I think of myself (and describe myself) as selfish (and lazy… yeah, I’m a real catch!), but the complication is that I can only be selfish (that is, be comfortable ‘being who I really am’) in an environment where I know that my boy feels wanted and loved in it. I need to know that he is thinking, “Yay, I love it when you are all selfish and I can run off and do these things for you!”, all skip-happy like.
I can be (and have been) selfish in vanilla relationships, and it’s terribly unfair, and my partners have loved me and will go to the nth degree to make me happy, BUT I feel a lot of guilt in this. And I am always waiting. Waiting. Because it *will* get to the nth+1 degree, and at that point it will blow up. This is when he says, “Hang on… this is SO UNFAIR!!” and starts to push back, demanding some sort of equity. He will start to ask and expect that I behave in a way that is a lot *less* selfish (which is totally reasonable in a vanilla relationship, because we have not agreed otherwise). And saying “…but but… don’t you understand, I’m *selfish* and just want what I want!” doesn’t go down so well (I don’t know why…). I have learnt that trying to conform to those expectations makes me feel resentful and unhappy, and how that ends up is entirely predictable.
Like all of these things, making it work is about compatibility.
In a long term relationship of any kind, each party has to be happy. If I am selfish, then it follows that my submissive has to relish and enjoy that selfishness, or there is no longevity there. If we are compatible, then my selfishness feeds a desire in him to be the one who fulfils those desires: he blossoms under the knowledge that he is the special boy who can make me happy by doing that. It could be argued then that I am still being all nice in ‘pleasing him’ with my selfishness. And that works just fine for me.
The complication is that I have to feel emotionally ‘safe’ to be selfish. I MUST know that he is jumping out of his skin with delight when I am selfish. When I know him well enough, I am more than happy to tell him to ‘shut the fuck up and just do it’ if he offers resistance to something unreasonable that I am demanding. But in the beginning stages, he needs to be showing me that it’s not only ‘okay’ for me to behave that way, but that he actively *enjoys* me being that way. I need to see and feel and trust that we are in it together, that those interactions are bringing us closer, that it works.
If I don’t see his enjoyment and feel him get all swoony-happy over it, I just feel like a pushy, unreasonable bitch, and boy, do I ever get the bad-feeling guilts about that.
It’s a treat for me to do things, even mundane things, for my domme. We don’t get to spend a lot of time together, so most of our time together is spent being cuddly and sweet (the runner-up is play of varying intensity). But I like getting up early to make her coffee, or helping with her grocery shopping, or helping with that project in the garage that needs done. I love it when she has me do something for no better reason than it amuses her.
I think that when you don’t spend a lot of time together, the selfishness is muted because ALL your time together is cuddly-sweet and it colours *everything* that you do together with glitter and rainbows.
That is, getting up early to make coffee when you are loved up for the weekend is very different from getting up *every fucking day* to make her coffee when dammit, you were up late doing washing and you have to be at work in half an hour and you are tired and you need to fucking GRIND the coffee because she never does it and there is none fresh and did she just yell at you to hurry up?!!!
I’m not saying that you might not be like that for the long haul, maybe you are (or will be). And I’m not sure that’s really what I was musing about.
It’s kind of a rambly post (quelle surpris!), and I was trying to get to the idea that as a dominant, I have to be given a huge great big honking green light to be that way.
I have to feel emotionally safe, and I think THAT is probably not unusual, and possibly not well understood. The focus on this stuff is nearly always on the submissive providing ‘service’ (however that’s defined), and there is very little about the dominant’s headspace and concerns (because, hey, she’s getting what she wants so it’s all good, right?).
Either way, I am really glad that you get something out of doing those sorts of things for her. I’m sure she knows it too *smile*.
You know thinking about this on the flipside me personally I find myself needing her selfishness in my relationships a lot. When I think back about my relationships and the problems we encountered together a lot of it was my constant worry what she wanted, needed and desired of me. I have been in relationships where my partner said they wanted control but there was never really any clear set guidelines, rules, expectations laid out.
I desired and needed to fulfill her wants, desires, and needs in all ways but always felt like I was having to stumble around in the dark. I prefer a partner who with confidence says “go get me this, exactly this way, and do it now”. This is something I actually find myself needing from my partner because I need to be the one who does that for her or else I am not happy either.If that makes sense at all.
Yes, that makes sense.
