Some actual advice for married subs

A little while ago there was a really interesting discussion in that one Fetlife group I like about married submissive men who are looking for kinky play. I basically wrote a blog post in the comments and figured hey, maybe this would be useful to people who aren’t already friends with me on Fetlife. I’ve already talked a bit about married subs and about how to introduce your partner to femdom (mostly as a counterpoint to Elise Sutton’s terrible advice), so some of this may be familar if you’ve been reading for a while.

My biggest piece of advice for guys who don’t know how to tell their wives that they’re kinky is to absolutely not use any BDSM jargon whatsoever. None! Don’t do it! Two things go wrong when you do that: you bring to mind every terrible stereotype about kink in general and about dominant women in particular, which is just going to freak out a vanilla person, and you assume they know what you want when you haven’t actually given them any useful information whatsoever.

Just because you’ve been interested in kink for years and know being dominant isn’t actually about dressing up in uncomfortable fetish gear and acting like a total bitch doesn’t mean that isn’t exactly what your partner will immediately think of if you use the words “fetish,” “kink,” “bdsm,” “domination,” etc, etc. It would be great if everyone listened to everything their partner brings up with a perfectly open mind, but let’s be realistic here. By using BDSM jargon, you’re going to make your partner worry that you don’t love her the way she is and you want her to become a completely different person just to get you off. No, I’m not kidding. If you know of any positive depictions of dominant women, submissive men, or loving and affectionate female dom/male sub relationships in mainstream media, I would sincerely love to hear about it.

It is really, really common to hear that women new to domination, even ones who are interested for their own reasons, are afraid they aren’t mean enough to be real doms or that they’ll never find a submissive partner because they’re too nice. Do not make your partner worry that you want her to be someone else, you’ve got to stress that you want to do this stuff with her because you love her, not some ice-queen fantasy.

Another reason you shouldn’t use jargon when you talk to your partner is that it’s a complete waste of time. Telling a vanilla woman you want her to dominate you gives her nothing to work with. That term means nothing to her. Actually, telling anyone, even the kinkiest kinkster ever to kink, that you want them to dominate you is totally unhelpful. “Dominate me” could mean anything from ‘tie me down and cane me until there are welts all over my ass’ to ‘give me a list of tasks and then stroke my hair and tell me I’m a good boy when I finish them.’ If you want someone to do something for you, you’ve got to give her specifics. Being vague is just setting her up to fail, wtf is she supposed to do to make you happy if you won’t tell her what you want?

When you tell her what you want, my advice is to start small (really, really small), and ask for simple concrete things in plain language. Stuff like ‘I love it when you tell me what you want in bed’ or ‘You’ve had a long week, let’s do whatever you want tonight’ is something your partner can work with.

And don’t forget to praise the hell out of any tiny step she takes toward dominance. Nothing infuriates me like hearing from women who are trying to make their partners happy only to hear that nothing they do is good enough. If you absolutely have to get your ideal kinky fantasy acted out exactly the way you imagined it, dump your poor girlfriend so she can find someone who actually likes her and see a pro already.

Oh, and probably my second biggest piece of advice is to really, seriously think about the possibility that your wife’s ideal kinky relationship looks nothing like your ideal kinky relationship. I can’t remember where I found it now, but there was this thread I read a while ago with submissive guys who had started doing kinky stuff their wives actually liked and presented it like this amazing revelation. Like “Guys, guess what! If you do stuff your wife likes…. she’ll actually like kink! Who could have ever forseen this shocking turn of events!”

You may be all about the vacuum bed and the stiletto heels and the leather, where she may just want you to do what she says when she says it. Do you want to get your kink on just the way you imagined it or do you want to get some of what makes you happy and actually make your partner happy too?

Another interesting question that post brought up is what to do if you’ve tried to get your partner interested in kink and it’s just not working for her.

First, absolutely do not nag her about it. No means no, jerkface. If she’s not interested, do not keep bringing it up, that’s a dick move. It’s not giving up, it’s respecting her fucking choices as if she’s a person or something.

Second, think long and hard about whether you would rather have kink in your life or be married to her, and keep in mind that your interest in kink will definitely not just go away because you wish it would. There’s no right answer there, it’s down to you and what you need. For me, the answer would probably be different depending on whether she tried kink and couldn’t get into it or if she refused to even entertain the idea. Personally, I’d think twice about staying married to someone who wouldn’t even give it a shot and see if they hate it, but I’m kind of a hardass about stuff like that.

The original poster also asked if anyone in the group would help out a submissive guy’s vanilla wife if she wanted to learn more about kink or maybe even try it. I would definitely do that, I think it would be an interesting conversation and I like helping people. It’s really not a shortcut considering you’ve got to get your partner interested in kink before introducing her to some weirdo on the internet, but if she is interested there’s contact info on my about page and I promise I’m a lot more patient with curious vanilla people than with random jerks who send me shitty one line messages.

And finally, I kinda lied when I said my biggest piece of advice was not to use jargon. My real biggest piece of advice is to make sure you’re pulling your fucking weight in your relationship before you ask your partner to do even more for you. Seriously, read Why aren’t male doms into service?, read the two Captain Awkward columns I linked in that post where she answers letters from women who are desperately unhappy that their male partners won’t act like fucking grownups and clean a goddamn house what are you five what the fuck is wrong with you, read the Unfuck Your Habitat post about how the idea that men don’t see mess is complete and utter bullshit, and read the epic metafilter thread on emotional labour.

Once you’ve read all that, make really goddamn sure you’re not just heaping yet another chore on your poor partner’s shoulders when you ask her to try kink for you. If she’s already doing the vast majority of cooking, cleaning, and managing everyone’s feelings (is it her job to cheer you up when you have a shitty day at work? if you have kids, is it her job to cheer them up when they have a shitty day at school? is it her job to keep track of your relatives’ birthdays and find and wrap and deliver gifts to them?) then she’s just going to see doing weird stuff in the bedroom for you as yet another chore.

You like your partner, right? Don’t give her another chore, ask her if she wants to try something that could be fun.

3 thoughts on “Some actual advice for married subs

  1. As a somewhat submissive married woman, I really want to highlight the “don’t make your partner feel like they have to be someone else” thing. The first time my husband tried “being dominant” (as opposed to what we had referred to as “silly stuff” like spanking my ass because the sound is fun), it really didn’t work for me and it took me months to figure out why. But this is why: I don’t want to submit to someone else, I want to submit to my husband. It doesn’t matter how many fantasies I have about uncaring, dominant men (or occasionally, women) doing whatever they want to me. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, the man I want to have sex with is the man I married, who is softhearted and silly and fun.

    Now, not everyone is going to feel exactly like me, of course, but I feel like this is one of the (many) weird aspects of submission that probably applies to more people than just me: wanting to submit to a person as they are, whoever they happen to be. Asking my partner to pretend to be someone else does not feel like submission to me at all.

    • Asking my partner to pretend to be someone else does not feel like submission to me at all.

      Exactly! I want someone to submit to *me* not to someone they wish I were.

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