Femdom Relationship Basics

December 2nd, 2008

I’ve been doing a bit of thinking lately about the dynamics of Femdom relationships – both the realities and the fantasies.  There are a few principles that I try to always keep in mind for my interactions either with the mentoring of my submissive friends or in my relationships.  I believe these principles are the key to making sure that we’re both healthy and happy.

Everyone has needs and desires. No matter what the fantasy says it’s not all about the Domme- it can’t be. I have to keep my submissive’s needs and desires in mind when I choose my course of action.  In fact, I can utilize those needs and desires to truly control him.  It’s up to me to decide if I should address his wants and needs, how, and to what degree. Perhaps he has a need for punishment and feels the only way to be punished is being spanked.  I can recognize the need he has for punishment but I may decide to utilize a different form.  Certainly if he gets excited by being spanked I will punish in a different way.  After all, it’s not good to positively reinforce unacceptable behavior, is it?  The decision remains mine.

If I’m to be in charge, he needs to accept my way of doing things.  I need to know I can safely proceed with my style of dominance without any attempts to coerce me into doing it his way. Sometimes I’ll seek input from my partner, but the decision is ultimately mine.  If I decide he’ll clean the bathrooms every day for a week as a punishment then that’s how I’ve decided to control him.  It may not be the kinky control he wants, but it is control.  The more comfortable I feel in my role, the more comfortable I’ll be when deciding how much kink to bring into the relationship.

I need to know what I’m doing is working. I want to know what he’s thinking, how he feels, how his body responds, etc.  One of the most helpful things he can do is to say, “I really liked it when you ____”.  There’s no criticism there, there’s no topping, it’s a positive statement.  Part of caring about him and dominating him is learning what things “work” for him.  If he doesn’t like something, I want to know that too, but when I’m lying there all glowing and content,  it’s probably not the best time to bring it up.  I’d prefer he tell me later or the next day if it is something that can wait.  “You know, I liked this and this that we did yesterday, but this one thing was not something I was comfortable with”.  I’ll explore what comfortable means and then decide my next step.  Perhaps I’ll adapt.  Perhaps I’ll do it anyway.  It depends on why it was uncomfortable and if a bit of discomfort can be turned into something good ;)  If it’s something that needs to be discussed immediately, of course he should feel comfortable speaking up.

His concern should be what I’m getting from the interaction, not what he’s getting from it. If he focuses on pleasing me – understanding what I get from the interaction and focusing on making sure that I receive it – then that will be pushing his submissive buttons and maybe some of his kink buttons as well.  It’s my job to focus on what he needs and occasionally on what he wants as well as focusing on my wants and needs.

He needs to realize that that being a Domme isn’t “all” I am and being submissive isn’t “all” he is. That doesn’t jive with a lot of the fantasies out there, but I really think that’s true.  We have to recognize that we have non-sexual, non-kink needs as well.  Yes, I’m a Domme.  I like to be in control.  I also enjoy intelligent conversations.  I like to be romanced.  I like to do enjoyable non-sexy, non-kink things.  Sometimes I need to be comforted.  Yes, he’s a submissive, but sometimes he is protective of me.  Sometimes he wants to argue with me about politics, philosophy, religion – whatever.  He has a brain and we both want him to use it.  Sometimes he wants to (*gasp*) initiate sex.  As long as I’m ok with that – as long as I permit that – then I remain the one in control.  The decision is mine.

I need to remember many submissive men have a need for structure, clear boundaries, direction, and the certainty that I am experiencing pleasure from his submission. I often say, “it pleases me when you _____”, or “it excites me when you _____”.  “You’re such a good boy.”  “Obeying is pleasing and pleasing feels so very good.”  It’s amazing the response elicited both physically and emotionally by those types of phrases.  I also boss him around.  Sometimes I ask or persuade.  However I choose to do it, I let him know what I want,  when I want it, and how I want it.

A healthy D/s relationship is symbiotic.  In situations where it isn’t, then at least one person ends up feeling frustrated and bitter.  All relationships require honest discussion, a lot of listening, and the desire on both sides to make it work.  Good relationships don’t just happen.

There are many styles of dominance.  Some are harsh.  Some are self-centered.  Some are loving.  Some sensual.  There’s no wrong way as long as everything happens between two consenting adults.  This way is simply my way. I’m not suggesting my way will work for anyone else, but it works well for me ;)  Perhaps it might provide food for thought for someone considering making their first steps in dominating a partner.  Maybe it will lead some who are submissive to reflect on their own motivations and interactions with their dominant.  Either way, writing this has made me think more about the way I interact.