There are two parts though, and I think they are separate:
2. Clear guidance
I think in any case a D/s relationship needs the second, but I don’t equate ‘having a set of expectations/rules/tasks’ with selfishness. As I write that, I am not quite sure how I make the distinction, but it has to do with whether something might make me feel guilty or not, I think *laugh*.
I guess an easy example is ‘write me a daily email’, which is a task I want done, but I don’t see it as selfish.
I second Ferns on this.
It’s one of the few silver linings that accompanies a distance relationship (or whatever sort of relationship where you can’t see each other often).
I’m in a similar situation as you, Neo, and I realize the infrequency of contact makes it easy for him to do what I ask, help me out, and be delighted to do so. For the same reasons, it’s easier for me to ask for things knowing it’s damn-near impossible for me to become a burden to him. (Of course, that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it, though!)
That certainly doesn’t discount what happens when we’re together, but I’m aware it does make some things much easier.
*nod* Yes, that.
I think there is a point where it’s no longer ‘awww’ fun or sweet, but really, in some instances, it’s just a tedious chore, and that’s when the rubber hits the road.
For me, we have to have created an environment where we BOTH know that if I give him a pass (“Oh, never mind, it’s okay…”), we will both be sorry. And when I *don’t* give him a pass, we should both feel closer/sweeter for having exercised that D/s dynamic a little.
I have to be honest this is the first of your posts that I have a hard time really grasping. Not that I do not understand what you are saying but seeing it as being “selfish”.
If I love her, respect her, trust her, and am completed by her than I don’t find her constantly wanting things or wanting things her way as being selfish. If she wants something I want to be the one who gives it to her.If she needs something I want to be the one who provides her that. I want it because I desire to be the one who gives her what she wants, desires, and needs.
Maybe I have not seen it from this perspective really for me. I have always just considered that I was a giver by nature with my partner. If I see, hear, or suspect that she wants or needs something then I am quickly off to be the one who gives her that because I want to be the one who does that for her. In fact, if for some unforseeable reason I am not the one who gives it to her, then I am disappointed in me. Maybe I just need to reread it because I honestly don’t grasp it as you being selfish.
I think if it fulfils something in you, then you probably *won’t* see it as selfishness (most of the time at least).
I think the idea of being ‘selfish’ comes from the starting assumption that relationships are equitable. If you don’t have that starting point, then it’s kind of meaningless.
It sounds like you would be good at creating a safe emotional environment for that kind of ‘selfish’ behaviour, and would get something really positive out of it. That’s the sort of thing that makes it work.
Thank you that is a beautiful compliment to me. However, I need her to create that safe environment through her “selfishness” just as much as she needs to know I happily accept and encourage that selfishness.
“my selfishness feeds a desire in him to be the one who fulfills those desires: he blossoms under the knowledge that he is the special boy who can make me happy by doing that.”
There is a special power that comes with being that one and only boy who can make her world a better place, and it is the exercise of that power that brings happiness to both.
*smile* I like how you used the word ‘power’ there, and I think it’s appropriate.
I keep mentally drawing a parallel to how men actually love a woman to be selfish in bed (in my experience anyway), to demand what gets her off, and how they feel when she comes and HE DID THAT FOR HER: THAT’S the return, and it’s totally a kind of power. THAT’S why they like her selfishness: her coming makes him happy.
I’m trying to equate that to non-sexual situations with an emotional return.
The issue with the parallel is the intensity, which is high in the NRE stage of the relationship, and steadies out as the relationship grows and settles. And THAT’S when it gets harder to *be* selfish: when the return is diminished.
What you’re saying makes total sense, you just want to know that you’ll be loved for you. You want to feel safe in being you because you don’t want to be hurt either.
I don’t think I do quite the eloquent job of explaining it in my blog as you do in yours (you are THE Ferns though so it’s expected I guess). But I think it’s the exact thing we all want out of our relationships, acceptance for who we really are, not what the other person wants (or thinks they want) us to be.
I mean I have a little to me, I’m not going to show that side to the first Domme who says they Want that.
So… yeah, I guess what I’m saying is, I think you hit the nail on the head for what everyone wants (even those weird vanilla types haha).
What you’re saying makes total sense, you just want to know that you’ll be loved for you. You want to feel safe in being you because you don’t want to be hurt either.
*smile* Yes!! And you are right, it’s a global desire in all relationships.
The thing that makes me raise it in this context is that there is an assumption that ‘the Domme’ doesn’t NEED to feel emotionally safe, that she’ll just ask for stuff, nay DEMAND stuff regardless! But it doesn’t work like that, and I don’t think we see it talked about all that much.
