Alpha sub…

Jen of WCDT

An “alpha sub” is the #1 or head sub in a multi s-type with one D-type in an ethical non-monogamy dynamic. That person helps train, enforce the rules and sometimes helps in a scene. To be an alpha sub, you must first be a sub (by submitting), and then be the alpha in the dynamic. You are alpha to the other subs, NOT the D-type.

Who you are in your vanilla life does not matter in the BDSM lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you are the boss, have a strong personality, or if you “wear the pants’ ‘ in your vanilla relationships. You are not an alpha sub. There is absolutely no such thing, except the definition above.

The term comes from a few places. One being TNG not understanding the strength of being a submissive. Needing to separate themselves from the actual submissive role bc they view submissives as…

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The Unneeded Hard/Soft Dom Division

Perceptions from a Daddy Dom are essays, instruction pieces, and sometimes rants. I write and even text, like I talk in real life and I’m here today speaking from the heart. I offer my opinions and insight that I have gained from fifteen years of experience and through trial and error. I offer insight from the mindset of my Dominant philosophy, which is primarily that of Daddy Dom. I use the pronouns I am comfortable with, but please swap your pronouns where you feel comfortable. The lifestyle welcomes all of you. Welcome to Wonderland.

To begin with, I am a traditionalist. I am not Old Guard and I don’t consider myself to be New Guard, though I guess I’m closer to that than the alternative. I am definitely not New Generation. I see a lot of value in what the Old Guard laid out for us and value their traditions. It is due to some of these traditions that I find so interesting, you will always catch me with a black handkerchief in my left pocket. If I am at an event, it will be in my back left pocket, proudly displayed. Even if no one else understands, it’s a small thing that makes me smile. In the old days, this would have signified to the community I was a sadist. It is a nod to the old ways.

I see it a lot and you’ll catch me commenting on these posts rarely. “I need a hard Dom.” “Only a soft Dom gets blah blah blah.” I try to avoid these most of the time, but occasionally, someone says something that really grinds the gears and I can’t just leave it alone. Using these TNG terms, I present to you that a good Dom is both hard and soft. I’ve spoken on this before, but haven’t used the terms: A good Dom knows when to use the firm hand and the soft hand. I would argue that even the term soft Dom was created by the brat crowd to emasculate their Doms, but this isn’t a rant on brats. That is a particular fire I wish to steer clear from for this writing.

Let’s explore some of these newer ideas. If you wander over to Reddit, you can find so many interesting definitions. They say that “a soft Dom praises and coddles to get what they want.” “Soft Doms are less likely to punish.” That one I find puzzling, but okay. We’ll get to that later. WiseHarsh, says that soft Doms aren’t sadists or into humiliation and refers to them as the gentlemen of the BDSM realm. One user on Reddit broke this down further:

Soft Dom:

  • asking you to obey rather than making you
  • push your boundaries but in a cumulative way
  • may be more about the play, less about the aggression or ownership
  • when playing hard check-ins are gentle but consistent
  • may be more focused on pleasure without involving pain
  • may give soft commands knowing that you can fulfill them
  • may be more encouragement based

Hard Dom:

  • they want to make you obey
  • may even enjoy making you obey
  • may give harsh commands knowing that you cannot fulfill
  • may use degradation rather than encouragement
  • might be okay with you not being in pleasure the whole time
  • pain may be a big goal for them
  • may do check-ins while staying in dom mode, might focus more on visual and behavioral cues than asking

There were some moments, guys, that I’ve really been scratching my head at the division of the hard/soft Dom split as I researched this more and there’s been more than a few times I’ve been completely dumbfounded and gritted my teeth. I stand by my original assertion that a good Dom exhibits both soft and hard tendencies. The Dominant will have their preferred approach and it will very based on what is negotiated with their submissive. Let’s break it down.

Anyone asking their sub to obey isn’t a Dominant. I do not ask my submissive to obey. I don’t want to make her obey either. She should want to obey. It is expected. Through vetting and negotiation we establish our needs, wants and desires. I gain her submission through the four pillars of BDSM: communication, honesty, trust and respect. When we fully build the pillars around us, through power exchange she is able to submit and I am able to Dominate. They’re referred to as pillars for a reason, they are built upon the foundation built through vetting. They support the dynamic. They’re pillars, they are not fences. Either person can leave if at any point in time they feel like the dynamic isn’t working. Anyone praising and coddling to gain submission isn’t Dominant either. That is plainly manipulation. Do I praise my submissive? Absolutely. A good job deserves recognition. Especially if she has a praise kink.

