Having just written about how male submissives frequently sabotage any chance of successfully developing a dynamic with a Domme through ‘pedestalising’ them – approaching them with platitudes about ‘service’, ‘worship’, and whatever else they expect a Domme would want to hear, instead of an actual conversation – I am prompted to elaborate on the subject by this commentary by dave94015 on my original post. In particular, the following paragraph:
When you first communicate with a woman in a dating situation, she is doing more than listening to your words. She is reading your non-verbal body language, your attitude, your attraction to her and much more. A submissive guy has to be a guy first and then engage in submission when she initiates dominant play. He has to get her aroused by masculine dominance, non-hesitant advancement towards her through a free expression of masculinity and display of independence. Establishing a relationship begins by triggering the BDSM dynamic from creating tension. You create tension by being the initiator, leader of interaction and maintaining a position of high value.
I would like to clarify that, whilst I think submissives should approach Dommes as individuals, rather than throwing generic submissive buzz words and hoping some stick, there is categorically nothing wrong with a submissive approaching a Domme as a submissive. In my opinion, it is categorically untrue that a male submissive has to arouse a Domme ‘by masculine dominance’, or ‘display independence’. Now, here I should say there is nothing wrong with men who are submissive, but otherwise display typical ‘masculine’ traits.
However, I have also seen how the societal expectations of masculinity can make male submissives twist themselves into pretzels, trying to reconcile what they are ‘supposed to be’ and what comes naturally to them.
In fact, this particular pressure once led an otherwise perfectly sweet sub of mine to, out of the blue, choke me to the point of unconsciousness, with no warning, whilst we were watching a film one evening. Afterwards, he was something of a wreck because, as far as I can tell, there wasn’t a dominant bone in his body.
Now, this obviously is an extreme illustration of this particular struggle, and I am not saying he could not have handled it differently (and less… violently) but nonetheless it does show my point – the pressure to be ‘masculine’ can really get to a sub.
From the other side of the slash, I (and quite a few Dommes I know) have absolutely no interest in any sort of display of ‘masculine dominance’. A potential submissive, in avoiding the pitfalls of idealising a Domme, should equally not go too far in the opposite direction, and lose all manner of deference. Whilst a Domme does not want to be idealised, she is is looking to dominate. Being approached by a submissive who tries to be the ‘initiator’ and ‘leader’ in the interaction will lead to tension, yes, but of a wholly unpleasant sort.
In all honesty, making the distinction between Dom and Domme in this case rather confuses the issue, because male or female, Dominants want control.* We want to be the leaders, the initiators, the decision-makers. Whilst ‘submissive’ doesn’t (necessarily) mean ‘grovelling slave’, it also most certainly doesn’t mean someone who will try to impose their will and ‘leadership’ upon me. Whilst this and the article from one of those ‘women whisperer types’, Chase Amante, which features in Dave’s post, might be at least somewhat true in vanilla dating, I hate to state the obvious, but Dommes are dominant. Let our subs be submissive.
* (There are, of course, differences in how dynamics develop between a Domme and male submissive, and a Dom and a female submissive, which I am not dismissing. They are however not relevant to this point).
As a side note, I would just like to commend two excellent points that are raised in Dave’s post; (i) that a male submissive shouldn’t be terrified of saying anything that might even slightly offend a Domme, and therefore appear permanently ‘nervous and supplicating’ and (ii) that a submissive should not submit to a Domme simply because she is a Domme. In terms of the latter, (ii) by submitting, a sub is placing themselves in an inherently vulnerable position, and they should only ever do this with someone they trust completely. As for the former, (i) it leads to subs hiding their preferences, interests, and just sometimes their entire personalities, which again really makes developing a dynamic difficult.
Update: Dave has since pointed out to me that he was writing about a male submissive approaching a woman, who he interested in potentially dominating him, but where the BDSM is a vague background interest, and vanilla dating is in the foreground. Whilst my points stand where that comment is applied to a kink setting, (and therefore I will keep the post as is) I would just like to point out that Dave was writing in a different context, in which light his points make a lot of sense.