Diving into the Lifestyle, Part 6: How to Separate Adult Issues & Little Issues [Cg/l 8-Part Series]

Hi My Friends!

Today we are back with our “Diving into the Lifestyle” series. Last time we tackled the deep topic of having sex in Little Space. Today we are going to focus on establishing healthy communication with your partner to separate adult issues and little issues. In vanilla relationships there are general patterns of communication that occur. Think about if you’ve ever experienced any of these:

  • You and your partner get into a disagreement. As a result, one person gives the other “the cold shoulder”.
  • You and your partner decide to take one night a week to “hang with the guys” or have a “ladies night”.
  • In an intense disagreement, you and your partner wind up shouting at each other in absolute frustration.
  • After a heated discussion, you and your partner end up being passive aggressive towards each other for days.

These are common patterns of behavior among vanilla couples. I know, because I’ve experienced many of them myself! However, as a D/s couple, your communication has to be so transparent that it prevents many of the issues listed above. Now a vanilla person might ask, “Why do D/s couples need stronger communication lines than vanilla couples?”. The answer is that within the world of BDSM (and Cg/l) there are relationship dynamics where the dominant is given power and control over their submissive. Prior to the power shift, there are numerous conversations that take place as a couple to establish limits, boundaries, needs, wants, desires, fetishes, etc. It’s not all about sex, but because the sex is experimental and so personal, deep communication naturally occurs.

Today I want to share with you how my husband and I communicate as a D/s couple. For those new to my website, welcome! I am a wife and submissive who identifies as mostly a Little/Middle, but I also dabble in pet play and consensual slavery. My husband and I were a vanilla couple for several years before we shifted into a D/s dynamic. During that time we argued like most every other couple. We would have a disagreement, argue about it, then make up, and usually have sex. But the heated arguments always left us feeling so drained and unsatisfied. Finally we stumbled upon compassionate communication. After hours and hours of saying to each other, “there has to be a better way to communicate” we finally found what works for us.


Compassionate communication (also called nonviolent communication) stems around how you address your needs to your partner, and how they hold space to receive the information. Within the context of a Cg/l relationship there are many times where a Little will be in Little Space and a need arises. If the need is a Little issue, then usually it can be addressed with a few words of baby babble, such as:

“Dada, peas can I have wa-wa?” (Daddy, can I please have some water?).

The need is simple and one that can be addressed quickly. If a Little is feeling angry or upset while in Little Space, then the needs are more significant and that is where using compassionate communication is beneficial. The concept is that people only act out in anger, frustration, etc. when they feel like their needs aren’t being addressed or heard. So it is critical that not only do you deliver your need openly, and in a gentle manner, but that the person receiving the information holds space openly and compassionately too. For example, if the Little is feeling anxious and they use compassionate communication it would look like this:

“Dada, I’m scared”.

Now the Daddy would need to say: “Okay baby, I’m holding space for you. Tell me what’s scaring you. Daddy’s right here”. The term “holding space” means that you are attentively listening with an open mind and heart. You aren’t thinking about what to say next in the conversation. Instead, you are actively listening and absorbing their feelings to best figure out a way to assist your partner.

There are other times when a Little is in the head space and an adult issue arises. I cannot stress enough the importance of stopping play and shifting into “Big Me” or your adult mind when such a need arises. It’s important to always convey your needs to your dominant. It is the cornerstone of every D/s relationship. By doing so, you are keeping the relationship healthy, open, and strong. Your dominant will be able to guide you easier because you have been so forthcoming with your feelings.

The last point I’d like to discuss is how to address adult issues. When using compassionate communication, begin by looking inward at your feelings and make statements that correspond with how you authentically feel. This behavior theory suggests starting statements with:

“A part of me feels….”

You state that a part of you is feeling <insert emotion>. Not “I’m feeling” because not all of you is angry at your partner. In truth, only a piece of you is upset at a certain issue. And it is likely that you want to resolve the issue just as much as your partner does! Therefore, by stating that a part of you is upset, you’re reminding your partner that while a piece of you is bothered in this moment, that the rest of you is focused on the main goal of being the strongest, healthiest couple that you can be. On the receiving end of holding space for your partner, once they’ve fully expressed their emotions it is helpful to thank them for opening up to you. I do this often with my Daddy. I will hold space while he tells me how he is feeling. Then I’ll say something to the effect of:

“Thank you for opening up and sharing your feelings with me”.

By doing so, it keeps the conversation calm, quiet, and peaceful. I’m genuinely thankful that he shared his thoughts with me and he feels validated. (Note: that doesn’t always mean that you agree with your partner. It simply means that you’re thankful to know how they are feeling, and that you are validating their emotions and letting them know that they have been sincerely heard by you). If there is a difference of opinion, try saying:

“I feel so honored that you’ve shared space with me. I would love it if you can hold space for me so that I can share my feelings with you”.

Then focus on those “a part of me is feeling…” statements and share your point of view. You would be surprised at how much more peaceful a conversation will go with both parties feel validated, heard, and received in a space of love. The ultimate goal of every relationship is to grow together in a way that is healthy and understanding. Use compassionate communication to navigate separating adult issues and Little issues. Speak mindfully and lovingly towards your partner. And always be ready to hold space for them. ❤

Alright, that’s it from me for today, my friends. Stay tuned for the next post. Have a wonderful Saturday everyone, and as always, keep on smiling! 🙂

~Penny Xx

For further reading on Compassionate Communication see these links:


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