~ Lady Julia

** The above is a brief summary.  I’ve much more to say and plan on doing so with future posts.)

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30 Responses to “Femdom Relationship Basics”

  1. willie owen says:

    Lady Julia,
    You are remarkably honest with your self, with your readers, and with everything and all surrounding you. How might any one befriending, not cherish you for just you? How might someone, once having felt the genuine aspects of your soulfulness, do anyhting but honor you, just as you stand.

    Ah, but we are human; this alone answers smartly the queries.

    For, unless some one has worked on their self, and brought their self to cherishing their self, they can never cherish another, genuinely, no matter the relationship.

    Lady Julia, I truly respect how remarkable you are within being just as you feel to see your Life.

    Respectfully,
    willie owen

  2. Catherine says:

    My husband is submissive and an avid reader of your blog. We have been talking about me being more dominant with him but I have no idea how. When he read this he immediately sent the link to me telling me that he thought this made a lot of sense. It does make sense and I hope you write more. I want to learn but I do not want to be like some of the women whose blogs he reads.

  3. Arafin says:

    Barring dumb luck, being realistic is eventually necessary to the success of anything. I read all sorts of accounts from people who have very unrealistic expectations of how a D/s relationship should be and none of them seem particularly happy with how things are going. Your views and advice of how a D/s relationship can succeed are founded on realism, and although that does not guarantee success in every case, it certainly goes a long way to giving it the best possible chance. I am constantly touched by your down to earth insight into how people interact with one another.

    (I hear that Obama is looking for someone to fill the new office of “Secretary of Relationships”.)

    Arafin

  4. Susans Pet says:

    Dear Lady,

    I have read much writing on the dominant female’s role in a man’s life. I know that we are different, and have different needs. I am somewhere near the middle, and agree so much with your views. You have a way to make a man do what you want, and make him know that it was his idea.

    As much as I like to be “forced” to do some things by my favorite female (actually, there is only one, and she is my wife for ever) on the long run I want to do it out of love, devotion, and some expectation of sexual favors. Yes, I am not above sex. Actually, I love sex. I love to give her all that she needs and wants. I love to receive all that she wants to give to me. I am not sure that I have limits. At least, I have not given her any. Every morning I awake I want to give her what she wants.

  5. Mistress Lisa says:

    Julia dear this is interesting to read and since you have all the answers I expected you to have a perfect submissive. My boy tells me you are without anyone. Why is that?

    Men need strict discipline and to know that they are inferior to the woman. Their “wants and needs” are what the woman says they are. They are here for our pleasure and receive any pleasure that they do from that. You cannot be so lose with a man and hold on to one.

  6. Lady Julia says:

    Lisa, I am about to leave for a few hours so I’ll have to give a brief response.

    I have never said that I have all the answers.

    I’m not perfect – in fact I believe I even said “There are a few principles that I try to always keep in mind”, with the emphasis on “try”.

    I’ve never had a perfect submissive. Who would want to be with someone who was perfect? There’s no challenge in that.

    Even though we were not perfect, we were happy and we loved one another. He didn’t love some illusion and neither did I.

    Why I am not with him now is none of your business.

  7. Duncan says:

    “Mistress Lisa”, if Lady Julia wished to be with someone else right now the line would be long. VERY long. It would be a line of men who admired her as a person for all her wonderful qualities not solely her dominance. It would be for her realness not an artificial persona that caters to men’s fantasies.

    I remain impressed that Lady Julia would publish rude comments like yours. I know she does it because she wants her blog to be a place for open dialogue and not a fansite. Her self-confidence allows for people to give differing opinions so the least “real Dommes” could do is be as respectful to her as she is to them.

  8. Arafin says:

    Mistress Lisa, a Domme may be without someone for many reasons, but the one that springs immediately to mind above all the rest is that she is discerning rather than careless, and carelessness rarely leads to perfection, does it? Does your view that men are inferior to women move you any closer to perfection yourself, or are you seeking something else with your statement?

    Arafin

  9. Lubyanka says:

    Mistress Lisa Says:
    December 2nd, 2008 at 7:01 pm
    Julia dear [...] Men need [blah blah blah]. Their “wants and needs” are [blah blah blah]. They are [blah blah blah]. You cannot be so [blah blah blah].

     
    Thank you for your unsolicited pontification and patronisation,  “dear”.

