First thing's first. Let me make something perfectly clear, I do not intend any derogatory connotations in using the term Service Dom, nor do I intend any superiority by using the term True Dom. These terms are merely simple ways to refer to two very different situations and relationship dynamics. This article is meant for educational and information purposes only. It is being written in the hope that others' relationships will benefit from my perspective.
Once upon a time, I had no interest whatsoever in D/s, BDSM, or anything kinky. My lady on the other hand, was harboring a dark desire deep within herself. Each day she served me in subtle ways; making me meals, washing my clothes, caring for our children, etc. With each act of service, she desperately yearned for my praise and approval, and any smidgeon of Dominant behavior she could get. Unbeknownst to me, this went on for more years than I care to admit to.
When she finally realized that she simply could not sustain this one-sided D/s dynamic, she mustered up her courage and presented it to me. I'll never forget that day. It was the first time that D/s started to make some sense to me. It was also the first time she knelt at my feet. I'll never forget the words she said to me, though I shan't share them here. Needless to say, there was no way that I could refuse her request. She had laid bare her very soul and I knew within my heart of hearts that I could not turn her away.
The very next thought in my mind was, "Where do we go from here?" She had a wealth of knowledge on D/s and a mile-long wishlist to bring to the table. What did I have? Only my desire to do everything in my power to make her happy. With the situation being as it was, I felt the best option was to let her guide me. To let her "top from the bottom" and show me the road that would lead to her fulfillment. By my own choice, I became a "Service Dom". I let her tell me what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and everything in between. I let her set expectations and implement rudimentary rules and protocols. Things were going great. Our sex life was greatly improved and our relationship had once more become the stuff of dreams.
This Service Dom / sub dynamic worked great in the beginning of our D/s journey. I learned a great deal from my lady during that period. But this dynamic just is NOT sustainable when a sub desires to truly be dominated. Why? Because a Service Dom isn’t truly taking the lead. A Service Dom won’t make corrections or push limits unless these things are specifically laid out and requested. A Service Dom won’t devise, plan, and implement a scene without prompting. There are no surprises. There’s no mystery. Eventually, things get stale. What’s more, is that this Service Dom / sub dynamic opens things up to some gnarly pitfalls. The worst of which is a Dom who won’t Dom up and take charge. Let’s face it, when subs aren’t getting their way, they often turn bratty. Sometimes downright mean. They will say hurtful things and challenge their Dom's authority. When this happens to a Service Dom, they just back down. They get confused and begin questioning the entire situation. Thus, the dynamic breaks down and things have to start all over. Another inherent issue in this scenario is the fact that the Service Dom is not getting what they desire. Their only motivation is to please their sub. They have no self interest and that’s a huge problem. Part of being a Dom is knowing what you want and taking it. That’s what makes your sub feel your Dominance. Which fuels their fire and in turn, their submission fuels yours. It’s a necessary cycle.
Our dynamic took a turn just like I described above. My lady got bored, things were becoming stale, and I wasn’t taking anything from her, only giving. As a result, she challenged my authority and I backed down. This happened several times throughout the beginning of our D/s dynamic. Eventually, she came to me and point blank said, “You need to Dom up.” OUCH! Harsh. But true. The problem was, I didn’t know exactly what that meant. So I asked her, “What does that mean? What’s missing? What do you need?” That’s when she told me that she didn’t want a Service Dom. She didn’t want to just play the part of sub whilst shouldering all of the responsibility. She wanted me to take charge. She wanted me to make the decisions and to take the things I wanted and needed from her. Most importantly, she told me that she wanted to be corrected. That she hated the way she challenged me and cast me aside. She told me that if a conflict arises, she didn’t want me to make it better. She wanted me to make her better.
This was an amazing revelation that sparked an epiphany. Since then, I have made leaps and bounds in becoming a truly Dominant husband. I have stopped backing down and started making on the spot corrections for her infractions. I have started pushing her soft limit boundaries of my own accord, based on my own needs and desires. I finally realized that I was getting it right when we recently sat down to renegotiate our contract. She had so many positive things to say about my Dominance that it was a bit overwhelming. The culmination of it all. The pivotal moment for me happened just a couple days ago. We were discussing a new toy we had purchased and she got short and snippy with me. I towered over her and from my Dominant perch I said, “You’re way out of line lady.”
“I walk my own line,” she replied coldly.
“No,” I said, leaning in close, my eyes narrowed, my voice a harsh growl, “You walk MY line. Kneel.”
“Why the fuck should I?”
“Get on your knees. Now.”
She finally broke and knelt. I gently pushed her head down, forcing her eyes down to the floor. Then, I asked her, “Do you love me lady?”
