The first time I was asked this question I stumbled. The obvious answer was a whole list of fetishes and kinks that I wanted them to be willing to play. I had them already worked out: which ones I had to include, which I was willing to negotiate away or even discard. Only obvious didn’t look right when I put it down on the page. It was just a list of activities, not what I actually expected from them.
What do you want?
At some point every Dominator, Dominatrix, submissive and slave is going to be asked this question or a variation of it. The person asking is going to be genuinely interested in the answer and it will determine whether what follows is an intense and rewarding relationship or another connection passed on by. It therefore follows that it deserves some consideration.
Perplexed by my inability to answer, I sat down one morning with a big block of post-it notes and a blank wall and started thinking about people I’d played with, talked to, even run away from. As I relived encounters I jotted down whatever came into my head, just a couple or three words, on a post-it and put it to one side. After twenty minutes I’d run out of post-its!
Time to sort through my needs
Next they went on the wall and I started grouping them. I made no assumptions about how the groupings should form, I just put things together that seemed right. What defined “right” varied from moment to moment – sometimes it was a shared word, other times it was some attribute of personality or dynamic within a scene. My first pass was quite quick and intuitive; my second was more thoughtful as I tried to form larger and more abstract groupings. Nothing was discarded, although sometimes I had to make it clear that the post-it represented something I did not want.
The big, kinky picture
Finally I stood back and looked at looked at what I had created. On the wall were five large groups that described what I wanted from a submissive: honesty, spirit, flexibility, creativity and activities. At first glance these sound rather high level and woolly, after all doesn’t everyone expect “honesty”? Yet I can describe what I mean by each one. Ask me what I mean by “honesty” and I can tell you I’m not looking for someone who tells me the truth all the time, but who is open with their feelings, knows what they do and do not want and can communicate all of this whether we’re having a friendly coffee or in the middle of an intense scene.
When I looked at these groups and what they contained nothing surprised me. It was as if the answer had been staring me in the face the whole time, I just kept looking past it.
What I want, what I really, really want
It was in “activities” that I found the greatest surprise. As you might expect my various kinks and fetishes appeared (no, I will NOT compromise on my latex fetish or my love of bondage) but other more intimate and social things were there too. Post-scene intimacy emerged as something I expect (I don’t mean sex, but being together and winding the emotion down) as did going out for meals and shopping trips. A new “kink” had also appeared and came across as quite important – one that I hadn’t considered and yet again seemed entirely right when presented to me in black and white.
Another interesting aspect was how little about the physicality of the submissive appeared. There were some general things around being healthy and flexible enough to cope with rope bondage, but nothing about dress size, bust size, hair colour or any of those attributes. I know this will surprise some people as they expect we photographers to have quite strong views on what we define as beauty. I guess I’m either odd or those stereotypes don’t work!
The cynic might proclaim this as an interesting exercise and now I have a piece of paper that lets me answer The Question. What I believe is I have a better understanding of what I am looking for in a submissive and what I expect from her. I also have a better way of dealing with submissives and I’ve become far better at identifying those I am less likely to have enjoyable encounters with.
Don’t get me wrong; a casual play partner can still be entertaining. But that isn’t someone I consider to be MY submissive. To go deeper, to explore a longer, more intimate and trusting relationship I know what I expect from my submissive and now I can communicate that to her.
Surely that cannot be a bad thing?
Tagged: BDSM Relationships
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