Mistakes men make

One of the reasons I love this blog (other than the fact that it feeds my shameless narcissism, of course) is that it gives me the opportunity to connect with many different people, from all over the globe, from all different walks of life.

Being the innate people-helper, anthropologist, and amateur psychologist that I am, I also love hearing other people’s journeys.  I enjoy those deep, probing conversations.  And the awesome thing about the conversations taking place through email is that there’s a degree of anonymity that you can’t get anywhere else.  People often feel more comfortable sharing these incredibly personal stories, because I don’t know, and will likely never know, who they are.

And often, I get emails from people who need help, and have sometimes been able to provide advice.  Whether it’s how to leave an abusive relationship masquerading as a D/s one, how to approach a Dominant, or how to come to terms with a sexuality that doesn’t necessarily mirror one’s personality outside the strictures of the D/s relationship, I’ve been flattered and honored when I’ve been able to provide some kind of help in the form of suggestions, advice, or emotional support.

One of the most common questions I get asked by submissive men is how to approach a vanilla wife/girlfriend/partner/whatever with their desires, and how to turn a vanilla woman into a Dominant one.

My feelings on this are mixed.  As you all know, I’ve always been Dominant.  There was no becoming Dominant for me.  I “became” a Dominant when I realized that BDSM exists, and that there are entire global communities devoted to people like me, and the ones who want to be with people like me.

I know there are plenty of people who become Dominants.  I’ve known people who have always been the dominant partner in their relationships, in a vanilla sense (for the record, because I was asked this, I capitalize the D in Dominant to differentiate between a specific role within BDSM and vanilla dominance.  There is a difference.  You can be dominant, and Dominant.  You can be dominant, and submissive.  They may overlap, but they are not the same thing).  For those people, who have always sort of taken the lead, becoming a Dominant may be a somewhat smooth transition.

The point is, I’m sure that someone can become Dominant, provided the seeds already exist in that person.  You can’t create something from nothing.  But I’ve spoken to enough women who started out as vanilla and became the Dominant partner in a female-led relationship to know that it’s possible, and that those women can and do become extremely effective Dominants.

But there is a mistake that 99.999999% of submissive men in vanilla relationships make when approaching their partners, and it’s time to address this.  

Because you guys are seriously fucking up and shooting yourselves in the foot, and you need to stop it.

So you’re submissive, you want to live in a female-led relationship (to whatever degree), and you want your wife to take control of you.  It’s something that you’ve yearned for, sometimes for years, but never said anything about.  You’ve kept quiet, you’ve kept that secret hidden, but you can’t stop it from burning you up.

But your wife is vanilla.  Maybe she has a dominant personality, maybe she’s happier letting you take the lead.  Maybe she’s passive in bed.  Maybe she’s traditional and conservative in the way she views relationships.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  There are a million reasons in your head why you don’t think she’d be into it.

Finally, you decide to talk to her about it.  And that is an emotional roller coaster, in and of itself.  You have no idea how she’ll react to learning about this side of you, that you’ve kept hidden from her.  You have no idea how she’ll react to the things you want done to you.

Sometimes, that conversation doesn’t go well.  Sometimes, she has no interest in it, and likely never will.

But sometimes, she’s intrigued.  Interested.  Curious.

I think it’s important for me to illustrate what I’ve seen happen in a woman’s mind during this process.  I’m not claiming this happens to all women, or that it’s happening to your wife, this is just from personal experience and conversations I’ve had.

Sometimes, she’s willing to give it a try.

Unsure, nervous, and hesitant, sure.  It’s a pretty significant thing, a pretty significant change in the way you relate to each other.  I’ve noticed in my experience that the women who react this way tend to be compassionate, caring, loving, and affectionate.  Those are amazing traits, and I think all Dominants need them, but for a vanilla woman, making the switch to hurting you instead of holding you can be tough.

This is something I’ve had trouble relating to.  For me, loving and caring about someone makes me want to hurt him.  Beating on a stranger does nothing for me.  Humiliating a stranger does nothing for me.  It’s because I care about them that I like to hurt them.

