Coming from me this may sound weird. It feels a little weird too. I have never been dominant in anything. That isn’t to say that someday I won’t be, but for now, it just isn’t me. So the Dom side of things has been something that I have been researching and reading about to get a better understanding of the other side. I think it will make me a better submissive. I am aware of sub space. I never dawned on me that there was a Dom space as well.
During a difficult time with my Dom, we were walking and he was talking about his struggles with his primary. He commented that she was so frustrating to him that she had him completely “out of Dom space.” I am not ashamed to say that I was shocked. How could that be? He was so strong and in control. He had all the answers. He was always there for me and had everything I needed when I needed it. How could he be out of Dom space? My second thought was, what did that mean for me?
It never occurred to me that a Dom could struggle so badly that he wasn’t feeling dominant anymore. All the men in my life were dominant in one way or another. Not sexually but I always looked to the men in my life to take control and take care of things. (Feminist be calm, it was how I was raised, but also raised in an equal partnership environment with a very strong mother). So when he said he wasn’t in Dom space it threw me a bit. And to be honest, I was irritated that I was suffering because another sub was making his life miserable, but that is another blog altogether.
All Doms are different and they are also human. That is the first thing to remember. Humans have to handle things and sometimes that doesn’t go as planned on either side. My situation went badly, for me, but that doesn’t mean it always will and my situation was different. As everyone’s will be. But let’s look at from the D in the D/s relationship.
I have always said, for the past seven years that it must be hard being a Dom. Always in control. Always having the answers. Always being the one that people depend on. I was pretty good at reading him and I could see the stress and I usually backed off. It was when he went silent that things were really bad. As a sub, we need to step back and see what is truly happening. I am so new to this, in no way an expert. Loving BDSM has covered this in many podcasts on multiple levels. John Brownstone also has his own talk from a Dom’s perspective on YouTube. I wasn’t able to find the link but if you search for Daddy’s Desk or DD and John Brownstone, you’ll find it. I get it. Kind of. There is a lot that goes into being a Dom. He always told me that it was difficult to do it the right way. When things got really hard I could see that.
Being a sub, all I wanted to do was help him through it. Help him through everything. We didn’t live together so I was limited to what I could do. But I found small ways to be there when he needed me and still not be too needy or too overbearing. One thing I did notice is that he didn’t necessarily like it when people did things for him. Since those times, we have parted ways but I have continued to research as best as possible without having a Dom to discuss it with. Not having a personal part in a D/s relationship makes it difficult to hash through. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t something that exists and that I don’t have feelings about. As a sub, all subs, we should be aware of what is happening on the other side of the slash! (Thanks Kayla Lords for that fun expression).
Any relationship needs good solid communication. Part of the issue with my Dom is that when things got tough, he got quiet. I didn’t always know what was happening. Not that I needed to know details all the time, but his communication was non-existent and that made me feel isolated. As for subs we have a right to ask for communication. I feel Doms have a right to their privacy. There has to be a balance in between. Hard but necessary, communication is the key. If there was a failure in my D/s relationship it would probably have started with the lack of communication. Sad but true. For two people that talked about everything, the most personal things, the fact that we couldn’t figure the communication part out in the area where he was struggling was pretty sad. So, that lesson learned is to never let silence be mysterious in a bad way. Silence can be wonderful, but can also be a sign that something is brewing that needs to be taken off the back burner and talked about.
Another lesson learned is that the silence or the loss of feeling the Dom space could have nothing to do with you. Now, this is a hard one. Because everything is my fault. Everything is hinged on something I did or didn’t do, did or didn’t say. Deep down I know this is not true. It is a surface feeling that comes pretty easily. That I have done something wrong or said something wrong, or didn’t do or say what I were supposed to. I asked him a thousand times what I could do and a thousand times he said nothing. Again, pretty tough for a sub to handle. Let’s just say I didn’t handle it well at all. That is another blog. Time is strengthening but it doesn’t cure all.
Loving BDSM suggested setting a time frame on how long you will go before you get a solution. That was one thing that made me cringe. I never would have walked away from him. He cut me lose. Looking back I can agree that there should be a time frame of sorts for how long you as a sub can be supportive. Again, that is a really hard conversation to have, but it has to be had. I made mistakes. Lots of them. I believe I let the silence go too long. Perhaps I was too patient? Too supportive of him and not taking care of myself? Perhaps. We can’t turn back time but we can learn from those things that we wish we had done differently.
I never thought about Dom space and subspace before as negative things. They were always good things for good reasons. Maybe negative is a little harsh. Maybe it isn’t the space, but the fact that we can all slip in and out of that space. Dominants and Submissives share a lot more characteristics than we think about on a daily basis. I see it as it isn’t always black or white. There are a lot of grey areas that we tend to gloss over. Maybe it is an uncomfortable conversation. Maybe one side or the other refuses to talk about what is going on. Maybe something is being kept or hidden until the time is right to disclose, or until they get caught hiding something they shouldn’t. This doesn’t always mean it is the others issue to resolve. Communication is a two way street. Each side can talk and each side can listen. Communication skills aren’t difficult to understand. The basics are, one speaks and one listens, preferably alternating turns! Communication skills also aren’t easy to merge because we all communicate differently. The key is figuring out how each other communicate and then work on communicated together. It is a team effort!
When my ex-Dom left me I was pretty sure I would never be submissive again. I would never find another person I would trust with everything I trusted him with. Maybe that was too much responsibility to give him. Honestly, still not sure about that one but I’m working on it. Lack of communication with him and that experience has made me hesitant to get back into a D/s relationship. So many people think of the D/s relationship on the physical plane while the emotional part of it tends to get neglected. I imagine that it could be the same on both sides. A submissive always wanting and needing physical and emotional attention has to be difficult on a Dom. Particularly when he is struggling with issues of his own. Looking back I can see several things I missed because I was too close to the situation. Too close to him. Sometimes taking a step back to see the Dom as not only a but as a person. A human who feels emotions, stress, and gets overwhelmed just like anyone else outside the D/s relationship.
Dom space isn’t a guarantee to be “on” all the time. Taking the time to recognize that as a sub is important. I don’t have a lot of advice in the “how to’s” of doing all this, but I am working on it. Looking back, I realize I made a lot of mistakes in this area. I wish more than anything that he finds his way and finds his way back to his Dom space. Admittedly sad I won’t be there to see it.