Should Submissives Express THEIR Needs?

When you are submissive or enjoy being submissive with a partner, navigating your own desires can be tricky. As submissives, we sometime engage in denying our own desires as part of kink play (e.g., orgasm control or denial). Additionally, we prioritize serving the needs of a dominant. However, the reasons people seek out submissive relationships where their desires are low priority or denied are not uniform. Understanding why you are attracted to these types of relationships is important for understanding your submissive journey.

You Don’t Know What You Want

Understanding and exploring desires is often portrayed as “selfish” or “slutty” or “perverted” in our predominant dominant culture. We are exposed to what we “should” desire. This is generally heteronormative versions of penetrative intercourse. Desires outside of this narrow expression of sexuality are generally portrayed as “edgy,” “perverse,” and even “dangerous.”

In this context, it makes sense you may not have the language or even the ideas of what you like when it comes to sex and intimacy. If you don’t have a solid idea about the types of sex and intimacy you want, try some of these suggestions.

  • Read erotic books or blogs.
  • Watch erotic films or porn.
  • Masturbate and pay attention to your fantasies.
  • Make a “yum” list- things you think sound fun and yummy and want to try.
  • Listen to podcasts about sexual adventure (Risk! and Bawdy Storytelling are great places to start).

It Is Easier to Serve Someone Else Than to Ask What You Want

Communication about sexuality and desire can feel awkward or intimidating. This is another skill we are rarely taught. Most of popular culture portray the best sex as unplanned and never spoken of before it happens. This is completely unrealistic! How are you supposed to know what someone likes if you never talk about it?

Asking for what you want takes courage and practice. You need to find the language to express what you want and the courage to ask for it. If you feel awkward asking for what you want, here are some tips to help.

  • Practice with yourself first! Say the words aloud in the shower or the car or where ever you have privacy to get comfortable with them.
  • Try out different words for body parts and activities. Find words that feel comfortable to say.
  • Talk to a partner outside the bedroom. The bedroom is often a charged space for conversations about sex. Talking to them over lunch, while out for a walk, or on a drive can help make the conversation feel less stressful.
  • Write it out. If verbally asking for what you want feels too overwhelming, try texting or sending an email. The lack of face to face communication and the ability to think about what you want to say before you say it may make it feel less stressful.

You Don’t Believe You Deserve the Sex You Want

When it comes to showing people having great sex or kink scenes, we limit it to specific bodies. Most often, the people who get to have great sex lives in the media are thin, young, able-bodied, lighter skinned, and middle or upper class. If that does not describe you, chances are you have not seen someone who looks like you having great sex.

We internalize this messaging. We may believe that because we are fat, or disabled, or not traditionally attractive, or darker skinned, that some times of sex is out of our reach. We may believe that we don’t deserve the type of sex we want until we lose weight, or ‘fix’ our disability or illness, or get a facelift, or something else.

Becoming comfortable with your body and learning to accept that you deserve the sex and intimacy you desire without having to “fix” what is “wrong” with you can take time and unlearning.

If you call into this category, here are some tools for helping you change that internal voice so it tells you that you are worthy of great sex and intimacy as you are now.

  • Change your social media feeds. Make sure they include lots of people who look like you!
  • Block social media feeds that make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Stop reading popular magazines that focus on the “ideal” body and sex life.
  • Read Your Body is Not an Apology by Sonia Renee Taylor and do the work!
  • Create mantras that remind you, you deserve great sex and intimacy as you are today.

Bottom Line

All submissives deserve to have their desires and needs met. It is important to have a voice as a submissive. Take time to find out what you desire and start to negotiate with partners about how to get your needs met as well as meeting their needs.

One comment

  1. “You need to find the language to express what you want and the courage to ask for it.”

    Dom chiming in. That line is perfect. In the vetting phase you should be clear about your expectations and needs. In the negotiation phase, bring them up and talk about them. Healthy negotiation, in my opinion and depending on dynamic as some are more strict about this than others, should never stop. To quote my grandfather, “A closed mouth won’t get fed.”

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