(TW: Descriptions of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.)
Sometimes, a creator presents a piece where their truth, their layered vulnerability, their authenticity, and their sheer empowerment knocks on your soul.
I live for moments like that.
They feed oxygen into my existence and keep me feeling alive.
This writing by -Pocket- on FetLife was one of those moments for me. I suspect it will resonate with many of you on a visceral level as well.
How dare you call me a man hater.
I was busy loving men when I was 17.
He lied and cheated.
Rather than be accountable to his own shitty behavior, he taught me that my jealous insecurities were a character flaw that made me unlovable.
He taught me that having trust for men is a responsibility I hold, and an entitlement he held, regardless of his actions.
He taught me that good girls are not teases, because that is actually abusing men.
He taught me that the evaluation of my body should be through his eyes.
I learned that I was unlovable but that he would teach me how to be loveable. I learned to hate my body. I never had an orgasm from PIV but I faked them for his ego, and learned to think that sex without orgasm was just normal.
And still, I never stopped trying to love men.
I was busy loving men when I was 21.
I was serving my country in a foreign land.
My brothers in arms raped me.
I could not bring myself to hold them to account. Because I was a good girl, and a dedicated Marine, and I knew that destroying a man’s career was a crime against humanity.
I felt too much empathy for their situation to harm them.
They taught me that suffering was my fault because I was broken. They were right about one thing: I was now actually completely broken.
I was raped again.
I wanted to sever my soul from my body I fucking hated my flesh so much.
And still, I never stopped trying to love men.
I was busy loving men when I was 25.
He was an angry drunk just like me.
We loved and hated each other with complete abandon, second only to our love for booze. Completely insane now, I was surrounded by other lunatics.
He taught me that suffering together was better than suffering alone as he beat me to a pulp and abandoned me unconscious in a pool of my own blood.
He taught me that when I finally gathered the courage to fight back that I was also an abuser.
He taught me that we are all fucking lost and that we are all fucking unlovable, and the world is a cold and meaningless place. Love was a cruel illusion in this hellish landscape where I lived.
And still, I never stopped trying to love men.
I was busy loving men when I was 30.
Finally, now sober, starting to clear the wreckage.
Therapy. Fearless moral inventories. Amends. I learned to take responsibility for myself. I learned to get good at that because I realized my life depended on it. I was doing the damn work. I learned that I was signing up for a lot of bullshit from men because I would not raise my bar.
I became committed to fixing my picker and to being a person who I could love enough to make room for higher quality men to love me.
He came as a knight in shining armor. He was stable and normal and just a regular good guy. A little boring but a stable, family man. Then he consumed our life with massive debt because he needed his toys.
He taught me that if I tried to right the ship I was in, that I was a joy kill and a nag. He taught me I was a control freak when I made a case to curb the spending. He taught me to distrust the part of me that was trying to protect myself and build a sense of security in my world, because that was more comfortable for him than to admit he was bringing it down around us.
And still, I never stopped trying to love men.
I was busy loving men when I was 35.
I became a feminist.
I devoted myself to learning the social constructs that make men and women so that I could learn the secret code that was eluding me in my lifelong pursuit of loving men.
I became fascinated with intentional power exchange.
Finally we can be honest about what the fuck this love shit is. I submitted.
I felt freedom. I did my part.
He taught me the luxurious experience of loving through actual consensual pain and service. He taught me how to have purpose in that, and I did so love it.
He also taught me that no amount of giving on my part will obligate him to giving back when I had needs that interfered with his wants.
I learned that his compulsions for self destruction were actually needs, and my desire not to enable them was unrealistic and harmful to him. I learned to hold my tongue as self destruction ate him alive in front of my eyes, and powerlessness devoured my dreams. I learned that it was controlling behavior to try to help a man because I loved him and could see his demons so fucking clearly, having already conquered the same ones myself.
I learned to hate myself for seeing things clearly and mirroring them back relentlessly until abandonment was assured.
And still, I never stopped trying to love men.
I was busy loving men when I was 40.
Beautiful submissive men who taught me to feel embodied power for the first time in my life.