“Do you respect me?”
“Do you want my Dominance?”
“Good,” I said sternly, “now look at me.” I locked eyes with her and delivered the words that made it through her bratty façade. “If you love and respect me there is absolutely no reason for you to treat me this way. Just know that your choice to do so puts our dynamic on hold. We cannot progress and neither my Dominance nor your submission can sustain. Do you understand?”
“Good. Now where were we?” At that, I told her to rise and we continued our conversation in a calm, civil manner. After a few minutes she made a comment that sometimes new toys just need some rough handling to break them in. I said, “That sounds familiar.” She broke into tears. She told me that she was sorry for the way she’d acted and that she truly does appreciate my Dominance. I told her that I still loved her and that we could move past it. I said, “You’ve already been corrected. It’s over. We’re moving on.”
Since then, things have been amazing between us. Our dynamic has been flowing quite well and our roles work perfectly in tandem, as they’re intended to. Despite the troubles being a Service Dom caused for us, I will always be grateful for that time. It was the beginning of something beyond anything my lady and I had ever imagined.
The thing to remember is that there is one fundamental difference between being a Service Dom and a True Dom; who’s in control. For a Service Dom, it would be the “sub”. If that works for you and your partner, so be it. Whatever floats your boat is good by me. But in our dynamic, this wasn’t working. My lady wanted be dominated completely; mind, body, and soul. That’s where True Dominance comes in. To be able to take control and take what you want, while still providing your sub with everything they need; that’s the name of the game.
As MOA has already said, I spent most of our marriage serving alone. I won't call it submitting because I did not submit. Through the services I provided him, I felt a deeper need. I made all the decisions and he wanted so much to make me happy that he would just go with my choice even when he knew it was a wrong choice. This was problematic on many levels. I hated being responsible for all the mistakes and felt angry when he wouldn't speak up before hand.
I made an attempt to bring some kink hoping he would like it and I could slowly introduce some kind of D/s to him that would not seem hurtful or abusive. I couldn't find the right way. So one night I decided all or nothing. I either needed to accept this would never be or he would accept my submission. So, I knelt and asked him. To my utter amazement, he said yes!
I knew he had zero knowledge, less what I had shared the two days prior on the 24/7 D/s dynamic. I just left kink out of it for the time being because what I really wanted was the relationship piece. I needed relief and to let go. I wanted him to protect me, help me fix some behaviors, and above all else, I just had to stop the emasculation I put him through for so many years. I want to see the strong man I know he is. Most of all I want him to see a high value in himself. It was to the point that he was walking on eggshells because he feared I would stop loving him or leave him. This hurt on a deep level to me.
Then it was time for him to learn dominance. I thought guiding him step by step was the fastest way to teach him what I was looking for. Well, that was true, almost. I can guide and instruct all day long but all he would learn is how I want to be treated in any single moment and growth does not happen if I have to tell him I need corrected. I can't seem to self correct right now. True dominance will never come by my precise instruction. Letting go and trusting my Dom requires him to think for himself and explore alone.
Individual exploration is where someone really learns dominance. To feel dominance, you must let go. I had to actually trust that MOA could and would create something that was fulfilling. I can't take away the awkwardness he felt trying to sound stern or the fumbling with implements. That is not something someone can learn just by watching or hearing how. It is also quite difficult to learn it by receiving it.
Then the moment MOA referenced came about. I thought I knew better what he was saying than he did. Well, I got snotty and snapped at him, all the while feeling like he was not being dominant because in my own head, he should be conditioning the toys not me. As I was feeling bitter about his lack of dominance, he stood and asserted himself. I had hurt him with this interaction and had slipped back into the same old emasculation.
I know the situation may sound harsh but I really do not want to treat him that way. In the moment I was feeling angry and was acting on my anger instead of my love for him. What MOA did was helped me to stop a behavior I asked him to help me with. So once that finally sank in, and I hit my knees, I immediately felt like he really cared. I felt like my behavior and desire to change was seen, respected, and facilitated. By the time he started going through my emotions and asking questions, I saw my own bad behavior and felt an immense guilt.
I was so embarrassed I acted that way. Then when he brought me back and we weren't fighting anymore, I tried to focus on conditioning our toy but my guilt was overwhelming. I all of a sudden felt so sorry for what I did. I had treated him so bad but he still loved me and desired our interaction to continue. Talk about absolute acceptance! The end result was a message from him that said, "I love you too much to allow you to continue to hurt us and feel that guilt later."
I don't feel the guilt anymore. I don't fear that this will build and I will add more hurt to it. MOA got this and I know that now. He isn't going to allow me to continue hurting us both. Eventually, the behavior will disappear and we will move on to something far better than we've ever had.
