealthily) increasing his submissive behaviors in the hopes she will slowly (and unwittingly) assume the reciprocal role.
He doesn’t discuss it with her first — he doesn’t admit to his submissive desires, nor does he ask if she’s interested in dominance. He just takes on the role of submissive, essentially forcing her into the dominant role without her knowledge or consent.
There are people who advocate stealth submission as a means to achieve a femdom relationship dynamic. I am not one of those people.
As a dominant woman
As a woman

As a person — as a human being who deserves honesty, communication, and respect, particularly from someone who is supposed to love me — I think stealth submission is really awful. It’s not something I’d want a partner to do to me.

Essentially, stealth submission is tricking your wife, girlfriend, or partner into something she might not be into without her knowledge, and it’s forcing her into a dominant role without her consent. It’s dishonest and manipulative.

If that weren’t bad enough (and it should be), stealth submission isn’t actually submissive. If you manipulate your wife into being what you want her to be, then you’re the dominant (an unethical dominant) and she’s just doing what you want her to do. In other words, she’s being submissive to you.

I mean, look at your own language:

“I am going to try an experiment [. . .] I hope to gradually inculcate this idea into her psyche, almost to where she does not even notice her rising feelings of dominance” [emphasis added]

Read that again. Seriously. Dude, you’re experimenting on your wife in the hopes of programming her to be what you want her to be… without even asking her what she wants… without even telling her. You already said she’s pretty conservative, so it stands to reason she might not want to be dominant… you already know this, but yet you’re “inculcating” her “psyche” anyway…? (← that right there is manipulation, lack of respect, and some really bad relationship mojo… you get that, right?)

Back to your questions.

Is stealth submission likely to be successful? Maybe. Or maybe, but only for a little while. Or maybe not.

Is stealth submission likely to end in frustration and abject failure? Perhaps. It may end with your frustration. But the risk is that it may end much worse than that — with her feeling manipulated, controlled, and deceived by the person she loves (and the person who is supposed to love her). Stealth submission could end in a lot of mistrust and hurt feelings.

So what’s the alternative to stealth submission?

Talk to her.

I know honesty is vulnerable and comes with its own set of risks. She might refuse to hear you out or she might shut you down completely. Worse than that, she might look down on you for your desires. But you have to do it — take the risk and find a way to talk to her.

By talking to her openly and honestly, you’ll be respecting her as a person — a person with her own wants, needs, and her own autonomy and right to consent.

Hopefully, she’ll respect you by listening with an open mind, by being willing to try new things, and by being amenable to finding ways to make sure your needs are met.

That’s how a good D/s relationship — or any good relationship — works. Both partners should trust each other enough to communicate openly and honestly, and both partners should love each other enough to care that the others needs are met.[2]

Best to you,

1. I acknowledge the sexism and heteronormativity in my language here. For the record, employing stealth submission or other manipulative strategies isn’t necessarily limited to men in heterosexual relationships. In theory, anyone — regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation — can be an asshole. However, I’ve never actually seen a woman or non-binary person, or a man in a same-sex relationship employ this sort of manipulative tactic, though I have read material from dominant women who advocate it as a tactic. Since the overwhelming majority of stealth submissives are cis-het-men, and since the writer identified as a heterosexual male, I’ve chosen to use sexist, heteronormative language.
2. …within reason, and assuming both partners’ needs overlap, or at least, they don’t conflict. People change and/or realize their desires later in life, and sometimes two partners can’t meet all of each others needs.
composite based on “Ninja Fighter Japanese Samurai,” via Pixabay (2013). Work licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication.

  17 Responses to “experiment in stealth submission: can it turn a wife into a domme?”

  1. OH Dumb Domme , how smart be honest and truthful the best advice. For if a Woman is not at all dominant , She will not respond in a dominant way. She married you for who She sees someone who loves Her and most likely you have been dominant and She is following along. Unless you tell Her your desires ans She accepts you will be disappointed in the outcome. Most Woman have been taught to be submissive to their husbands. That is a big thing to overcome on both your ends yours and hers.
    good luck. be honest

  2. I think one of the key values of BDSM culture is explicitness.* We ask for consent before so much as touching, we like to be clear who’s in charge and when the scene is over, we flash traffic lights when we want it to stop.

    So stealth submission rings all the warning bells. But in vanilla culture so many things go unsaid and un-negotiated … maybe not everyone feels this way about getting things into the open?