    Good luck with that.   I hope it works out for you.

  10. robert says:

    “Mistress Lisa” — Dick, is that you? Nonetheless, it seems once again, a member of the “one true way” feels so threatened by someone who is real. Your harping is pathetic.

  11. Free Thinking Writer says:

    I always amused by the “men are inferior” comments some people make. It seems every time I see that comment, I find myself wearing a wry smile of amusement. But in an attempt to get this comment thread back on topic, I think I should address Lady J’s original post.

    Relationships succeed when they work for both people. A particular lifestyle should enhance the relationship, not detract from it. And because no two people are always going to agree, there needs to be some sort of compromise system.

    That compromise system can take a wide variety of forms. In a vanilla relationship, compromise is typically more difficult to achieve than in a femdom relationship. Femdom relationships provide a wide variety of tools for achieving compromise that is mutually satisfying.

    Relationships fail (speaking from personal experience) when the needs of either member aren’t being met. That’s a very simplistic, nearly obvious statement, and yet it’s surprising how many people don’t think about it.

    How do you make a relationship work? You make sure the other person’s needs are being met. Simple. Of course, the relationship will fail if the other person isn’t doing the same.

    I believe that paragraph is a truism, regardless of the nature of the relationship — vanilla, femdom, maledom, or any other style.

  12. Mistress Suzette From France says:

    Sorry I’m going to have to side with Mistress Lisa on this one.

    “You cannot be so lose with a man”

    Amen sister.

    I was lose with a man once in the IHOP parking lot at 2am.

    I ended up with 3 kids, two dogs and a mortgage.

  13. lunarlens says:

    This is so practical and sensible.

  14. robert says:

    “I was lose with a man once in the IHOP parking lot at 2am. I ended up with 3 kids, two dogs and a mortgage.”

    IHOPs in France? Who knew? ;)

  15. Daniel says:

    This should be in a primer somewhere. Excellent piece.

  16. Mistress Suzette From France says:

    Robert darling of course they do. That is why they are called the International House of Pancakes.

    There are many of them in my native country of France and they are all tres magnificent.

  17. Mistress Lisa says:

    “Mistress Lisa, a Domme may be without someone for many reasons, but the one that springs immediately to mind above all the rest is that she is discerning rather than careless, and carelessness rarely leads to perfection, does it? Does your view that men are inferior to women move you any closer to perfection yourself, or are you seeking something else with your statement?”

    I’m not seeking anything with my statements other than understanding. She has now written of two different men she has been in utopian relationships with. I have a perfect right to ask why if they were so perfect that they ended. She doesn’t have to answer but the question will still be in the minds of everyone who reads this blog.

    Submissive men are inferior. Most are needy, whiney little worms who are only useful if trained by a Mistress who knows what she is doing.

  18. Lubyanka says:

    Mistress Lisa Says:
    December 5th, 2008 at 8:03 pm
    I’m not seeking anything with my statements other than understanding. She has now written of two different men she has been in utopian relationships with. I have a perfect right to ask why if they were so perfect that they ended. She doesn’t have to answer but the question will still be in the minds of everyone who reads this blog.

    If you were truly seeking actual understanding, of the actual facts, then I don’t understand why you would insert your own characterisation of “utopian”, which is a word which is completely absent from Lady Julia’s descriptions of her relationships.

    “Utopian” is your word, not hers, so if you seek understanding, I’d re-read and start again.

    As for what is in everybody’s minds who reads this blog? I envy people who have the ability to read minds. I’m sure that ability will gain you some understanding. Someday.
     
     

    Mistress Lisa Says:
    December 5th, 2008 at 8:03 pm
    Submissive men are inferior. Most are needy, whiney little worms who are only useful if trained by a Mistress who knows what she is doing.

    Ohhhh, now I see why you think men are inferiour. If you only ever take on submissives who are needy, whiney, useless little worms, then no wonder you think women are superiour to that!

    I guess you never tried taking on a submissive who is a capable, giving, articulate, stylish human being? Or maybe none of those would consider submitting to you? That would explain a lot.

  19. robert says:

    Those of us who frequent this blog aren’t concerned by “Mistress Lisa’s” lame rants. Why?

    Several of us here DO know Lady Julia well enough to know about Her relationships. And in contrast to “Lisa’s” vile insinuations, Lady Julia’s relationships have all reflected very highly on Her. Had “Lisa” actually been interested in doing something more than puke up jealous, crass, boorish, moronic, and crude personal attacks, it’s quite possible Lady Julia might have been willing to share about them with her. In fact, “Lisa” could have learned a lot simply by doing a little reading. DUH.