I understand that one too. I think the problem is more along the lines of are you really a ‘Domme’ if you are insecure, the answer is much more simple than the question however since the answer is you are insecure because you are a person not because of your title.
I’m glad you brought it up though, even being on the sub side I know that Domme’s are looked at as unflinching robots of passion and desire that will make every fantasy you have a reality… er umm I mean they have! *wink*
But I’m glad you are saying it since it is worth repeating over and over. We’re all human and subject to human feelings just because we fall into a role doesn’t mean we lose sight of being human.
I will never be an unfeeling, unthinking sub who is only happy when I am pleasing a Domme and frankly I don’t think a Domme wants that or they would just get a dog.
I get this totally Ferns love it IS selfish to be like that but it’s selfish in a good way I feel, and after all you both knew it would be that way going in and the submissive that doesn’t enjoy the “selfish” dynamic will never enjoy or even possibly understand it, I myself am selfish (Cue shocked gasps from all my admirers and lovers…. ok maybe my Mom gasped… a little bit… (shut up you daft old baggage you’re rambling)) but I make anybody entering into anything long term aware of that in the early stages so if they don’t like they can jolly well lump it! So it’s part of the whole P/E deal (look at me using all abbreviations all grown up like (you’re doing it again woman))anyway what I’m trying in a rambling where is my damn cup of coffee way is that you’re doing it right ;)
*laugh* “shut up you daft old baggage you’re rambling” <= Too funny!! Yes, the 'explaining up-front' thing is a biggie for sure, but for me, *even though I know that they are aware of it*, I can't exercise it or relax into it until I feel safe, and I think it's hard to explain what creating that safe environment actually looks or feels like. It seems like saying something like "enthusiastically say 'yes' and proactively look for ways to please me" should get part of the way there, but people are more complicated than that, so it's often just not that simple. It seems bizarre to say 'support me in my selfishness, make me feel good about it!', but that really IS what I'm saying. (nice use of abbreviations, by the way... heh...) Ferns
Ferns – Over the years I’ve had occasion to introduce many women into the realm of female dominance or whatever one chooses to call it.
And the thing I’ve always emphasized was that what we do is a time, the time to be selfish! Easier said than done of course.
So – I loved reading this!
I’m glad you liked it *smile*.
A question for you: How do you foster/support/encourage or otherwise show (or convince them) that you enjoy their selfishness?
“How do you foster/support/encourage or otherwise show (or convince them) that you enjoy their selfishness?”
When you are feeling as though you are being “selfish” this is exactly what he has failed to do! It can be a lack of communication on his part or it can be that he is fake in wanting your selfishness. I foster or encourage selfishness through my reactions, actions, and communication to her. I try to express to her my happiness I receive through her “selfish” ways…
Example of fostering through communication:
“you said you wanted this, I would really like to get you this please if it’s okay”…her okay..”Thank you so much for lettng me get you this it means so much that I was able to give you this”
Example of fostering through action:
Take note that she likes a double shot latte in the mornings while reading through her blog, eagerly and excitely provider her that double shot latte and let her SEE your hapiness on your face EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU DO IT. Let her SEE you bouncing around like a giddy school boi to get her that.
I can totally relate.
After a little over 2 years with my boy I still don’t feel entirely comfortable being all pushy and “I want”-like. (Him being my first submissive doesn’t really make things easier on the self-confidence page either)
He keeps telling me he wants me to just do and take and demand what I want but he doesn’t actually *show* it in his behavior. In the end he’s often frustrated that I’m not selfish enough and I’m frustrated that he’s frustrated, so both of us end up feeling bad.
Most of this is because of some personal problems in the progress of being dealt with on his side but still it kind of gnaws on us. Still I think we’re strong enough as a team to make it work, even if it’ll still take us some time to find our perfect (im)balance ;)
“He keeps telling me he wants me to just do and take and demand what I want but he doesn’t actually *show* it in his behavior. In the end he’s often frustrated that I’m not selfish enough and I’m frustrated that he’s frustrated, so both of us end up feeling bad.”
Yes!! This! What you are feeling is exactly what I mean with ‘needing to feel emotionally safe’ to go there. If he’s not *showing* in his behaviour that he actively *enjoys* you being like that, the instinct is to just… well… stop doing it, because you just feel like a selfish cow *cue frustration*.
And it *seems* like it shouldn’t be all that hard, but it *is* hard. Ugh! People are so damn complicated?!