He taught me how to embrace the feeling of being in control with abandon in so many passionate moments.
He also taught me how his cock was still the only thing that really mattered.
He taught me how my value was still derived as an object of his desire. He taught me to love feeling my power, right up until I tried to call him to account for actual harms he was doing to me or himself.
Then he taught me that basic accountability for his words and deeds was too much to ask, my expectations were too high, that his inability to own his shit was still my fault.
I learned to beat myself up for wanting too much.
And still, I never stopped trying to love men.
I was busy loving men when I was 45.
I tried vanilla again.
Love is love I told myself.
I loved with abandon and believed forever fairy tales, again.
I tolerated subtle abuse because I had learned to have so much empathy for all the ways men are broken by toxic masculinity. I forgave with abandon. He isn’t perfect, I said. I am not perfect, for fuck’s sake I have PTSD so bad I can’t even leave the house some days, so I have to have empathy for his imperfections.
After all, I can see how his rage stems from his own experiences with trauma. He will love me for not abandoning him in his pain and showing him the way out: accountability, honesty, facing fear. Be patient, I told myself. He will grow.
He taught me that his abject terror of inadequacy, taught to him by his abusive father, was my responsibility to navigate carefully. He taught me that I should own all of my shit and most of his because he was simply unable to carry the burden of his trauma and face his shortcomings.
I was strong and wise enough to see it wasn’t really me this time. I had all the language and tools I needed, so he couldn’t possibly hurt me beyond my superhuman abilities to heal myself from abuse.
The gaslighting, the negging, all to save himself from basic accountability – they slid off me like water on a duck’s back because I was so fucking immune with self knowledge.
He lied to himself, he lied to me, he blamed me when I called him out on his delusions. He made me the bad guy because calling him out on his actual shit was equivalent to berating him, equivalent to abusing him. He would scream as he threw tantrums, destroyed property, and as he put the safety of me and my pets at risk.
Trying to teach him things I have learned in my healing journey from trauma was still somehow me disrespecting him.
He could not grow, because learning was literally too painful to his ego for him to bear. He taught me to have shame for knowing things he didn’t. He taught me that if I cannot love him from the little box he made for me so that his fragile ego could feel safe, then I am not lovable.
When he finally left for good one day, on the premise that I was somehow inexcusably abusive for very quietly complaining about something he promised to do but didn’t, he taught me that no amount of empathy for the inability of a cowardly mother fucker to own is his fucking shit is healthy or productive for him or for me.
He taught me to regret being so fucking empathetic.
And still, I have not stopped trying to love men.
I am 50 now.
Back on Fetlife, I am engaged in the search for men to love. I do this in the face of countless men on this site foisting responsibility for their shortcomings onto women day in and day out in forums, in status updates, in inboxes.
I do this in the face of being lectured on “not all men.”
I do this in the face of disgusting displays of violent threats when he is told he is not a good fit, usually because he has demonstrated he has no internal sense of accountability for the way he reduces women through his dick centric/toxic masculinity infected worldview in various ways.
When I tell him he is not empowering women with his attitude, words, or actions, he teaches me that he is a terrified coward who is unwilling to do the work to be a better human, and he will defend his right to be unfuckable and angry at women about it until the day he is dead.
Daily he teaches me that he is dangerous because his slavery to his fragile ego keeps him on edge and ready to lash out at any perceived threat.
And still, I have not stopped trying to find men worth loving, and even now have found a few showing up in my world.
Even now, I am still loving men.
And you dare to call me a man hater?
I am a fucking Love Warrior.
I’m very honored that -Pocket- agreed to, and trusted me, with her writing and granted me caretakership of her beautiful piece here on my blog. I find it difficult to articulate the depths of which her trust means to me. Please follow her on FetLife at -Pocket- for more incredible, vulnerable and profound pieces from this extraordinary human.
Simone Justice is someone I respect and admire. She’s an OG Dominatrix who is a straight-shooter, incredibly knowledgeable, experienced, and thoughtful. She cares about kinksters and the community as a whole.
This article was first published on Simone’s website in 1995. The advice she gives here is evergreen and will have you well prepared in booking a Dominatrix.
