Every so often I see discussions started by frustrated submissives whose d-types won’t play as hard as they want, whether that’s less intense impact play, less restrictive bondage, less intense humiliation, less intense control over their lives outside the bedroom, etc, etc. I see the not-intense-enough impact play complaint most from small female submissives whose doms / tops / playpartners are afraid of hurting them.
That’s where I think there’s a bit of gray area: it’s kind of a dick move not to believe your partner when they tell you they can take more. It’s their body, they know better than you, especially if they’ve been playing for a while. That said it’s also kind of a dick move not to respect your top’s limits. Tops get limits too, dammit.
So what do you do about it if you’re not getting the kind of play you want?
Well first of all you need to know why your top doesn’t play as hard as you would like, and you need to accept that the answer could be that they just don’t like to.
Aside from just not enjoying player harder than they currently do, your top could be worried that they don’t have the skills yet to be sure they don’t harm you, worried about what it means about who they are as a person if they do play hard and really like it, worried about how you’ll take it if they accidentally go too hard, that they or you will drop really hard if they play harder, or something else entirely. Side note: worrying that you’ll accidentally harm someone with bondage isn’t just paranoia, nerve damage is a thing and I’d sure feel terrible if I accidentally fucked up somebody’s hands.
If and only if your top even wants to, you may be able to slowly work up to playing harder. The top isn’t the only one who needs to build trust, as a bottom you need to build trust with your top, too. It would be straight up irresponsible to play as hard as they can with you the very first time, it’s a lot safer to start slow and build up from there. That process helps the top trust that you can in fact take what you say you can, that you can communicate if something isn’t working for you, that what you said about what you wanted and what you didn’t was actually true. Without that, it would just be foolish to play really hard.
Sometimes it just takes time too. I mean, did you immediately run out to a munch or play party (or even just put up a kinky personal ad) immediately after figuring out you might possibly be kinky? No, of course not, you took some time to process that idea and get used to it before you started reaching out to other people.
And if you’re really lucky, the issue may just be that your top assumed you were perfectly happy with the way they play and/or that you would directly ask if you wanted to play harder. Hints are just a bad idea here, and to be entirely clear this is not a discussion for the middle of a scene. Sometime when you’re both relaxed, just let your partner know that you would like to play harder sometimes and ask if there’s anything you can do to help them feel comfortable doing that. It might be that they just need a little extra reassurance that you’ll still like them if they hit you harder. Oh and don’t nag either.
But it’s also totally possible that a top / dom / d-type who you’re really compatible with in other ways just doesn’t want to play the way you prefer. If that happens, you have three choices: learn to live with it, negotiate play with other people (if you’re comfortable playing with anyone else), or break up and find a different partner who does play the way you want to. Note that hassling your top to play the way you want to is not in that list.
Sometimes you just don’t get what you want. It sucks but you can adore someone and get along great in most ways and still have that one area where you’re incompatible and where it’s a dealbreaker. I wish I had a better answer than that but sometimes things just suck.