Gentle Domination and Submission: A New Approach [BDSM Discussion]

Hi My Friends!

A very Happy Friday to you! Today, I’d like to discuss domination and submission from a different perspective. So often in the world of BDSM we see a dominant portrayed in a way that is strong, rough, hard, and at times, cold. Likewise, we see submissives who are meek, timid, cowering in a corner, and to me, that just isn’t a good portrayal of how a healthy D/s relationship should be. There are various relationship dynamics within the world of BDSM. Some couples are part-time with play sessions. Others are long-distance and strictly online. For the sake of this post, I will be discussing live-in couples, or those that meet regularly face to face. My Daddy (and husband) and I live together and have been in a full-time D/s relationship for 5 years now. I can tell you honestly that it has taken 5 full years to establish the type of communication that we have within our relationship. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s rewind.

nvc

When my husband first came to me wanting to be my dominant I felt unsure. By nature he is a kind and gentle man. He is a very good listener, and non-confrontational. He thrives in his job at work because he is attentive to the tiniest detail, probably because he listens far more then he speaks. So when I envisioned this quiet, tender soul being a dominant the image just didn’t match up. You see, back then I had a Hollywood version of a Dom in my mind. I pictured Christian Grey, in a fancy suit, being commanding, (and let’s say it), slightly a jerk. Would my own husband turn into a jerk if he became my Daddy??

But beyond husband and wife we are best friends. In fact, we say we’re best friends first, so I knew that if I decided to submit to him… it was likely that our relationship would be fine. Thus began our journey into our D/s relationship. Unlike my previous one, where I was bonded to a Master-style dominant, my Daddy was drastically different. At times I felt myself wanting to rebel against the rules. But in those moments instead of getting more stern with me, he created space for communication. Nonviolent communication, to be precise. He began teaching me a new narrative that focuses on compassionate speech and learning to express myself transparently. Needless to say, for a chatterbox like me… it was really difficult to learn! But my husband is patient as he is wise, and so we stumbled, over and over, until I began to pick up these new habits.

So what is nonviolent communication and compassionate speech? And why is it important in a D/s relationship? Nonviolent communication was created by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist who specialized in peacemaking and helping people from violent backgrounds adopt new patterns of speech that made others more receptive in speaking with them. This form of communication focuses on teaching us to meet our needs (something us Littles really need!) while expressing those needs in a loving way. Dr. Rosenberg teaches that all of our actions, everything that we do daily, are in some way trying to meet a need.

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So let’s focus on little space for a moment. We could walk up to our dominant and say, “Uppie!” and reach up our arms to be picked up. Our emotional need in that moment is that we need to be cuddled. However, by simply saying the word, “uppie!” we are making a demand to our dominant. Instead, could we toddle over and lift up our hands saying, “Dada, please uppie?”. By asking, instead of telling, it denotes respect to our dominant. Now in “big me” or adult space, compassionate communication is even more important between you and your dominant. What happens when your dom does something that seriously angers or makes you feel hurt/neglected/ resentful? In that moment, having a compassionate narrative would allow you to approach them and say something like this:

“Hey, a part of me is feeling really hurt right now. I need you to hold space and just listen so we can work through this together. Okay?”

It seems simple, but let’s examine that sentence. First off, you’re stating that a “part of you” is feeling hurt. Not all of you. There are no blanket statements in compassionate communication, such as: “you really piss me off!” or “You’re so stupid!”. Instead, you acknowledge that a part of you is feeling hurt, but there are also parts of you that still deeply love your dominant. You also state that the pain you are feeling is right here at present. You aren’t dragging up the past by saying “I’m feeling hurt again by what you did….” or “Remember when I told you to not do <insert action here>? Yeah, well you did it, and now I’m mad!”. Instead, you’re saying that in this present moment a part of you is feeling hurt.

Now let’s talk about holding space. A dominant has three major tasks when training their submissive:

  1. Help the submissive be the best they can be by pushing them to reach their personal goals.
  2. Help the submissive be the best they can be for their dominant, to help assist in meeting their needs.
  3. Ensure that the relationship continues to thrive in a healthy manner by guiding and overseeing their submissive.

My Daddy loves the saying, “you catch more flies with honey then you do with vinegar”. When using compassionate speech and holding space, you can guide your submissive into them wanting to follow the rules, and wanting to submit to you from a place of love. Part of a dominants job is to be a caregiver for the emotional needs of their sub. In other words, they have to listen to us ramble, whine, complain, and rejoice a lot. It’s just part of the role. Holding space is a term used to describe active listening. When someone is holding space, they are giving the other person their undivided attention. When the little is trying to act out and wants to brat, instead of being pulled into that negative energy, the gentle dominant shifts the focus for the submissive. They sit them down and say, “I’m going to sit here with you and I want you to tell me what’s wrong. I’m all yours right now. Daddy is here. So please open up to me”. And then they sit in absolute silence. They aren’t trying to “fix” anything. They don’t interrupt you. They create a safe space to communicate and just let out those emotions.

By doing so, the submissive/Little can gush out their feelings to get back to their emotional baseline. At that point the dominant can step in and give them physical reassurance (cuddles) thanking them for opening up, and then make gentle suggestions on addressing each of their issues. It’s a pattern of speech that takes time, and practice to develop. But I believe that it truly is a healthy way to communicate within a D/s relationship. Spanking and flogging is fun, but let’s keep that for play sessions. Instead of punishing your Little for breaking a rule, or spanking them for talking back, try getting them to open up on why they broke the rule in the first place. It’s far better to submit from a place of love and peace, then to struggle submitting to the rules set forth when deep down you just want to act out. Try using compassionate communication to have your needs met and to have total transparency in the relationship. That way, you can feel fulfilled and able to submit so your dominants needs are met and fulfilled too.

That’s it from me for today, my friends! To read more about nonviolent communication and Dr. Marshall Rosenberg you can check out a few links here:

Nonviolent communication 

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, Founder of Nonviolent Communication Theory

More on Nonviolent Communication

Stay tuned for more tomorrow! 🙂

~Penny Xx

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