Last week we talked about a difficult situation for a submissive. Having a Dom who isn’t around enough because of life events that can’t be controlled. If you haven’t read it yet you might want to check that out first: What Do You Do When Your Dom Isn’t Around Enough–Part 1
We’re going into this assuming that everyone still wants the relationship and the issues are coming from lack of time or energy because of outside circumstances. For many submissives (and some Doms) past baggage and a general sense of insecurity can make it hard to tell sometimes if no time or energy is just an excuse for someone who really want to leave. Being told “No, of course I still want you. I love you.” Isn’t always enough
My advice on this…reassure your partner before they ask. Bring it up as early as you notice the problem. “Hey, I know we haven’t had much time lately, and I just wanted to let you know that I can’t wait until things are better. I’m really missing that time with you.” If your partner gets to the point of feeling like they have to ask if they are still wanted then their self-esteem has already tanked and their fears and suspicions are ramping up to look for every sign that you’re not being honest.
Be proactive, speak up, and do it as often as you think necessary. It won’t hurt to tell them “I love you” a little more often either. This goes for both Tops and bottoms. Tops need reassurance about relationship stuff just as often and it’s not always the Top who doesn’t have the time or energy either.
But now let’s talk about quick things you can do to reinforce the relationship bond. All of these are fast and should only take a few minutes, and this is for both Doms and subs, but I’m going to address this part more to the ones in charge.
In the end, subs can bring their needs to you, they can hint, they can push, but there’s only so much they can do without going beyond topping from the bottom and straight into running everything. The Dom will always need to be the more proactive partner in some ways. And this is no different.
A submissive, as much as they want something, is often penalized emotionally when they have to be the one to suggest it. The act of asking for a thing can make it mean less in a D/s dynamic. It’s why a lot of subs will resort to bratting, because then they are pushing to show you what they need, but without actually having to say “I’d really like it if you spank me right now.” By having to ask they’ve lost some of the excitement of being controlled.
It doesn’t matter if you believe that subs are really the ones who control a relationship or not; the truth is that no sub wants to feel like they are the one in charge. They don’t want to get things only when they ask for them because that’s not why they submit. They need their partner to take control and demand things sometimes.
When the submissive isn’t getting that sub time, often all it takes is a quick gesture to remind them of who they are, but it’s very easy to feel like there’s no point in trying anything since you only have a little bit of time. Don’t make that mistake. Any time is better than no time.
Any effort will mean something. If your sub is struggling to feel submissive and you can tell by the attitude and the way they are letting things go then you want to use those spare moments.
You just need to make them count, which can mean putting in a little more intensity. And remember, if your sub hasn’t been able to feel submissive in a while there could be a bit of a power struggle happening as you start to pick up the reins again. Make your point with a little more emphasis if you don’t have time to coax and warn.
Submissives tend to argue exactly as much as they are allowed to argue, and as the Dom you should know how to cut them off when it’s enough. But…remember that there are a lot of high emotions here and that people can’t always control feeling resentful at suddenly being tugged back by the leash again when it’s been awhile. There might be a real emotional issue that supersedes their ability to obey and that’s going to clash with your short time available.
You have options in that situation and I’m going to list a few:
- If you use safewords you can interrupt their arguing and ask if they are safewording, and if not… “Then do as you’re told.” The question puts it into perspective. Either it’s a limit or it’s not.
- You can inform them of how much time you have and then tell them they can either waste it all arguing or they can comply so you can enjoy a little bit of time together.
- You can also start off with less taxing things and slowly work back up to more control. That will take more consistent effort on your part, and it might be longer before you show results, meaning you will probably continue with a sad sub who is prone to misbehavior for a while.
It’s up to you to decide which your sub will handle better. For me, I tend to react well to quick and harsh. The kind of thing that takes my breath away because one second ago I was in the middle of a tantrum and suddenly I know I’m in deep trouble.
I love being able to argue with my Doms, because I haven’t always had that freedom, but I also want them to know when to cut me off. Sometimes it takes a little harshness to stop me in my tracks once I get up momentum.
