Beware the Toxic sub

In hindsight, if one is introspective enough, they can learn many lessons. Sometimes, it can take months or years for that moment of clarity to hit. I know it did for me. One of the most harmful things I have ever encountered in my journey within the lifestyle is toxic subs. All too often bad Doms are the subject of rants in various groups or discussion boards, and rarely are toxic subs ever talked about. Part of me wonders at the psychology behind this. Personally, I can admit feelings of shame involved once I figured out what was going on. How could I be so blind as to not notice it when it was happening? For me, I lay a lot of blame on emotional entanglement. I am, and always will be, emotionally invested in my submissive. Romance is a very big part of BDSM for me and I don’t want to play without it. It is vetted for and the only way I play anymore. I can tell you in all honesty, for the romantic Dominant, there is nothing more destructive than a toxic sub.

So what, as a romantic leaning Dom should you be looking for as red flags? Breadcrumbing, lying about emotional availability, passive aggressive manipulation, and lack of personal responsibility are all things I have picked up on in hindsight. Let’s talk about it.

Breadcrumbing, to me, is the most insidious of all toxic sub traits. What is breadcrumbing? Breadcrumbing is when someone gives you just enough emotional attention that they leave you needing, wanting more, but then withhold emotional availability to the point that one can get frustrated to the point of leaving, only to be given just enough attention to make you question leaving and then the cycle repeats. This is often coupled with gaslighting. They’ll point out that they’ve been available and then try and lay blame at your feet for you not being satisfied with the emotional attention you need or have been getting.

Lying about emotional availability happens fairly regularly on both sides of the slash. When the toxic sub does it, they may or may not be aware of their own baggage or situation that prevents them from being able to make an emotional commitment. They’re aware of their trauma, but refuse to address it. This can be due to an entire host of reasons, but none of them are good. Doms are not emotional band aids. We have feelings and needs too.

Passive aggressive manipulation. This can occur in a lot of ways, but the most common I have encountered is when the toxic sub willfully ignores their Dominant. This is especially harmful in Dom Drop, when I have expressed a need for reassurance and instead of getting the communication I need, the reassurance that everything is okay, I am instead left as a kink dispenser and left to wonder what is going on.

Lack of responsibility can also occur in a multitude of displays. This occurs a lot in the DDlg community, I feel. You can be a submissive little and still take care of yourself. While structure and D/s can most certainly assist, it is not your Dominant’s responsibility to cater to every whim in your life. If we’re going to boil it down to the essentials, your role is to provide for Them while They provide for you. It is symbiotic, mutual and beneficial to both. When one takes and does not give in return it is a parasitic relationship.

What other toxic sub traits can you think of or have experienced? What lessons have you learned? It is important to note that some toxic traits can be attributed to a lack of understanding and as the Dominant, it will be your responsibility to guide, lead and educate, but do so more than just by saying. Lead and show by example. All too often people are quick today to lambast each other as fake or a walking red flag.

Managing Your little’s Anxiety and Tension

In group and on Fet, you see a lot of Doms asking for help with their little when it’s too late. Their little has already reached a breaking point and they need help in how to fix their little’s anxiety and tension, but their little has already reached a critical meltdown. How do we prevent that from occurring and help them avoid breakdowns as Daddy Dominants? I hope you’re ready for a deep dive into relationship psychology and then applying D/s.

First we need to identify your little’s stressors. This should be done two ways. The first being an open dialogue with your little. What do they think causes them stress? Make sure to be actively listening. Take notes if you need to. I sometimes have an overactive ADHD brain. Notes help me a ton. Second, watch your little. There may be things she’s uncomfortable discussing, but if they keeps stressing out over something not discussed, help them find the root of their tension. Big or small, these things matter to them. Make sure while you are listening and observing to not make comments like, “but it’s not that serious” or anything else that can be viewed as dismissive. It matters to them and it stresses them out. Listen without judgment and validate their feelings.

What does stress look like? This will vary so widely, but some common identifiers include:

  • Irritable, angry, impatient or wound up
  • Over-burdened or overwhelmed
  • Anxious, nervous or afraid
  • Unable to enjoy themselves
  • Depression
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Uninterested in things that used to interest them
  • Existing mental health problems worsen
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased headaches
  • Constant arguing
  • Pulling or pushing away

So we’ve identified the stressors and what to look for. You need to be dialed into your submissive/little, this is something I talk about a lot. The real magic in D/s happens when you know your sub/little better than they know themselves. Some littles when stressed, will respond better to the Daddy over the Dominant. Knowing when this change is needed is something you will gain with experience and through communicating with your little. We’ve got our list. Now what do we do?

