Rika’s Lair – Making Requests of Your Dominant, Without Topping from the Bottom

In last month’s column, we were discussing some basics regarding a mindset that cultivates the best possible submission for your relationship. We talked about a sequence that starts with the dominant’s introspection as to what truly serves them, the communication of that expectation, and the submissive’s responsibility to understand and adapt to that expectation in order to fulfill it without attempting to manipulate the dominant. We also discussed two very subtle variations of “Topping from the Bottom” that plague many couples and discussed avoiding them. To read that article, or any of my other articles in Kink Weekly, click on my name in the by-line, or type “Rika” in the search box on this site!

This month, I want to share related advice that I gave a man who is living in a D/s dynamic with his dominant wife. I’ve corresponded with this couple many times since they first read my books and reached out to me for advice and clarification. When they started, she was relatively new to D/s, had tried being a dominatrix in rather stereotypical ways without feeling a connection, then found that the dominant centric methodology rang true for her. She has since been developing her definition of submission for her husband and is truly beginning to feel her dominant identity. He reports he is beside himself with happiness and is becoming more and more “enslaved” in ways he never imagined he would be.

When he reached out to me last month, he mentioned that his wife was facing a great deal of pressure with her job and life was getting in the way of their dynamic. It seemed to him that she could use him to relive her of some of that pressure, but she wasn’t enlisting his service. He felt she was passing by opportunities where having a sub would relieve her burden. She was inundated with work, which, in his mind, was the perfect opportunity for her to use her slave (him) to lessen her load and to let her stay focused on whatever she deemed to be important. But she wasn’t engaging in that way, and when he approached her about it, she rebuffed him in a gentle, but clearly disinterested manner. It seemed to him, that she had forgotten that he was there to serve. He wanted to continue to suggest ways in which he could be used, but feared he would be seen as topping from the bottom – something he was afraid to do (as I mentioned in last month’s article). Instead, he remained quiet; feeling quite alone in their dynamic and becoming resentful and disappointed. He asked me if he should talk to her about his feelings.

I’d seen this before: The submissive sees real life stress as an opportunity to promote the dynamic, but the dominant is not on the same page. There are many reasons why this might be the case. While it is possible that the dominant may not view the power dynamic to be as “Real Life” as the sub does and the daily pressures of real life are “REAL” and the dynamic is “that game that we play”, it is also possible that the dominant may just prefer to deal with their stress themselves, may not feel that the sub should be burdened by their issues, or may be overwhelmed and feel the dynamic distracts them from focusing where they need to. Subs know there are alternatives, but tend to fixate on the thought that the dominant is not present in the dynamic. The fear of abandonment is so strong, it causes them to doubt if the dynamic is real or only exists in their head.

My recommendation, to this sub and to others, is to go ahead and discuss your feelings with your dominant, HOWEVER, that it is critical to pick a time to have the conversation when your dominant is not as stressed. Then, you must communicate in a way that avoids the appearance of instructing or cajoling your dominant. Rather, you can suggest that, in times of stress, you could be useful. I advise to ask your dominant to think about the last time they were really busy and to consider if there was something that you could have taken on or done that would have made their life easier. You might have prepared some suggestions. Without immediate pressures, and thinking back on times of stress, dominants are more likely to be able to consider how having a submissive could have helped them. Your dominant is far more likely to be able to think up things you could have done and more receptive to your ideas.

Then the challenge is back on you. The next time your dominant is stressed out, offer to do the type of task that your dominant had discussed. Hopefully, this rings a bell for your dominant as they will remember how they had thought it might help, and then allow you to help.

There is a word of caution here: Perform the tasks with all your effort and really focus on relieving your dominant’s stress, but do it without requiring a lot of their attention. Too often, when finally allowed to help, subs jump in with a great deal of enthusiasm, but repeatedly call attention to themselves – wanting the dominant to acknowledge how much they are helping. It’s natural to want that feedback, particularly if you are doubting your dominant’s commitment to the dynamic, but this defeats the purpose of doing the tasks in the first place, by distracting the dominant from the real task at hand. This is sure to leave a bad taste in your dominant’s mouth. The key is to help without fanfare, and trust that the positive impact of your efforts will be recognized in due time. Your dominant will not only get relief from their stress, but will likely remember it as a positive experience – and hopefully expect it in the future. They might also begin to recognize that there are other uses for someone who wants to focus on them in other situations. Success without topping from the bottom!

The same strategy holds true for making ANY request of a dominant. Subs need to communicate their thoughts, but to do so at a convenient time for the dominant – not in the heat of the moment. Preparation for the future is far more effective for making requests. Giving the dominant time to digest the ideas without pressure, allows them to be more giving and lessens the chance of generating resentment. Thinking back on similar situations and discussing the possibilities sets the stage for when those circumstances present themselves again in the future. Try it! Then tell me how it works out!

– Rika.

Ms. Rika is a lifestyle dominant, educator, and author; living in the suburbs of NYC with her husband/slave. She has written several popular books on her approach to adding Dominant-Centric, Service-Oriented D/s to relationships. You can find her books (in both print and eBook formats) at Lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/msrika), or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iStore, Books-A- Million, Kobo.com, or anywhere books are sold. Search for “Ms. Rika”.


  1. this is a much needed read. thank you for writing this

  2. teamplayer says:

    Much appreciated!

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