A good Dominant will know their submissive and how they respond best. If she needs humiliation and degradation over praise, those are the tools that will be used to reinforce the dynamic and structure. If she doesn’t respond to degradation and humiliation, then you use praise. It’s all in what is negotiated and communicated. It’s okay to have either as a limit. It’s okay for a Dominant to have them as limits too. A Dominant gains this insight through vetting, talking to their sub and clear negotiation. We’re not mind-readers, but as I’ve said a lot recently, a Dominant is able to sometimes appear to be a mind-reader because we’ve intimately bonded with our submissive and to the point that we are often able to anticipate needs. Needs that have already been negotiated and discussed.

In regards to pushing limits, this is something that has to be discussed with your submissive or Dominant. What are your hard limits? What are your soft limits? Is it okay to push soft limits? A good Dom will respect your boundaries. As one of my favorite lifestyle memes says: “My relationship with my submissive is like a coloring book: she draws the lines, decides how she wants the picture to look. Within those lines, I can do anything I want. If I want purple skies and red grass, that’s my prerogative, but I ALWAYS have to respect those lines.”

Circling back to punishment. Even as a sadist, I do not want to punish my submissive. If there is a punishment, it is because there has been an infraction to the agreed upon rules. Rules that were negotiated for and agreed to. I don’t want to have to punish because those rules protect the integrity of our dynamic, but I will punish. It’s not something to be reveled in. As a sadist, I do enjoy our scenes, but enjoying an actual punishment isn’t something that we do. It’s something that has to be done because it was again, negotiated and agreed to maintain. A good Dom is consistent and will hold his submissive to the same standards he holds himself.

Implying that a Dom doesn’t do check-ins during play is both harmful and duplicitous. While I am getting to know a new submissive, I will do regular check-ins because I don’t know her responses yet. It is the responsible and correct thing to do. Once we have gained intimate familiarity, check-ins will be less frequent because I am attentive and I know how she responds and how her body will react. You always remain mindful and listen for the safeword to be called, but unless negotiated, once familiarity is established, you don’t need to constantly check-in to see how she’s doing. Want to pull her out of subspace real fast? Keep asking how she’s doing while caning. Can you imagine that? Swish! Thwack! “You doing okay?” Swish! Thwack! “How about now?” Yes, that’s a jest, but you get the idea.

I feel like a lot of this split revolves around sadomasochism. It’s okay for a Dom not to be a sadist. It’s okay for a submissive not to be a masochist. It’s okay for a Dom to switch for a scene, to bottom and to be a masochist. It’s all in the play that the two of you want. There are labels being applied to things that already have labels. Maybe they’re scared of the words? Sadist. Masochist. I don’t find them scary. I may be sadist, but I assure you, I’m one of the biggest teddy bears in real life. Most of the sadists I have the pleasure to meet are the same way.

No Dominant worth their salt is going to give their submissive commands they know they can’t fulfill, unless it’s roleplaying and in a scene. That’s domineering and being a dick. The role of a Dominant is to lead the dynamic, to take initiative, to be self-aware, mindful, respectful, supportive and giving. The Dominant is akin to a benevolent king receiving their power through trusting consent. I’ve not met a single Dom, Daddy Dom or Master that wants to see their submissive fail.

It all comes back to what’s been vetted and then negotiated. Negotiation is just a fancy BDSM term for talking about your needs and meeting common ground. A good Dom will know how to respond to you because he gained that insight through vetting and negotiation. He and you would have communicated how you best respond. If it is a romantic dynamic, love languages would be discussed. Through the insight gleaned from open and honest communication, the perceptive Dom will know when to use the firm hand and the soft hand. Sometimes, we’ll make mistakes too. That’s okay. We’ll own the mistake and make the necessary corrections. We as Dominants are not infallible gods resting on laurels.

Learning from Our Mistakes

For most of us, before we find our forever Dom or forever sub, if that’s what you’re looking for, there will be some trial and error. So when the dynamic ends and your heart begins the process of healing what can you walk away with? Hopefully, how I cope and learn can help you. I spend a lot of time in reflection.

Did I miss something in vetting? Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often anymore. My vetting process is pretty thorough and it weeds out a lot of potential issues early. However, I am human and I do make mistakes. It’s still worth examining to see if I missed covering something that led to a problem.

Was there a red flag I missed? Can I see it now? Did I ignore red flags? This one always gains the benefit of hindsight. Make sure you take time to carefully go through and examine these questions when looking back. Did you learn anything new that you want to add to your red flag list? That’s okay too.

