Thoughts on Submissives Communicating with Dominants

Over at thedreamingsub is a post addressing the question “How do subs talk to Doms?”

In answer to that question–I know it is best to be exceedingly polite, avoid complimenting yourself or showing off (unless it’s good grades), try not to curse if you can help it, avoid starting sentences with ‘I know’, do not jump right into conversation with them without first saying hello properly and making sure they want your company right then, be honest, admit when you’ve done wrong and don’t be afraid to apologize, as long as it is heartfelt and you really will try not to make that mistake again. Although, don’t kid yourself, you’re still going to get your ass beat for it. And lectured too. [Emphasis in the original.]

This is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough, in my opinion.

Remember that something like 80% of communication is non-verbal. Submissives communicate their intentions, attitudes and desires with more than just words. The way a submissive stands, sits or kneels says something about her. The way a submissive looks or does not look at the Dominant communicates something about the submissive’s state of mind. Tone of voice, a tilt of the head, posture, idle motion, all these things communicate information about the submissive.

Does that mean the submissive needs to always think about these things? No. That would likely drive the submissive crazy.

The point I am getting to is that the primary rule, in my opinion, for submissives in communicating with Dominants is respect. If the submissive does not show the Dominant respect, all the other rules or protocols or little tricks mean little.

This does not mean submissives can get away with disregarding the rules. Far from it. Following the rules is part of showing respect. However, the submissive should strive to never let the following the letter of the rules replace or interfere with following the spirit of the rules. And vice-versa.

That said, there are some basic things a submissive should do when talking to Dominants, and most other people really. In the quote above, thedreamingsub mentions some of them. Be polite. Be honest. Be humble. Be sincere.

Also, be attentive. When a submissive is talking to a Dominant, the submissive’s attention should be focused on the Dominant. Be self-controlled. Do not interrupt a Dominant unless there is an urgent reason to do so.

In addition to all that, I would also advise submissives to learn how a particular Dominant prefers to be addressed. And I do not just mean calling the Dominant Sir or Mistress. I mean pay attention to how the Dominant prefers to be spoken to. Some Dominants will appreciate some flirtation. Some will not. Some will expect the submissive to be reticent until spoken to. Some will be okay with the submissive speaking first. Some Dominants will expect the submissive to make eye contact. Some will expect the submissive to keep her gaze down.

I want to go back to the non-verbal communication for a moment. There are ways to deliberately communicate things to a Dominant without speaking. Kneeling at a Dominant’s feet and waiting for recognition. Picking up a tool of discipline (a paddle for example) and bringing it to the Dominant. Kissing a Dominant’s feet. Wearing or not wearing specific articles of clothing.  These are just a few ideas. I would recommend submissives talk with their Dominants about this kind of silent communication. There may be a specific action or actions the Dominant prefers.

Ultimately, it all goes back to showing the Dominant respect. This does not mean a submissive can never be playful. Being respectful does not mean being somber. And being respectful certainly does not mean hiding hurt feelings or worries from the Dominant. Remember to be honest and be sincere. That is part of being respectful to the Dominant.

There is probably something I am forgetting, but hopefully this is at least a helpful start to thinking about and discussing how submissives communicate with Dominants.

10 Responses to “Thoughts on Submissives Communicating with Dominants”

  1. missysubmits Says:

    This is good. There is too much in here to reflect on really just yet, but I will likely write on the topic again once my mind has turned it over enough. My original post was being playful and keeping things on the surface, but yes, still honest. My knowledge of such things is limited, but I am learning more every day. I would enjoy seeing more posts like this. I see many written about submissives or advising dominants, but few that speak directly and honestly to subs.

    I will say, my first time getting to know a Dominant was memorable. It did not take long to learn what he did and did not like–although our friendship was only online, and therefore, likely superficial compared to the dynamic IRL. It was still the beginning of my education (really the best word for it) and he was a very good teacher. You remind me of him to be honest. When I read your posts, I hear an English accent in my head. Lol. He is from the UK.

    I remember at the beginning how much it felt like a whole new world where so many of the ‘rules’ (accepted behavior amongst peers) seemed in opposition to the societal norms of the Vanilla world. It did strike me as being akin to old fashioned good manners. I read back on some of the early stuff he and I wrote and I cringe at myself sometimes. Change is so very good.

    I like this.
    “That said, there are some basic things a submissive should do when talking to Dominants, and most other people really.”

    The ‘most other people really’ part. That is how I felt after I started to catch on to the proper way to interact with a Dominant male. Not so much protocol, as I really haven’t a clue what protocol is all about. I did not even know that applied to most D/s relationships. I thought people were strictly talking about Leather Houses when they referred to protocol. This Dom never spoke much about protocol, but he is from the UK and things may be different there.

    I will be coming back and reading this post again and again; I can promise you. When behavior is corrected indirectly, the mind of a submissive wants to know why. What did I do wrong? The point for me is to learn and move forward. I feel bad repeating undesirable behavior. This requires reflection and this post will help me to reflect. Thank you.

    I was not sure where you were going to go with all of this when you said you would write about it. There were a few directions you could have taken things. Sorry if I got nervous about that. I get a little manic when I am nervous. Thanks again. This is very helpful.

  2. missysubmits Says:

    “There is probably something I am forgetting…”

    Never tell a Dominant what he should do. Your Dominant or not. They generally don’t like it at all. You can suggest, ask politely, and in some cases even beg. But never tell them what to do. There is no quicker way to ensure they will not do what you are asking, then if you tell them that they should.

    Besides there is no reason to. I have found most Dominants to be givers by nature. They appear to want to reach out to submissives, help them if they can. I have had Doms come out of nowhere and ‘save’ me just when I needed them to. Not that I can’t take care of myself, but we all need a helping hand here and there. Doms are gifts to us subs, even though it is us that submits to them. They protect us. Super heroes in invisible capes is how I have referred to them in the past. Some of them. Maybe I romanticize it too much. I can’t help it. I find D/s to be extremely romantic.

    • I had to tell a submissive once, “I know you’re a mother, but you’re not my mother.”

      • thedreamingsub Says:

        My husband told me once, “Yes, I will help you with this, but you will not stand over me and bark orders at me like I am your trained monkey.” I laughed and laughed and laughed at that. The man cracks me up.

      • thedreamingsub Says:

        Just got your point.

  3. As you say, respect is key. It goes both ways.

    Kind of like any relationship, D/s or not. 🙂

    • Yes, very true. (Unless one is Gorean, but that is a topic for another day.) Respect does go both ways. This is one of the tricky things about being a Dominant. One has to remember the submissive is not a thing (even if sometimes she wants to be treated like one). The submissive is a person, and is due respect. In a general way, the golden rule applies in a D/s relationship as it does in any other sort of relationship. If the Dominant wants to be treated with respect, he should treat his submissive with respect. Of course, how a Dominant shows respect to a submissive is not the same as the way a submissive shows respect to a Dominant. But that too is a topic for another day.

  4. Thank you for this. I am a new submissive, and I crave any information that will help me please Sir.

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