Whether you are a nervous novice contemplating your first experience or a weekly visitor at the local house of domination, read this article to learn how to find the dominatrix of your dreams (and how not to become her nightmare).
During my years as a professional dominatrix, numerous conversations with my peers revealed common preferences in regards to conduct and protocol for booking appointments.
Below, I outline crucial advice for the client seeking a session:
LIST YOUR INTERESTS
Make a list of the your likes/dislikes to share with the dominatrix, preferably emailed before your first session, so that she will understand what you want from your appointment.
Don’t be concerned that she will only be doing what you want her to do; an experienced dominatrix knows how to take your requests into consideration and still be in control of the session. She can also use the information you provide to suggest other things you may find interesting.
If you aren’t sure what to include on your list, pay attention to your fantasies: if you fantasize about a certain kink or fetish frequently, you will probably enjoy it in session.
Categorize your list into things that you
(A) have tried and know that you like,
(B) are willing to try
(C) do not want to do.
Don’t leave anything out just because you are embarrassed or anxious or you wish that you didn’t want to try it. This is your chance to fulfill your fantasies. Don’t think that the dominatrix will lose respect for you or be shocked by your interests; trust me, she’s heard it all before.
determine your level of play
Go back over your list of interests. Realistically evaluate whether you want Light, Medium, or Heavy play in each area of interest. Remember that the types of play may be combined in session, which may increase the sensation. If you haven’t yet tried something, rate it as Light.
Most importantly, do not say “you can do anything with me, Mistress”, because if she’s convinced, a dominatrix might use the opportunity to satisfy her most severe sadistic urges thinking that you are one of the rare few who can handle it. Don’t try to please or impress by overstating your limits…you won’t!
Most dominatrices will have the basics, such as a paddle, a flogger, a crop, etc., but some BDSM play requires specific equipment. Figure out and list your equipment needs, such as: suspension rig, cross-dressing wardrobe, hood, etc. Don’t assume that every dominatrix can provide the correct equipment; only the most experienced dominatrices have studios stocked with everything you might need. Furthermore, if you have a specific fetish for something unusual, such as “cabled knee socks”, go out and buy the necessary equipment or wardrobe to present to the dominatrix in session.
decide what you actually need in a dominatrix
Think about the most important qualities you would like to find in a dominatrix. Consider such elements as intelligence, personality, physical appearance, and style of play. Some dominatrices have a friendly, compassionate, flexible play style, while others have a distant, haughty, imperial play style.
In order to learn about a client’s preferences, I often asked them whom they have seen in the past, what worked with her, and what did not work. Try going over your history to determine the fundamental characteristics of a successful encounter.
Decide what sort of relationship you want. Do you like the short- term anonymity that a house, which employs several dominatrices, can provide, or do you prefer a long-term personal interaction with an independent Dominatrix?
An experienced dominatrix knows how to take your requests into consideration and still be in control of the session.
independent or house dominatrix?
Think about which is right for you, an independent dominatrix who works for herself or one on staff at a house of domination.
There are pros and cons for each. Women who work independently may have a private studio (or rent from another dominatrix), generally are experienced, may even be lifestyle, and offer a more personal and long-term connection. However independents are more expensive, sometimes very selective about their submissives, may not see novices, and are less likely to see you at the last minute.
Houses of domination are less expensive, more convenient, and offer easy opportunity for double and group sessions. However, dominatrices at a house are sometimes less experienced, may not be genuinely into BDSM, and often will not stay around for long.
Please note: These distinctions are less reliable than when this article was first written as now it is so easy for anyone to post on the internet and call themselves a dominatrix…that independent status no longer means as much – see below for hints on how to discern the difference between a beginner and expert dominatrix.
look at websites & social media
Keeping what you have determined to be important for your session in mind, look at websites for dominatrices in your area. Generally, dominatrices with their own websites are more serious than ones who only advertise on websites such as Eros or just have a Twitter or Instagram account.
A good place to start are well-established websites where the serious professional dominatrices get listed, such as dickievirgin.com and Pandemos.net
Look for mentions of your specific interests, but don’t assume that a dominatrix is not into your fantasy just because it isn’t listed.
