Under My Thumb

In which Posy ponders BDSM, and whether she could or should ever give it a whirl!

Since joining the kink community which surrounds the Twitter sex bloggers, I have begun to refer to myself as BDSM curious.  I don’t know if it’s an actual ‘thing’ but I use the term as I love to read accounts of impact play and D/s scenarios, the wilder and the more outrageous the better (I suspect that many of these are written by folk like me who have not genuinely gone down that rabbit hole, but who write a good sexy tale).

Being middle-aged (gah! how I hate that label) and in a long term monogamous relationship, I doubt that I’ll ever venture into this kink scene for real.  That said, my OH and I often push our own boundaries, we’ve tried more ‘new’ things in the last 18 months than ever before!  Another thing about my relationship is that I am the bossy one in the bedroom and yet my yearning is to be dominated!  In my vanilla life, I am quite a people-pleaser, fairly submissive in the workplace and within my family, yet there are some areas where I refuse to bow down: I want to say what goes, and my sex life has become one!

I have talked to a few dominant folk to get their take on things, equally I’ve talked to some submissives – hey I even did one of those silly on-line quizzes!  I think I might possibly be a Switch … but the fantasies of domination continue, sometimes escalating until the erotica I find to read is never gritty enough to satisfy my craving (I spent a whole weekend on Fetish.com recently!  – reading nothing but stories about fuck-toy training!)  

What I have begun to wonder is … am I a submissive, but to a dominant side of my own personality?

For instance – my waxing regime.  When I notice that my brazilian needs re-booking I’m never doing it for my OH’s benefit, I do it to keep the required smoothness my Inner-Dom requires of me.  I feel the same about letting my pedicure chip or lapses in my leg and under-arm depilating.  I am driven to look and feel right for my Inner-Dom. To add to this I have a kinky glee about the discomfort of the depilator and the hot waxing treatment (although my intimate waxing lady makes it much less painful than anywhere else I’ve tried).  

I also glory in the swollen look my labia has after my brazilian – am I really weird?  I have fantasies that my Inner-Dom would like to see my nipples or my labia pierced, or some sort of branding/tattoo that marks me as ‘theirs’.  Fear of the pain and possible infection or numbness in the decorated area usually snaps me out of this fantasy!  (I’ve had frequent problems recently with my ear piercings, which I’ve had for years so who knows why.  It makes me think, what if I was prevented from enjoying sex as much as I do now because an intimate piercing wouldn’t heal? – Argh!)

I test drive all my sex toys solo – I choose them myself and I try them out when I’m alone.  If I like them and feel that my OH can be trusted with them, then I introduce him to the toys and how to use them  (He almost always says “O my good gawd!” before rising to the occasion and indulging me – although I often suspect he feels intimidated by them!)  There! – that was another giveaway!  I said if I ‘feel he can be trusted with them’.  Analysis of that is : I don’t want to put him in charge of my pain!  Perhaps this means I’m not confident he will pick up on the signals that something hurts too much or feels overwhelming, resulting in me not only feeling the opposite of sexy, but also feeling very angry with him.

I’ve read posts by BibulousOne who is often taken to the limits of his endurance of CP where he enters sub-space and feels euphoric, (if a little vulnerable afterwards) and I am fascinated.  I also know he is a switch and likes to be on the receiving end of the ‘hitty things’ too, but is ever mindful of the responses of his play partner, detecting when she has taken enough.  

Aftercare seems very important – the euphoric highs from D/s play often result in quite a ‘drop’ afterward.  I can imagine, once the sexual emotions and urges are removed, a submissive person’s subconscious might think “why did the person who loves and usually protects me get joy from hurting me?” so the cuddles, strokes and other nurturing routines provided by the Dom/Domme are required to counteract these destructive thoughts.  This is usually not dealt with in the ‘fantasy’ D/s tales, where the ‘master’ never comes out of strict/stern character!

