Wow, how many people have I insulted in how many ways with that title?
There were some really great comments in Personal Jesus that I wanted to address, so I’m moving them out here so I can do so more publicly.
First up was Dev who said:
I think the suffering thing is one of the hardest for the dominant partner to deal with, even if the dominant partner happens to be a sadist (like me). Because to really push the suffering can mean really taking the partner somewhere that they really do not want (in the moment) to go, but are deeply thrilled by. It takes a lot of trust to know that this is really all right. It takes a lot of times of them coming back later and telling you how awesome it was for them.
I have seen a change in Belle’s behavior regarding the suffering as we’ve gone along. Before any of my sexual oddities became clearly known, she always knew I liked a little pain in my sex. She’d twist my nipples or scratch my back and it was all good, but it never really hurt. She was holding back because I’m sure she didn’t know how much pain I really wanted or could take. Now, she’s freaking medieval with both her use of nails and when she abuses my nipples. After each event, I have been careful to tell her exactly how much I liked what she had done and, as best I could, describe how much pain she had inflicted. She’s become quite adept at making my nipples scream and knows the tender places into which she should dig her nails. She has, on several occasions, really hurt me which, of course, I adore. A newer thing for us now is CBT. With that, we’re about where we were with the nipples three months ago. Each time, she hurts me a little more, but she hasn’t yet crossed my limit. And don’t even get me started with the biting. I get positively weak in the knees, the way she bites me.
Then Tom Allen said:
[I]f you want to suffer, then how can you really call it suffering? And if Belle doesn’t care one way or the other about it, then you’re going to feel that she’s doing it simply to satisfy you.
I can’t really answer that first question. It’s a conundrum. As I said above, I’ve always enjoyed a little pain in my sex, but to truly suffer – to be taken to the edge and beyond – I think that’s different. I can’t say why exactly, but I want to suffer for her. I want something above a dash of painful spice. And it’s reciprocal. I want to feel it from her and for her. This is altogether different than anything I’ve expressed or desired before.
And as far as figuring out what to do if she never really enjoys it and is only doing it for me, I guess I’d respond that everyone in a relationship does things like that (or should). It’s a give and take and while I need to be prepared to do for her things I know she likes that I don’t particularly care for, I expect she’ll do the same for me. And I need to get over the fact that she’s not enjoying it as much as me. My Belle is the personification of the good, giving, and game partner, as I also try to be for her.
Tom went on to say:
Ms. Rika has an interesting take on this – she writes (her website has been hijacked) that it’s more important for her to find what she wants, and to dominate from that perspective. Later, when she’s more comfortable, she can “reward” you by doing things that make you feel good, simply because one acknowledges that partners should make a point in pleasing each other a little bit, as long as it’s not too far out of their comfort zones.
I think that’s a very sensible approach and one I think we should work on. I want Belle to find the vector into this that rings her bell. I will endeavor to be patient while we find that path.
You need to stop feeling disappointed that she doesn’t “get” what you get; and start supporting what she does get. Remember, you’ve had years and years to develop your twisted, perverted fantasies; she needs time to catch up.
Maybe I sound disappointed on the blog, but I’m really not. I appreciate so much what Belle’s been willing to try and how much she has given me in a relatively short time. I do get impatient but it’s because I’m so damned horny all the time. I’m not a patient person to begin with. Mix in some hormones and it’s even worse. Nevertheless, I know I’m a very lucky man to have such a mate.
Then Dev came back and said:
One thing I’d recommend – and since I don’t know either of you, this could be totally horrible advice, but that’s what you go to the Internet for, right? – is that you be really, really open to hearing from Belle the truth about her own personal experiences. Use your very best encouragement and just handle whatever you hear back. And do this often, like all the time.
I’m doing this. At least, I think I’m doing this. At least, I’m trying to do this. I’ll ask her to make sure I’m doing this.
I remember pretty early in my relationship with Jos, we were lying in bed and he asked me what I wanted to do. I couldn’t figure out the answer, because the question I was actually asking myself was, “What would be [from an outside or ‘objective’ perspective] sexy to do next?” And then suddenly I realized that, no, I can just do what I actually want to, and it will be all right.
That must sound really basic and messed-up not to “get” but it actually took trust for me to promote my own wishes in bed rather than thinking of it from some overview perspective about what is sexy or right or good to do, etc. Having a partner who encouraged honesty was a big deal in that process.
Who am I to criticize someone for not getting something obvious? This whole blog has been an exploration of me figuring out otherwise obvious things.
So did Jos do anything to help you come to that realization or did you get there all on your own? I agree that women are socialized to consider the needs of others before theirs, even in bed, but I really want Belle to do what she wants first and primarily. This is very hard for her. She’s been brought up in an environment that was about putting others first. When it comes to our sex, I want it to be about her first, second, and third.
I read what I just wrote and realize I need to fight the urge within me to want to be treated unfairly and to suffer. I need sexual gratification. I need it to be about me every once in a while. I know that. I’m not saying I want to live some kind of malesub porn fantasy where she brings me out to worship her pussy every night and then kicks me to the floor when she’s done. No, not that or anything like it. I do, though, want our sex to be about her mostly and for most of the time.
It’s one thing to try (for instance) beating someone. It’s another thing to know that you’re going to have to claim that you liked it, or that you insist on it, or that it wasn’t for them at all but for yourself. You (the dom) should be able to actually just do it, and then reflect on how it was for you, and be honest if it didn’t work.
I agree. But what’s my role as the sub? Am I allowed to ask for things that she doesn’t like? Or should I just accept what works for her and move on? This is the tricky bit for me because I’ve never been submissive before in anything. I have no idea what the rules are. I said above that I assumed we should continue to do for each other things we know the other likes, even those things we may not be individually thrilled with. Does that continue to apply in a D/s dynamic? Should she do things she’s OK with mostly because I like them?
I don’t know. This is getting to be a ridiculously long comment.
And that’s turned into a rediculously long post in response to your rediculously long comment! Regardless, thank you both so much for your thoughts. I really appreciate them.