What mistakes did I make? How can I prevent the same mistakes from happening in the future? The answer to some of these questions can sometimes be painful. Self reflection and self improvement isn’t always a clean and tidy thing. Sometimes, it’s messy, sometimes it’s ugly. That’s okay. It’s easy to point all the fingers at your ex, but give yourself the time to consider what things you could have potentially errored with.

I also take time and discuss my previous dynamic with a few trusted friends in the lifestyle. Maybe they saw something I missed. I am lucky in this regard. I have a dear friend not in the lifestyle, but is at least open-minded, and a few close trusted friends who live it. I get outside perspective from both vanilla and kink-minded individuals.

It’s easy to focus on all of the bad when a dynamic ends, but chances are it wasn’t all bad. Take time to note the good things in the relationship too. What were things you liked? What worked well? Was there anything new that you hadn’t experienced before that you liked?

Breakups are hard. Ending a dynamic is harder still. Give yourself time to learn from what went wrong while you’re healing. Be kind to yourself. You’re going to make it through this.

Kind Words from Strangers

This week I have received many affirming words from strangers. Normally, I wouldn’t think too much about this. I would say thank you for it is always good to receive validation that I am on the right path. I would tell them how humbling it is, because honestly, it is. Some of the stories they tell me that led them to this point, this interaction with me, is mind-blowing. Some how, some way, they either found or were directed to this place and my words, my thoughts, helped them. That last part is truly significant.

I suppose it is normal when exiting a dynamic that one plays with self-doubt. There’s not a lot written on the subject and I don’t have many other D-types to lean on. Either their fearful to talk about it or have the same lingering self-doubts. It is rare for the good D-types to even speak publicly anymore and it’s the internet’s fault. I remember once when offering insight on how to get proficient with a skill that self testing was important, that several people claiming to be Old Guard called me fake and a closest submissive. I was floored. How could a good Dom not want to make sure he or she understood the scene they were planning to it’s fullest extent? I am a sadist. I do not have a masochistic bone in my body, but I need to know what my sub will experience over the course of a scene. This is important for a few reasons. One, I need to know how to do it correctly without causing real, serious injury. Two, it aids me in planning aftercare. Three, it gives me practical working knowledge without having to experiment on the person I’m supposed to be protective over. Clearly, those concerns and worries are the hallmark of a fake Dom.

The point is, I have been struggling. I have wondered if I am on the right path and if I will ever find who I’m looking for. I used to say that I was a hopeless romantic and in exploring it more, I am not hopeless, I am hopeful. I know she is out there. Probably as lost as I am right now. The words of thanks, validation and hope I’ve received this week were needed. Thank you A, K and M. While your paths have been burdensome, I am glad my words and thoughts have brought you reassurance and some level of peace. Your kindness did the same for me.

Expect some rants in the near future. I’ve seen some things that have properly raised my ire and I’ve been mulling them over before putting fingers to keyboard. Time to finish my morning coffee, meditation and mindfulness exercises.

New Roads with New and Old Friends

This week has been incredibly rough. I am a creature of habit. In breaking contact with Bunny, outside of the emotional impact, my routine has been shattered. I deleted all of Bunny’s pictures, took her off of Obedience and the last real struggles, was taking her task and medication reminders out of my phone and then removing her as my wallpapers on my phone. It, friends, has been an awful adjustment.

Thankfully, my dearest friend Emma stepped up to the plate immediately. While she doesn’t appreciate fully the lifestyle, she at least tries to understand it and knew of my problems with Bunny well before I made them public here. Her friendship and counsel has been truly invaluable. Her amazing friendship as made the world feel a little less bleak and lonely. While it is purely platonic, I assure you, I love her dearly. She is the best of people, even if she struggles to see it sometimes, and my life is made better by having her in it.

There are some other honorable mentions as well: Cassie, with her no nonsense, matter of factness and undying loyalty; and Joe, with his relaxed, “I’m here for you, man” beer and pizza mentality. These three wonderful people have made sure that I’m actually coping and not holed up in my apartment buried in despair.

There are some new friends I’ve made this week too. I wasn’t ready to announce in group yet, but it came up and was addressed. The actual support was amazing. I didn’t think that many people cared. It definitely made me feel noticed, appreciated and a little uncomfortable. I don’t like the spotlight shined upon my personal life, but I guess when I write what I do, a little bit of recognition in the community is appreciated, if uncomfortable.