I read a post by Joanne (guesting for Girl on the Net) in which a sub samples a fucking machine wearing a ball gag, but holds a bottle of lube which she can drop in lieu of a safeword (which she’d be unable to say if things got too much).  Even in the ‘pop culture’ of D/s [50 Shades of Grey and similar stories] you will find safewords mentioned! A word is chosen that is close to the heart of the submissive but not in the regular language of sex play – so that when things get too much, or nearly too much they can say it and their Dom will call a halt to proceedings to check whether sub wants to stop completely or take a little breather/ time to process.  The word must be a bit unusual because, while role playing, “stop”, “enough” or “don’t” could fly from the submissive’s lips without them really wanting the session to abort.  Equally it should have ‘significance’ for the submissive so that, if they slip into subspace it’s still a word they can think of to say (I’m no expert, but subspace seems like a trance state where sensations and emotions are processed differently).  JoannesReviews also explained to me that she uses a ‘traffic light system’ for safewords, which seems very wise, especially for the beginner or during extreme types of play!

I was also fascinated by Sissy Maid Melody’s attitude (responding to Bibulous1’s post where he discussed consent in response to Girl on the Net’s post) that even if her session became overwhelming, she knew she would not be able to use her safe word, her submissive attitude being the overriding factor.  Melody has also written a post recently which gives a very balanced view on D/s contracts – hers and GotN’s are blogs to follow if you enjoy thoughtful, erudite pieces on issues affecting the kink community.

(Please do read their individual pieces, as I’ve over-simplified here).  

I think my fear is that my OH – a bluff northern male (built like an ox who does endurance events) will not pick up on my signs of distress, if I was unable to use my safe word. Or conversely, he might be too gentle with me, feeling like he might break me, which would just frustrating! and could I depend on him for the correct after care?  Jaime and Eye both reminded me recently that it is the submissive who holds ALL the power and that the play should be directed by them as to its intensity, but still I feel unsure if this role would even sit comfortably with my OH.  He’s quite happy with vanilla sex!

Please those of you who know more about the D/s dynamic than me, give me your thoughts on this!  Perhaps I am not alone in having this outlook without actually needing to try it out, after all many of us read gang bang, kidnap or incest stories without actually wanting to try it in real life.  Perhaps I am just titilated by the ‘taboo’ of it as it is quite a leap away from the sex life I currently have.  

I need lots of comments/feedback on this post please so that I can get my thoughts a little more ordered!

Since writing this posit I’ve been supplied with a wealth of information and support from fellow bloggers.  Floss has written a post for #WickedWednesday which answers mine and my very next post tells you what happens when I try wrist cuffs and a paddle for the 1st time!

Dom/Domme Blogs I enjoy reading:

Submissive / Poly Life Blogs I enjoy reading:

CP – corporal punishment (spanking, caning, whipping etc.)
D/s – Dominant / submissive relationship dynamic
BDSM –  bondage, domination, submission, masochism (a heading for several kinks which can be related)
Brazilian – intimate wax procedure which leaves no /only a thin strip of hair on the vulva.

14 thoughts on “Under My Thumb”

  1. I can't talk about working with a partner, but I believe I'm a switch too. I think there is more than one way to experience kink and you have to trust yourself as well as your partner. I've been gradually increasing my knowledge and testing myself using toys that push my boundaries like my little flogger and other impact play toys. But one thing that is clearly floating my boat at present is rope play, and I've been going to workshops to expand my skills and experiences. I also went to my first Munch the other week and I had a great time talking to people. When I started posting for SinfulSunday I was sometimes shocked by the pictures others posted but constant exposure means that I'm more casual about it all now. It sounds like you have a potentially delicious journey ahead of you, start slow and extend outwards… Indie xx

  2. So I think it is perfectly possible to fantasies about stuff like this and never do it but whether that is sustainable over a long period of time and will fulfill your needs as time goes by I don't know. I think from my own experience that eventually the need/desire to actually experience things became overwhelming.

