As long as I’ve been on my kink journey, I have remained steadfast in one notion: I want to be catered to. I want to be put first and my happiness right next to it.
I often dreamed of having an equally OCD submissive who could clean my home from top to bottom, maid’s uniform, or panties at the very least, being shown just how I like towels folded and knows the toilet paper needs to absolutely come from the top haha. I dreamed of a submissive who might be as handy as I was around the house, if not more within his own niche market. I often day-dreamed of having on demand service whenever I wanted, however I wanted. This could include a number of things from the very mundane (get my mail each day) to the very kinky (stay mummified and naked in the corner while I admire you). I can fully admit this came from years of “dreaming” of the perfect submissive for me, who would make my life easier in all ways possible. The reality is many of my partners over the years have always needed an emotional/mental/financial leg up, shoulder to lean on or extended support, provided by me. I have spent years interacting with, being courted by, and even sustaining various D/s dynamics with submissives – all of whom I felt I was quite selective about. Yet, I found myself in a position of making their lives easier and not the other way around.
As I’ve said before, I do suffer from RBF but inside I am a soft soul and still try to be thoughtful in my actions. Once you tell me your favorite meal, I will most certainly attempt to learn and perfect it. I even go steps further and will help pick out your attire, remind you to get haircuts, push extra veggies on your plate and talk with you about your hopes and fears, hoping to soothe you if I can. Looking back, I must bear some of the responsibility.
I want to be your Mistress not your Mom
Sometimes I play the role of ‘Mommy’ a bit too well it seems. Unfortunately many people find themselves in the same situation. Many of my relationships have fallen into the unhealthy behaviors of a parent/child dynamic (not the sexy kind). Which is exactly as it sounds, one adult in the relationship assumes the parent role while the other assumes the child role. This usually is done without malicious intent or awareness from either party until it’s too late.
Many of my previous partners never got up on time, had horrible taste in clothes, forgot appointments or to take their medicine, frequently lost their car keys, or never picked up after themselves — all which annoyed the heck out of me and still do! So, naturally I wrongfully stepped into the parent role.
The “parent” partner typically nags, prods, attempts to control, dictate, scold, and handle most of the overall decision making. Depending on the roles involved, in my experience this can make the submissive men I am with feel emasculated and in turn lead to hurt feelings. Not the effect I am going for as a “Mistress”. Putting yourself in a parental role and putting your partner in a child role is demeaning and actually counterproductive. Your partner will eventually resent you for taking on this controlling (non-BDSM) role, and it will almost certainly severely damage your relationship. Some of these behaviors are more obvious or egregious than others, but they all show a lack of respect for your partner as an adult and your equality in the relationship (even power exchange ones).
It doesn’t make any difference if your partner never gets up on time, has horrible taste in clothes, forgets appointments or to take their medicine, frequently loses the car keys, or never picks up after themselves. If you parent your partner, you are actually showing them a lack of acceptance and a lack of respect.
Being a Femdom can sometimes feel like “mothering” a submissive but I didn’t realize how much I was blurring lines between being caring and caring for someone by doing the following:
- I pick out clothes for my submissives
- I take on a authoritative tone when speaking most times to my subs
- I have put food on my partner’s plate, cut it up (sometimes not for embarrassment purposes) or pestered them to eat all the vegetables on their plate
- I always pack my and my submissive’s luggage when traveling
- I have styled my partner’s hair
- I am always the official reminder person in for medicines, chores, and important dates/time (and often the one to make them!)
- I am corrective and at times overprotective of my submissives
- I am often picking up after my submissive and keep track of their belongings like eyeglasses, car keys, or wallet (as they often get lost)
Why do I do all of this?
Because if I don’t, who will? (Sound familiar doms?)
This isn’t an excuse for a lopsided partnership it’s just how I personally feel when I stop and think about the reason for my actions. I make excuses and come up with worst-case scenarios when I don’t oversee the execution of something. It creates anxiety within me because I’m certain “it won’t be done right,” even if that isn’t the case.
