My last vanilla ex was my longest term relationship. I talk about him quite a bit on twitter.
He is a wonderful man: attractive, smart, attentive, sweet. He is my closest friend.
Relationship-wise, he puts most self identified submissive men to shame with his behaviour. We had known each other via a common circle of friends for some time before we dated. On our second date, he brought me a gift of towels because I had been to his place and had commented on his amazingly soft and gorgeous bath towels. I never thought a thing of the comment I made: An observation in passing, idle chat. And yet there he was with this gift.
His habit of listening, paying attention, and acting on what he saw and heard because he thought it would make me happy was a fundamental cornerstone of our relationship. I would find books that I mentioned under my pillow a week after we talked about it, he would ask my mother for my favourite recipes so that he could make them for me, he would pay attention and deliver on things that he knew would make me happy. It was the stuff of romance, the actions of a man in love, and I was lucky to be on the receiving end of it. Even now, he brings me home made treats that he knows I will like, rings me up to tell me there is a television show on that I would enjoy, invites me over to eat amazing cooking experiments that he is trying out.
Today we went for lunch, and we breached a barrier that we never have: He told me he’d been on a date.
This might seem like a small thing, but it wasn’t. Since we split up, we haven’t talked at all about our personal lives, our relationships. It seemed like a thing that was off limits. For me it was because I ended it with him, and talk of seeing other men seemed a step too far into the hurt that I’d caused. For him, I suspect there was a hope that we might reconcile for some time, so if he dated, he didn’t want to mention it and destroy that possibility.
Today when he blurted it out over lunch, a little awkward and shy, along with a tentative happiness for him, I felt a kind of relief. It’s not about her or how it will go with them, it’s about the simple fact that he shared it with me at all. It feels like a step that we should have taken a long time ago, but didn’t, or couldn’t, or something. Having said that, I am a selfish person, so I also felt a pre-emptive sense of loss over the attention that I have enjoyed from him for so long.
So today we stepped over a line that we should have stepped over a long time ago. Then we had more wine. We wandered some shops. We sat on a balcony overlooking the street and people-watched. He cajoled me into trying on some brightly patterned skinny jeans that he tried to convince me to buy. We bought some frozen Japanese food from an Asian shop. He nodded approvingly over a new dress that I bought.
I am lucky to have him in my life.
And so, life goes on.
Edited to add: Today, a day after I wrote the above, he arrived on my doorstep to deliver the brightly patterned skinny jeans that I tried on and didn’t buy. He drove back down to the shop and back (45 minutes each way) to get them, and then offered them up as a gift. Just because he thought they were awesome on me, and I should have them. Seriously: Some woman should snap him up.
Oddly, I haven’t felt like writing about it. I feel a little like I’m hugging it to myself, quietly turning it over and petting it.
Let me say this, though: Three hours of kissing with a completely lovely vanilla man who called me ‘Ma’am’, who invited me to tie him up, who let me hurt him and asked for more, who was responsive and crazy-hot under the onslaught, who was beautiful prey for me.
Yes. Yes please.
Kissing date. A-1. Would do again.
Edited to add: Those eyes: holy fuck, beautiful! Truly stunning.
I didn’t want to talk about this until it was a SURE THING. Because, well, you know.
But since I’m posting this as I walk out the door to meet him, unless he’s a no show (he won’t be), fuck yeah, kissing date!
Holy-fuck-beautiful-eyes kept in casual touch after cancelling our kissing date (as he said pointedly to me, he DID offer dinner and a chat instead to which I replied that that’s like offering a nice salad with low fat dressing to someone who was expecting a roomful of chocolate).
We exchanged a few innocuous friendly emails that moved outside of OK Cupid after the bitter bitter disappointment. I gave him my ferns AT domme-chronicles DOT com address figuring it didn’t matter if he found my blog (he did) because the possibility of kissing had passed, so he wouldn’t be influenced by it either way.
