If you are just starting out your Dominant and submissive relationship, this post isn’t really for you. It will help you to understand why you ‘slip’; however, when we first start a Ds relationship, things flow well as it is all new. You have the normal struggle of trying to establish and understand your expectations of each other as your fledgling dynamic begins to develop. You have bumps along the way that cause you to have to step back and re-evaluate your roles, rituals, rules and responsibilities to each other to keep the cycle of feeding each other going.
However, after a few months, the pull of interacting with the vanilla world edges its way in and you find yourself taking on your prior habits of interaction. I refer to this as “Leaning Out”. Logically you know what your role is and the associated rituals, rules and responsibilities that go along with it. But in the moment your subconscious steps in and your old “vanilla” reactions to your partner emerge.
For me, my vanilla is to walk out of the room. As if my absence will teach Renn a lesson or she will suddenly have this sense of guilt and come running after me. My other vanilla is getting stern and direct. I will drill you into the ground with every detail of what you did wrong and there is no escape. I will manipulate your words and actions around you like a cage closing in. My children hated being in trouble as I would calmly and rationally layout every aspect of where they crossed the line in high definition detail leaving them no room to escape.
This is me “Leaning Out” of my role as Renn’s Dominant. She isn’t a child to be scolded, belittled or ignored. She is my submissive. She is supposed to be my valued treasure for which I provide, protect, guide and nurture. When I lean out and let my vanilla step in, I am harming our Ds dynamic because Renn will lose trust in my being a Dominant to which she wants to submit.
Vanilla then becomes a spiraling cycle. As Renn’s subconscious starts to step in, recognizing I have “gone vanilla”, she also will lean out and go vanilla. For her, the vanilla is flight AND fight. Her flight is silence. She will clam up and not deal with the situation that caused me to go vanilla in the first place. This is a behavior she learned over 23 years of vanilla marriage and she plays it very well. It just infuriates me. Her fight is just that, the rage in her snaps to attention and even though I am 99% right (the vanilla makes me a little wrong) she will stand her ground, silently. Oh, you can see the blaze in her eyes and she is going to exact a price for my vanilla.
It isn’t always my vanilla that starts the cycle, sometimes it is Renn’s as she resists submission (which is another post). As I correct her, she responds with a vanilla response, leaning out, going silent and being defiant. We each have our vanilla responses that we learned while our relationship developed before we took on our Ds relationship. And to be honest, I think that our vanilla is still evolving and trying to find the new paths to protect us in conflict situations.
So, what is the answer to going vanilla? First, recognize it and own it. You can say that you aren’t going to go there, but you will. You will revert to your bad habits that you developed in your past. It may not directly be confrontational elements. It may be that you go back to yelling, slamming doors, throwing dishes, drinking, smoking, staying out late, etc. That isn’t being a good Dominant or submissive that someone wants to trust. So, recognize your vanilla reactions and commit not to do them.
Second, LEAN IN! This honestly is the best way to keep you Ds alive. Actively choose to lean into your Ds role and choose not to have the vanilla response. Even if you are already half way down the vanilla path. Recognize it. Own It. And choose to change it. I will catch myself and say out loud, “I am not going to act like this as your Dominant. I am going to be calm and deal with this situation appropriately.” This will not only help you develop and retrain your own subconscious, it will cause your partner to lean in as well. Saying it out load helps them to also see the vanilla and choose a different path.
What should you do if your partner goes vanilla? Recognize it and instead of you also going vanilla, LEAN IN! Don’t just follow them down the vanilla primrose path. If you are a Dominant, go COMPLETLEY calm. Trust in your Dominance and in a calm and confident voice correct your submissive by telling them that they are going vanilla. Ask them if they need time to recompose themselves and get in a submissive mindset. Don’t start straight into telling them how they displeased you or didn’t submit correctly. For there to be effective correction they must be in a submissive mindset and if they are going vanilla they aren’t there. For Renn, I send her to the stair to kneel. Sometimes it takes many minutes for her to calm down. Heck, me sending her to the stair usually just throws gas on her vanilla fight response. But there isn’t any point in having a ‘good ole vanilla fight’. That is why we started our Ds in the first place. Give her the opportunity to come back to her submission.
If you are submissive and your Dominant starts to go vanilla; hit your knees and go COMPLETELY submissive. Even if you don’t think you are in the wrong, your objective is to get your Dominant to recognize that they are going vanilla. You want them to calm down, become rational and reenter their calm leadership role. One submissive I know hits her knees and asks for a cock in her mouth. Nothing will diffuse a raging vanilla focused Dominant like a submissive asking for a cock in her mouth. That’s leaning in. Pulling the other person back to Ds relationship and having a more rational conversation about the situation to avoid self-directed conflict.
So, here’s your homework. Ask you partner what your vanilla looks like. Believe me, they know. They can describe it in graphic detail. They have seen it and don’t like it either. Catch each other in the vanilla by leaning in instead of leaning out. Be committed to your Ds role even when the other person stumbles in their role. It is a much better response than having the vanilla cycle deteriorate your trust through conflict.