Many women (perhaps most) don’t feel this way.  Loving you makes her averse to hurting you.  And it starts a massive whirlwind of conflicting emotions in her.

First, she’s genuinely curious about this lifestyle.  She’s intrigued by the idea of owning you and leading you, and she may also be intrigued by the idea of hurting you.  Many vanilla women aren’t necessarily sadistic, but the idea of having that kind of power over her man, having the power to hurt him, can be appealing.

But it goes against everything she thought a loving partner was supposed to be. Guilt can become a significant obstacle.  She’ll feel guilty because she’s had 20 orgasms, while you’re denied and kept frustrated.  She’ll feel guilty because you’ll react to the pain she causes you, and seeing your face, seeing that you’re genuinely suffering, because of her, may completely turn her off to the moment.  Hurting someone she loves does not come naturally to most compassionate, caring women.

It’s also fucking overwhelming.  Especially if she decides to do some of her own research.  She may look at those videos with the screeching, angry Dommes brutally terrorizing their boy and think she could never do that.  She may read article after article, blog post after blog post, talking about rules, discipline, sessions, safewords, expectations, and punishments, and feel like it’s all too much.  She’ll feel unsure of herself, and her confidence may take a pretty nasty hit.

But she’s a strong woman, she knows you want this, and there are parts of it that really do appeal to her, so she deals with the insecurity, knowing that it will fade and her confidence will grow, and moves forward, adopting a trait or two of what she thinks a Dominant woman should have.

And this is where it seems like 100% of you fuck up.  And there are a couple of reasons why your next actions are so horribly misguided and wrong.

First of all, I know you were nervous as hell when you broached the subject with her, nervous as hell when you waited for her to think about it, come to terms with it, and decide to try it.  This is something you’ve desperately wanted for so long.  And when she finally does agree to try it, you just go nuts.  You want everything, and you want it right now.  You want to be brutally beaten, degraded, dehumanized, humiliated, emasculated.  You want the fantasy.

It’s understandable.  It really is.  I totally get it.

But you get too eager, you want to move too fast, while she’s still unsure and insecure, and still wading her way through all of this newness.  You urge her on, you encourage her to do more, to dive deeper into it, you bound ahead of her, practically dragging her behind you.

An experienced Domme knows how to yank you back, slam you back where you belong, and give you a much-needed reality check.  But she’s not an experienced Domme.  She doesn’t know how to do that.  Moreover, she may not even realize she can.

Instead, she tries to keep up with you, tries to give you what you ask for.  But it’s exhausting.  She feels constant pressure to be something she’s not, because she hasn’t had the time or the freedom to let that part of her grow.

Soon, she’s not doing this because she wants it, anymore.  She’s doing this for you.  To please you.  But she feels like her wants and needs are being ignored, she certainly doesn’t feel Dominant, and the whole thing feels disingenuous.

And your encouragement and urging begins to feel like pressure.  She feels pressured to be what you want her to be.  That pressure kills her lust, kills her desire, and kills any interest she may have had in an FLR dynamic.

So she backs off, she shuts down.  But you were so excited about the early progress, and don’t understand why it’s suddenly come to a screeching halt.  Maybe she just needs more encouragement.  Maybe she just needs more coaxing and more urging.

And in trying to help, you only make the whole thing worse, and push her even further away.

But I mentioned that there are a couple of reasons why you’re wrong, a couple of reasons why you’re making such a horrible decision.  The other reason why this is a huge mistake is that, in your eagerness and enthusiasm, you forget one very, very, very, very important thing:  She is the Domme, you are the sub.  And the female-led relationship needs to be just that: A Female-Led Relationship.

You can’t expect her to be the kind of Domme you want her to be.  She’s going to be the kind of Domme she wants to be.  You may have fantasies about chastity and orgasm denial, where she may have little interest in that, and instead be more sadistic and want more domestic service.  There are specific areas of D/s that will appeal to her, and that she will want to explore.  She’ll start to have her own fantasies.