What about the other half of the relationship, how do you identify those markers? Less stress can be an illusion if someone else is overburdened. Are you the child in your relationship, do you…?
- Hide things from your partner
- Focus more on having fun than reaching long-term goal
- Realistically do not carry your share of the workload/responsibility around the house or in general
- Constantly attempt to turn hobbies into careers
- Spend money without thinking about the future
- Think “things will get done/work out eventually”
- Escape consequences of your sometimes detrimental actions due to your partner’s help
These are signs you may be entangled in a parent/child relationship dynamic and not in the sexy Mommy/Daddy-little way.
This can turn into a battleground in your relationship, where there is no winner if you don’t seek counseling as a couple or address the issues head on. As the dominant, I didn’t realize that I was perpetuating and continuing to stay in these dynamics because it can be subconsciously appealing and seems to fit the D/s roles: the submissive-child gets to do what they want, and the dominant-parent gets to stay in control of everything.
Monkey see, monkey do
This scenario is often found in couples who saw a similar pattern at home, although the specific behaviors may be different. Someone escaping into hours of video games each day and avoiding responsibilities may have seen a parent retreat at home in their office to do the same. The other might do “everything“ within the the home and in general, may have seen a parent who enabled another parent who did less than even their share.
And it goes without saying this will snuff out any spark you may have had in the bedroom or dungeon. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be with a grown adult who can’t take care of themself. If I have to wash all the clothes, cook all the meals, and do everything for our home, I might as well take care of my own sexual needs too! The thought of living with this overarching dynamic is a huge turn-off, and I can’t imagine being attracted to someone long term if I have to act as a parent toward them.
The way out of this predicament involves change from both parties (as I’m learning). The long standing “parent” generally has to find fulfillment in something outside of overseeing all that a submissive does, let go of perfectionism, and a need to control at all times. The ‘parent’ role can offer a sense of meaning and purpose to. Or if you’re like me, I often find myself the ‘rescuer’ or caretakers of partners. I imagine this comes from the parenting style I was raised within.
The “child” partner may suffer from emotional immaturity. Such partners tend to ignore their weaknesses and let the other rule over them. Emotional expression and sensitivity that one feels in a relationship are often left underdeveloped. To shift gears, the “child” partner must step up to the plate and do more than they believe they are capable of, pushing themselves into a new mindset of “I can, I must.” If they are submissive, this is where passive service can really help show the other partner that you are truly trying.
Homework for you both
Sit and talk together about the division of chores or responsibilities. Create a calendar and reminders. Let the child partner make mistakes and face real-life consequences of being forgetful or making a wrong decision. Unfortunately many of us learn through real life trial and error.
Outside of a scene there are few who really do enjoy being treated like a child or submissive 24/7 and in the same way, very few want to (or should) dominate 24/7.
Every dynamic is different but you should always focus on helping each other be the best versions of ourselves we can be. Give them advice from time to time, and be ready to receive it. But just because someone is the “dom” and the other is the “sub” does not mean micromanaging and “parenting” is needed. It also means it’s not all one partner’s job to handle all real life/grown up issues. Acknowledge each other’s part in this situation and consider changing your approach or reaction. Be as direct as possible and avoid passive aggressiveness. This cuts out all the BS of vagueness. Try and talk it out or even turn it into a funishment (I once replaced an submissive’s oreo cookies with toothpaste because he always left it out and in the sink), this helped curb the occurrences.
Lastly, I know it seems difficult if you are in the midst of this but you’re a team. Work together to solve this, figure out, and work toward your ideal partnership. Be respectful to each other no matter which role you have been playing. Vow to do better so that you both feel fulfilled in what you’re creating together. Personal autonomy still matters in all levels and varieties of relationships from dating to marriage to play partners or full time D/s.
Wouldn’t you agree that everyone deserves an equal partner in love?