Previously, I warned against the dominatrix who does not show her face in photos…but with the advent of the internet plus the ease and permanence of sharing photos today…this caveat no longer applies.
Do not allow yourself to be swayed away from your specific needs just because a dominatrix looks good in photos or she is wearing your favorite fetish wear; you will be disappointed if you are mismatched in other crucial areas.
Please note: Much about finding a dominatrix has changed since this article was first published. There are now so many dominatrices in every part of the world that it has become difficult to find the great ones…see below for some pointers.
TIPS ON DISCERNING THE EXPERTISE OF A DOMINATRIX
It has become necessary for clients to conduct research in order to find a safe, experienced dominatrix. Elaborate fetish wear in leather and latex, quality toys and BDSM furniture are expensive (though getting much cheaper these days), which means a dominatrix needs some success to acquire them. Look for photos and videos that prove she has made an investment in domination. Does she have all the components of a fetish wardrobe? Entire outfits including accessories like gloves, hats, and expensive items such as thigh-high leather boots show a she is willing and able to invest in her sessions. One pic of a woman in cheap lingerie on a bed with a PVC paddle in her hand is not a good sign!
Has she trained with someone experienced? Studying under an experienced dominatrix is the best way to become skilled in the art of domination. When starting out, I took classes and worked for the legendary Sabrina Belladonna (may she Rest In Power), and I learned by working alongside some of the best. Later, I started giving back by mentoring dominants.
Learning from an established Pro Domme used to be standard practice but now has unfortunately become rare. Those who have sought out this kind of training show their commitment to the craft…now more than ever.
Read for clues of expertise in her writing. Does she rely on stereotypical attitude and a predictable stance of arrogance in an attempt to sound dominating? Or does she demonstrate a true understanding of BDSM play and the realities of orchestrating a scene?
Does she travel to fetish events and conferences? Or better yet, does she perform or speak at them?
What level of play does she list? If she only specializes in light interests (such as foot fetish) or if she concentrates on interests that do not require much skill, do not expect her to have the experience or equipment necessary for a sophisticated intense encounter.
Does she have a good reputation? Look for reviews on dominatrix listing websites, if you don’t find any reviews on her, post a request for input from other clients in a forum.
It has become CRITICAL that you consider these elements when choosing a dominatrix, as there are many great looking women out there whom you will find disappointing in session. Furthermore, some have no ethics such as those who expose their celebrity clients.
Don’t think that less is more. Do not try to save money by going to someone based on cost alone.
BEWARE: if she doesn’t know what she’s doing, she could seriously hurt you. Not just in person. You can be mentally and emotionally harmed in any interaction.
Especially Take Care of Yourself, Financially
If funds are a concern, I advise visiting a well-known house of domination as opposed to an inexpensive independent. Independent dominatrices with fully equipped spaces and extensive wardrobes have high overhead, and will demand a higher tribute, but they generally have more technical and safety expertise.
BEWARE – The super hot, young “Domme” who wants to ruin and blackmail you…I hear horrible accounts of what some people will do to make money. And most of them know nothing about how to Dominate, their skills extend to merely yelling stock insults and trying to grab as much cash as they can before you realize they have no idea how to truly play. (i. e. I don’t need threats, raising my voice, cussing, or being rude to make someone super submissive in minutes)
HOW TO WRITE AN INTRODUCTION
Write a polite, submissive, concise email outlining your specific interests including your kink thresholds (i.e. light spanking, heavy flogging).
You must include whatever information she has requested or you might not receive an answer.
What to do if she requires references and you are a total novice:
Go to a reputable house of domination in her area, for your first sessions. She can contact someone she knows there.
And keep looking some very famous dominatrices take walk-ins.
Be sure to pay an online tribute or send a gift card along with your resume, if requested (extra points, if not requested).
Dominatrices often screen applicants by ignoring the ones that fail to demonstrate their sincerity. This is necessary because there are so many applicants and many are insincere or nowadays they are even trying to scam Pro Dommes (ha ha I know their little tricks).