For instance, “Stop talking. Go to the corner and I don’t want to hear another word until you’ve been in there for ten minutes.” I will probably go to the corner. I may not be obedient in the corner, but I’ll probably go. And then I will slowly start to feel guilty, pouty, and by the time the ten minutes are up I will usually be following the rules.
When I return my attitude is at least somewhat better so I can listen. But that’s me. Other subs might need different methods and I’ll try to provide ideas that will work for a variety of people.
So here are some short, efficient ways to nourish your D/s bond. Use them or come up with your own, but the important thing is that you’re doing something. Apathy kills relationships.
Daily check in!
Are rules being followed? Are there any concerns?
This should not be a casual “Hey, how are you going? Good. Okay, great. Night.” conversation. If your D/s time is very limited, then you need to make the most of what you have. Make it a ritual with D/s aspects and emphasize that this is part of the relationship.
“Come kneel at my feet and tell me how you’ve been behaving. I want to hear everything, including the things you don’t want to mention.”
If the sub has a collar or the equivalent have them put it on for the daily check in, that will reinforce the connection between the rules and their submission. Submissives need to feel like the rules matter or else there’s no point in following them and a casual “Have you been good?” isn’t going to cut it.
Work at setting aside a specific time just for you to be together. Even if it’s only twenty minutes a day. If you have to schedule it, do that. During that time don’t multi-task. Don’t get distracted by other things.
FOCUS on each other because that’s what you both need to keep the relationship healthy. Subs especially need to know they matter, not just when they are in trouble or ‘being a problem’ but enough that you will make time just to be with them—even if it’s not much. It may not be enough to actually do anything together, but any concentrated time will help emotionally.
Small, quick things!
Find small things that can be done quickly to reinforce the bond and use them out of the blue. A sub shouldn’t need to be acting up for the Dom to put her on her knees, or tell her to get her collar, or any number of D/s things between you that you know will put the sub in the right headspace.
Unexpected gestures tend to have more effect than when the sub is pushing and you’re reacting.
- “Go get your collar.”
- “I want you kneeling at my feet in five minutes.”
- “I want an essay from you on –insert topic here—by this evening.” Use this task to find out things about your sub. What things put them in headspace fastest? What scenes do they fantasize about? What would they like to spend time doing when there is a window of opportunity?
How do they feel about their submission right now? Do they feel like they are putting their best effort into being submissive? What needs do they feel are being neglected?
Anything that will be useful to both of you is a good topic. And while the sub is writing they aren’t technically with you, but they are doing something for you, and that does help.
If your D/s is romantic, then push them up against the wall for a deep kiss. Grab their hair and tug their head back; whisper some evil threats in their ear.
Establish that you are still Dominant and still present in their life even if you don’t have as much time. Like most things this can be adapted for distance relationships. A hot text saying you want to do this is enough to put a smile on a sub’s face and maybe cause a tummy flip.
If your D/s is sexual then your sub may also be dealing with physical needs that are being neglected as well as emotional. This is especially true if they have rules about not touching themselves. I wouldn’t suggest changing that rule to allow them to masturbate just because you feel guilty that you haven’t had time.
It will only reinforce any feelings that you’re tired of them or don’t care what they do anymore. Instead, assign them sexual tasks that allow them to relieve those needs but in a context that it’s to please you.
Perhaps you can have them masturbate, but call you when they are about to climax and record the sounds of it in your voicemail so you can listen later. Or have them edge all day… bringing them just to the point of orgasm and then stopping—but then finally do allow them to come that night.
If your sub doesn’t have issues with it, this is a huge trust thing, maybe they could take naughty pictures for you while they play with themselves. (I advise keeping recognizable features out of them just in case.)
Give your sub a specific job or task that must be completed each day. It shouldn’t be time consuming, but it should be D/s specific. And then you must check in on it often. Don’t just give them this task and assume they’ll keep doing it on autopilot.
Subs aren’t machines. They will skip it to see if you notice and when you don’t, they won’t bother anymore, and it will be just another thing that didn’t help. Follow up is essential.