“Still I think we’re strong enough as a team to make it work, even if it’ll still take us some time to find our perfect (im)balance ;)”
*smile* I love the ‘as a team’ phrase there, and if you recognise what is happening and are talking about it and working on it, I have no doubt you will figure it out! Best of luck!
I love this! Definitely something to be honest about, and to embrace. After all, if we didn’t want things our way, we wouldn’t be dominant ;)
*smile* True enough.
“When I know him well enough, I am more than happy to tell him to ‘shut the fuck up and just do it’ if he offers resistance … But in the beginning stages, he needs to be showing me that it’s not only ‘okay’ for me to behave that way, but that he actively *enjoys* me being that way.”
This is so, so true. In the beginning, precedents are set that can shape the rest of the relationship and, as you said, determine it’s longevity.
I finally asked J to do something I’ve been doing for ages (admittedly, something I complained about doing the entire time, but never asked him to do). He said he was happy to do it (although he didn’t express any sort of enjoyment). I later learned that he waited until the last possible minute to even think about doing it, and because of that, he inadvertently suggested it was a minor hardship for him.
I told him not to worry about it — I’d take care of it myself. I did, and I won’t ask him to do that again. I just won’t. I don’t feel safe in asking because I can’t handle the guilt.
Of course, this has made me hesitate in asking for anything else going forward.
So, yes. He should be thrilled at your selfishness now, both because it makes you happy, and also, because if he doesn’t, he may lose the opportunity.
“I told him not to worry about it — I’d take care of it myself. I did, and I won’t ask him to do that again. I just won’t. I don’t feel safe in asking because I can’t handle the guilt.
Of course, this has made me hesitate in asking for anything else going forward.”
*nod nod* Yep, it makes perfect sense: inevitable outcome is inevitable!
Fucking guilt, man. There’s always that point up to which it’s okay, that bit past that into which you can push, and after that it suddenly isn’t okay any more, and he has a big part to play in helping to make it okay to move that line.
The beast and I have this conversation often. I struggle with my selfish ways. I’m making him read this. *wave beastie*
I think that struggle is pretty common… ugh! I hope you manage to sort it out.
*waves to Sweets’ beast also*
I have been in a LDR for 3 years now (although we did not meet on line). We see each other approximately every other month and the relationship extends far beyond the D/s dynamic in that we are known as boyfriend/girlfriend to each others’ family and friends. He loves my selfishness and understands that it is about emotional security. Sure, being LDR keeps it “special” and without a doubt, all the little tasks would perhaps be less enjoyable for him if we saw each other on a daily basis but I will say that there is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t happily do something for me (buy something, mail me something, research something, run an errand for me, as he lives in my hometown.) And of course demanding what I want from him sexually is also something that he loves. However, he does have boundaries (and I don’t know if I would want to be with someone who doesn’t) in that he can not tolerate me having a play partner. Because my personality drives me to always be pushing the boundaries (sucking the very marrow out of life, so to speak) and because I am so fiercely independent, I really struggle with him limiting me like this. My expectations of him and myself will always be to jump higher than the last, in another words, will I ever be satisfied? Ultimately, finding satisfaction is MY struggle alone.
Thank you for sharing your perspective. I think that your ultimate question is really interesting.
“My expectations of him and myself will always be to jump higher than the last, in another words, will I ever be satisfied? Ultimately, finding satisfaction is MY struggle alone.”
I guess this kind of comes back to the question of compromise and deciding what is acceptable. But as you point out, if your expectations always go ‘one step further’, then perhaps you *can’t* ever be satisfied. It’s an interesting conundrum, because I think the idea of ‘always escalating’ is actually quite wide-reaching, in different ways.
I can so relate to this. I, too, am selfish. And that works great with my slave.
But I also have a vanilla husband. He adores me and does everything for me, but I totally struggle with guilt for being selfish, and I guilt myself into trying to be a little less selfish, which then feels inauthentic. I wonder if that is sustainable long-term. I wonder if women like us should never attempt vanilla relationships at all?
“I totally struggle with guilt for being selfish, and I guilt myself into trying to be a little less selfish, which then feels inauthentic.”
I am not sure that I can do vanilla again because I get both guilt and resentment in equal measure. My experience has been that over time, he WILL reach a point where he will start to push back, and not in a cute ‘just kidding’ kind of way.
I think that you have a better chance because you are poly, so you can at least (I assume) express yourself fully some of the time, but the sustainability question is still a good one.