I still miss her. It took everything I had not to message her this week. I know me though. At least there’s that. The first time she expressed even perceived remorse, I probably have considered taking her back and after three attempts with the same unresolved issues, I just can’t. I can’t do it and there is a part of me that feels guilty for having to establish that boundary.

I did manage to get out of the house this week for a few hours. Not wanting my usual company for such outings, I did get in some range therapy. The reverberations and smell of gunpowder is intoxicating. Maybe next weekend I’ll hit up the cigar bar and get a good whiskey. We’ll see. One step at a time.

It’s Okay to be Needy

This is something that has bothered me for a long time, but wasn’t really brought to the light of thought until a wonderful reader brought an article to my attention. This is always been something I’ve addressed privately with my submissive that I feel like should be addressed by the community as a whole and it is this: It is okay to be needy. There is no such thing as too needy.

There is a dichotomy in neediness and it is one that we can do without. Hear me out. When a man desires something or someone he is viewed as passionate. When they are not receiving what they desire, want crave, need, it is viewed being deprived or even emasculated. When a man isn’t getting what he needs, it is normally accepted for him to go out and find it often with a bizarre social understanding from everyone else. After all, how can you expect the dog to stay under the porch if you’re not going to pet it? When a woman isn’t getting what she desires, craves, wants, desires, or needs, she is often viewed as burdensome, nagging, clingy or needy.

You even see this in the lifestyle. As post subjects in Facebook groups or on Fetlife or in the comment sections, submissives express this sentiment very often: “I am too needy for my Dom/Daddy/Sir.” While I can’t speak for all D-types, I can assure you for me, there is no such thing.

You are not too needy. It’s not possible. You are needy because you have needs. A submissive can feel a negative connotation with this neediness for a multitude of reasons, but I feel a very large underlaying root of this is because they have felt, expressed or maybe even suppressed these needs for such a long time and when they tried to express their need they were shutdown in the past. Someone at some point, maybe even the submissive them self, made them feel bad about having a need for something to make them feel more complete or to have a desire satiated.

As a Dom, especially as a sadist Daddy, I have needs too. They’re very real and I tend to those needs very passionately. As a Dom, I thrive on being needed. The attention a sub needs, the structure she craves, the rules, the security, the focus and attentiveness, the emotions, all of it… it is never too much. I need all of those things too, or in certain cases, I need to to provide them. Without them, I too feel incomplete. I feel lost and starved and alone when I am not needed. My neediness matches hers.

Your needs are part of what defines you. They tell a story about who you are and where you’ve been. A good Dom will acknowledge your needs. They will be anticipated. They should be thought about, discussed, measured and tended. It is okay to be needy. We need it too.

Kindness, Patience and Pain

For a long time, in fact probably most of my life, I have endeavored to be kind and patient. It hasn’t always worked out that way. Patience is something that came slowly to me. It wasn’t something instilled as a child and when I reached adulthood, I chased instant gratification. Patience, was something that was struggled with and hard learned. There is a lot of regret, for me, in some of that. There were relationships in the past that I wish I would have been able to have been patient.

With Bunny, I feel that I was able to exercise a lot of patience. With age, wisdom – kind of thing. In the end, what was filled with love became toxic and hurtful. I can’t nail down exactly with the shift changed. I’ve tried. I’ve mulled over the last few months endlessly. In hindsight, we probably weren’t fully healed from our previous hurts with each other, but it did become something that was filled with more hurt than love and when expressing that hurt, in trying to process, cope and deal with it, she either consciously, or subconsciously, it really doesn’t matter at this point, intentionally drove a purposeful wedge and knife between us. At that point, that exact moment, I had reached my fill of hurt.

In trying to understand what happened, I gave us some time apart before trying to talk to her more. I needed space and she did too, if she realized it or not. In that dialogue, it turned more toxic as explanations of hurt came across as vicious knife blows. Bite the hand that feeds once and I will be patient and attempt to understand. Bite it twice and my patience will immediately vanish and so will my kindness.

Due to my own past trauma, I will not, can not, and refuse to be an emotional punching bag. I won’t… can’t do it again. I weathered through that storm for five years. I will not do it again. It is not in me anymore.

I wish her well. I hope she finds the peace that she needs. I sincerely hope that she finds happiness and love.

I debated and weighed this heavily and instead of retreating inward, I wanted to write about it. I will revert back to my pre-Bunny plans: spend time in reflection in self improvement. Be the best Wolf I can be and to continue sharing from experience.