    *I’m still trying to figure out whether baring skin is also part of Believing in the Explicit. Ah, the mysteries of life …

  3. ‘ Worse than that, she might look down on you for your desires’

    If she is ‘conservative’ this is more than likely. Conservatives, in my experience, regard kink as at best a sign of personal inadequacy, at worst a sign of utter filth and depravity..

    If she takes this line, she will eventually come to treat you with contempt, either overt or implicit. This will inevitably change the dynamics of your marriage, and not for the better. No relationship can survive when one of the partners has contempt for the other.

    On the other hand, the stealth option is not really viable either, because it rests on a lie. Secrets and lies are morally bad. But apart from that, they aren’t good for you, because lies take you to a very lonely place where you are protected by an edifice of dissimulation behind which you are walled in and solitary. No one else can know your secrets, therefore you will get zero validation or acceptance.

    I’m afraid you are between a rock and a hard place. Sorry to be so negative, but I have naught for your comfort.

    • Hey, Grumpy, that’s a pretty conventional view of conservatives, especially in this libertarian era. I have been a Domme for seven or so years who is total fiscal conservative and a staunch opponent of radical Islam (which, as I imagine you know, is highly misogynistic and homophobic), but also a social liberal on personal matters. There happen to be a lot of people like that nowadays – and a lot of them are kinky. Times have changed. Get with it, fella.

      • There’s fiscal conservatism and there’s social conservatism. The two may co-exist, but not necessarily so. In the context of a blog about feminism and femdom, it is perverse to interpret the word ‘conservatism’, as anything other than social conservatism.

        Social conservatism is rooted in the religions of the Abrahamic tree, but extends beyond their sphere of influence. Apart from promoting the systematic oppression of women, including women’s reproductive rights, it takes a prurient interest in what consenting adults do together in the bedroom, which it attempts to police.

        In the final analysis it is the enemy of liberty of thought, and freedom of sexual orientation. Those who define themselves as social conservatives are predictably hostile to all forms of sexual ‘deviancy’. Look no further than the struggle of gay men and women for basic human rights.

  4. Stealth thing will probably fail. Asking her to top might also depending on how she is approached. In all honesty there is not enough data about her to give useful advice. Only thing I could suggest to him would be to get a cheap beginners bondage kit and use it on her a few times if she’s game, then suggest she use it on him and build from there. Like I said though, not enough data on her and conservative could be a whole range of issues. “Pampering her, being extra attentive” should be done regardless though. She’s a sexual goddess and beautiful. Let her know this daily. Even if she doesn’t want to top doesn’t mean you shouldn’t submit yourself to her. If she wants you to be in charge make sure you do so as best you can for her.

  5. I think I had a woman try this with me once. I definitely didn’t appreciate it. People do deserve to know wat their lovers have in mind.

  6. Conservative women are hawt. Just like Ann Coulter.

    Can’t say I agree with her views, but ….

    … I don’t know where I’m going with this.


  7. Whenever I hear about stealth submission, I think of this tumblr post:

    Dear “Submissive” BDSM’ers: trying to “make your boy/girlfriend into a Dominant” is an intensely dominant act involving severe behavior modification, and you should at least own up to that.

    It doesn’t sound much like that guy cares about what his wife wants at all, he just wants to train her to do stuff that gets him off. That’s really pretty creepy.

    For anybody who actually does care about what their partner enjoys, talk to them about specific actions you enjos without using words that are likely to freak them out. That is, talk about how hot it is or how happy it makes you when they tell you exactly what they want, but don’t use the words like “domination” that will just make them think of terrible and unsexy stereotypes.

    • There’s one tumblr that I sometimes see stuff reblogged from that likes to take random pictures and caption them with (paraphrased) “Inside every woman there’s a domme waiting to be awakened.” Even though I’m dominant in my relationship, it makes me gag a little every time, and nice way to spit in the eye of female submissives who don’t switch or women who have no interest in BDSM at all. Aside from the disrespect inherent in the act of manipulating your partner instead of honestly communicating with them, it’s incredibly disrespectful to assume that they’ll just want whatever it is you want, apparently just because you want it.

      Every time I see a post like this, I really wish I could see how it goes down when the wife doesn’t get the telepathic messages that his doing the dishes is related to him wanting to submit, and he eventually gives up. Suddenly, not only is he not getting whatever it is he kinks on, she’s not getting the same amount of help around the house, and ain’t nobody happy.

      • “Inside every woman there’s a domme waiting to be awakened.”