    I think being totally in control of things in the way you describe is also something that is very common with people who are sub or have sub tendencies. In many ways I am a control freak, I like to know, to plan, to test, to think, to decide but I have found that letting someone else take some of that from me and use it to push me and encourage me to explore has been a wonderful thing that has enabled me grow in so many different ways that I don't think I would have done on my own.

    I do wonder if maybe you have thought about this a great deal more than your husband. You have read and talked to people and considered it and yet maybe he has not had the opportunity to do that? Which means he is at a very different stage than you are. I think giving him some space to catch up with you and pointing him to things that could help him is really important. I would highly recommend buying him the book The Loving Dominant by John and Libby Warren.

    As for the sub holds all the power, that is a saying that I have great difficulty with and I don't actually agree with. If that was the case then a Dom is literally just a machine who does the subs bidding and I know in my case that is not true. It is a collaborative venture. We have always said we are two equal who came together and negotiated an inequality because we get off on that. He is most definitely the one in control especially when we play. That does not mean I don't have a voice because I do and I can stop things I need/want to but likewise so can he.

    Also with regards to subdrop, I have never once thought why would he hit me if he loved me. For me subdrop is the dip that results after the huge high of play, as those hormones drop away you are left feeling tired, sad, vulnerable etc. The thing I tend to need the most is cuddles and warmth and also time to talk about what we done and relive it with him.

    I hope this is maybe slightly helpful and if you have any questions please do say. Always happy to try to answer them


  3. Molly's answer is very thorough and pretty much what I wanted to say.
    For me personally, looking back, I know I've had BDSM inclinations for as long as I've had sexual ones, but it took me 37 years to actually get round to indulging in them. For me, it was finding the right person to guide me into it. I needed that security. And my relationship with my husband is one where we're both happy with the other playing with other people.
    There is no shame in leaving the BDSM as fantasy, if that is what you feel is right for you. We can all fantasise in exactly whichever way we want. You don't always have to take fantasy into reality.
    And like Molly, if you have any questions for me, ask away. 🙂

  4. I loved this article Posy! I'm totally new to BDSM and am discovering it through the twitter community too. I personally think it's great you're exploring this side of you through erotica- have you written any that is BDSM themed? I also think that any way that you feel is right for you, don't ever feel like it isn't right or normal as it's how you feel now. Maybe it's a side of you that you could live through erotica now, and bring in gradual elements to your sex life to help you feel like you're living your desires?

  5. I have a lot of thoughts about what you've written here, Posy. I could delve into them further if you'd like, either here or one-on-one via email, but as general commentary goes, here are a few of the tracks my train of thought is meandering down:

    (And, DISCLAIMER: This is NOT advice ~ I'm just musing.)

    {1} Re: Dom, Sub, or Switch?

    Many people are some combination of the three, other people are none of the above. The problem, I think, with trying to figure out at the beginning which box you fit in, is that you are starting out by putting yourself in a box. Which can be quite a narrowing and uncomfortable experience.

    If you can visualize power preferences as a scale/spectrum (Kinsey-ish), you may find it helpful to take each potential idea/kink/sexual *activity* individually (rather than focus on 'personality'), and figure out where on that scale you fall for each. You may find that you rate a 5 for one thing and a 0 for something else, even if the two concepts are similar (being blindfolded could be a 5, while having your hearing occluded would be an absolute no-go; both could be labeled "sensory deprivation" but one may appeal while another is a hard limit).

    Doing this with a partner is a good idea, because if you want to (or don't want to) do those things with a specific partner, it's only fair that they be allowed to think about those things themselves and be able to see/hear what you think of things. Often people want to jump through checklists with yes and no and then when things don't match up, one or both partners are hurt or disappointed. You can avoid that, to a large degree, by taking checklist items one at a time and deciding – between yourselves – What They Mean. A term like 'bondage' may have one person thinking 'handcuffs' while the other person is thinking 'immobile, in the fetal position, wrapped in rope and sealed with saran wrap' — those are very different concepts and both qualify as 'bondage'. So talking through the what/how is a good first step. Once you can agree on those terms, it's easier to get to the 'like' or 'dislike' and then discuss the 'why'.