Fast forward some 10 days, and his budding new relationship had fallen over. He put the kissing date back on the table (in a rather unappealing, knee-jerk-reaction-to-hurt kind of way, I have to say). I said no thanks to that, but since he had handled the situation previously so well and had kept in touch after the fact, I was happy to start talking about it again.
I told him he would have to work harder to re-ignite my interest after my disappointment. That once I am disappointed, I draw a line under it and close the door. That I rarely give people the opportunity to disappoint me twice.
He stepped up with his considerable charm, and I was drawn in and charmed by it. We click in a way that I don’t often feel. I enjoy him a lot.
I felt that same pull that I felt before from our correspondence. That… something. I can’t put my finger on what it is, I just feel some inexplicable visceral connection with him that makes me WANT, and that’s so very rare for me.
There was a ridiculously tiny window of opportunity for this kissing date. A bit sooner than I would have liked, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to explore it, and him.
So tonight: Kissing date mark II.
As I write this, I’m antsy and restless, cycling up a spiky aggressive energy for it.
I can hardly fucking wait.
My friend and I walked the sandy path to the beach. There in the shade, we passed a couple.
She was talking animatedly on the phone, leaning casually up against the walkway railing.
He was kneeling before her, undoing the shoelaces of her right sneaker, obviously taking her shoes off for her.
We exchanged friendly smiles.
My friend nodded at the man at her feet.
“That’s some fine service you’re getting there,” he said.
Her face brightened into a wide smile, she glanced down, she nodded.
I was going to write a post pontificating about this, as I tend to do, and then I thought I’d ask you all instead of blathering on about it from my own point of view.
For both submissives and dominants:
In your relationship, what happens when the submissive disobeys?
For the purposes of this question, I am using the word ‘disobey’ to mean ‘to refuse or fail to follow an order or rule.’ Not an accident, not a mistake, no unavoidable circumstances. Plain old disobedience.
If you haven’t got any experience to draw on because you are new, that’s fine, just talk about what your expectations are.
I’m particularly interested in hearing from submissives on this.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
I’m always baffled when I hear about how someone ‘poached’ or ‘stole’ another person’s submissive.
It just makes no sense.
Are there people who will go after someone who is already partnered up? Sure. They might do it with a vengeance, and they might employ all of their considerable charm, and offer cookies. If you want to get angry at those people for displaying a lack of ethical behaviour, then that’s fair enough. Go for it.
But submissives aren’t inanimate objects with no agency of their own, no matter what anyone says.
If they leave their partner to be with someone else, they CHOSE to do that. Nobody ‘stole them away’.
They made a choice, and as much as it might hurt, they are entitled to it. And if they say things like “I couldn’t help it” or “they made me”, they are clearly the kind of person who is unwilling or unable to take responsibility for their own choices. Regardless, it was still their choice to make.
If someone leaves you, it sucks. If someone leaves you for someone else, it sucks even worse. I get it. But nobody ‘steals’ another person.
How does a sub say no at all. I read you blog entry on what to do if your sub says no but a harder question for a sub is how do you say no. Numerous times I have had very bad experiences because I didn’t feel I could deny my partner.
Recently My Lady put me through a scene that was several hours long. It was something I knew I would not enjoy but I felt I could not say no. Negotiation can not cover every possibility, I had simply never thought of this kind of play before. Now a few days later I am literally feeling traumatised. When it is time to visit my lady I have always felt excited. Now there is some dread, and not the exciting kinky kind.
I don’t want to kill my Lady’s feelings of dominance, I want to encourage them. We have had a wonderful relationship and I don’t want it to end but I don’t know how to talk about this with her.
Can’t say no.
Hello ‘Can’t say no’,
I’m so sorry that you are going through this, AND that you have had bad experiences in the past, truly. And you are right, that IS a hard question, and you aren’t alone in struggling with it.
I want to be very clear that the post you are referring to (When your submissive says no) is about a submissive not living up to their end of the relationship agreement because they ‘don’t feel like it’. It is NOT about making your submissive do things that they have not agreed to or that they have legitimate reasons not to do.
