I talk with a lot of submissive guys and girls, and they contact to me for a variety of reasons. I enjoy each and every one of them, but if I’m being completely honest, some of the submissives I talk with could easily be tagged with the description “strong-willed.” I know these subs can be difficult to Dom/me at times. I secretly enjoy, just a little bit, the determination these subs have. Yes, they can be stubborn and difficult, and they will state their cases whenever they can, but they certainly have passion. Strong-willed submissives can be exhausting, that’s for sure. But they also tend to grow into very obedient people with the right direction. When they learn to channel that determination, they take healthy risks — they learn to work through failure and keep trying. There’s a lot to love about strong willed submissives, us Dominants just need to learn how to survive them.
I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about some things that may be helpful for a Dom/me when they find they have themselves a strong-willed submissive!
Strong-willed subs are known for their power struggles. If they find an opening, they pounce. Routines and rules provide a great foundation (they take some of the guesswork out of the day), but they can be particularly helpful for strong-willed submissives. Try not to go nuts and overwhelm them with hundreds of rules and expectations. You can’t avoid every possible power struggle along the way, but a list of rules and expectations can help avoid some of the daily power struggles that wear on your nerves.
Strong-willed subs are often doers by default. If it seems like your submissive is always learning the hard way, that’s because he/she probably learns best by trial and error. Strong-willed subs have big ideas, and they may prefer to test their ideas or try telling you about them – this may seem like topping from the bottom but it can be done correctly using communication. If your sub follows the rules (ie: you must tell me any and all fantasies without assumption that they will be fulfilled), is there really any harm in letting them tell you about their fantasies? I find that many power struggles emerge between strong-willed subs and their partners because the subs have very strong opinions, and they tend to stick to them. You do have to set realistic rules and expectations, and you do have to follow through on those.
It’s extremely important to listen carefully.
Given that tenacious submissives tend to have a lot of very strong opinions and prefer to share those opinions often, Dom/mes can start ignoring them at times. It can be exhausting, and sometimes you just don’t want to debate why your rules are your rules. It’s important to listen. Sharing their ideas and opinions is how strong-willed subs work through things. If they appear stubborn at times, it’s because they have strong beliefs and integrity. They want to share that with you. Listen to your submissive and empathize. Help them channel that stubbornness into a positive. So your sub really wants to be dressed in certain types of clothing? Teach them how to research the pros and cons and engage in a healthy give-and-take on the matter instead of simply stating their need over and over again. No one likes whining and nagging. They might not get to wear those frilly pink panties, because it’s not something you are into, but at least they will feel heard and learn some important communication skills in the process. This is also an opportunity for a Dominant partner to compromise and even if you aren’t into a specific kink they are maybe you can negotiate a way to help fulfill that desire for them. Perhaps you don’t like them wearing feminine clothing but know they would like to try it… so you require them to wear them under their clothing whenever they are not around you. It’s a great reminder of who is in control… taps into their kink and doesn’t bother you in the least! 🙂
One of the things I find we need to ask ourselves is:
Are you being an intentional Dominant?
I like to think of being a Dominant in three ways:
Automatic: the stuff you do constantly and without thinking, like letting them know you are thinking about them, teasing them mentally and sexually, making sure they have and are following rules, praising behavior, etc.
Reactive: providing discipline and correcting behavior, giving after-care, fulfilling fantasies
Proactive: the stuff you really think about and plan ahead for, like an intense bondage, pegging or spanking scene.
Now ask yourself and be honest: How much time do you spend a week on proactive stuff — like really thinking about what it is you want your submissive to experience, and then putting together a plan to make it happen? That’s the first step to becoming a more intentional Dom/me.
The next thing to think about is focus. How often are we giving our subs our full and undivided attention? Do we listen to their fantasies with our whole heart? Do we set aside specific times each day to be fully and intentionally present?