    I'd caution against labeling ANYTHING as 'dominant' or 'submissive' – your selves or the activities you choose to try – until much later in the game.

    {2} Re: Who, exactly has ALL THE POWER?

    I don't agree that it's the submissive. In the context of a loving relationship, the ideal is often held up as "the dominant will stop if the submissive says so," which often gets translated to Subby = All-Powerful. However, (1) while certain 'stop signs' should be heeded, they are not always, either due to pre-negotiated expectations or human error, and (2) there's really no point in a sub having a dom, if the sub is actually the boss. (While service-topping is a thing, there's a difference between top/bottom and Dom/sub. Again, I'd highly recommend not trying to box yourself. Explore what you want to explore, figure out how you feel before/during/after, talk about it, and go from there — one step at a time.)

    Re: Safewords

    This was a KOTW topic last year, and it may be a good idea to read some of the real-world experiences people have had with how they work (or don't work). The link is here: http://kinkoftheweek.mollysdailykiss.com/2017/01/16/safewords/

    And, last but not least…

    Re: Blogs To Read

    One name: FERNS


    Good luck with your explorations. 🙂

  6. Fab post Posy and I remember talking with you regarding some of your fears. You have received some great comments so I won't witter on but a few things I want to say.
    I agree with Molly in that I do not think the Sub has all the power. I too believe it is a partnership and one you get to through COMMUNICATION and more communication. My man and I actually talked about what we wanted together for years and still always discuss before and after events what we like, didn't like etc.
    One thing that really annoyed me about 50 shades was the lack of initial communication with the couple in the book – to me and my experience that book is a load of tosh!
    Another comment I agree with her is Feve. Don't put yourself in a box. In my current relationship I am a sub. From the moment I laid eyes on my man 21 years ago I wanted him to use and abuse me. I am quite dominate in everyday life – decision making, brought up two kids etc. So when it came to the bedroom, and he made the decisions, that suited me. I get fed up in having the control in all parts of my life – I need that control taken away from me or I may become a monster! I also need to be able to relax so dont want to be in control in the bedroom.
    That said and going back to not putting yourself into a box – in a previous relationship – i refer to him as Vic on my blogs – well I was the dominate one in that relationship in bed. He wanted me to be and I enjoyed it even thou I think I am more suited to the Sub role
    On safe words – well I trust my man to stop – that's a big thing – we do have a safe word but being a sub in the bedroom means I dont want to use it.
    I used to watch a lot of BDSM before I started getting involved in it myself. I knew I was missing something from my life and now I get tied and spanked and whipped – not to such an extreme extent as some you have mentioned – well now I am much more fulfilled in all areas of my life because of it.
    It is difficult for you starting now after all these years with your husband but it can be done if you want it to happen. The big key is COMMUNICATION. Tell him your wants and fears and more- in my humble opinion, you will get nowhere with this until you do xx

  7. Oh, I liked this post, Posy! I am in a similar situation: I am quite interested in certain aspects of BDSM, although I am more interested in the control side than the pain side. I don't do pain well. But I am in charge of pretty much everything else in our family: all the finances, organising, holiday plans etc, so I just want to let go in the bedroom and be told what to do. Hubby struggles with that quite a bit as he is always fearful of me not enjoying myself or of me getting hurt, so we are working on it and experimenting.

  8. This is a really interesting post Posy, and thank you also for listing my blog at the end. I have come a bit late to commenting and see that you have already received lots of valuable information from others. I agree with what has been written above, especially the parts about communication and about labels. A lot of what is written is based on D/s play where the couples are not in long term relationships so I found that it wasn't always a good fit. I would suggest reading and talking to others but taking the parts which you think will work for you and leaving the rest. You are already in a loving marriage so I assume that you want to add to that rather than bending it to try to fit some shape which suits someone else.