Unless requested, you do not have to send a photo of yourself.
NEVER SEND A DICK PIC. Dominatrices hate that.
Clearly indicate the dates you are going to be in her area, if traveling, and write well in advance as most dominatrices get so much correspondence they can’t keep up. Many ProDommes won’t even discuss a session unless you are already in the same location.
Be patient. She is probably not going to have time to get back to you immediately.
how to book a session
Of course you’ll be nervous when you contact her; that’s expected, everybody is nervous. Just follow my directions whether making an appointment:
Text, Call, or Chat, at a decent time.
Do not send Direct Messages, Emails, Chats, Texts, etc. wasting her time with “Hi” she will be annoyed. Do you text your medical doctor to say “Hi”???
Don’t hang up when she answers or call just to hear her voice on the outgoing voicemail she will have caller ID and probably won’t answer blocked numbers, so it will make her angry with you. She might block you or refuse to see you.
Introduce yourself before you start asking questions. Every day I had to interrupt inadvertently rude excited callers to find out to whom I was speaking because they launched right away into their scene…most annoying!
If you are making up a name choose something unusual instead of Bob, Steve, Mark, or John – there are already too many of those. Choose something unusual and easy for both of you to remember.
If a receptionist answers, let her do her job. She has been educated to answer your questions hired to book appointments.
When contacting a dominatrix, ask if she is seeing new clients, tell her what you seek, ask questions about her facility, experience level, her specialties or interests, hours, tribute, etc.
Don’t try to press her into admitting she does certain things such as toilet training, pegging or anal play. Those activities are illegal and she may not want to discuss them and may even falsely deny that she does them in session, so you aren’t going to know anyway. Indicate how important those interests are to you and see if she still encourages you to visit her. However, do pay attention if she makes a point of letting you know she never accommodates those interests. Yes, I know that many dominatrices these days have no qualms about admitting to illegal acts and even post photos and videos. Just know that not everybody is so cavalier about illegal activities.
Remember that she is assessing you, so don’t keep her on the phone with repetitive questions or idle chitchat, or send a long email. Let her know that you respect and value her time.
Go ahead and tell her your secret desires, even if you feel embarrassed. She has probably heard it all before.
Don’t make an appointment if it sounds like you won’t like her, she is too pushy or disrespectful, or you seem mismatched.
Don’t book a time if you can’t make it or if you aren’t really sure.
Pay the deposit. It is not a scam. Reputable dominatrices need to keep their good standing, so she is not trying to rip you off. She just needs to be sure that if you no-show, she doesn’t lose money on her dungeon rental or hotel room. ProDommes often take deposits when traveling as they have rented the play space.
Write down the directions and address including suite number. Note any assignments she gives you and her answers to your questions so that you can review the information later. Trust me, you won’t remember it because you are too excited.
If you can’t keep your appointment, cancel as soon as possible. She will appreciate it because no-shows cost money since she saved that time for you by turning down other bookings.
Finally, playtime! But don’t mess it up now.
Follow Directions…Consider It Part Of The Play:
Confirm as instructed.
Be on time. Early arrival is just as bad as late arrival.
Be discreet outside of her studio. She doesn’t want her neighbors to see clients waiting around, it is best to stay in your car until immediately prior to your session. Obviously, arriving in attire other than street wear would be an indiscretion. Do not talk about S&M outside her studio.
Especially, do not engage in play outside her studio. Do not kneel outside her door or call her “Mistress” in the hallway. Leave play for the privacy of her chambers where such behavior is proper. Discretion goes both ways.
Keep it Safe and Fun
Take responsibility for your own safety and enjoyment. Speak up immediately about any safety concerns or if you are not enjoying the session – an experienced dominatrix will appreciate and utilize the information.
Leave if the dominatrix is not who you saw in the photo/video.
Leave if she does not have promised elements necessary to your scene, such as specific equipment or wardrobe.
Leave if the space is dirty or looks poorly maintained; that may indicate unsafe practices.
LEAVE if she seems to be drunk or on drugs – intoxication is a very dangerous combination with BDSM. People die that way.
