Submission can be an extremely relaxing and rewarding place to hang out in. It also significantly increases your vulnerability. Finding the right person or persons to explore that vulnerability with is crucial for safe play. Kink is much like riding a roller coaster. We all want the adrenaline and dopamine payoffs of the ride. But occasionally the roller coaster can go off the rails, and that is a position nobody wants to find themselves in.
Today’s column tackles the topic of submission, slavery and aftercare. Whether you are a Dom or a sub, properly taking care of yourself and those that you play with is the key to successful play. The more prepared you are going in, the higher your chances of successful submissive interactions with others.
How Do I Find A Good Dom?
“I crave submission but am finding it hard to locate someone that I can trust. Where can I find the right Dominant for me? I really need to explore this side of myself!”–Seeking Submission
When the brain craves submission, one can easily find themselves in a state called “sub frenzy.” The desire to explore your submission can be so strong that you can become careless with your safety in a way you never would under vanilla circumstances. The vanilla you might not meet up with some stranger off the internet and go to their house but the submissive you would be more likely to entertain the possibility. I have seen it happen more times than I can count. Sub frenzy is very real and something to be cautious about.
Finding a good Dom is akin to finding a good partner in the vanilla dating world. Think about how difficult vanilla dating is. Most dates do not work out, for one reason or another. How many times do you meet someone and know after one or two dates that it is not going anywhere? Quite frequently. Now take that and add in a kinky factor. Finding the perfect partner for you is probably going to take a while, that is just a fact.
Now, as to where to find one? Just like with dating, you will find potential matches in a variety of locations. Munches, play spaces, kinky events, and online forums to name a few. But again I caution you; no matter how much you want to scratch that kinky itch, go slow! The best piece of advice that I can give you is not to rush carelessly into things because you are craving that kinky play. You owe it to yourself to take the time to vet all possibilities thoroughly and find what is the right fit for you.
Pay attention to how a potential Dominant conducts themselves, how their present and past play partners feel about them, their reputation and standing in the community, how they interact with others. All of these things are essential parts of the vetting process.
Also, I never do pickup play with anybody. I always advise meeting potential play partners in a public location to get to know them before any intimate interactions. If they seem like a good fit then move forward with planning a scene in a public play space before interacting in private. If a potential Dom can’t agree to these terms, or tries to talk you out of them, this should be a HUGE red flag.
Trust is crucial when it comes to kinky play and you should be very selective about who you give your submission to. Trust cannot be rushed and takes a while to build. There is someone out there that is a fit for your needs, you just have to put in the time and leg work to locate them. Life would be so much easier if our perfect partner would just show up on our front door with a bow on their foreheads, ready to go. But that is not how life works. The more time you put into exploring possibilities, the better your chances are of finding the right Dominant for you. Take your time and do not become sidetracked by sub frenzy.
Can I Deny Aftercare As Punishment?
“Is denying aftercare after an intense play session ever a valid or healthy form of “punishment”?–No Aftercare For You!
No. Not in any way, shape or form. Absolutely not. Nope. Negative. Hard pass. And I say this as someone who doesn’t do aftercare.
Let me break it down. I don’t feel the need to receive aftercare as a bottom. I never have. It isn’t how I am wired. I want to take a nice nap and log some alone time. Aftercare is jarring for me. As a Top, I am willing to give aftercare as needed and requested, but find myself not particularly interested in interacting with someone that needs huge amounts of aftercare after a scene.
All that aside, my feelings on aftercare are a personal preference, and I communicate them clearly and distinctly with any potential partners before going in. I would never withhold aftercare as some form of “punishment”. That is the least healthy thing I can imagine. Particularly, if it is, as you describe it, an intense scene. One is at their most vulnerable after an intense scene. The last thing you need is someone withholding aftercare to punish you for some transgression.
Sub drop is real and can happen after the best of scenes. I know people that drop hard enough after a scene that they can’t get out of bed and have to wade through heavy depression before getting through the other side. And this is with proper aftercare. I can’t imagine what they would go through if someone withheld aftercare.
The time to discuss and implement punishment is when everyone is clear headed and not buzzing from post scene endorphins and adrenaline. The reason as to why the punishment is being implemented should be discussed, what behavior the punishment is attempting to correct and how one can avoid punishment in the future. And hey, sometimes punishment can be as simple as “I am the Dominant and I am punishing you for funsies. Cuz I can.” That is a perfectly valid dynamic. As long as it is one that both parties have consented to beforehand. Withholding aftercare after intense play to punish is going to be a dynamic that can have severe consequences and is not one I would ever recommend.
I’m Thinking About Dropping My Current Slave.
“I have had a slave for almost 4 years now but recently met a new submissive and I am now at a crossroads. I have been with my slave for so long and have brainwashed him well. I am now thinking of releasing him or giving him away. No question here, just venting. Thank you for listening.”–Miss Katherine
Since you felt the need to reach out to me, this is obviously something that is weighing on you. Setting aside the D/s dressing, this is a relationship at its core. Essentially, you are considering dumping your boyfriend because you think you have found someone that is a better fit for you. Breakups are usually hard, even if you are the one doing the dumping. I get it. I have been in your position before, and even if you are the one doing the breaking up, it can still be an emotional place to be in.
Now lets pick back up the D/s aspects. You have a slave, that you have…”brainwashed” and now that you have found a new, better, shiny toy you want to just give the old one away? To whom? A home for unwanted brainwashed slaves? A recycling center? As casual as you may try and sound in your email, it obviously isn’t all that light of a matter or you would not have felt the need to put fingers to keyboard and contact me. This is a breakup, with everything it implies. You don’t “release” an old slave as if you are kicking an unwanted puppy out of your car and driving away.
Sit down with your partner. Explain what is going on and how you feel. Give them space to process. Due to the fact that you two have engaged in a heavy D/s dynamic, with, as you describe it, brainwashing, this is probably going to be a harder breakup than a vanilla breakup. You don’t get to spend 4 years tinkering with someone psyche and then walk away when you are bored. In your heart, you know this. The fantasy of “releasing” or “giving away” your no longer wanted slave is an attempt to not have to wade through this messy breakup. Handing him off as an unwanted piece of property absolves you of the pain of a breakup. I am not giving you that Hall Pass.
Put on your big girl panties and face the situation head on. Be understanding that your slave is going to be devastated. Probably significantly so. There is no way he is going to take it well. While he has no right to be in a relationship with you if you no longer desire to be so, you also have no right to “give him away” because you don’t want to deal with an awkward breakup. BDSM relationships require higher ethics than vanilla relationships due to the psychological consequences of the subject matter that we are playing with. Give your slave that courtesy.