Bright Ideas

Adding D/s to A Relationship


Many of the men I talk to, both in real life and on IRC, express an
interest in adding the D/s dynamic to their relationships. More often
than not, they've tried - and failed with their partners. Many express disappointment and even resentment towards their partners' seeming inability to take on the dominant role and to "use" them as a subservient. What's most interesting is how many of the men cannot understand why their wives and girlfriends turn them down or are turned off by the idea!

In somewhat typical machismo, they blame their partner for being 'unable' or 'unwilling' to take on the dominant role. What most of these men fail to realize is that their partner, most likely, is more than capable of dominating them and loving it! For the large majority of men, the greatest challenge is stepping outside their fantasies and focusing on the aspects of D/s which will bring out and nurture the dominant personality in their mates.

In this article I will address several key points designed to focus your efforts and make them more effective. I will teach you what to look for and, most importantly, what to look out for. I will attempt to explain why some approaches work while others are destined for failure.

This is not an academic study. The approach I will document here is real-life-tested. I have born witness to no fewer than six relationships which have gone from disappointment (and repulsion) to full-fledged 24/7 D/s relationships as a direct result of the approach. If you read this and doubt it, I suggest you try an objective look inside yourself.

As always, I look forward hearing about your experiences and results. Please find me online and let me know how things are going with you. I'm always interested in helping couples find happiness and fulfillment in their D/s realtionships.

Love, Rika

Step 1: Know Yourself

Before you can make a request that your partner dominate you, you have to be honest with yourself as to what type of submissive you are. You must be aware of your real needs. This approach will only work with what I've termed, "True Submissives". If you're not already familiar with my definition of a true submissive, you should read True Submission before continuing.

If you're NOT a True Submissive or are only interested in scene-based BDSM, do not continue reading, you'll waste your time.

Step 2: Avoid The Common Mistakes

"I offered myself to her. I told her she could spank me and dress me like a woman. I told her I'd kiss her ass and service her orally whenever she wanted. Why doesn't she like it?"

Sound familiar? I know that the majority of dominant women out there are saying, "Too Familiar!". What's the problem? I'm sure there are some women out there who would love to spank a guy dressed as a woman, have her butt kissed and always initiate sexual relations...but chances are excellent, if your partner hasn't already approached you about it, she is NOT one of them. Chances are, she thinks those things are sophomoric, male-oriented dribble...or maybe even disgusting. If she's not predisposed to those activities, all you've done is request activities which are really for yourself, disguised as submission to her. She may not even understand what you're asking for, but she'll know it's not really for her. This does not mean she doesn't have "domme-potential" means she isn't directly into your fantasy. If you're both to be happy, you'll need to find common ground.

Let's pretend you go the route many of the men with whom I've spoken did. You requested a dominatrix of your partner. It isn't her nature. It's not who she defines herself to be. Still, she loves you, so maybe she's willing to try. She acts out some of your fantasies. You show her what you like. You point her to web sites which discuss it. You get on IRC and chat. She play-acts. The role she's playing isn't really her's a's a game. Like all games, it's fun, perhaps...but when it's over, she's stopped playing and gone back to being herself. If that's all you want, and she's happy making you happy, maybe it's over...but you don't really want the game to end, it's not 24/7 submission if it stops after each orgasm. So you try weekends, or weeks at a time. You try to expand the level of play. She resists and she feels unfulfilled. She takes less and less initiative. She's starts not being "into it" and you get discouraged.

What's happening here? Let's take a step back and understand what's really going on.

The fact that she's doing something which doesn't come naturally, in an attempt to make you happy, immediately undermines her authority. In terms of D/s, it's a no win situation for both of you. She is put in a position where the measure of her success is how happy you are. She is graded on her "domination skills" by you, whether you intend it or not. Who's the dominant here?

Also, as soon as you react to the role she's playing, you're creating a conflict in her. She feels your reaction is to the role she's playing rather than to her (since she's not being herself). She may feel that you need the role more than you need her. In fact, when you start showing her all those pictures of dominatrices in magazines and movies artfully skilled in immobilizing their "victims" and masterful in controlling degrees of pain, she easily could start to feel inferior and resent what she's doing.