    I would agree that communication is key and when we started out we didn't just talk about what we wanted to try and our dreams and fears but also used a rating scale (1-5) for play. We used this to rate the pain but also this pleasure. This meant that HisLordship quickly got to know what the signs were that I was reaching my limits and also the signs from my body and my responses which indicated the level of pleasure. We found that we only needed to do this for a short time as the trust grew quickly as he became able to read me. I have always been naturally subnmissive in the bedroom and I find it difficult to talk and ask for things I want. HL would like me to be more verbal but I find sometimes that to have to talk will actually pull me out of the submissive space I am slipping deeper into so it can be counter productive. We also have kids around if we are home so have to be quite quiet!

    I understand what you are saying about the alpha parts of your personality and I think that this is quite common. I need a lot of control and can only give that up when I know that he is going to take over. We are sort of index linked with this and seem to find the balance in what works. This is part of the beauty for me as giving up control can be really freeing. My mind can be a scarily busy place which I struggle to switch off and the D/s allows an escape from that. I become focussed on him and on the sensation and can leave everything else behind and experience things on a different level.

    Sorry this has turned out so long. I lost the first comment I wrote so think that I have missed some things I had said originally. Anyway I wanted to wish you the best of luck and hope that you enjoy your exploration whether it is through your fantasy, through your writing or through your reality. Love missy xx

  9. So I have a LOT of thoughts, many of which Molly already expressed…

    Can you fantasize and desire BDSM/kink and never experience it? I'm sure it's possible but I don't know that the desire without action is sustainable. Either you (eventually) try it out or you give up on it. That's, of course, not a rule or a guarantee, but it tends to be what I've seen.

    I also think the thoughts you have on trust and control and not being sure of your husband's ability are normal. But I'd also say you're making assumptions without giving him the opportunity to decide for himself. Many people have secret fantasies that they don't talk about. He may be waiting for permission to find out it's okay to explore this with you.

    That being said, whatever path you take in kink, BDSM, D/s, and all of it is (as cliche as it sounds) a journey. It's one you take both on your own and with a partner. None of it happens in one fell swoop over night. It's all about baby steps in a direction you think you want it to go, you try a thing, it works or it doesn't, and you correct course as needed.

    As for subs being in complete control, that's only true to an extent. Like Molly said, relationships (D/s or otherwise) should be collaborative. I know mine with JB absolutely is. He knows my limits and what I hate and what I enjoy. Within those limits, he gets to play and do what he wants because I've consented to submit like that. He gets what he needs, and I get what I need. And when we don't quite match up or things don't work out the way we thought, we talk about it and figure it out.

    Most people focus on the kinky fuckery of D/s but the vast majority of it is communication, emotional connection, and mental effort.

    As for your fear that your husband wouldn't read your signals or know when you're in distress or would be worried about hurting and so be too gentle — those are all fears and concerns new subs and Doms have to face. And they figure it out. As one example, JB *asks* me if I'm good or if I need to stop. Most Doms know they can't solely rely on a safeword or even distress signals. When we play, he's in constant communication — and before you worry it ruins the mood, imagine the Dom Voice growling in your ear, "Give me a color, girl." (I have to say red (stop), yellow (slow down), or green (keep going).)

    Can you have this experience? And can it be amazing? Possibly. But it won't be the picture-perfect fantasy in your head from the very beginning (in some cases it'll be better) and it takes time and mutual effort. And your husband has to want it too, but it seems to me that he needs to be given the chance to decide that for himself.

    Like Molly I've got a controlling side and it's only through trust and love and affection that I submit to JB. We started slowly and learned each other, through the same trial and error of any other relationship. And by communicating our needs, wants, and desires and working together to create something good for both of us, we found the D/s dynamic and kinky fuckery that works for us. If you both want it, you can both have it. Even if it doesn't match the fantasy in your head.