What to Expect in Session
A receptionist might answer the door or the dominatrix may answer in street clothes. You might have to wait in a room for her to finish up with another client. You might have to fill out a questionnaire about your likes/dislikes. You might be required to pay up front. You might be left to take off your clothes after a brief meeting with the dominatrix (but she probably won’t tell you to undress, so take a hint). She might give you a safeword (a word that will let her know you can’t take more of the same) before she starts to play. Act according to her direction – some dominatrices demand strict adherence to conduct befitting a slave, others don’t care if you act submissive or not.
What NOT to Expect in Session
Don’t have unrealistic expectations the session will not match your fantasies perfectly. And definitely do not bring a line-by-line script. Be open to her and let her do her thing you might find it better than your script.
She will not wear less than lingerie.
Sex – There Really Really is No Sex
Realize that when a dominatrix says “no sex” she truly means it in the broadest interpretation. There will be no sex of any kind. None.
Know that she won’t be taking off her clothes, massaging, or letting you kiss intimate body parts, or doing anything that ends in -job. Go to see one of the wonderful people who offer those services.
how to be invited back
Be clean. Be very clean.
Be respectful. Be obedient.
If you want to make an impression, bring her a little something such as a gag, blindfold, candle, gift card or flowers. Better yet, see if she has a wishlist or ask her if there is something specific that she would appreciate. Often, I used to request a sandwich, because I had so little time to eat between my sessions.
Go over your list of likes/dislikes with the receptionist or dominatrix so that it is fresh in her mind. You can bring a printout but do not expect her to accept it. Do not bring a script. Experienced dominatrices abhor scripts.
Speak up if she pushes you beyond your limits – a good dominatrix will appreciate the input without being threatened. Don’t try to impress by surpassing your limits; you will both regret it.
Understand that she may have another client waiting, don’t hang around so long that you put her into an uncomfortable situation.
Help her to clean up.
Keep your curiosity about her to yourself rather than asking personal questions.
Demonstrate your gratitude tell her how great the session was and that you want to see her again. It is not too early to book your next appointment.
If she works in a house of domination and you enjoyed the session, tip her. House dominas only get a percentage of the full tribute. It is not necessary to tip an independent dominatrix or Head Mistress (the owner of a house of domination). Only do so if you feel compelled by excellence.
Afterwards write down your impressions, then wait a few days to fully assess your reactions. Sometimes you will find activities that were unpleasant in session, are actually quite exciting afterwards. This is a common experience. Some BDSM is highly anticipated before, disliked during, and relished after the act.
Evaluate whether you want to see her again and figure out the positive and negative elements of your session so that you can pass that information on to the next dominatrix you see whether it is her, or someone else.
Adjust your resume, if you have learned more about your preferences and capabilities.
When you write or call again don’t be vague saying “Hi, its Joe” she probably speaks to a lot of men named Joe. Remind her of who you are by name, appearance, and what you did in session, without her having to ask.
If you adhere to my advice, you will know enough about proper protocol to realize your fantasies in an appointment with your dream dominatrix.
About This Article:
I first published it in 1995 on my original website. Back then, there wasn’t so much info on BDSM so the article became very popular, has been widely plagiarized, and is still often featured on other websites than my own. Even so, it is intricately associated with me as the author, which is why I call it “The Article”.
I wrote it to help clients find, book an appointment with, and hopefully be invited back by, a professional dominatrix. Much has changed since the initial version, mostly due to the proliferation of the internet and recently with the influx of new people freed by media coverage to be less isolated and more open about their fantasies. While the majority of the original text has been maintained, I regularly update it to improve its usefulness and relevance. – Simone Justice
*Be sure to stay updated on all of Simone’s socials, appearances, classes and MORE by visiting:Simone Justice LinkTree
One of the best things about social media is that it facilitates connection with others we might not have met otherwise. It provides an opportunity to share thoughts, perspectives, education, etc that often sparks a collective conversation. And sometimes, it inspires us. That’s exactly what happened yesterday between HadrianTemple & I. You’ll see my original tweet addressing submissives wherein I offer the message that they indeed have agency, a voice, and that they are NOT required to agree 100% with a/their dominant. You’ll see Hadrian Temple quote tweet me offering their contribution to this collective conversation. Then, something magical happened. Hadrian Temple was inspired to write the following blog post – Agreement vs Obedience. I’m honored to have played a part in this creative process. And, grateful that they agreed to allow me to share their writing as a guest post here on my blog!
