The idea of ‘no’ or disagreeing with a partner in a relationship always seems negative. But sometimes saying no can bring a strength and confidence. I have found this paramount in my BDSM attempts. As ancilla_ksst explains, much better than I could, saying yes all the time to a sub can be harmful. It’s hard to trust that a dominant is doing what they want if they agree with all a sub’s requests and desires.
Looking back, I think this is why my husband and my D/s wasn’t successful. While I thought I was giving him everything he asked for, I was inadvertently topping from the bottom. He was doing everything he thought I wanted and not for his own pleasure. This worked for awhile, but soon I was in a vacuum of doing things for him which was really just for me. Eventually I completely stopped trusting his responses.
When he would moan I would wonder if it was genuine, or just for my benefit. Was that ‘good girl’ for real, or just to shut me up? I always shrugged these feelings away, of course, because it felt good at the time. Once he opened up about his true feelings, however, I found myself in a dark place. I revisited every scene. There was a time when I couldn’t even look through our photos as it all felt fake. Submission was about putting my trust in him, and I felt like he misused what I considered a gift. I don’t think it was malicious, it may even have been subconscious. When I was able to move past the hurt it was easier to see my faults and his struggle with more empathy.
Moving forward is going to be a process. The blow to trust has rippled through our marriage. I’ve always struggled with compliments, but now I really don’t believe them. And when he thanks me for doing something for him I wonder if he means it. Things I used to do as his sub barely register anymore, making it less likely that I will continue putting in the effort.
I don’t want to make it all negative though. We are spending time together doing other things. And we are both working on personal hobbies as well. I’m trying to take a step back and put myself in a stronger personal position. And using this opportunity to figure out what I really want as a poly submissive seems like a positive step. Then, should either him or another dominant and I start some type of D/s relationship, I will be better prepared to explain my boundaries and needs. One of which will certainly be that saying no helps me trust my partner and know that everything I do is for their pleasure.