Punishments don’t need to be time consuming and they also don’t need to be for serious offenses. Maintenance is a thing. When your sub is struggling because they aren’t getting enough time there is going to be attitude creeping in and a general lack of feeling submissive. Punishment can be a quick fix to smack (heh) them back into place.
While it would be fantastic to have hours to play with your partner, that can’t always happen. Find ways to make the punishment short and sharp, and hopefully creative enough to take them by surprise.
If you live together then grabbing them for a quick fast flurry of spanks can settle them, but don’t think you can’t do the same thing from a distance. I’m sure you saw the Long-Distance Punishment article that covered these things, but here’s an example of how you’d do it long-distance: Long-Distance Punishment Story.
“I want you on Skype. Now.” Don’t tell them what’s going on because that’s going to add to it. Have them anxiously wondering what’s happening and then when you get on there, “I’m going to give you orders and you’re going to follow them. I don’t want any arguing, nothing but ‘Yes Sir’ should come out of your mouth. Get your paddle, bend your ass over and do fifty swats to each check – NOW.” That can all be accomplished in about ten minutes, and then follow it up with a stern lecture on whatever the problem is, maybe leave them with a task to work on while their butt still stings.
Giving them a task fills a kind of after-care for the moment because the punishment isn’t over yet. Later you revisit, to check the assignment and give some snuggles and love. The whole thing can be done in two-sessions of less than twenty minutes each if necessary. Honestly you could even do it faster, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. You don’t want the sub to feel like you’re sandwiching beating her ass in between more important things.
Throughout the day there’s nothing that lets a submissive know you’re thinking of her more than random msgs. Love, hugs, thoughts, small orders/assignments. Takes a minute or so and helps lift the mood.
Good morning/Good night !
Even if you don’t get much time it can still be meaningful to start the day and end the day together. Take a few minutes to greet each other in the morning, make it a rule that whoever is up first says good morning. The end of the day is a good time for cuddles, some small discussion, and then bedtime snuggles.
You may be struggling for time, but at least your sub goes to bed thinking of you and how much they are loved. Waking up means looking forward to that first contact. It might not seem like much, but it really can be a wonderful habit to get into.
Give your sub a fun task. Something that will keep them amused, and feeling connected to you, but doesn’t feel like work the way writing assignments can. How about a scavenger hunt to fill their time and ease the boredom of quarantine? Give them a list of things to find/make/gather in the house or yard.
Have them take pictures of each thing and send it throughout the day as they work their way down the list. They can be fast things or complicated things depending on how much time the sub has.
There is no reason you can’t participate in a scavenger hunt either. The sub can give you a list of things in just the same way and taking a photo of an item takes very little time as you go through your day and then you are doing it together, even though you’re apart.
Have the sub do a creative project for you. Maybe write a story about the two of you together having the perfect scene. Or draw a picture of it if they are artistically inclined. Be creative and put your own spin on things.
Some subs, those who are service-minded, enjoy helping their Doms. Is there some work you can have them do for you? Completing a task, that isn’t just to fill the time but actually something that will help the Dom, can be very emotionally fulfilling for a service sub.
Is there something you’ve been meaning to research but don’t have the time? Is there an appointment you need to make but have been busy? Let the sub play secretary and schedule it for you. Small things like that are good for the sub, and might even help your time and stress issues.
Those should be enough suggestions to get you started. Please join me next week for the final piece. I will be starting with ideas for Caregiver/Little relationships since I didn’t get to cover that in here and then I’ll wrap up this topic with some final thoughts.
In the meantime I’d just like to remind you that we are all going through a really intense time right now. Please be careful with the people you love. Ease into difficult conversations like this and work hard on shutting down instinctive defense mechanisms so you can listen.
Even if this is an issue that’s been going on since before the shut-down something of this nature is going to add to the stress. I’m not suggesting you hold off on discussing it. On the contrary, since we have no idea how long this will continue you shouldn’t wait. I’m just saying to be careful how you approach it. Words snarled in anger can’t be taken back.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home!