Project August: Day 7 – Communication about Non-verbal Communication

Today, the topic is non-verbal communication. More specifically, non-verbal communication within D/s relationships. So today there will be no post. I will send what I have to say about this to you via telepathy. Now concentrate really hard… Just kidding. Of course I cannot use telepathy. And of course there will be a post. But I am using this to make a point.

But before I get to that exact point, let us have the set up for today’s entry for Project August. The post to which I am responding comes from shygirl’s serenity through submission. She asks “Where’s the line…

…between boldly submissive and coercion?

…between offering a body, a tool and concocting a scene?

…between kneeling in subservience and kneeling in expectation?

She asks this because she wants to kneel before her Dominant with a crop in her mouth. But, she wonders, would this seem like an attempt on her part to control the situation? I recommend reading her whole post and the comments that follow (and not because I made one.)

She is right to wonder. Sometimes the line between a submissive making a bold offering and a submissive trying to control the situation can be thin. This is why a discussion between the Dominant and the submissive about such matters is important.

But wait, isn’t this post supposed to be about non-verbal information? Yes. I am getting to that.

Dominants should, I think, have rules about certain kinds of non-verbal communication. Why? So that their submissives know how to communicate certain things. Because they will communicate certain things in a non-verbal manner.

For example, the submissive who is deliberately disobedient so that she will be punished is communicating in a non-verbal manner. If the Dominant allows this to occur often, then he is in essence rewarding bad behavior. Even if the Dominant is willing to allow this, he needs to keep in mind that over time the amount of disobedience is likely to escalate. The Dominant needs to be aware of what is going on and why.

Personally, I prefer that when a submissive seeks physical discipline, she ask for it in a more obedient manner. Then she shows respect, and, if I choose to give her physical discipline, I am rewarding good behavior.

Part of where something like the acting disobedient for attention comes from is that the submissive does not always know how say in words what she really wants. Sometimes her desire is vague. She knows she wants attention, maybe a spanking or a flogging, but she cannot say why. Also simply coming out and asking for such a thing would seem like trying to control things directly, and the way of women (and I mean no offence by this) in our culture is to get things indirectly. So when the submissive craves the emotional and physical attention that punishment provides, she will act in a disobedient manner to get what she wants.

That is, she will unless the Dominant takes the time to teach her otherwise. And I think setting up rules about non-verbal communication will help the submissive. It allows her to feel more natural when she needs to communicate non-verbally, and provides structure for her that allows her to communicate in an obedient way.

Something both Dominants and submissives must remember is that no one has mastered telepathy yet. The other person cannot read your mind. Just as I cannot send out this post telepathically, submissives cannot read the minds of Dominants. Sometimes, if she is trained well, a submissive will learn to anticipate what her Dominant needs, but trust me when I say the workings of the Dominant mind is a mystery to submissives. Which is as it should be. But this leads me to my next point.

Submissives cannot read the mind of Dominants, but they will try. And the more confused they become by their Dominant’s non-verbal communication, the more they will try to figure out what it all means. So Dominants need to try to have some awareness of what they are communicating non-verbally. A look, a gesture, a reaction, a harsher spanking than usual, these are the kind of things a submissive is going to use to try to read the mind her Dominant. Which is why Dominants should be aware of what these things communicate to the submissive. Doing so will not only allow clearer communication with the submissive, but also allow the Dominant to wield more control over his submissive.

At the same time, Dominants cannot read the minds of submissives. I know sometimes it seems like we can. But trust me, that comes from knowing the submissive, not from telepathy. So submissives should not assume that their Dominant knows everything that is in the mind of the submissive. If there is a problem, talk about it with your Dominant.

But let us not stray too far from the topic. Submissives, in my opinion, should look for ways to communicate non-verbally with their Dominants. Not ways to act disobedient, but rather ways to show gratitude, devotion, desire, and the like, without speaking at all. A submissive kneeling and waiting for her Dominant is always a good place to start. But sometimes it will involve doing things the Dominant may not see. Like practicing kneeling positions or some action that pleases the Dominant so that the submissive becomes skilled in the act. By showing improvement, the submissive non-verbally communicates her devotion and her desire to submit.

In the post by shygirl, she mentions specifically kneeling with a crop in her mouth. Personally, I like this idea a lot. But keep in mind, she speaks of doing this as an offering, not as a communication of expectation. Submissives should, I think, use non-verbal communication like this to show their desires and acknowledgment of their place as submissive under the Dominant’s control. Which means, even if the submissive has had a discussion about this kind of thing with her Dominant, the submissive must be careful in how she uses it. Just as there is a difference between respectfully saying “Please, may I…” and petulantly saying “Please, may I…” so there is a difference between a submissive respectfully kneeling with a crop in her mouth and a submissive kneeling with a crop in her mouth with expectation that her Dominant will obey her desire.

And that is one reason why verbal communication about non-verbal communication can be so important.

Okay, with this post, I am officially one week into Project August. Three weeks and three days to go. Which seems like a lot of posts. And it is. But let’s keep doing this. Come back every day, O readers, and see if I can really come up with a new post every day.

5 Responses to “Project August: Day 7 – Communication about Non-verbal Communication”

  1. Thank you for using shygirl’s post. My husband feels the way you do. He wants to know what I’m thinking and wants to know my desires because he really does want to fulfill them. And it’s mutual because whatever I can do for him is my pleasure. This is why when I wanted to kneel I came to him and told him. He allowed it and he came up with a way to do it even with young kids in the house. There are things I already know he likes because we’ve been together a total of 26 years. He wants me to use that knowledge and if I try to please him and it’s not what he wants it’s just becomes a simple correction and not viewed as a control issue. As long as what I do is respectful and with proper intent he has never viewed it as topping from the bottom. I think people really misunderstand what that truly means. Above all, he desires a mutually beneficial relationship with me, not a totalitarian dictatorship.

  2. Yes, thank you for using my post. I used your post as a conversation starter with my Husband and, as I suspected, His views are in line with yours. If I am wanting for something, He wants to know. If I feel like making a specific offering or gesture, He encouraged me to – as long it is done from a place of giving and not demanding. Anyway, so glad you posted this!

  3. I don’t have anything super insightful to say but I like what you wrote here and how you explained this… This is all very true.

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