But you’ve been dreaming about chastity and orgasm denial for years.  It’s not the domestic service that appeals to you.  You crave having access to your cock taken from you.  You crave having that part of you manhood taken from you.  You just want it so bad.

She doesn’t yet know how to put you in your place, so instead she may drop subtle hints that you don’t pick up, because you’re just too eager, you’ve bounded too far ahead, to see them.

And now she’s frustrated, on top of feeling pressured.  Not only is she supposed to change who she is at the drop of a hat and leap into this rather intense dynamic, but she has to be exactly the type of Domme you want.  She has to be your Dominant, she has to control you, she has to own you, but she has to meet all of your sexual expectations and satisfy all of your sexual desires, often with little regard to her own.

But don’t feel bad, this is a mistake that even experienced submissives make.  In fact, I have never lived with a submissive who didn’t make this mistake.

Not sure what I mean?  Alright, I’ll give you an example.  A perfect example of this is something that Kazander used to do.  Feeling horny and wanting attention, he’d pull the covers off of me when we were in bed, just before going to sleep, wanting to give me oral.  And occasionally, I’d let him.  But a lot of the time, I wouldn’t.  And he didn’t understand those times I wouldn’t.

Because it’s fucking cold.  I’m fucking tired.  I want to look at stupid, mind-numbing shit on my phone until I fall asleep.

Those are my desires.  That is what I want.  I don’t want to stay awake for another half hour (or more) when it’s already late and I’m already tired.

And who is the Dominant in the relationship?  Whose desires are important?  Whose wants and needs are to be met first?

How Kazander (and all of the submissive men who make this mistake) should handle that situation is:

1) Don’t just pull the blankets off me without a word.  My body is not yours, you do not have a right to it whenever you want, and the fact that you tried something like that already has me annoyed and turned off, on top of being tired.  Especially for an inexperienced Dominant, who may be used to her man being the aggressor, this may completely squash all budding Dominant impulses.

Kazander thought he was serving me by orally pleasing me, but he was not.  He was serving himself, and by trying it without asking, he was completely ignoring my needs and desires.

He’s horny.  He wants attention.  He wants to play.  I can’t tell you how many men make this mistake, not realizing that they’re being pretty much the opposite of submissive by doing it.

Yeah, no.  Knock that shit off.

2) Watch Femdom porn (stay with me, here).  No, Femdom porn is not the enemy.  Yes, you can actually learn from it.  Look at how the men in those videos relate to their Dominant.  Think about an appropriate way to ask for attention, and use what you see in the video as an example, if you need to.  Think of a way that will feed her Dominant impulses and turn her on, rather than annoy and irritate her, or make her feel pressured to do what you want.  Do not be aggressive, do not be assertive, be passive and compliant.  Instead of throwing the covers off of her, ask her if she’d be willing to let you worship her body.

3) Be passive and compliant.  Be prepared for her to say no to your request.  Or she may end up wanting to do something different.  You may have wanted to give her oral, but maybe she wants to pull you over her lap and spank you, instead.  Or, she may indulge your desires.

4) Accept whatever answer she gives you.  If she says no and rolls over and goes to sleep, for the love of fucking God, do not get irritated.  This is something that will completely destroy even the most experienced Domme’s lust, and will likely turn her off for days.  If she rolls over and goes to sleep, and you want any hope of getting attention the next day, kiss her shoulder, wrap your arm around her, and thank her for keeping you in check.

If she wants to do something else, don’t argue with her.  It’ll start to feel too much like work, and she’ll lose interest (you want her to enjoy Dominating you, don’t you?  So she’ll continue to do it?  Yes?).  Do what she tells you, and then thank her for keeping you in check.

And if she’s feeling generous and indulges you, thank her for it.

Many men with vanilla wives unintentionally make this mistake.  Not only do you push too hard, too fast, but you want her to be exactly what you fantasized about.  You don’t give her the freedom to find her own way, to become her own Domme.