For the first time in what feels like weeks, I slept peacefully and soundly last night. That alone tells me I made the right decision. So, here’s to mending, reflection and self improvement.

Losing Your Dynamic

We talk a lot in the lifestyle about managing your dynamic, communicating with your partner, love languages, alternative love languages (a big favorite of mine), how to be a better Dominant or submissive, but very rarely do we take the time to talk about managing yourself after a loss in dynamic.

The loss hurts. It can be crippling. It is so much worse than “just a breakup”. The expectations and trust that are placed in your partner are so immense, it is natural that there is an emptiness left when facing the end of a LS dynamic.

From a psychological standpoint, you are mourning the same losses as a vanilla relationship. You mourn what was, the memories, and what could have been, the hope. What could have been has always been the hardest for me. I am a hopeful romantic at heart. In a romantic BDSM dynamic, you are essentially losing two relationships. It can be devastating.

So how to you manage the loss? For me, I work a lot on myself. I spend much time in reflection. Looking for lessons to learn and mistakes made that can be avoided in the future. It may take a while, but I will eventually re-center and find my own happy place and limited peace. I am wired to be a caregiver. While I can find happiness within myself, I will always feel a little incomplete when flying solo.

Maintain your routines. You’ll probably feel a little bit like a zombie, but self-care is so very important in healing and recovery from the emotional trauma of losing your emotional bonds. Maintaining your routines keeps a since of normalcy. Some may shift or phase out if there were tasks associated with your routines, but keeping your schedule, remembering to eat, and take care of your needs. It may seem hard now, but you can function without them.

Start journaling or continue to journal. Even if it’s not something you share with anyone else, get your thoughts and feelings out. It can be difficult at first putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, but getting the feelings that you’re struggling with out and into the open is an amazing way to process and heal. Explore your feelings. It’s okay to be sad.

It may take some time before you can find it in yourself to do it, but wish them well. Don’t harbor negative feelings and emotions. Even if you never tell them to their face or over text, wish them well. Give yourself that closure and it, at least for me, is such a cathartic release.

Remember to breathe. Listen to your sad songs. Cry. Get it out. Eventually there will be a rainbow to accompany your storm clouds.

Mental Health Check

March is a hard month for me. My mother passed 14 years ago and this month would have marked her 58th birthday. Mom was abusive. There’s no kind way to go about that. While not making an excuse for the abuse, as an adult, I can see that she raised us in the manner she was raised and for her, that was good enough/what she knew. The fact is, she tried. Which is more than I can say for a lot of parents I observe today. I have struggled a lot this week because I once again forgot her birthday. The guilt I feel for this is immense. Bunny assures me that I will never forget her and that she will live forever in my heart, but I cannot help but still feel guilt for the forgetting. It weighs heavily on my heart.

While I struggle with this month and spring finally around the corner, how are you doing? Are you doing okay? One quote that has helped me since my teenage years is from The Crow. “It can’t rain all the time.”

I hope life is finding you well, friends.

Drop is Real

What goes up must come down. Subspace is the most common of the highs in D/s, but we know from experience that Dom or top space is real too. Which means sub and dom drop are real possibilities after you have intense kinky moments together. Drop won’t happen every time, and it won’t affect you the same way each time either. But it’s important to recognize what can cause it, and what it might feel like. You can’t eliminate it completely, but you can prepare for it.

Have you ever felt a drop after kinky play? Can you come up with some ways you might help yourself or your partner through it?

Drop is a son of a bitch. Countless essays and articles have been written on drop from a submissive and new Dom prospective, but what about for the more experienced Doms? Can drop still happen? Of course it can. As the chemicals that produce the highs that make us fly drain from the body, as the adrenaline rush fades, as the moments of crystal clear clarity fade, drop can rear it’s ugly head. I don’t experience drop from guilt anymore. I know that my sub/little has negotiated for the scenes and punishments that we play. I do get drop from the vacating chemical rushes. Those moments are rare, but when they do happen, I feel completely drained. In those moments, All I want is to snuggle up with my submissive and hold her. To feel her skin pressed against mine. To feel her breath exhale against my chest.

Drop may not happen immediately after play either. It can happen in the days to following a scene. A good Dominant will become familiar with his sub and her patterns and be able to anticipate some drops. I do same some because drop doesn’t always happen. For me, I make sure I am always available afterwards. Words of encouragement, praise and reassurance will go a long ways in reminding her of her value, importance and worth, and when we can, all the physical affection she may require.