  1. Promote a healthier diet. Now, that’s not saying take away all the goodies, but what we eat matters. Some people stress eat and this will cause more stress in the long run. Help create a meal plan that’s healthier. We all know of a few littles that will try to exist on coffee and sweets. Don’t take that away from them. Those are comfort foods. We will work on moderation, however. How that works for your dynamic will be up to you to negotiate.
  2. Introduce a workout routine. This may be a sensitive subject. Use tact and broach this carefully with your little. This will vary widely due to whatever physical limitations your little has, but modern psychology has shown us that even a little bit of aerobic exercise releases endorphins. If your little has physical limitations, check out “DDP Yoga”. The whole program is built around whatever limitations there may be. If you can, include your little in your workout routine or join them with theirs. Make it a bonding experience and encourage them.
  3. Work on and study relaxation techniques. This is something I learned recently. Did you know that coloring has the same impact on the brain as meditation? Color with your little. Look into mindfulness exercises and promote mindfulness with your little. I cannot recommend enough the “Mindfulness Coach” app. It’s completely free, has voiced guided meditations and has zero ads. As you progress with the app, you also grow a little digital tree.
  4. Reduce triggers of stress. Most of our stressful demands we have in our lives, we’ve placed on ourselves. Practice and reinforce time-management skills. Help your little set priorities, pace themselves and take time for self care.
  5. Help your little set realistic goals and expectations. We’re not always going to be 100% successful all the time and that’s okay. Be mindful of the things we can control and work on accepting the things we can’t.
  6. Establish healthy sleep routines. Help your little maintain a good sleep schedule. If that means limiting the phone at night, then negotiate for that. Make sure the bed and surrounding areas are comfortable and arrange the pillows to maintain comfortable positions. Make sure to avoid napping too much during the day and limit caffeine intake in the evenings. Maintaining a sleep schedule helps your circadian rhythm, your bodies’ internal clock. The American Sleep Association has a ton of useful advice on maintaining sleep schedules and other useful information. Like did you know a lack of sleep can contribute to migraines?
  7. Engage in scenes and play. Did you know that there’s been a direct link formed between stress relief and bondage? Both “Psychological Characteristics of BDSM Practitioners” from 2013 and “Hormonal Changes and Couple Bonding in Consensual Sadomasochistic Activity” from 2007 report lower stress levels in tops and bottoms that engage in play. Make sure you’re planning and engaging in scenes with your little. Not only will it help reduce your stress, but it will help your little as well.

One final bit of advice. The ultimate secret weapon in relieving tension in a relationship is called a repair attempt (Gottman Institute). These are especially powerful when you understand your partner’s love languages and know how to speak them. Repair attempts can include a hand on the knee or purchasing a small “thinking of you” type present. It all depends on your little’s love languages. Love languages are and will always be a recurring theme here. Take time to learn your little’s love languages and how to speak to them.

Vetting for Daddy Doms

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. When I offer insight, it is 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.

As companion to An Introduction to Vetting – How I Do What I Do and Red Flags for Daddies I wanted to work on a similar vetting breakdown like I did for How to Vet a Potential Daddy Dom but for the Dominant. To be frank, this is long over due to let’s get into it.

Vetting is a combination of getting to know you questions and, in the later stages, a little bit of lifestyle dating. You want to present yourself respectfully, but as you are. As mentioned before, don’t try to be someone you’re not. I promise you, if you do, your prospective sub will see it a mile away and you will trip a lot of red flags. Be yourself. Be consistent. Be firm, kind, and genuine. If you’re new, take time to educate yourself on terms and definitions. Nobody will hold your hand through this. Do more than just read this or a BDSM 101 thing off Google. The submissive you are talking to has actively chosen this lifestyle, be it 24/7 or in the bedroom only. Also, let’s take some time and figure out what you’re wanting. This will greatly impact how and what you should be vetting for. Are you wanting bedroom only kink? Are you wanting 24/7? How much authority do you want in your power exchange if you’re wanting 24/7? These are questions you need to have thought about and weighed.

Vetting will be a slow process. It will take time. There’s a lot of arguments on how long vetting should take. In my personal opinion, vetting should take months, not weeks. Don’t rush it. Believe me, it’s not worth rushing. Going to the old colloquialism: Good things come to those that wait. Every single time I’ve sped up how or why I do things, it’s always bit me in the ass. Are you looking for a long-term or short-term partner? You’re going to be looking at emotional responses, emotional availability, emotional maturity, consistency, strength of character, sexual compatibility, their level of self-awareness, experience, and more based on what you’re wanting. Take time during the early stages of getting to know your prospective sub to build a genuine and real friendship. At the very least, you potentially walk away with a new friend.

When framing your questions, you want to be looking mainly at two categories: experience and compatibility. Experience questions are important because they let you know where she’s at in her journey. When answering her experience based questions, she’ll see where you are. Don’t be afraid to admit you haven’t looked into something if asked, but be honest if you’re unfamiliar with a certain practice or novice in skill. BDSM covers a lot. It’s impossible to know everything. Compatibility will cover a wide gamut of play styles and kinks, but not so much favorite foods and movies. Those will be discussed undoubtedly of course. We are so much more than our kinks, but that will not be discussed as such here.

