I don’t like to ask

Public domain mark'Untitled' by milivanily

I’ve talked about the vulnerability of asking before, but apparently I have more to say on it.

Asking something of a submissive I’m talking to, expecting something of them, then paying attention to it, prompting them to do better: These are all ways that I communicate that I care. That I’m invested. That I’m trusting them with small pieces.

I don’t like to ask things of people. I know that will sound odd to some who have an idea that a dominant woman is all about asking, nay demanding, things.

But to me, asking something of someone is an attempt to make a connection, a binding of sorts. There is a kind of link there, both in the asking and in the doing what’s been asked.

In a lot of ways it makes me profoundly uncomfortable to ask for things, not least because it makes me feel vulnerable (to a ‘no’, to disappointment, to a feeling of not being heeded, valued, respected). I feel failure from asking as a kind of rejection (‘rejection’ is not quite the right word there, it conjures up something significant, but it’s more a ‘forgot to put sugar in my coffee and ew it’s bitter’ level of feeling).

If I don’t care about that person, I rarely want to enter into that small social contract with them. So I won’t ask, I won’t expect, I won’t pay attention, I won’t prompt.

If I do ask something of someone, and they disappoint me in it, I will feel like offering that tiny snippet was a mistake, I trust them a little less. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and usually it’s not, it’s tiny.

And trust is not a yes/no switch. It’s a continuum.

I trust people often with big things and not small things. We all do. I trust pretty much everyone I meet not to steal my wallet out of my bag if I leave it with them. It’s a thoughtless kind of trust we all have: There is a clear ‘right and wrong’ in it.

But I may not trust that person to send me a text when they say they will. Something infinitely smaller in scale, but along a completely different dimension of ‘trust’.

They each require different levels of trust, and with the first there is the weight of law and society behind it. People know it’s wrong, there is no equivocation, no decision in it, and the consequences of doing it are dire because they go well beyond some small social contract between individuals. It’s really not a lot to do with me.

With some small thing like a promised text, though, there is no cost in breaking that small trust that has been placed in the agreement they made. Nobody gets hurt, there is no financial cost, there is no physical impact, it’s no big deal.

It’s a small thing. Worthless almost.

“Yeah, I know I said I would, I just forgot/fell asleep/didn’t think it was important/got busy/something.”

If they haven’t yet piqued my interest, I won’t talk to them about it because I just don’t care. It’s more a simple observation that ‘oh, so that’s how you are, I see’. My investment in them is low, and my desire to have to have a conversation about it (i.e. ‘making a big deal’ about it) is nil.

I asked, I offered something, it’s a small vulnerability. Tiny. And if they don’t step up, I feel it.

I file it away as a piece of information about them, and expect less of them going forward.

It’s not a show stopper, it’s just information in the first instance. But repeated demonstrations of their inability to do small inconsequential things I ask for will logically lead me to stop asking and stop expecting anything.

And when I get down to expecting nothing, I will no longer reach out, I will drift away.

I don’t get angry or upset, that would be ludicrous.

But asking for things makes me vulnerable, it puts a tiny piece of me out there to be kept safe or trodden on. I’m seeing if I can trust them enough to see and value some very small thing that I have offered.

And if I find that I can’t, I notice, and I will withdraw it.

Loves: 25
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  1. “I don’t like to ask” (picture of open hand) I was expecting a ‘please donate to support my blog’ post ;)

    I very much relate to much of what you say here. I am happy for people to ask things of me, but do not like doing the same in reverse. It makes me uncomfortable and exposes more of my vulnerabilities than I normally like to.

    I will say you are slightly wrong on one point. Not *everyone* has that implicit trust of the big things you mentioned. Some people have the trust crushed out of them to the point where they do not trust the average person on the street not to attack them. It takes a lot of time and work to recover the trust that many take for granted. That kind of trust is a privilege of people with good lives living in safe parts of the world.

    1. Well, if you’d like to donate, that would be grand :). ASK ME HOW!

      It’s funny isn’t it? I have people in my life who have NO problem asking for things (not in a greedy-graspy way, they just don’t think a thing of it).

      “I will say you are slightly wrong on one point. Not *everyone* has that implicit trust of the big things you mentioned. “

      No that’s true enough. I should probably have left out ‘we all do’: absolutes are always trouble (see what I did there? :P) :).


  2. I definately feel like this also. Though I was probably a bit unfair to my sub when I was just getting to know him. We had been chatting online a lot and I had met up with him a couple times and it was the first time I had decided to go to his house for the evening. I wanted to see how far I could push him this early and would have expected any negotiation to my request and accepted it. But he barely hesitated when I told him I’d like to have him prepare my breakfast for the coming week that evening – poached eggs, yolks medium, english muffins with cheese. I brought a dozen eggs and told him I expected 5 perfectly medium poached eggs and he had to do it naked. He took half a second to look like a deer in headlights before he stripped down and got at it. I was really shocked. That was huge. He may not know it but that foundation he set keeps me checked on asking too much or too often because I know he will give me the moon if I asked for it.

    Oops that was probably a huge comment. But your post made me feel all sentimental about him.

  3. I totally understand where you’re coming from. I have that same feeling and thought process. I don’t like to ask for help, so when I do, I expect it and if the request isn’t followed through by the other party, I expect less and detach emotionally but by bit no matter who it is.

  4. This is so very true. I think it can be unexpected to people just starting out, with stereotypes in their head but, dominants are human too! The vulnerability can go both ways, it’s two people dropping guards, learning to trust each other by experience.

    In fact, for me, I need it to go both ways. It’s part of what shows me that what we are together is so valued to both of us.

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