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Another Installment in the D/s Lighthouse Lecture Series

Introducing Your Mate to D/s
© 1998 by
Lord Colm

I can't count the number of times that jade and I have been asked the question of how to introduce a partner to D/s. Many of our guests find themselves in an ongoing relationship when their interest in D/s is sparked and they don't know how to approach their significant other with this new realization. Sadly, many people fear rejection so much that they will never bring it up with their husband or wife, lover, or partner. Instead, they take what seems to be the easy way out and find expression of their desires online with someone outside of their real-life relationship, often leading to a real-life break-up.

On the other hand, there are ways to safely explore your mate's interest (or lack thereof) without risking too much. The key to doing this: Go slowly.

Unfortuanately, many couples are not comfortable in sharing their intimate fantasies with their mate, and may go years or a lifetime suppressing their desires. What is truly tragic is when those people both harbor secret fantasies of D/s, B&D, or SM but are afraid to let their partner know.

So what do you do?

You're afraid of rejection, fear that your lover will think you a pervert and pack you off to the local psychiatric ward. These fears are very real, but unfounded in many instances. When you decide that the time is right to begin testing your lover's interest in D/s, remember that some of the milder aspects of the lifestyle (or lovestyle) have gone mainstream. If your partner reads romance novels, you can bet she's thought about being pinned to a wall by a lover's body with her hands held over her head while being "overpowered."

What you don't want to do is scare them off from the very start. Jay Wiseman in SM101 - A Realistic Introduction (1996) highly discourages "intellectualizing" D/s discussions as a way to introduce your lover to the idea. Chances are, your partner has a lot of preconceived notions--usually wrong--about torture, mass murderers, and rape. No amout of words will sway her or him. Your partner is much more likely to be receptive to the role if you introduce it during love-making. For example, while making love in the missionary position, you might try taking your lover's hands and gently pinning them over her or his head. If you prefer other positions, try a variation on the theme: Hold your partner's hands behind her or his back, for example. While making love, try a few well-placed swats on their backside. Not too much, mind you. You want your partner barely to notice. Grasp her hair or gently bite his flesh (neck, shoulder, nipples).

A submissive who wishes to encourage a mate to take control could incorporate these same things from the other side. For example, gently slip your hands around your pertner's wrists or interlock your fingers, lift your hands over your head, and moan softly in pleasure. Take one of your lover's hands and cover it with yours, raking her or his fingernails down your chest, back, or buttocks. Offer your backside playfully or lay across your partner's lap and coo about how you've been a "naughty girl." Chances are, your partner will get the idea. When she or he does, give some indication that you are enjoying it.

During this time, you need to be very aware of your partner's reactions to see whether or not your lover is enjoying your efforts. If not, stop. Try something different. Not all potential submissives or dominants enjoy erotic pain. Your partner may be more interested in the feelings of being dominated or being in power than being bitten. Be aware that some lovers will endure certain activities during lovemaking only to please you without really enjoying it. If you suspect this is the case, stop. Ask! "Are you OK with this?" D/s should be a mutually gratifying activity. At this point, also remember that "stop" and "no" really do mean precisely that. Don't try to coerce your mate into something he or she doesn't really want to do. Subs, if your potential dom gets a bit too enthusiastic, let him know gently with a sound, a facial expression, or other body language.

Setting up a romantic evening that ends in making love, in the middle of which you pull out a silk blindfold will more likely meet with success than will whipping out a leather flogger and saying, "You're in for it now, honey!"

Other Suggestions

Here are some other ways you might see if your partner has any interest in D/s (these apply equally to both dominants and submissives):

  • Read good D/s-related fiction. Leave the book lying about so that your mate will see it. When you reach a part that is particulary erotic, share it with your lover. "Oh, God, honey. I've just got to read this part to you!" See how they react.
  • Rent main-stream movies that have erotic depictions of D/s. "9 1/2 Weeks" and "Wild Orchid" have become somewhat of a standard in this. During the movie, let your partner know when something arouses you. Subtle hints like a little "mmmm" when the heroine is being blindfolded or a "Whew! I'd love to do that with you!" After the movie, talk about it. Let your partner know what scenes you particularly enjoyed and see if she or he responds. You may be pleasently surprised.
  • Outside of a love-making session, while simply kissing your lover, hold her hands over her head or behind his back. Submissives can express their interest in the same manner described above.
  • When you are feeling romantic, suggest sharing a fantasy with each other. Weave in erotic images of whatever activity you find enjoyable and would like your lover to try. Many people are hesitant to reveal their fantasies, thinking that others will consider them "sick" or "perverted." By your sharing first, it will likely help them open up to you. If it's done in a non threatening way, as only fantasy, your partner might be more receptive.
  • Submissives, you could, as a special gift to your partner, offer yourself to be done with as he or she would like: A maid, a servent, something enabling your partner to tell you what to do. Meeting him or her at the door in a maid's uniform would be a nice touch to enhance the experience. Male subs can offer to wait on their partner, cook dinner, clean, bathe their lover, give them an erotic massage.

I'm ready now!

Do not wait too long in a new relationship to introduce your lover to the idea that you would like this type of relationship. In the longrun, it is better to find out early whether you are sexually compatible. If you wait too long, you will have much more emotionally invested in the relationship. On the other hand, I wouldn't suggest you do so the first time you get naked together, either (unless that's been part of your discussion beforehand).

Most people will be more receptive to the erotic aspects of D/s rather than talk of negotiation, contracts, slave duties, and buttplugs. Take your time and resist the urge to dive into the heavier aspects of D/s. Submissives, be patient when introducing your prospective dom to these new sensations. Rest assured that if your partner has never had these kinds of erotic experiences, she or he is going to be hesitatant out of fear of hurting you. Your lover may also have to resolve a lifetime of cultural training that tells him it is wrong to inflict pain on you (even if it is consensually erotic). He or she may struggle with a conflict between competing beliefs about equality in a relationship and this new-found power dynamic. Give your mate a chance to get used to the idea before introducing something else. You don't want to scare her away, but to gently lead him into the realization that domination and submission can significantly enhance the relationship. You can never go wrong by taking things slowly. And if you are fortunate, you may just awaken in your mate secret desires long suppressed.

Copyright© 1998 by Lord Colm
All Rights Reserved
May not be reproduced, in whole or in part,
without the express written consent of the author

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