I have so many things to say about this, and of course it’s complex. But the bottom line is this: If you can’t communicate with each other clearly and honestly, you are going to run into problems. It’s not an ‘if’, it’s a ‘when’. So you both need to talk about how you do that. Which is the first challenge if you already struggle with communication (and also why the generic advice of ‘communicate!’ is often not actually very helpful: If everyone knew how to do that, and was capable of doing it, they would presumably be doing it already).
In my experience, most submissives want to please, and they hate to disappoint their dominant, so many find it really difficult to say ‘no’ to anything, even when it’s to their detriment. “I don’t know how to talk about this…” is really common because it’s just hard to bring up difficult things (I’d add that that’s true for everyone, not just submissives).
I have no idea what kind of relationship you have, but I’m going to assume a personal one where you know each other well, are close friends, and that there are good intentions on both sides. So for the purposes of this answer, I’m going to assume that you didn’t communicate your discomfort at the time, and that as it stands now, she actually doesn’t KNOW that you are struggling with it, and are feeling traumatised by it (if you expressed distress during your last scene and she ignored it, that’s a whole other issue).
I suggest you ask her for a time to talk. No play, no kink, just talking in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Tell her that you are having a hard time with the play you had last time you were together and that you need to talk it through. Explain what it was that caused the issues (too much pain? you were scared? you felt emotionally hurt? etc) and how you have been feeling in the aftermath. Then if you haven’t already, talk about your difficulty in saying ‘no’ in general.
If that sounds really hard (and it is!), consider writing down some notes for yourself that cover the points you want to make. You can even say that you are really nervous about the chat and that you have some notes to remind you what you wanted to say, and use them. If a face to face chat really is more than you can handle, then consider writing her a letter, but even then, I really would encourage you to give it to her in person so that you can both deal with it while being physically close, reading each other’s body language etc.
I would expect and hope that because she cares about you, she will be horrified to find out that you are struggling with it, very keen to understand what happened, learn how she misread the situation, and be eager to avoid it happening again. IF all that is true then the conversation should naturally lead to ‘what can I do differently?’ and a plan of action for the future.
Some ideas that might help:
Take any new forms of play being off the table until you get back into your comfort zone with each other, and scale back all play to things that you know you both enjoy a lot. This is to get back on track, and regain your footing.
If you don’t usually discuss scenes beforehand (e.g. if the activities are ones you have done before), you might want to start doing that to get into the habit of having that negotiation. Also maybe role play saying ‘no’. I know it sounds silly, but it’s worth a try: For example, agree that she will tell you what she is planning and you *have* to say ‘no’ to one of the things she is intending to do. She will say ‘Okay, fine’, and off you both go. It can help to normalise that interaction for both of you so that it’s no longer such a big deal.
If you have trouble saying no *during* play (for example, it’s too much for whatever reason), then maybe you can discuss a system where you have to say ‘yes’ for the play to continue. This doesn’t at all have to ‘spoil the mood’. I ask for ‘yes’ all the time:
“Do you like this, baby?”
“Do you want more of that, boy?”
If you don’t say ‘yes’ happily (that is, you stay silent, or say ‘no’), then she stops.
Alternatively, to get used to communicating during play, you could have scenes where you have to continually ask for what you want before she will do it. Again, it doesn’t have to be a mood killer, it can be lots of fun.
“What do you want now? Ask me for it.”
If she is new (implied by you talking about ‘killing her feelings of dominance’), then this will probably be hard for her to hear, and it might be a blow to her confidence (that is, she is essentially learning that she blew it and that’s never easy), but she needs to hear it or she will continue to think everything is fine up to and past the moment when you leave her due to the trauma and fear.
The communication practice is on both sides. You need to learn how to communicate your concerns and feelings, and how to say ‘no’, and she needs to learn how to create a safe space in which you can do that without negative consequences.
I wish you the very best of luck with it.