“If I don’t see his enjoyment and feel him get all swoony-happy over it, I just feel like a pushy, unreasonable bitch, and boy, do I ever get the bad-feeling guilts about that.”
OMG.. Where were these words about a year ago! LOL We struggled for months trying understand THIS very thing. Being new to D/s, it was hard to find the right words to make him understand that each time I push a little harder, poke a little further I feel as if I’m putting myself out there and being vulnerable of a sorts. When he would react negatively, it was/is hard not to go scurrying back into my hidey hole. LOL
“I think there is a point where it’s no longer ‘awww’ fun or sweet, but really, in some instances, it’s just a tedious chore, and that’s when the rubber hits the road.”
I wish THIS was talked about more. Those moments when submissives struggle in the day to day dreary. How dominants keep one to task without feeling like a naggy bitch. For us, it’s an infrequent occurence… but man it can get a little ugly when it pops up.
I want to quote your whole comment, and totally agree that the Domme’s vulnerability and the idea of ‘nagging’ isn’t talked about so much.
“each time I push a little harder, poke a little further I feel as if I’m putting myself out there and being vulnerable of a sorts. When he would react negatively, it was/is hard not to go scurrying back into my hidey hole.”
*nod nod nod* I touch on this in various places (like in this post, with the idea of ’emotional safety’), but I never really dedicated an entire post to the vulnerability that some Dommes feel. I should do that. I am totally with you in feeling that way.
“How dominants keep one to task without feeling like a naggy bitch.”
Yep, this too. You aren’t alone. There was a little about this in the comments here, but again, I haven’t really pulled it out and talked about it.
About time someone bbqed the sacred cow of romantic altruism. I am a very selfish domme, in the sense of self-interest and self-focus, but I need to know my submissive is submitting out of self-interest too, rather than a desire to please me. I don’t like the dynamic that other-focused sexuality creates…needing to justify your own pleasure by whether someone else is the beneficiary or not implies that your sexuality isn’t yours, but your neighbors’ (or your community’s, or your spouse’s.) Treating our sexualities as public property beholden to the approval of the collective is the essence of repressive anti-sex puritanism. If we have no right to our own sexual and romantic fulfillment, for our own sake first and foremost, then we implicitly have no right to our own boundaries! And that is a rape culture, a true rape culture where the right and ability to say no is contingent on the collective’s desires. Thank goodness we don’t live in one these days.
I wouldn’t feel emotionally safe in a dynamic where my selfishness wasn’t, or couldn’t be mutual. Demanding others abnegate their self-interest to serve mine feels so…yucky. It’s not any less a valid D/s dynamic to have a submissive who submits because he *likes* having external rules to follow and tasks to do.
That’s a great take, and I not one that anyone brought up in the comments.
I tend to hit a bit of circular logic in terms of my sub submitting out of ‘self interest’ rather than ‘desire to please’. I trust that his desire to please IS how he expresses his self interest and I’m not 100% sure that he or I can always tell the difference.
I guess this will come out in the wash: If his desire to please doesn’t make him happy, then cracks will start to appear over time.
And that is a rape culture
Here’s the thing, and it is something I have discussed with other subs when in sub only spaces.
A non-trivial number of us, and based on the admissions, the more submissive the more likely this is true, are looking for a partner who I have at times described as “a safe rapist”.
Yeah, that’s a bit of a shock phrase, but it’s the truth. The idea is more complex, but the elevator pitch is we desire to enter with our eyes open and fully consenting into a relationship that, barring that informed consent, would be abusive. It is how get fulfillment. We don’t use the “use” lightly. In being used we are fulfilled.
Once you open that door you have to talk about consensual non-consent and other things much of the BDSM world wants to claim don’t exist or can’t be separated from abuse.
So, yes, we are acting in our self-interest when we understand what we want and screen carefully because we are seeking that which fulfills us. However, most of us at that end of the spectrum have abuse in our past and are very susceptible to abuse. Why? Because it fulfills us, but we can’t discuss that because people will take it as an excuse to blame abuse victims. What happened is we knew what we needed, but didn’t know how to look. Often we were ashamed for wanting it.
I cannot speak
but that he actively *enjoys* me being that way
Would you settle for craves for your being that way?
So often people talk about subs being used just as sex or play, but used in the senses of being useful or endulging a whim are just as good and have real advantages. You can take them in public, which is a big deal, at least for me. You can do them more often. The sub can have an active role.
So, would you settle for crave?
I would 100% be good with ‘craves’ :).