    But that’s not your goal is it lisa? Your Lord-of-the-Flies brand of “superiority” seems to be much more about ignorance and malice, as it is these things that speak far louder than your words.

  20. robert says:

    Thank You Mistress Suzette From France for clarifying the International aspect of IHOP. Perhaps i can join You at one of these lovely locations on my next trip abroad, say perhaps the one in Calais? Is that near You? It would be delightful to meet You.

    Oh, and i’ll be sure to let the management of IHOP know about their valued locations in France so they can update the locations on their website.

    ;)

  21. Lubyanka says:

    Free Thinking Writer Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 8:08 am
    How do you make a relationship work? You make sure the other person’s needs are being met. Simple. Of course, the relationship will fail if the other person isn’t doing the same.

    I believe that paragraph is a truism, regardless of the nature of the relationship — vanilla, femdom, maledom, or any other style.

    I mostly agree with you, FTW, except that I’d rephrase your truism to read:

    “How do you make a relationship work? You make sure your own needs are being met. Simple. Of course, the relationship will fail if the other person isn’t doing the same.”

    My experience is that nobody can know what any person needs better than that person themselves. I also find that it’s absolutely impossible, and an unfair expectation to expect anybody else to be able to always know what you need, when you need it, how you want it, and how to provide it.

    Unlike some lucky people I’ve come across, I know for a fact that I’m not a mind reader. So I explicitly specify that my submissives must explicitly specify their needs to me, as I undertake to do myself. This works well for me in several ways. One way is that it really keeps my relationships running well, even when there are issues, because we can identify the issues and explore them much sooner than is otherwise possible. Another way this works for me is that it helps me identify earlier when a relationship is not worth investing in, and to cut that cord.

    I mean, I just cannot deal with somebody when they tell me I’m in control, and therefore assume that I should somehow automatically know what they need, how they need it, and in what way they need it. If they can’t take on board that my being in control over them does not include mind reading, and that they themselves have certain obligations and responsibilities, then I cannot pursue any kind of relationship with that person.

    This personal responsibility to ensure one’s own needs are expressed and met is a real biggie of a feature in my life.

    How’d you guess. :p

  22. Arafin says:

    I respectfully question your ability to read the minds of everyone who reads this blog and have reason to believe that your supposition is inaccurate.

    Your view of submissive men also appears to be lacking a thing or two. Perhaps you just haven’t met the right one. Best of luck.

    Arafin

  23. Free Thinking Writer says:

    Lubyanka,

    I don’t believe anywhere in my original post I suggested one can’t ask questions of the other. I don’t understand how you jumped to the conclusion that’s what I was suggesting. If something I said was such a suggestion, I apologize for my poor choice of words.

    If I am focused on the needs of the woman I am with, then it becomes my responsibility to make sure I know what those needs are. And the only way I am able to do that is to ask her about them. With some frequency at that.

    Personally, I’ve found that figuratively jumping up and down saying, “These are my needs, I need you to satisfy them!” doesn’t remotely work and leads to a lot of disappointment. So if you’re going to focus on your needs, and he’s going to focus on his needs, then I hope either his needs can be summed up simply as “Satisfy Lubyanka’s needs” or you both are able to satisfy your own needs without help from the other.

  24. Mistress Lisa says:

    It is obvious by the ferocity of some of these remarks that my comments have hit close to home.

  25. robert says:

    Your arrogant presumptions and hypocrisy continue. You can save your psycho-babble. Whether it be racial supremacy or gender supremacy (with your attending slurs), the level of condescension and insults in your words deserve a strong response.

  26. Lubyanka says:

    Free Thinking Writer Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 3:24 pm
    Personally, I’ve found that figuratively jumping up and down saying, “These are my needs, I need you to satisfy them!” doesn’t remotely work and leads to a lot of disappointment.

    I am very interested  (if I’m reading you correctly)  in your conclusion that this phrase

    “You make sure your own needs are being met.”

    is a synonym of this phrase

    “figuratively jumping up and down saying, ‘These are my needs, I need you to satisfy them!’”

    I don’t see the two as being even remotely similar. I think that the difference between then might be most efficiently described as the first being assertive, and the second being aggressive. I see a world of difference between assertion and aggression.
     