During a time when she’s actively trying to change who she is, and dealing with that process (which is often uncomfortable), she feels like she’s expected to fit this mold that you’ve created for her.  She feels like an FLR is a joke, that it’s all about the man and his desires, way more so than a vanilla relationship is.  At least in a vanilla relationship, she feels like an equal.  In an “FLR,”


“You see the quotations I’m making with my claw hands?”

she feels like she’s being pressured into playing a role to appease you.

If you want her to grow into her Dominance, you need to step back and let her do it.  It won’t be easy, and there will be times you’ll feel ignored.  But do it.  You need to feed those urges, not try to control them.  Be eager, enthusiastic, and willing when she wants to assert her control over you.  Don’t argue when she wants to stop playing with you.

Don’t ever be the aggressor.  Use a more passive way to ask to please her, and accept whatever answer she gives you.  Thank her for her attention.  Thank her for denying you, even if her denial frustrates you.  Even when she’s not feeling very “Domme-ly,” you can work to feed those impulses, just by serving her.

New flash, boys.  A lot of the time, that service isn’t sexy.  You want her to throw you down at the end of the day and fuck you raw with a strap-on the size of your fist.  But when she had a hellish day at work, spent hours running after the kids, and cleaning up after your slovenly ass, the last thing she’s going to want to do is fuck you.

She’s going to want to go to sleep.  And you’re going to be frustrated because you don’t know why she never wants to play with you.  Jeez, she never wants to play.  She must just have a low libido.

Yeah, ditch that fucking mindset now.  You want to know why “women porn” memes look like this?


It’s because you expect her to clean your house and cook your food and raise your kids and manage your finances and basically adopt you after you outgrew your mom, and then you turn around and can’t understand why she never has energy for sex.  Those headaches she complains about?  Yeah, you gave them to her.

This is a problem many vanilla relationships have, too, but when you’re trying to help her grow into her Dominance, then grumble and groan when she asks you to do the dishes, or argue “That’s not what I meant when I said I wanted you to be my Domme,” you’re being the opposite of submissive, and you’re making her feel like you’re a sullen teenager.

Sullen teenagers don’t turn anyone on.

And when trying to assert her Dominance is such a pain in the ass, she’ll often just do the dishes herself, to get it done without having to deal with your bitching.  She doesn’t feel Dominant, she loses some of her enthusiasm for being your Dominant, and she won’t be in any kind of mood to play with you for the rest of the night.

So do what she asks you.  Do things without being asked.  Ask her what she wants.  Ask her how you can serve her.  Sometimes her answer will be fun, like, “Come here and lie across my lap so I can finger you while I watch TV.”

Sometimes her answer will be something that’s fun for her.  Like, “Give me a footrub/backrub/whatever.”*

*Do not try to grope her or make a move during a backrub.  You’re serving her needs, not yours, remember?

And sometimes, her answer will be something not fun at all, but something that will make her life easier.  Like, “fold this load of laundry.”

Whatever answer she gives you, thank her for it.  Show your enthusiasm and your eagerness by your willingness to obey her and bend to her will.  Be enthusiastic in your obedience, even when her command isn’t what you want.  Show her that it’s fun to be your Dominant, show her why she should go through the effort of changing herself to become your Dominant.

Keep your emotions in check.  You’ll be frustrated, and not in the “kinky, fun” way, but emotional outbursts will completely turn her off.

It’ll be difficult, and it’ll take an incredible amount of restraint, and you’ll have to flat-out ignore your own needs and desires for awhile.  But the good news is that you won’t have to do it for long.  If you’ve already fucked up and pushed her away, you’re going to have to do it for longer, but you won’t have to do it forever.

Once she starts taking the reins herself, you’ll be able to gradually (and I want to stress the word gradually) relax.  I’m not saying you can turn into some obnoxious, bratty sub.  But she’ll be more confident in her ability to correct you when you slip.  You won’t have to be quite so vigilant, because she’ll be able to pick up the slack.

Making her feel pressured to be what you want her to be will destroy any effort either of you make.  You’re going to fuck up, you’re going to backslide.  Everyone does, it’s human nature.  And until she feels more confident as a Domme, she probably won’t point it out.  It’s up to you to realize your mistake, and once you do, it’s up to you to acknowledge it and apologize immediately for it.