        Ugh, that makes me gag a little too. How much more obvious can these guys make it that they only see women as sex objects?

  8. Talking to your partner in an open and honest way is always best. However, it could also be a shock to her if you suddenly tell her out of no where that you want a 24/7 mistress slave relationship. You have to accept that most women will probably not be “turntable.”

    If you tell her that you’re interested in exploring dominant submissive play in the bedroom and start small, with things she’s comfortable with, you have a better chance. It’s still a small chance but better. Being submissive doesn’t start with manipulation and trickery.

    If what you want is to enact a certain fetish, say spanking, you might be disappointed if her idea of submission is you doing the dishes. Be honest with yourself, figure out what you really want and figure out how it can benefit you both. Find out what she wants and come up with something that makes you both happy. If you just dump some extreme fetish on her you could come off as selfish and greedy. Don’t get caught up in the Internet’s idea of femdom. It’s often cartoonish and caters to men, not women. Submission at it’s heart is about giving, not receiving.

  9. WOW! Erm…damn. Have to fist state I have never heard the term “stealth submission”, well at least in my circles. From what I read above it goes against EVERYTHING I have ever learned within the dynamics of BD/SM. If one is unable to be open and honest with their partner (no matter the role) then they can not expect a positive outcome.

  10. Thank you, so very much. I have just now found your lovely corner of the internet, and truthfully, this was the first entry to grab my attention. You cannot believe how grateful I am to have read your opinion on the subject.

    About five years ago, I entered a poly relationship with the understanding that He and I would both be Dominant to her. We discussed his possible Dominance to me, but it soon became obvious that such a thing wouldn’t work. However, he then proceeded to pull a ‘stealth submission’ over on me. Gradually, I found him relinquishing more and more of his care and control over to me. Just like when someone trips, you have that instinct reaction to grab them and pull them up; I reflexively led the household in the sole Dominant role. It was my home as well, after all, and at least one person truly was my responsibility. I felt dumped upon, though! I felt that there had been no discussions or agreements- on the contrary, I had often mentioned that he should be able to handle his own things to an extent. I felt as if I were being used, rather than appreciated. Needless to say, I ended the relationship once I realized that he was too firmly rooted in his submission with me to compromise.

    It was so very refreshing to see someone point out the unfairness and deceitfulness of such a tactic. While it may would work out if the person already has the inclination, it still promotes a lack of honest communication. How easy would it be to agree to small implements rather than underhanded manipulation? I’ve heard people say that it wouldn’t have bothered me if I were ‘Domme’ enough to handle it. Yes, I could have handled a household of three. But you hit the nail on the head with your comments on honest communication and consent.

    Again, thank you!

  11. I have been giving this some serious thought and I believe I have found a system to make your wife into your mistress (at least for one time) using stealth submission. Make sure you pay attention to the details here though as they are very important. First off, go out and get yourself a cane. Make sure it is a quality one that will not snap with some vigorous usage. Then make sure that you have her where you two will not be interrupted by anyone, especially those nosy ass kids. You should make sure you will have at least a few hours of time to the two of you. Now make you that this day is the first day of the fourth month. Walk up to her and hand her the cane saying “hey, check this out”. Now that she has the cane in her hands tell her ” by the way, I’ve been fucking your sister (if she does not have a sister feel free to substitute brother, mother, father, best friend etc.), if she just stares at you blankly feel free to add that said person was really good. This should get you the result you have been looking for. Ok, now very important, cover your head. You do not want to lose an eye, get hit in the throat or the mouth. So after said beating and making sure she can hear you clearly say ” April fools, wasn’t that fun?”. If you haven’t brought up the subject of her being your mistress before then now is the perfect time as I’m almost positive that she will have enjoyed beating you very much after what you said. There you go, the perfect plan that will work with most women!

  12. Hello D.

    I really appreciate your response as I have always thought that Stealth submission was a good and selfless thing. but you opened my eyes and showed me how selfish it is. So thanks for that.

    Could you tell me how about practising stealth submission from day one.. ? In other words how about submitting to every single wish from the very first beginning of a potential relationship without creeping her out with kinky desires talk.. ? what do you think of that?

  13. I cannot see it working. I believe in the husband being the leader but that does not actually stop me asking to be spanked at times as this seems to be what I need. If I didn’t believe that the husband should lead and passionately love his wife I would be in a mess. I think this submissive temptation thing is going nowhere and can only feminise the husband. I am glad though that my wife understands that part of my sexual dna and is comfortable with it.

 Leave a Reply