     

    Free Thinking Writer Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 3:24 pm
    I don’t believe anywhere in my original post I suggested one can’t ask questions of the other. I don’t understand how you jumped to the conclusion that’s what I was suggesting. If something I said was such a suggestion, I apologize for my poor choice of words.

    If I am focused on the needs of the woman I am with, then it becomes my responsibility to make sure I know what those needs are. And the only way I am able to do that is to ask her about them. With some frequency at that.

    I don’t believe I suggested in my comment that one can’t ask questions of the other either. So we’ll be on the same page regarding this, happily. :)

    I disagree that ensuring one’s own needs are met precludes an interest in or querying about the needs of others. In my experience, the two are not mutually exclusive, thankfully. :)

  27. Dan says:

    And yet once again, Lisa continues displays her expert ability to mimic
    the ole’ “Ostrich with her head stuck in the sand” mentality!

    Really, you should get out and see, hear and feel the world. We are much
    different than you think we are.

    Best wishes,
    Dan

  28. Free Thinking Writer says:

    Or, Lisa, that we enjoy playing with you. :-)

  29. Free Thinking Writer says:

    Lubyanka, I won’t argue the semantics of what I said, as that’s a silly fight.

    My point is regarding your suggestion that focusing on your own needs is the key to success. My feeling is focusing on your needs is the key to failure. Focusing on the needs of your partner is the key to success.

    What else you do — such as focusing on your needs, the needs of your children, or the world at general — is fairly irrelevant to my original statement several posts above.

    Indeed, I don’t personally know anyone who is so selfless that he or she is able to ignore self needs.

    But I start to wonder if anything further from me on this would be beating a dead horse.

  30. Lubyanka says:

    Free Thinking Writer Says:
    December 6th, 2008 at 3:24 pm
    So if you’re going to focus on your needs, and he’s going to focus on his needs, then I hope either his needs can be summed up simply as “Satisfy Lubyanka’s needs” or you both are able to satisfy your own needs without help from the other.

    Hello Free Thinking Writer,

    I was thinking some more about your comment. There was something about this last thing you wrote which had been niggling at me, and I’ve finally worked out what it is. I thought a description of something which frequently happens in my life might explain my outlook a bit better.

    I think it is important to distinguish the difference between needs and wants. I have needs, and my serf kvetch has needs. Kvetch needs things such as food and water and sufficient sleep, and he wants to ensure that my needs are met. Although I acknowledge that helping me to meet my needs is a very, very powerful desire for kvetch, I don’t consider that a need in the way I know that he needs enough sleep and nourishment, and to minimise the stress he experiences to manageable levels.

    Sometimes kvetch will say to me that he needs an afternoon or an evening off. It took awhile for us both to work out precisely what he means by that. In the end, we worked out that “need time off” is shorthand for him saying:

    - There are certain specific tasks which I need to complete by this deadline.
    - I estimate that it will take me this amount of time to complete them.
    - I find it difficult to focus on my tasks if I am interrupted.
    - I find it difficult to resist you if you ask me to do things for you.
    - I would find it a great help if you refrained from asking me to do anything for you during a certain time frame which we will agree upon.
    - During my work, convenient moments will arise, and at those times I will ask you if there is anything I can do for you, because I love to do things for you.
    - I would find it a great help if you limited your requests at those times to tasks which are brief and short-term.
    - If there are other things you need me to do, I ask that you please wait until my tasks are completed.
    - If you have an emergency of course I will be available for you. Otherwise, I need this time.
    - After I have completed my tasks, I will tell you, and at that time full service will resume.

    According to my own methodology, it is in my interests to maintain kvetch in optimal working order. Because optimal working order includes him enduring less pressure and stress by having sufficient time to complete what he needs to do, helping kvetch to meet his own needs is in my interests as well.

    So the fact that he is following my prime directive by taking care of himself first, and I am taking care of myself first, means that both of us can ensure that our own needs are met. And as you see, both of us can help to satisfy each other’s needs as well as our own. I feel that taking responsibility for our own needs makes it easier to identify them and therefore to articulate them precisely and accurately to others. In my experience, this method is the most efficient way to identify, communicate, and therefore meet most of our needs, most of the time.

    I think the point I’m trying to get to here is that I feel that focusing on each of our own needs is a really effective way of focusing on the needs of others. This has worked splendidly for me, and for my partners. I get that this might not be everybody’s favourite approach, it’s just that it works so well for me and my partners, I’m hoping others can benefit.

    If you disagree, that’s fine too. :)

    I hope that clarified what I was trying to say. I did my best.