It’s got to be about her.  Her journey to Dominance has to be her journey.  Your job is to support her and make her happy, and help her feel relaxed around you.

A relaxed Dominant is a happy Dominant.  A happy Dominant is an attentive Dominant.

14 thoughts on “Mistakes men make

  1. Mic says:

    Wow, what an article! This one should be spreaded, translated and made available all over the net. For those who want to learn, those who need to learn and even those who may have a chance to understand why “it” went wrong in first place. Thank you very much for your effort!

    • Domina Jen says:

      Wow, thank you so much for the compliment! I know it’s really hard for people to see things objectively when it’s happening to them, so hopefully some constructive outside perspective helps.

  2. Hapa says:

    Great and timely advice. Thank you.
    Adding perspective from the sub side, sometimes patience and waiting looks and feels as if the whole d/s dynamic has been forgotten. The sub might worry prolonged patience is interpreted as the dynamic isn’t important or necessary. When a long period of inactivity exactly resembles life before d/s how is the sub to distinguish the difference between giving space and feeling forgotten?

    Again, fantastic advice!


    • Domina Jen says:

      That’s definitely understandable. But that’s where the active submission comes into play.

      It’s not enough to tell her it’s what you want, then sit down and wait for it to happen, absent any effort on your part. Ask how you can serve her. Make an effort to make her life easier. *Show* her how important it is to you, rather than *telling* her.

      A lot of that is the “unsexy service” I talked about. You have to show her why she should be motivated to become your Domme. Because if you just tell her, and then do nothing, she won’t really see the point.

      Go out of your way to show her what a submissive is supposed to be, and why she should want you to be her submissive. A period of inactivity usually means that she’s just not feeling very Dominant, and you need to ask yourself what you’ve done today to help that part of her grow (without pressuring her).

      Ask if you can do the dishes for her, or rub her feet, or draw her a bath, or make her tea, or whatever.

      She may be unsure of the next step, or hesitant to move forward, or she may have been feeling pressured and decided to back off, or she may just not see the point. It’s not enough to ask her to be your Domme. You have to be her submissive, too. And that’s an active role that requires effort, careful thought, and the constant desire to please and serve.

  3. Tom Allen says:

    Nicely written, and you covered a lot of material. Hopefully a lot of guys will give this some thought after reading it.

  4. This is one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever read!
    (I tried liking it more than once but all that does is turn the like on and off, stupid broken like button. #joking)

  5. Kitty says:

    This is pretty much the best piece on this topic I’ve ever read. Sometimes it annoys me when I see people asking how to convince their wives to dominate them, but if they’re going to try, I really hope they read this first.

  6. koren says:

    I hope more people will get to read it, this is really good article and it can help so many people. A lot of people don’t realize what the partner is going through and how it actually feels. I really enjoyed reading that part.

    There is not much to add to the article. I think the communication is a important and when they talk about it, the sub should mostly focus on her feelings. If he listens well, she’ll probably give him handful of hints of what he should do and learn how to help her on the path (or the grim truth).

    On a side note, it got me thinking this is actually a chicken or an egg problem. A dominant needs his submissive to be an dominant and a submissive needs his dominant to be a sub. If one part of is missing, than it is hard, yet not impossible to make it work.

    ps. English is not my native language, so there might be some mistakes here and there, which I just don’t see.

    • Domina Jen says:

      That’s very true! A Dominant needs a submissive and a submissive needs a Dominant. Both are incomplete without the other.

      And your English is very good! I understood you perfectly.

  7. […] you’ve not yet read it, in my opinion, Domina Jen’s post, “Mistakes Men Make” is required reading.  Here’s a link.  Seriously.  If you haven’t read it yet, […]

  8. Mistress Kitten says:

    Reblogged this on Kitten's Couch and commented:
    Absolutely love everything about this article and I feel it is a must read for every new submissive. Thank you for putting into words what I always believed.

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