Hi! My name is Nicole! I’m 28 and very new to the BDSM world and community! First I want to thank you for your education and tips for leading a healthy and safe BDSM life! Anyways like I said I’m 28 and all though I’m no virgin I’ve never even considered some of the things being a submissive. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the lifestyle of a submissive and what that entails. I should probably tell you that I grew up in the heart of New York to a full-blooded Italian family. Let’s just say my mom wore the pants in the relationship so naturally, I have an alpha dominate personality meaning my pride and my Ego keep creeping in. That’s my number one issue how do you detach from your Ego, and let my guard down? I know that I love my boyfriend and I know he loves me and I trust him 100% but there is still this voice in the back of my head saying keep your dukes up as if I’m going into a boxing match!!

Please help thanks so much,

Nicole

Dear Nicole,

Thank you so much for your question – I am honored you would turn to us to look for an answer. I bet it’s exciting times on those first steps and I remember only too well how overwhelming the first years can be. Start by giving yourself some credit for daring this amazing adventure – one thing I can promise you 🙂

What I am not quite clear about is if you feel like a submissive or if your partner would like you to be submissive. And you aren’t quite sure if you are or want to be. Assuming now that you do feel indeed submissive and are struggling somewhat with letting go of the alpha in you. (Do let me know if I am mistaken because that’s a totally different conversation then) 🙂

I hear you, Nicole.

You are, what the scene likes to call an alpha sub. A submissive who is used to calling the shots, often has other people depend on their decisions and has their shit in order. That is a good thing. Pride and Ego – in healthy dose and that’s what it sounds like to me – will protect you from becoming .a doormat. That voice in the back of your head takes care of you. Trust it, don’t try to fight it. What it’s telling you is to take things slowly, step by step.

Submission is a tremendous gift to your dominant.

That’s not esoteric BDSM blah blah blah. You are handing over control to someone else. That’s a big thing. And the more you are used to being in control, the bigger a thing it is. The more a dominant will need to take time to assure you that it’s safe to let down your guard. Bit by bit. Every time a bit more, a bit longer. So far and so long until that voice in the back of your head starts nagging you. It’s your inner alarm bell so to speak 🙂

You know, being an alpha sub myself, I found that dominants are strangely attracted to that. It seems that a strong woman is so much more sexy on her knees than one that is typically not very alpha – maybe because the difference is so much clearer. Maybe some old-brain predator instincts kick in, who knows 😉 But don’t let anybody tell you – and don’t make yourself feel – that being alpha, being proud and taking yourself seriously, is a bad thing.

I also asked Hans and Jay, both dominants for decades, what they would advise you. Here’s what they said, uncut 🙂

Jay:

I would think that keeping your Dukes up is not a bad thing, in the sense of making sure you are not drawn into something you don’t want. Other than that I’d advise Nicole to communicate with her boyfriend and discuss what she just told you with him. Submission isn’t a show of weakness, it’s a show of strength and dedication by making a choice to let someone else make the choices. She is always free to reverse that choice at any time and any moment without that being a negative thing, if anything it shows that she is indeed in control of her life, her destiny and her destiny.

Hans:

Agree, there is a lot of ego in slave-pride, nothing wrong with a bit of ego… Actually, that is what you give as a gift to your Dom(me) when you submit. And to your Dom(me) I would suggest: play a bit with helplessness… blindfold her, tie her up so she cannot do anything anymore, so there will be no responsibility left apart from being used as you (and she) want.

So there 🙂

Some concrete tips that help me to switch off the alpha:

Dedicate zoning-in time: Being all alpha is a totally different mindset than when I am submissive. I still, after many years, need dedicated time to drop into my sub mindset.

That can take different forms:

Meditation:

Going to my happy spot, just breathing for a few minutes, emptying my mind and leaving the hectic day and the need to be in charge behind me. In the beginning, I visualized literally walking through a maze and leaving one responsibility after another behind until I came out ‘naked’.

Affirmation:

Repeating mantras in my head that help me feel safe. What that is, depends on the concrete challenges you have. For me, it’s things like ‘Master loves me and takes care of me’, ‘I am safe with Master’, ‘Master knows what’s best’ and so on 🙂

Poses:

Kneeling helps me to support meditation and affirmations. It’s the prime submissive pose and after a while (read: years ha) is an instant switch into submission for me.

Clothing:

Going through the motion of undressing and putting on my ‘slave dress’ that Master chose – or being naked and having Master put my collar on me, affirms my submission in the way I look. Feeling the collar around my neck and wearing the clothes my dominant chose for me, again is an excellent support for the mind to let go.

Small Rituals:

Obviously all the above are rituals already. But the one thing that helps me like nothing else is going through it with my dominant. An example could be that my dominant sits in a chair and I kneel next to him. I tremendously enjoy just having my head on his lap and him playing with my hair. It helps me feel safe. Sometimes we talk a little.

Honorifics:

Using honorifics and higher protocol in conversation gets me on my sub toes quickly. Often, he will then ask me “What are you, girl?” – “I am a slave, Sir” – “Whose slave are you?” – “Your slave, Master” – “good girl…” – it’s often the opening of a scene and a lovely way to make roles clear.

During play, get help letting go:

Depending on what type you are, you might need a little extra help in ‘not being in charge’ or a little bit more reassurance on what is going to happen. Both are perfectly fine and normal.

Reassurance:

Talk to your partner before play – as equals – about what will happen in the scene you are going to explore. What toys, techniques and timing you are comfortable with. Don’t feel the need to agree to the world. Just start agreeing to flogging for 10 minutes and spanking for 5. You have the rest of your life to up the anti 🙂

Control checkpoints:

I strongly recommend you two start looking into different levels of safe words. Agree with your partner that he regularly checks in with you on how you are doing. A green means – knock yourself out. Yellow, followed by a small addition, indicates that you are approaching your limits and then hopefully you don’t need to call out red, which stops all play immediately. And safe words are not just for physical limits, but also mental ones – if your inner alarm bell goes off, it can be time to call Yellow.

Not being in charge:

The fewer options I have to control, the more deeply I go into submission. Bondage, as simple as having my wrists tied together or shackles hooked to the bed, renders my body motionless. Blindfolds, like Hans recommends above, are a great way to put my mind at rest. Start slowly, for short amounts of time, and test the water if this also helps you.

Aftercare – going back alpha:

This might be a bit counter-intuitive,  I also had trouble in the beginning, to switch back from my sub headspace into ‘normal’ alpha lady mode. That can leave you very vulnerable and make for unwelcome surprises. For me personally, it was important that there is a clear end to a scene and that equality is re-established after playing a scene. Over time, this comes more naturally as you get used to the back and forth. Ask your dominant, just like with zoning in – to help you zone out as well.

I hope this made some sense and I DO hope I understood your question in the right way. I would love to hear from you!

All the best
Sonja

Read more articles by Sonja here.

Sonja is a co-founder of boldpleasures. She's on a mission to free people to revel in their true sensuality by removing the stigma surrounding kink. Sonja writes about first steps, ditching the shame and how to combine kink and 'normal' family life. She's a mother of two and happily married.

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