So I was having a conversation a while back with a friend of mine. If you know me personally, you know my memory sucks and I can’t remember the details of the conversation. However, what I do remember is that, for whatever reason, the way she was describing a Dom caused me to blurt out, “He’s a pillow princess Dom!” I then had to explain what a “pillow princess” was. If you haven’t heard this term before – here is the Urban Dictionary definition:
Pillow Princess: A woman, usually in a curious/bisexual context, who wants to experience pleasure from oral sex, but who is unwilling to reciprocate. Jane: All Jill ever does when we have sex is just lay back and have me do all the work.
So now you may be wondering how I applied this to a Dominant (and in the example my friend gave – a MALE Dom). Basically I am referring to a Dominant who thinks of power exchange as a one-way gift from the submissive. (fyi – for the purpose of this article I am using Dom to refer to any gender identity)
I think sometimes new D-types walk in to the scene and expect (either thru false media or false assumptions) that as a Dom they don’t have to do anything except tell subs what to do. Here’s the thing. I can understand that fantasy. Sit on your figurative throne, have a sub at your feet, massaging them, unless of course they are busy preparing you food, cleaning your house, and running your errands. Instinctively knowing what you need and how you prefer everything to be done. All the while you spend your time living your life the way you wish – outside of your job you simply sit back and watch tv or play video games while your sub frantically takes care of everything else.
While that may be a lovely fantasy, it’s just that, a fantasy. You will be hard pressed to find a sub who would last long in this scenario without getting anything in return. There is a reason it’s called power EXCHANGE. A D/s dynamic takes both partners giving to the other. They may be giving different things, but it’s never a one way street. Even in the example of a very simple domestic service type of dynamic – a sub cleans for a Dom with no expectation of sex, play, or payment. At the very least (in my opinion) there should at least be appreciation expressed from the Dom. Using protocols as another example – you can’t just give a bunch of protocols to your sub and expect them to happen. If you give so many that you can’t remember them and your sub forgets, you don’t reprimand, the protocol may disappear. It takes both parties to nurture the dynamic. We are all humans first. No matter how we identify or what fetishes we love, we are human beings first. So if you are someone I would consider a “pillow princess dom” you may want to reconsider. It may work for a little while, or for short spurts of roleplay with a long term partner, but eventually if you don’t participate in the exchange you will go thru subs like a Kardashian goes thru shoes.
Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening. Read more about Jennifer on her blog, A Kink Shrink.