Recently I had an instant message conversation with a Dom. Let’s call him D. D had messaged me to see what I thought of a punishment he’d invented for his sub. Now, D’s fairly new to BDSM, so, even though he has a natural instinct for it, he often second-guesses himself. Never in front of his sub, of course—only online to a select few of us who realize that even a Dom has doubts every now and then. He’ll ask several of us what he should do, if he’s doing the right thing, and so on. Truth be told, I suspect he’s more of a switch in denial than a full Dom, but he’ll figure it all out in time.
Now, I don’t have a problem with him seeking advice. I just have a problem with him seeking advice from me. You see, just like in the “real world,” those in the BDSM lifestyle don’t fit a cookie cutter. We’re all different. We all handle our situations differently.
Case in point—I don’t punish my sub. I know that when people think of D/s relationships, they envision obedient subs bowing and kissing their Dom’s feet, and Dom’s serving out punishments if their subs don’t do as they’re told. For most, but not all, this includes spankings, bondage, or withholding of some privilege, including sex.
That’s not how I roll, for several reasons. For one thing, I don’t like to punish. I’m still not sure it teaches anything; it certainly never taught me anything. All it did was make me more belligerent. I prefer positive reinforcement in all my dealings—even when I raised my children. That’s how I approach my relationship with my sub as well. I find that he responds much better to being shown what he’s done right, what he’s done wrong, and how he can do something better the next time.
The other reason is physical safety. My sub has several medical issues and physical limitations. He can’t be tied and bound. He can’t be spanked very hard. I have a Dom friend who sends his sub to bed without dinner. I can’t do that with my sub, either. He has Diabetes—he has to eat and have his medication. He has sleep apnea, so there’s no such thing as making him sleep in a certain position, or denying him the chance to go to bed at a certain time.
And I’d never withhold sex because frankly I like sex too much. That would be akin to punishing myself, which is just silly.
So, how do I keep him in line, then? Well, to be honest, a lot of the time, I don’t. My sub has a fairly long leash, metaphorically speaking, and he controls himself well. He quickly learned his role in our relationship, learned what he could do and what he couldn’t, and he has learned how to read me remarkably well. In social situations, my sub is amazing. He pays a lot of attention to my body language and he can read my reactions probably better than I can.
That’s the thing about having a sub—they pay attention to everything. Every. Thing. Their life, as they see it, is about pleasing their Dom. If they notice that their Dom sighs a little happier when something happens a certain way, they’ll try their damndest to make that situation occur again and again. My sub is no different.
The other thing I do differently than the Doms I know (and again, I don’t know every Dom on the planet), is make my sub wear a collar. To me, a collar is a public symbol, and unless we’re in public together (which isn’t often as he’s rather antisocial, and I respect that) he has no need to wear one. The other reason is that he’s extremely claustrophobic. Sure, I could spend months and months working with him to overcome that so he could wear a collar, but frankly, I don’t see the purpose. He knows where he belongs, and to whom.
On the rare occasions that we are out together in public, I’m the one who wears the collar. The Doms I know think this is extremely bizarre, but I have a reason behind my choice. You see, I’m not just a Dom. As I’ve said before, I’m a switch. I’m incredibly uncomfortable in social situations, and prefer to take a backseat to my sub during these. My sub is very personable, witty, and engages in conversation easily. He’s warm and inviting, and has an infectious laugh. People gravitate to him because he looks like he’s in control. In reality, he’s just as uncomfortable as I am, but he’s better able to hide that and mesh with others. Whereas I just come off as a pretentious asshole. LOL
So, when we’re out, I wear a collar. It serves the purpose of sending a message to others to leave me alone—I’m already someone’s. On occasion, I’ll wear it when I attend a public function alone, as well. You’d be amazed at how many people steer clear of me when they see it. I think that reaction is two-fold. Those who understand the symbolism realize I’m off the market, and those who fear the symbolism just think I’m a freak they should stay away from. Which is fine with me.
But there’s a deeper reason for me wearing the collar—to me, it’s a sign of respect for my sub’s place in my life. When I sub, I sub for him and him alone. I don’t sub for anyone else. In that sense, he does own me. And really, if you think about it, a sub has just as much ownership over their Dom as vise versa. Think about it¬—a Dom’s world (at least my Dom world) revolves around their sub. Taking care of their sub, seeing to their sub’s needs. My sub wants for nothing. He gets everything he asks for as long as it’s in my power to provide it.
Because that’s my responsibility. When you take on a sub, it’s like taking on a pet, only in a much more profound way. You’re responsible for your sub. Whatever happens to them is your fault (within reason—no one can control outside forces). At least, that’s how I see it. Like I said, I don’t fit a cookie cutter mold.