  10. Hi Posy! So lots of awesome people above have said what I'd probably say here, so I won't go over the other points. But I was really interested in your piece because it's really thoughtful and you've clearly done lots of research into different things that might interest you, and I saw echoes of some of the questions that I asked when I first started 'doing' BDSM in real life (i.e. interacting with other BDSM folks, rather than just doing stuff in the bedroom with my boyfriend at the time). I totally echo other people's points on communication and not feeling like you have to label yourself, and from a personal perspective I'd say that the broad brushstrokes of labels are especially unhelpful if your partner isn't familiar with that stuff.

    When I first got with my current partner, he'd never really experienced particularly kinky sex. He'd been a bit experimental with other partners, but most of his exploration had been through porn, and it took us both a while to figure out where the other person was coming from. We've been together 6 years and we still stumble across kinks and preferences and limits that the other one has which we haven't been aware of yet. It sounds from your post a little like you're hoping to have all the answers, and present them as a full package to your OH which he can either accept or decline. But then he misses out on half the fun!

    Sometimes the exploration and the journey is the most exciting thing, and in fact I think I'd say that I don't ever expect to 'know' what my sexuality is, and what my desires are, because not only do they evolve over time but it's also an iterative process which my partner and I work on together. It's so easy, I think, to plan things in your own head and then just imagine what your OH might think/do, but actually the communication itself helps to shape what you both want. For example: I really want a certain type of play, but I only want it if it turns my partner on to do it. If he's ambivalent then the kink goes away, because I can't enjoy it unless it makes him hard. And there are lots of situations like that, I think.

    Basically, I'm saying what others here are saying too I think: it's fab that you're thinking about this stuff in so much depth, but the best way to really enjoy it and figure out what both of you like/can do/want to do etc is to invite him to join you on the journey, rather than phoning him from the destination point and telling him to come and meet you. Best of luck with it, have fun, and don't worry too much about what you *are*, think about what you *want* =)

    I'll recommend a book here as well: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Enjoy-Sex-How-when-want/dp/1785780808 A fantastic sex guide which talks you through understanding your desires/needs, great stuff on consent and communication, and suitable for people of any gender, sexuality, kink, etc!

  11. There are some parallels in our respective marriages Posy! I suspect my wife wants to explore the BDSM side, since she reads so many books that include it (and most of the genres you read too). Like Missy said above she’s afraid/unwilling to ask or express her desires, which leaves me distraught. A bit like you I fear she doesn’t think I’m ‘up to the job’ which is unfair since she hasn’t really given me a chance. She did once ask me to smack/spank her ass, which i did but afterwards she said I did it wrong and it just hurt. I’ve read a few pieces on spanking so I was pretty sure I was doing it right (and in the right places) but as Kayla said ‘it didnt happen straight away’ so I guess she considered me a failure. Perhaps, as May suggested, there had been some more open dialogue and communication from her before and during the act I could have given her more of what she wanted?
    Finally, as to your ‘Inner Dom’ my wife once told me that when she read all that ‘dark stuff’ ie women getting kidnaped and forced to submit sexually to their captor[s] (aka ‘raped’] she was imagining herself as the captor doing that to the girl. I thought that was fascinating and tried to get into it deeper but she shut me down; and its a subject we’ve never revisited.
    All in all I’d suggest you speak with your husband openly and give him a chance to help you explore your D/s side. And if it’s not something he wants to do then I’m happy to come ‘round and give it a go. We can learn together! 🙂

  12. That’s an interesting thought that one might be a sub to their inner Domme as much if not more as to a partner. I’ve pretty much established that I’m a switch, and am sometimes very interested in dominating my partners. After reading your comment about your inner Domme, I wonder if I might have an element of that too, as I can enjoy pain and “self-dominating” behaviour, for want of a better word. Thoughtful post ?

    1. I’m glad it made you think. It was thought provoking to write and you probably saw how many interesting comments I had in response. Thanks for reading all the links I tagged in my #WW piece.

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