The trick in finding this common ground is to understand what makes your partner happy. Your mission together is to find the dominant role which is completely within her character, to which you can submit. The key to a successful D/s relationship is to add the exchange of power to the dynamics of your relationship rather than to replace existing ones. The idea is that when you submit, you do so to her. Her domination of you will be different than any other you have ever read or dreamed about, since she is different than anyone else you've ever met. Because you are submitting to the unique person she is, with her unique style, there will be no doubt it is she you desire. She is your lover, to whom you submit...not an object in leather with a whip.

Step 3: Understand Your Partner

I don't know your partner, but I'm willing to guess that if she loves you (though Lord knows why ), she has two desires:

1) To see you happy
2) To feel your desire for her

These are two natural human needs common in all healthy relationships. If you think your partner should only care for her own happiness (to hell with yours) and be an guys probably shouldn't be in an intimate relationship to begin with. Wanting to be desired is not a weakness, it's a cornerstone to one's sexuality. Catering to your partner's need, by showing your desire openly and often, is one of the most basic responsibilities of the submissive.

Guys often equate submission with giving up initiation of sexual activity. They tell their partner, "You can decide when we have sex".

*NEWS FLASH*: I married my husband because he's a man...he's an animal in bed...I like that. He wants me and I enjoy his aggression. Should I give it up because I'm now "in charge"? Hello guys! If I wanted a wimp, I would have chosen one! My husband initiates sex often...the 'power-exchange' difference is I decide if he's successful and, most importantly, I decide if he gets to come (more on this later).

You must keep the needs of your partner primary. She must satisfy her needs in taking on this new dynamic. Since she's not bringing this up to you, chances are good her needs differ from yours. That's ok. It's healthy, but both of you will need to modify your expectations in order for both of you to be satisfied.

*IMPORTANT*: You cannot teach her how to be dominant. You don't know enough. Only SHE knows what she wants, needs, and desires. As the submissive, you are on this earth to help her achieve those desires. YOU need to learn. YOU need to learn to serve.

Step 4: Communicate Your Desires've figured out what kind of submissive you are. You've avoided approaching your partner with your vision of the perfect dominatrix and you've thought about the needs of your partner. You've gotten up your nerve and you're ready to broach the subject. How do you do it? What do you say?

Each person will have their own approach based on the prior thoughts, but here's one which I promote and have seen work several times:

You approach your partner and communicate your desires:

  • You have a deep need to strive to please her and put her needs above yours
  • You would feel even more fulfilled in your relationship if she would let you treat her like a queen
  • You would deeply appreciate it if she would help you by:

  • 1) Allowing you to try to anticipate her needs
  • 2) Helping you to identify when you've failed and provide constructive correction to help you avoid repeating your error
  • 3) Making recommendations as to how you can make her life easier

*NOTE*: I have avoided several key words: Submission, Mistress, Slave, Punishment, Dominatrix, B&D, S&M, etc. These words might provoke mental images of the stereotypical commercial BDSM relationship which may prove detrimental and may be perceived as 'directing' her even if you're not trying to do so. Words like Queen','Princess', or 'Goddess' have less of a connotation and are better choices.

What is accomplished here? You have communicated, in no uncertain terms, your desire to submit (true submission). However, you have left the door open as to the 'hows' of the exchange. She is free to be herself. The only request you have made of her is to accept your submission. She may not understand it at first, but she is motivated by her desire to see you happy. If you think she's receptive, have her read my article on
True Submission ...tell her it's what you want. She may not believe it, but she will most likely give it a try.

Many guys believe they treat their partners this way already (but it doesn't feel like D/s)...The key here is - OPEN COMMUNICATION OF INTENT. She needs to understand why you're doing it. Not just that it makes you happy to see her happy, but that it also makes you happy to be striving to make her happy. Some of what you do for your partner might be found in a book on chivalry...but chivalry is not submission. The difference is intent and power exchange.

As she accepts your submission, you need to show her how fulfilled it makes you. When you've made her happy, show her how satisfied it makes you...and how turned on. Don't be shy, tell her how much you appreciate her allowing you to please her. Show her how much she is desired and how lucky you are to have found someone as receptive as she.