A very brief discussion this morning with Mistress Kye (@mistresskye–give her a follow!) about the difference between being submissive and always agreeing with the dom made me think there was enough in this issue for a blog post.
To quote Kye’s original post, “A message to submissives: Remove the notion that you must agree w/ a/your Dominant 100% You are your own individual human being and have agency Anyone telling you different is tilting towards abuse Even players in committed TPE D/s know this You ALWAYS have a voice in kink”
Kye is 100% correct about this, for a whole lot of reasons. Subs should always strive to obey their doms (within the limits of their agreed-upon submission), but that doesn’t mean they are obligated to agree with everything their dom says and does.
First, a Dom’s first duty should always be to keep the sub safe from injury (physical, financial, career-wise, etc), and sometimes a dom will miss an important safety consideration that a sub notices. In a situation like that the sub should always speak up (“Sir, it seems like you forgot I can’t breathe well through my nose, so I can’t wear that gag” or “Mistress, if I send you the tribute you are demanding, I won’t be able to pay my mortgage”). Any decent dom knows they can’t know everything and that they might overlook something important, so a dom who expects a sub to remain silent in the face of a dangerous order is not a dom who should be obeyed at all.
Likewise, a sub should speak up when they are given an extremely unethical order or when their dom proposes to do something extremely unethical. A Dom’s leadership should always have an ethical component. A sub should follow their dom because they truly believe their dom deserves to be obeyed, and that means the dom should hold themself to a higher ethical standard. Obviously there are always ethical grey areas, but things like intentional consent violations (which are often crimes and may well be a form of physical or sexual assault), actions take maliciously to harm or upset someone or some group, sexual or financial exploitation of minors, or similar choices are signs a dom is making a serious error in judgment and a sub has a duty to speak up and challenge their Dom’s choice. Perhaps the dom has let their feelings get the best of them momentarily; in that case a sub serves their master by keeping them from making a serious mistake and reminding them to be the best person they can be.
On a less egregious level, any good dom realizes that their sub probably has knowledge and skills they lack, so they ask their sub for advice and input before they take action on something where the sub’s expertise is relevant. It’s common sense that if your sub knows a lot about the tax code, you should listen to your sub’s advice on how to file your taxes or whether to report your income from tribute.
It is a foolish dom who thinks he always has to know more than his sub. The more experienced a dom is, the more they generally understand that they don’t know everything there is to know about kink. A sub may very well be more experienced in a particular form of play than their dom is, and in a situation like they, the dom should let the sub guide and educate them, even if the dom is making the final choice about what to do.
Even experienced TPE relationships typically have room for the sub to have their own thoughts, hobbies, opinions, and so on. Many couples use standard phrases to indicate the sub’s desires while still retaining a submissive gloss to the exchange. For example, if the master says, “You’d like me to beat you, wouldn’t you?” and the slave in fact does not want a beating that day, the slave might say “Only if it pleases you, Sir”. The wording indicates the sub’s desire to not be beaten but makes it clear that the sub is still fully submitting and will accept the master’s choice to beat them. But this allows the master to know that the sub doesn’t want a beating. It might trigger a conversation about why the slave doesn’t want a beating; maybe the slave is still sore from their last beating or is having a bad day or knows that tomorrow is going to be a long work day.
Power exchange only works well if the couple has good communication. Even if the couple is operating on a model of extreme power exchange and submissive behavior, there are still ways for the sub to signal their wishes, needs, and concerns. A dom who isn’t encouraging their sub to express such things is eventually going to stumble into an emotional minefield or cause the slave to act out or run away or disobey, and those things will make the sub feel like a failure even when the mistake is really the dom’s.
So how do you handle this sort of issue in your relationship? Leave a comment!