So then, if a sub desires true dominance she must be patient and at some point must allow her Dom to find himself. Above all else, when he does step up, don't step on him. This is where submission truly comes in. Directing his every move will never fulfill a submissive. In contrast if a sub desires to hold control while being spoiled, Service Dom is the ticket to everything she needs. There is nothing wrong with being a bottom that tops. You do you. If true dominance is the desire, let go, let him, and actually submit when he does what you have asked, even if his method doesn't seem to be desirable. Growing and changing yourself is hard work and as a sub we place that on our Dom. We will not grow if we do not desire to. In other words, your Dom cannot dominate you if you do not allow him to. That is the cycle that is talked about in reference to the core of what a D/s dynamic is. There is no way your Dom will dominate when you are topping from the bottom. A period of time may be needed for general instruction but at some point, a sub has to let go.
Number of views (34885) Comments (8)
6/15/2018 9:52 PM
MoA and Angell,
Your post is so true for the transition that many Doms must make in working with their subs. In today’s social environment, men are some what afraid to take a stand for what they want and expect from their spouse. I remember having the internal struggle (and still do) about not being too forceful with Renn. Our Ds became very one sided and eventually I felt ignored and my needs were not met. But that was on me. I needed to Dom up and take a stand for what I want and need. I shouldn’t expect her to serve me with ESP, I have to communicate what I want and expect. Then I have to consistently hold Renn accountable to it. That’s the hardest part for me, consistent correction.
6/21/2018 2:48 PM
Great article. I love the women's perspective here. My sir is a dom. I am his 4th sub. My first dom. I have trouble letting go when told. He knows my emotions get the best of me and am always in my head. So he says....i will correct that. In the beg. Even a spanking didn't do it. So now he will cut all communication if I get like that. He says no trust and u have to have full trust. Now I'm letting go. And reading how if u really want this then u have to let go, listen and let him lead helps alot. Thank u
7/6/2018 4:29 PM
This article is so helpful and hopeful. I, too, have emasculated my husband (who only sought to make me happy) for years. I finally asked him to take charge and transition to a DD life style. It is a process and your advice here is so helpful.
7/15/2018 2:28 PM
This is so helpful to me, the roles are reversed in my marriage. Thank tou
8/1/2018 8:22 AM
Wow, this could quite literally be written by my Dom and me. So much of this rings true in our relationship. I look back at the years and realize a lot of my behaviour toward him was trying to get him to Dom up, however, in all fairness, if you would have told me I was submissive I would have fought that description tooth and nail. After all, I controlled 1000 pound animals with hard hooves and a wicked kick or bite, I didn't take shit off of anyone.
I grew up in a home where my mother just absolutely ran all over my father and has emasculated him. I knew I did not want that but I had no idea what the opposite was. He grew up in pretty much the same environment. This has been the most incredible journey and it has been freeing and refreshing. I always would tell him when I was stressed in my very, very stressful job, "but YOU are my career, I HATE this job." Neither one of us had that light bulb moment where we realized what exaclty this meant, that my biggest stress was not the job so much (god knows that is awful, just yesterday I ended up having to call EMS and the cops, but at least we didn't need the crash cart) but I was stressing because my job took so much out of me that I had nothing left to give him and I desperately needed to serve him.
Now I come home, we peel off our clothes (we are nudists, plus my scrubs generally tell the story of my sucky day) hug deeply and I am on my knees and none of this feels demeaning or that I am a second class citizen. It feels right and all is good in the world.
8/22/2018 7:46 PM
Oh I am the bratty sub. I feel this blog within my soul. I know exactly how she felt in this. We are beginning a fully D/s relationship now. Working our details out slowly. He introduced me to this blog and I am so glad he did
12/15/2018 12:06 PM
Excellent article. Congratulations to both of you for reaching this state. I'm reasonably sure that this scenario is common in D/s relationships. I know for us we spent 33 years in a marriage where the roles were confusing. Of course early in your married life adventure there are so many titles that your wear, financial provider, parent, etc., that you lose track of what your role is with the person you love, your spouse. Now that we have so much time together we have finally made the breakthrough realization that D/s is the key to re-invigorating our intimacy and allowing our marriage to once again flourish. We have only just begun this journey and articles like this provide amazing, real life direction on the roles of each member of the D/s relationship. My goal long term is to be a true Dom and avoid the service Dom because this is the path that will work for us, not that either is wrong or right. So thank you for posting this.
2/10/2020 9:36 AM
I'm stunned by how much of this reflects our situation, I wish I could talk to you more in depth about it, but thank you for the insights! :)