At the beginning, you can suggest some things which you feel might make her life easier. While each case will vary, typical things are the cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, clothing layout, etc. These are basic and will give her a flavor of some of the benefits of having you around. Give her a massage every evening as she drifts off to sleep. Try to surprise her: put toothpaste on her toothbrush before she comes in to brush, take down the beds and put them back up in the morning (yes, pillows too!). Sit on the toilet seat on winter nights before she needs to use it - to warm it up. Be at her showerside with her towels, warmed on the radiator, when she steps from the shower. Be ever-ready with the handcream.

If she likes what you choose, make it a permanent activity. She doesn't need to say's your responsibility. Spoil her. Just make sure what you choose is for her and not for you (for example, if you have a foot fetish, polishing her shoes and putting them away is a treat - not to be suggested by you). Treat her like the Goddess she is.

Suddenly, the only criteria for success is whether or not she's happy with your actions! Sounds a bit more like submission, doesn't it?

Step 5: Execute

Fight yourself. You will need to focus on her needs: try to anticipate them. Don't be a snivelly little worm...try to be the same guy she fell in love with...only far more attentive. Don't try to kneel, or grovel, or any of those classic ditties. Focus on her happiness, shower her with attention and desire.

Many guys have the tendency to try to test their partner by misbehaving or not properly anticipating then waiting to see how she will react. Often they try to be punished. While everyone knows this is wrong, many do it anyway, sometimes subconsciously. You need to be aware and avoid it. It's a recipe for disaster. Clearly you're 'topping from below' by trying to manipulate her into your fantasies. It certainly is not in her best interest. For one thing, it's more work for her to have to keep you in line - your responsibility is to make her life easier!

Don't allow yourself to slip. Be openly disappointed in yourself when you fail (which you will). At first, you may be harder on yourself than she, but over time, she will begin to expect your performance and will become quick to point out when you haven't done all that you can.

Step 6: Escalation

If your partner has fantasies of owning a slaveboy who dresses like a woman, accepts whippings for amusement and licks the crud from between her toes after she works out at the gym, you're going to find out about it rather quickly! Chances are, however, those games will not enter into the relationship from her end.

After she has grown accustomed to having you strive to keep her happy, you can communicate activities which you would find enjoyable. However, don't try to disguise them as being for her...if they were for her, she would have told you about them! These are treats for them what they are. If she's in the mood and feels like throwing you a bone (perhaps literally), then you've communicated the things you enjoy to her and she can choose to do them for you. It's not about dominance now, it's about game playing and scening and making a partner happy.

Step 7: Giving Her Your Orgasm

There is a distinct difference between controlling sexual activity and controlling sexual release.

Men seem to feel that the ultimate control a woman can have over them is to control their sex. They fantasize about a woman who can get them up and off with her words. They fantasize about being fitted for a chastity device for the remainder of their lives and being forced to go months, or even years, without orgasm.

If your partner wants to control things between the sheets, she'll be sure to let you know (after all, it makes her happy and you've asked her to help you make her happy), however, don't expect her to do so. The fact is, not every woman wants to call the shots in bed. Even we dominant ones! However, there is one thing you can try...

Communicate to her that you would like her to own your orgasm. This does NOT mean she is responsible for when, how or where you have sex (unless she wants that), it only refers to whether or not you will climax. Ask her to let you tell her as you are nearing an orgasm and that you would love it if she would allow, or deny it.

There are several ways to do this. My personal favorite is to have my sub request that he be allowed to stop. He must request this just prior to reaching the point of no return. There is a kick and an irony to hearing him beg, "Please let me stop" and me saying, "OK"!

Trust me on this one fellas, the first time your partner is lying on the bed drifting off to sleep with you rubbing her back until she's asleep, having already enjoyed her orgasm during sex (which you initiated) and knowing that she just denied you release - and you're busy thanking her for allowing you the priviledge of making her happy, and the next day you can't seem to keep your hands off her, she'll be HOOKED...I think you'll be hooked too!


The concepts of True Submission extend to your existing relationships. If you are truly submissive, the odds are in your favor that you don't have to look beyond the other side of your bed to be completely fulfilled beyond your dreams. You need to learn how to submit to your particular, unique partner. You need to show her how much you love submitting to her unique being and thank her for how much she brings to the table.

You should play Ed Koch and ask, "How am I doing?" often. You can never fail if you come to her and ask, "Is there anything I can do for you?".

The more you apply yourself and learn to submit, the more dominant your partner will become.

Best of luck!

- Rika

1999 MsRika

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