As my Sir can attest, I have a lot of room for growth in submission. I am not always completely on board and often fall off the wagon. There are days I wonder if submission is really for me, then other days I feel it wholly and completely as a part of me. Much of that has to do with the attitude and actions of my Sir. When we get up and our morning is calm, when he is soft and not harsh, when he is truly taking time to focus on me and our relationship, I feel loved, I feel trust and respect for him. The days we do not have calm and things are on the ragged edge and crazy from the start between us, I do revert to ‘vanilla’.
I agree with my Sir regarding this topic. We are better together when we ‘Lean In’, as he puts it. When either of us starts to ‘Lean Out’, things go downhill, sometimes fast and other times it creeps in. Our D/s dynamic can be a difficult one in that we are together in both work and home lives. We work in our businesses together and in the same office space most of the time. We are together much of the time and are 24/7 D/s. We have work protocol where I am allowed and expected to offer my advice and use my judgement regarding clients and business affairs as an executive. This sometimes is difficult when I have been out interacting with clients and in business environments as an independent in-charge woman and then I must come back to the ‘submissive’ realm. The transition is difficult and I often fight for control. If my Sir is not in the right mindset to pull me back in, we both ‘Lean Out’ and end up communicating poorly, trying to side-step the issues instead of talking and working through the issue. We see this and are working to better meet the challenge of D/s in both business and personal life transitions from the ‘vanilla’ environments to our own.
My Sir is very astute to recognize the triggers and behaviors he exhibits that are contributory to the overall health and wellbeing of our D/s. He is the leader and when he acts like the leader and treats me with respect, love, and gentleness that we have established as needed in our D/s, I am also pulled into the flow. He is a natural leader and I am a natural servant. I love feeling value from doing a job well. When he feeds this need in me, I feel on top of the world. When he is so busy that I feel unnoticed and ignored, we fall apart.
It is also my duty and desire to please him. When I see he is not filling his leadership role, I need to get better at pulling him back in, going to his knee or saying certain phrases of respect we have codified between us that are helpful. We all have difficult days and he has several jobs right now in our businesses, so he is constantly pulled in many directions. It is very important that I work to be respectful and feed his needs. He needs me to ‘Lean In’ and do the things he asks so his life is easier and less stressful. He needs my attention and support. There are days I do well, and days I struggle with this and all the other things out there in our world that need to be done in my many roles. I am working on keeping my focus on him and asking for what I need, communicating what is out there and respecting his decisions on what is important in a given day. Which is not always easy for me because I am a details person…but I am working on it.
I also agree that the days I am the most submissive, it usually feeds my Sir enough that he can see me and do what is needed for our relationship. I am not a big fan of the word ‘vanilla’. I think it is taken negatively when it is just the outside, everyday world, oblivious to the flow of a D/s dynamic; a world in which we must work, live and interact. This outside environment presents challenges that can break us down or build us up in our D/s. We must choose how to engage and how to respond both to others and to each other.
On the homework, I would concur that we need to take time to evaluate our triggers that lead us away from our partner and out of our D/s roles. We need to communicate with our partner what we need and what we see as unfavorable behaviors in their role. Together we need to have ways we pull each other back in and ‘Lean In’ to our D/s.
I love my Sir and want things to be easy between us. When it is not, it rocks my world and I feel sick physically and mentally. We are constantly working on our communication and realizing what works and what does not for us and our dynamic. Trying to keep the ‘vanilla’ responses at bay and learn from each interaction both positive and negative is key to seeing our D/s grow.
Number of views (4917) Comments (2)
3/27/2018 3:30 PM
This is a wonderful post that holds so many elements!
This is a great post illustrating ebb and flow. Recognizing a vanilla situation is critical for the D/s dynamic to grow. When vanilla situations are able to creep into the dynamic, it can become harder and harder to keep a mindset as the vanilla can start to become more apparent in the dynamic then the D/s. I am a firm believer that in order to keep the desire and the mindset, both need to be active in building the dynamic together. Recognizing when each other is leaning out and having a ritual or protocol that works to draw the other back is essential. This will need to be something that feeds both in the dynamic as dominant and submissive to be effective.
I agree, a submissive dropping to her knees and asking for cock in her mouth definitely brings puts things back into perspective : )
This post also illustrates what a great “downtime” would look like to me. I read this post and I see a wealth of information, answers, and what each desires in the dynamic. Once recognizing that one or both are starting to lean out, proper communication is needed to truly right the ship.
Thank you for sharing such an important aspect of your dynamic and how you correct a “lean out.”
1/8/2019 12:44 PM
Thank you for an excellent read which is helping me to understand what has happened to us from time to time over the years. What I like most about this is the 'drop to the knees' concept which I will bring up to my Viking. Having one very obvious action that could stop the snowball effect that one of the "Vanilla" fights lead to would be a very useful tool. I think for me the most painful periods in our long time D/s have always been when we lose our D/s and slip back into the dreaded vanilla ways which were so destructive in the past.