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BDSM/coping with being a submissive

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Question
I have known I have been a submissive all of my life, not just sexually, but in my normal life too. Being 25, I have had time to explore this in my previous relationships, and know deep-down this is something I need to have a fulfilled life.

I have been in my current relationship for a little over two years now with my boyfriend, who is one of the most amazing people I have ever known. When we started dating I gave him some idea that I was interested in living a submissive lifestyle, and I have continued to give him hints throughout our relationship. However, he never seemed to really take to the idea. I think my boyfriend has many self-esteem and confidence issues. In my natural want to be submissive, sometimes I will try to push him in the hopes that he will act more dominant, but often times I will just make him upset or depressed (which can lead him to sulking in the bedroom for hours.) Because of all of this I have wound up being in the more dominant role of the relationship.

I think part of his problem may lie in the fact that he never had much sexual experience in his other relationships, so that makes him less confident in the bedroom. This is a problem for me because I am not only looking for him to be more dominant in the bedroom, but outside as well.

To make my relationship smoother, I feel as though I have been repressing my feelings and desires. Normally I can get along fine, but I do go through depressive periods because I feel as though I cannot express myself fully. I do not know how to talk to my boyfriend about this because in the past he has felt upset with the fact that he doesn't know how to please me. I don't know how to talk to him without hurting his feelings or if anything can be done to make him more dominant. I feel that he is perfect for me in every other way, this has just been a big part of my life in the past. I am really at a loss with what to do, so any advice would be extremely helpful.

Answer
Audrey -

The situation you face is not uncommon: a person has a relationship that is perfect in every respect except one very important way.

As you already know, there are two paths but no simple solution. Either you stay with BF or you end things and look elsewhere.

My view is that you can (potentially) corrupt a vanilla partner but you can't convert them. The core personality component or kink needs to already exist in an undeveloped state. If it doesn't, then at best he'd be participating only to make you happy. Over time, you would each grow dissatisfied and resentful.

When someone thinks their partner is potentially open to it, I suggest pointing out when they've done something in a Dominant way and how it makes you feel and that you'd like more of that. And there are kinky friendly therapists. There are also books on the topic as well as the possibility to attend workshops and classes together. But it doesn't seem like that's an option with a lot of success for you.

Unfortunately it sounds like you have a very difficult choice to make: in the long term would you be happier being with him and suppressing your submissive desires or leaving in hopes of finding a partner a d structure that meets this need?

I wish you the best.

Ben

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Ben Martin

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Questions related to power-based relationships in which decision-making authority is intentionally and consensually transferred -- and the resulting imbalance celebrated. I am able to assist those trying to understand where they fit in, and those seeking to structure and thrive in a power based relationships. Specific topics I am able to discuss include: setting and achieving personal and relationship goals, responsible Mastery, the use of protocols and rituals, communication techniques, and conflict resolution. In addition, I am knowledgable and experienced in polyamory, long-distance relationships, bisexuality and a variety of kinky activities ranging from mind games to sadistic play.

Experience

I have chosen to have a power-based structure in my relationships over the past 18 years. This has included a 16-year M/s relationship, several shorter term D/s relationships and various play partners. I am an active participant in various online forums and seek to provide support and advice to those interested in the Lifestyle.

Organizations
Black Rose

Publications
My writings, insights and discussion contributions are available on Alt.com and FetLife.com. On both websites, my user name is BenMartin

Education/Credentials
I do not hold any credentials specific to BDSM, relying instead on knowledge gained from life experiences, reading and conversing with others in the Lifestyle.

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