There are some people who naturally fit neatly into the submissive role. They want to submit, they know they want to submit, and they are happy in their submission. If you (or your partner) fits that description, then this post really isn’t for you.

Instead, this post is for relationships that involve the other kind of submissive, the kind who wants to submit, who likes to submit, but does so against their better judgement, almost in spite of themselves. They don’t see themselves as submissive, and generally are not submissive in their everyday life. In fact, they often come into a BDSM relationship seeing submission as a bad thing, seeing it as a diminishment of themselves and their self image, but feeling drawn to it nonetheless. This type of submissive is more common than the former. Joy is, by the way, this kind of submissive.

The Submissive-In-Spite-Of-Themselves (let’s call them SISOTs from here on out) present a challenge for their Dominant partner, but precisely because of that challenge, can also be extremely rewarding to work with. The dominant half of a SISOT relationship must fight for every inch of progress, as the SISOT both wants and does not want to give them control. However, in the same way that food never tastes as good as when you’re really hungry, it is particularly sweet when the SISOT succumbs and grants their surrender.

The most important requirement for a relationship like this one is trust. Without trust, no progress will ever occur. However, assuming that trust is in place, the next most important requirement is patience! The dominant partner must be willing to go slow, to make headway in fits and starts, and be willing to back off and allow for rest periods of weeks or months to enable the SISOT to internalize what they’ve done and what they’ve learned about themselves. While the dominant will need to push to make progress, it must be done slowly and gently, or the internal balance between desire vs. self image will tilt and the SISOT will push back. Months of progress together may be washed away in a single night.

Over time and with practice, the SISOT partner becomes more comfortable with playing the submissive role, but it is definitely a journey. Especially at the beginning, it is important to reinforce the idea of submission gradually. Direct confrontation or discipline sessions are doomed to failure. Instead, the dominant partner should choose activities to which the SISOT finds it easy to submit. In other words, don’t pick something that they don’t want to do and require them to do it. Instead, select an activity that they are attracted to but perhaps haven’t let themselves try, and work on that. In some situations, it may be helpful to present the activity as a challenge, rather than something that you require. For instance, you may use language like, “I’d like you to do X tonight. Do you think you can do that for me?”

What kinds of activities could these be? Well, mileages will definitely vary depending on the unique situation. What works for one couple may very easily not work for another, as each individual and relationship are different. However, here are some relatively low-key activity suggestions to consider. Each not only reinforces submission subtly, but may (especially if tweaked to fit your specific situation) hold a secret appeal for budding SISOTs and their Dominant halves:

  • Shaving – As mentioned in the post I put up earlier this week, shaving makes a good D/s activity for beginners. The SISOT must shave an area of their body (which area is up to you) and then keep it clean shaven going forward. Alternatively, the SISOT must not shave an area of their body and leave it unshaven going forward. Examples: Joel must keep his legs shaven, Gina must shave her pubic hair, or Kelly must let the hair under her arms grow in.
  • Bondage – The Dominant gradually introduces bondage into the relationship, starting slowly and becoming gradually stricter over time. Example: Randall first blindfolds his girlfriend, Laura, during sex. Next time, he cuffs her hands behind her back.
  • Undergarments – The Dominant requests (and eventually requires) that the SISOT wear a certain type/color of undergarment (or that they do not wear a particular undergarment at all) during certain time frames or situations. Example: Andrew must wear women’s panties this week, or Julie may not wear a bra out to dinner tonight.
  • Masturbation – The submissive partner must masturbate during a given time frame and then tell the Dominant partner what they did, where they did it, and what they fantasized about while doing it. Example: Marianne requires that Caroline masturbate at some point during the day and then explain what she did and thought about when they go to bed that night.
  • Pretending – The Dominant partner should pick a scenario that is well outside the comfort zone of the SISOT, and then request that they fantasize about (and possibly even roleplay) that scenario during their next session together. Example: James requests that he and his wife, Anne, role play having a threesome in bed together.

As stated above, these options are meant to be a menu, and couples should order off it according to what appeals to them. They should feel free to modify the entree’ they choose as necessary to meet the needs of their relationship. The key is to select something that will enable the two partners to play their respective roles and reinforce the idea of Domination and submission in a way that is palatable to both. And the hope is that by practicing on easier exercises, like these, the SISOT will become more comfortable in their view of both submission and themselves, and that will enable them to more fully embrace their desire to submit.

Enjoy Yourself!


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