Its the most common question I see of new kinksters, “Am I doing this right?” It comes in several versions, “I think I am a Domme, but I am not sure I have the stuff to top,” or “I am a woman, I am supposed to be submissive, right?” or “Maybe I just haven’t found the right partner, but what I am doing doesn’t seem to quite fit me.”
First, there is no one way to do kink right. Kink is a journey. It requires time, experimentation, growth, and mistakes. It requires reading, and searching, and chatting with people, and crying and laughing. And even after 30 years I am still a growing and changing kinkster.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
Culture will influence your kink! We all grow up in at least one culture. Perceptions of men and women, masculinity and femininity, sexuality, strength and weakness all figure into what we think about our own kink. In the U.S., women are presumed to be submissive and men to be dominant. In the UK, the generally pattern if for everyone to start out trying to be a d-type then evolve.
The thing is, dominance and submission is not tied to your gender. Dominance and submission is about power exchange. Every person moves through the world differently and experiences power differently. Some people get energized by controlling situations and having power. Some enjoy relinquishing power. Some people base it on individual situations. And how you approach managing your power in the world informs but does not define your kink.
For example, I am a woman in the United States. Culturally, I am trained to be a bit more submissive in relationships. However, I was raised by a second wave feminist and a mother who had a lot of power in her own marriage. I never played “house.” I played “committee” and “chairman of the board.” – Honestly, I did. Left the little girls at home with their dolls and ran committee meetings with my stuffed animals. – In most of my career, I had a lot of power and enjoyed it.
So, one would thing taking the dominant roll would come very naturally to me. Its true, I am a good service top and can have intellectual fun with that role. However, in the confines of a relationship, submission is the best fit for me. Serving my partner makes me super happy! I love deferring to strong partner. I feel safe, loved, and honored in that position. So, while culture and life experience informs my submission, it does not define it.
Submission is a journey for everyone. How you dominate and submit today will be different than how you do it in ten years. We all grow and learn in relationships. I know subs who have evolved to be amazing Dommes. I know Doms who now enjoy switching. I know switches who are now slaves. To make your journey less painful, it is helpful to be open to changing your kink identity. Hard to do, yes – but very necessary.
Your partners matter. Yes, I tend to sub and have subbed for nearly three decades. I recently met a man I fell in love with very much. He is not part of the kink community and very open to learning. For the first time in my life I am having serious conversations about being a switch. Things happen… people change.
If you are with someone and they insist on only one way to do kink, take it as a red flag. No one has the answer. People can be very judgmental and harsh with newbies. That is just being an asshat. It is your journey. Be open. Experiment. Read. Research. Talk. Play. You will become the kinkster you were destine to be!