A couple weeks ago, Bella at DD and D/s asked me to participate in an online interview, and during the process, I mentioned that one of the toys Joy and I have in our toy chest is an inflatable sex doll. Bella wondered what exactly we’d gotten up to with that particular item, and since the story nicely supports the topic I want to discuss today, I figured I’d share it. By the way, today’s topic is “baby steps”.
When I apply the term “baby steps” to BDSM, it’s generally in reference to either exploring new kinky behavior or working with a limit. In either of these cases, I highly advocate proceeding in small increments, or “baby steps”, each increment taking your partner just slightly farther than they’ve gone before. It’s important to take a gradual approach like this for two reasons:
- The first reason is to avoid triggering resistance due to fear or inhibition. Trying new things can be very exciting, but their unfamiliarity can also make them intimidating or downright scary. Being naughty is fun, but when actions go beyond naughty into what is perceived as “shocking”, the fun disappears like water down a drain. And any time a limit is in play energy levels will be high, but so will the risk of triggering fear or some sort of inhibition. The trust between Dominant and submissive will be tested in any of these cases, and it is far better for all participants that the results be happy ones.
There are many elements involved in making sure that the test is passed and the trust holds, but one important factor is that you not ask your partner to confront too much all at once. Everyone has a comfort zone, and when you take your partner to its edge and perhaps just beyond, the result is adrenaline and excitement and arousal. But go too far beyond their zone of comfort and fear will arise, and no one will be happy after that.
The good thing about comfort zones, however, is that they expand. What once was novel and new becomes accepted and familiar and eventually…comfortable. And when that happens, then it is time to take another baby step.
- The second reason is to allow you and your partner to savor your BDSM journey. To illustrate what I mean by this, let’s use a metaphor. Suppose, for a minute, that you had the ability to consume your entire dinner in one giant, mouth-stretching, stomach-filling bite. A few chews and a swallow, and down it would go. Then, belly full, you could head off to watch TV or go to bed. Oh sure, it would be efficient, and you’d still end up with the same nutritional results as the normal, more gradual process, but consider what you would have lost!
You’d miss out on that first sip of good red wine, the way it feels warm and lively on your tongue. All the flavors would be mixed together, so you’d never taste the pure bite of the dressing on the crisp salad, or the creamy goodness of the mashed potatoes topped with melting butter. And the whole meal would be over in a matter of seconds—instead of enjoying tastes and conversation and lingering over coffee and dessert, it would all be done. There wouldn’t even be a need to sit down!
Baby steps ensure that you take the exact opposite approach to that described above when it comes to BDSM. All Dominants have fantasies that they want to enact and BDSM destinations that they want to visit. But rather than letting you rush right to your destination, baby steps force you to take your time, and they let you focus on each incremental stage of the journey. Without this focus, you miss things—the expression on your partner’s face the first time you insert the gag in their mouth, for instance, or the shocked gasp the first time your hand comes down on their bottom. Firsts are fun, and baby steps let you experience lots of individual firsts, rather than a huge conglomeration of firsts all rolled into one big ball. And they extend the experience of getting to your destination over a much longer period of time—rather than immediately getting full gratification and then realizing that it’s over, you get many instances of gratification, each building on the previous one, until finally you reach the culmination of your efforts.
And all this brings us back to our sex doll. Her name, by the way, is Sophia, and she is (or was) a baby step.
My wife, Joy, is filled with many dark and secret desires. Some we have explored together and over time, they have moved into her comfort zone. Others remain unexplored. Joy has a very difficult time facing up to some of the things that excite her—fear and shame and inhibition often get in the way. “I shouldn’t want that,” she seems to tell herself, “so I won’t want it.” Of course, the desire remains, but she keeps it hidden and won’t admit it, either to me or to herself.
In some cases I have quite a good idea what these desires are, even though Joy won’t confess them. A couple years ago I knew that Joy wanted to try being with another woman. This wasn’t just the typical guy fantasy, by the way—I mean it when I tell you that I knew she wanted it. Despite denials, despite statements to the contrary, it was plain. Interestingly enough, Joy sometimes most vociferously denies the things she most desires.
The question, of course, was how to free her of her inhibitions so that she could allow herself to experience this fantasy in reality. Most of the answer came down to taking baby steps.
Baby step number one was pretending—we’d role play the idea of including another woman in a BDSM scene. Sometimes Joy would Dominate her, sometimes she would Dominate Joy. And sometimes I would Dominate them both. With proper preparation, Joy was quite willing to act out these fantasies, and would get quite a surprising charge from them.
Baby step number two was watching videos. We watched quite a few different video options–some that touched a cord, and others that did not. The ones Joy liked the best were the “Ultimate Surrender” videos, where two women wrestled in the buff, and the winner got to “use” the loser.
Sophia was baby step number three. She’s a good quality blow up doll, but let’s be honest—no inflatable doll is anything close to realistic. Therefore, I blindfolded Joy, and she has to this day never seen Sophia. She has, however, kissed her, both on the lips and in many other interesting places. Sophia has worn a strap on, and made Joy suck and fuck it. And Sophia has brought Joy to orgasm, not once, but several times. Sophia allowed us to add a further touch of reality to our role-playing fantasies, and carried us one incremental step closer to reality.
For those of you keeping score at home, step four was a lap dance, and step five…well, step five was our friend Beth, who came to visit us at our house one night to help Joy live out her desires. Beth visited twice more, and Joy’s fantasies were rather thoroughly fulfilled.
Baby steps can be quite a powerful concept. I’ve already said thank you to Beth, but thank you, too, Sophia.