Overcoming resistance


posted by on musing

Thumper recently wrote a post on his boyfriend Drew’s blog (in case you don’t know the context, Thumper is Drew’s (part time) submissive boyfriend). It’s a hot and interesting post that talks about resistance at its core, and it raises some points that I often have a lot of trouble articulating in a way that makes sense.

I commented on it with this:

I love this post from the sub perspective, thank you so much for sharing it.

“What I don’t really know about myself is where my illusory resistance to his dominance ends and is replaced with real resistance.”

I love that you say this. THIS is the dangerous place, the knife edge for me as a dominant.

I love loveLOVE pushing past where he thinks he wants to stop because that’s where the uber hotness lives for me (and us), going there together, but I have to trust us BOTH to know where that tipping point is between ‘resistance that I can get past’ and ‘resistance that signals the end point’. They both present the same because they *aren’t* some kind of ‘play-acting’: They both feel sincerely real to him and they both look real to me, because they are.

If I push past the first, there is an ecstatically happy place for both of us on the other side and I want us to go there, but if I push past the second, there is a mess of hurt and blame and lost trust on the other side of it. And until I know for sure that I can recognise one from the other, I won’t go there with him.

As you say, that takes time and trust which 100% goes both ways. Though it’s often presented as one way: that the sub has to trust the dom. But from the other side, I have to trust him as well.

Thank you for articulating it so well.

I’ve written about ‘force’ as a kink before. For many of us, when it works, it’s raw and scary and so very hot.

As a dominant, if I feel resistance from my submissive and I metaphorically (or literally) say ‘STFU and take it, bitch’, that shit is scorching.

As a submissive, if you long to feel overwhelmed and your dominant pushes you with confidence and asserts themselves despite you digging your heels in, there is a level of submission you can reach under that force of will that is all melty-wonderful-swoonworthy.

Until it’s not.

The thing that bothers me about the idea of overcoming resistance is that I often see two schools of thought on it:

  1. You shouldn’t do it, it’s bad: the dominant is a bad person for pushing and the submissive should just own up to what they want (FFS!)
  2. Dominants should have the confidence to just push past resistance instead of being such woosy babies about it, submissives love that (FFS!)

Neither of those views reflects how I approach or deal with resistance.

I LOVE overcoming resistance, but recognise very clearly that there is a knife-edge between the point where it’s hot and the point where it’s not. The nuance is there whether we acknowledge it or not, and the dominant has to asses each situation on its merits over and over again.

There is a contingent for whom the prevailing chorus is a blanket “Oh, I love it when a dominant does that” without seemingly any acknowledgement that in truth, sometimes that’s not the case because REASONS.

Even in an established relationship, the dominant wears the responsibility for making the call and paying the price if they get it wrong (and rightly so).

Some dominants know full well that pushing past resistance is risky and prefer simply to never go there. They will back off at ANY sign of resistance unless it’s very clearly negotiated in the lead-up to play. I can understand their position.

As Thumper articulated so well, the resistance I’m talking about is not play-acting, it’s not ‘bratting’, it’s not fucking about. It’s there. It exists. And sometimes even the submissive isn’t quite sure of the nature of it until it’s tested.

If you were to try and negotiate some kind of resistance play up-front when they were in that headspace, I suspect the submissive would just say ‘you know what, I just don’t feel like playing at all’ because that’s the truth, and that would be that. Which works perfectly if you never want to go there, or if you want to negotiate play-acting resistance. But they aren’t the same thing. At all.

The first time I had the confidence to push past my submissive’s resistance was huge for me. Huge. Mind blowing. Close-making. I got it right. And I trusted him not just to come with me, but to safeword if I was getting it wrong.

But I’m very aware that the line between getting it right and getting it wrong is paper thin.

How do I know I when I get it right?

The aftermath is a glowy-hot intimacy where we both feel impossibly close, where he is so very grateful that I pushed, where he feels loved, feels safe. And me, well, I just want to wrap him up and feel that aching vulnerability pulsing against my skin.

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