Once again we wander into the province of a Cosmo style article.
Cosmo style notwithstanding, I think this article is an important – and fun — read for Dom/mes of all levels. After all, one should have a rough idea what most sub’s want before you attempt to close the deal – whether it is for a one-nighter or a more permanent arrangement.
For this article, I have interviewed a group of subs, both male and female, at Los Angeles’s famed private dungeon, Lair DeSade. This compilation will concentrate on personal aspects; in a subsequent piece I will annotate the most popular play needs.
This list is in order of the popularity of the answers. None were mentioned by everyone except one – “honesty.” Yet, “honesty” does not appear on this list. Why? Because I considered it too obvious an answer. It is like the “no children” hard limit – everyone agrees on it. Thus, I felt it did not shed enough light on the subject. Another popular answer, “pushing limits,” is omitted because I felt it belonged in the “play” list.
By the way, this list is great for both Dominants and submissives alike. So, without further adieu, the envelope please!
1. I want a Dom/me who listens. Many subs are reticent about expressing their needs. Thus, they would like a Dom/me who listens carefully when they do express themselves. There is nothing worse than having to repeat yourself – especially for a submissive. When you have to “hint” again and again, it can border on “topping.” A Dom/me who is a good listener, and takes what the submissive says into consideration before making decisions, gets a big plus in any sub’s book. No matter what you think of “Fifty Shades,” Christian was a good listener.
2. I want a Dom/me who doesn’t listen. Say what? Didn’t BaadMaster say just the opposite one paragraph ago? Not really. What I am stating here is that a submissive doesn’t want a Dom/me who does everything he/she wants. After all, the Top would then become the bottom! The submissive regularly needs to know that the Dom/me can and will do things that please only the Dom/me – for whatever reason. How often is open to debate; it will surely depend on the relationship. But there is no doubt that a submissive craves those times when the Dominant is just that – Dominant!
3. I want a Dom/me who laughs. This was also a surprisingly universal wish. The stereotypical stern Master who rules with an iron fist seems acceptable for a session. But, as a lifestyle Dominant, most submissives rejected this out of hand. Taking this lifestyle too seriously – and making laughter a forbidden activity – seemed a prospect most submissives reject. Maybe Carrot Top as his/her Dom (although his name has “Top” in it!) is not a submissive’s dream; but then neither is someone who eats nails for breakfast – and never smiles. (Would you, if you ate nails?)
4. I want a Dom/me who follows through. Since the Top is in control, he/she should not disappoint the submissive by promising something and then not delivering. A Dom/me who actually makes the effort to follow through gets high marks from every submissive I have talked to.
5. Gimme a break. Of those who were in an actual D/s relationship, most listed the need for regular breaks from serving as a prime need. This one caught me off guard; I never expected this answer. But it seems that all subs need time off from being a submissive on a recurring basis. I cannot speculate exactly why this need seems so ubiquitous among those in LTR liaisons, but it seems that all Dom/mes should take this surprising desire into consideration.
6. Consistency. When it comes to Dominance, consistency seems to be an attribute that is absolutely essential. A minor infraction on Wednesday should not become a major infraction on Friday. The submissive must know what is and what is not expected by her Master/Mistress – especially if there is a “slave contract.” If this changes at the drop of a hat, all is pretty much lost. Consistency in all other matters is also a critical need. If the Dom/me praises the submissive for something – and then criticizes him/her for the same thing another time – the sub will be driven crazy. Respect can go out the window on this one.
7. Unpredictability. I don’t write ‘em, I just report ‘em! At first glance, this desire seems at odds with the previous one, “consistency.” But, upon closer analysis, the two are actually complementary. On one hand, the Top must bring a degree of consistency to his/her training methods; on the other hand, he/she must introduce the element of surprise to keep the relationship from becoming boring. This is a semi-vanilla concept, one that you would read about in, duh, Cosmo. Nevertheless, it works here.
8. I want to be appreciated. Again, this was a pretty universal desire. Almost every submissive wanted to feel appreciated for the effort he/she makes. And make no mistake about it, being a good submissive – although it should fun – also entails work. And if this is taken for granted – or worse, denigrated – the submissive will not be a happy camper.
9. I want to feel unique. I guess everyone wants to feel special. And submissives are no exception. Personalized rituals, play that is designed specifically for the sub and a feeling that the Dom/me is not using a “one size fits all” cookie-cutter approach are essential needs of most bottoms. After all, who wants a McDom/me?
10. I want a Dom/me with a good reputation. This desire was mentioned only by those subs who were into public play. Everyone in this “subgroup” (pun intended!) wanted a Dom/me who was held in high esteem in the BDSM community. Although this was the specific desire of the smallest number of subs (thus it is listed last), I would advise all Dominants to guard their reputations, because you never know when it will come into play.
These ten seem to be the most important desires of those submissives interviewed. Of course, one size does not fit all. But, I think this list gives you a good overview of what most submissives really want!
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.