If you are like me, Dominance might be something that you crave. If you are also like me, it might be something that you ask your partner for. In my case he said yes and he did become my Dom. But it is not always the case that wanting is the same as doing. Sometimes we want but it doesn’t come easily. I think that one mistake people can make is thinking that to suddenly be dominant within a relationship is an easy thing to do. Life is not like the books and sometimes it does not go the way that you want it to. Sometimes life gets in the way and I have found that in order to sustain a lifestyle D/s dynamic, at times I need to encourage Dominance.
To encourage Dominance might feel wrong as a sub and, certainly, I have been told that this is the case. In my post Soliciting Dominance I argued the case that I felt it did not make our power exchange less authentic than others. We are all different and we all have different needs and requirements. From what I have seen, it is not only my relationship where there is a need to encourage the dominance. The things that encourage dominance in your relationship may not be the same as the things which work for mine, but I do think that in a long term relationship, it is likely that you will hit times where it does not always run smoothly and you may want to try to help along the response you are looking for.
Asking permission for things is a really good way to reinforce respect and also give over control. Unlike following rules which have been set, asking permission for things is an active thing and, therefore, it can go beyond what is already put in place. “May I please ….” puts the control firmly in your Dom’s court and allows them to take the lead in a small way which might have been missed. This might means asking permission for basic things, it could be to do with family matters, or it could focus around services you want to offer in the bedroom.
We use a set talk time to discuss things to do with us, our family and our dynamic a couple of times a week. While not everyone needs this formality, for us it works to help keep us connected and to keep the right mindset. During this chat, HL will lead the discussion, and although he will ask for my thoughts and opinions and encourage me to bring up anything that I feel I want to discuss, he will listen and then make a decision about what is to be done. Looking to him to do this has helped to encourage his dominance as, prior to that, he would be much less involved and often the decisions would fall to me.
Deferring to the Dom
I will also defer to him whenever possible. Even if this is something to do with the children, I will often suggest that we check with him and see what he thinks. This way the whole family has come to see him as the head of house and it is something that has helped for him. I think that my acknowledgement of his place has gone a big way to making him feel that he is in control. He is at the centre of the decisions made, rather than being a passive part of them and it has allowed me the freedom to research without the pressure of making a decision, which suits us both.
Being Mindful of Tone and Language
This is a really important one for me. Prior to D/s I would sometimes use my ‘teacher voice’ as HL called it. He accepted it as he knew that it came, often, from a place of frustration, but ultimately it did undermine his position. In addition, I would use vocabulary which was loaded with connotations of blame, even when he was not really at fault. Taking time to stop and think, to ask for a time to talk about the issue, has meant that I am much more careful and controlled about what I say. Often I have moved past the state of heightened emotion and our talks tend to be calmer and more productive.
We have a number of rituals which help to feed the mindset for both of us. These are usually things which have started as a one off act and have become a conscious part of what we do. Like so many of the other examples above, they are often about reinforcing the respect that I have for HL. While they are things which can be common courtesies, they are also the little things which remind him that I am his submissive as well as being his wife and friend. I guess they are the small things which reinforce the power exchange between us.
I really believe that submission should not be a passive thing. I guess there are some relationships where the Dom is very controlling and the 24/7 direction of the sub is something which they can be consistent with, but for us, and for most of the couples I have met, things don’t work like that. Feeding the mindset of the other is a big part of being able to be well connected on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Clearly I know that one takes the lead and the other follows, but any successful relationship is about playing to your strengths and allowing others to experience the best of you.