A very important note on vetting from me to you. Do not ask her for sexy time while vetting. There will be plenty of time for that in the future, but I cannot stress enough that this should wait until after you’ve completed your vetting process. When engaging in play, our brains release oxytocin. Oxytocin is the love hormone and it will cloud your judgment. Avoid clouding your judgment while vetting.

These questions are meant to be incremental. As your prospective little moves through the questions, they should become more and more important. These are not by any means all the questions you should ask, but they are a good guideline. Feel free to add your own for things that matter to you.

  1. How long have you been in the lifestyle?
  2. How did you discover you are submissive?
  3. What do you see as the difference between a bottom, a submissive and a little?
  4. How long did it take you to realize you were a little?
  5. Did you train or learn to become a submissive?
  6. What moment in your experience as a submissive/little stands out most?
  7. Does being a submissive/little pour into your everyday life?
  8. Can you turn it off or on when you want to?
  9. What is a day with you as a little like?
  10. What is a day with you not being in a little role like?
  11. Are there any other aspects of being a submissive you embrace? Such as primal tendencies, service, etc? 
  12. How do you express those other aspects with a Dom?
  13. Have you had a Daddy Dom before?
  14. How many Daddy Doms have you had?
  15. How long did each relationship last? 
  16. What about other Dominant types? 
  17. Why did each relationship end?
  18. Would any of them come back if you were available?
  19. What are your stressors and triggers?
  20. What are your preferred methods to destress?
  21. How important are your little items like stuffies, pacies, clothing items?
  22. What does littlespace mean to you?
  23. How do you participate in littlespace?
  24. If you are in littlespace, how is the best way to bring you out?
  25. Do you know what SSC means?
  26. What does safe, sane and consensual mean to you?
  27. Do you practice safe, sane and consensual as a safety philosophy, RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) or PRICK (Personal Responsibility Informed Consensual Kink)?
  28. What kind of aftercare do you prefer?
  29. Can you explain how you would perform aftercare?
  30. What is the most difficult scene you have ever done and what did you learn from it?
  31. How would you set a scene from start to finish?
  32. What is a dream scene you want to do, but haven’t been able to do yet?
  33. What wouldn’t you do? 
  34. Would you respect my hard limits?
  35. What are your hard limits?
  36. How sexual do you think a little should be?
  37. How important is sex and orgasms to you?
  38. Do you need them?
  39. Would you ever deny sex to your partner/Dominant? If so, why?
  40. Are you willing to meet with me several times before we play together?
  41. Would you be willing to provide identification before we met?
  42. Are you willing to accept that I am not your Dominant until I make the decision to be such a person to you?
  43. Are you willing to accept that I will not engage in Dominant/submissive dynamic and behavior to you until I feel comfortable doing so?
  44. How do you nurture a Dominant to build trust?
  45. Do you build on what you find out about their potential?
  46. Do you obey the rules/contract after they have been negotiated?
  47. Do you accept guidance?
  48. Do we do timeouts to discuss progress and problems together?
  49. Do you use safewords? If so, what ones do you like to use?
  50. Do ever you feel like you don’t need a safeword?
  51. How will you react if I safeword?
  52. Do you respond to impact play?
  53. How do you feel about discipline?
  54. How do you respond to discipline?
  55. When learning, how do you learn best?
  56. How would you handle those with health issues? 
  57. Do you have any physical health issues? Are they being addressed/treated?
  58. Do you have any mental health issues? Are they being addressed/treated?

During your vetting, take notes or at least keep mental notes. What pleases you, displeases you, worries you? What red flags are there? What green flags are there? Everyone will have good and bad. If at any point, the bad starts to outweigh the good or you’re starting to question if she’s the right one, then err on the side of caution. There are plenty of fish in the sea, my friend. End things amicably and again cast out your net when you’re ready. It’s important to end things amicably. Your reputation matters and how you end things will inevitably be a topic of discussion.

Foundations: Building the Four Pillars

Before I tackle vetting for the Dominant, I wanted to tackle something that I reference a lot but do not spend nearly enough time on and I feel like as I find myself sliding back into the saddle, it’s something that I want to address today. The Four Pillars of BDSM are Honesty, Communication, Respect and Trust. I put them in that order for a reason and my reasons will be made apparent as we dive in. I hope you guys are ready. I’ve looked forward to this one. When I researched this more fully in preparation for today, so it wouldn’t be me rambling on about just personal feelings, the Four Pillars of BDSM originate from Old Guard teaching. If given time, even if it isn’t exactly your cup of tea, I can’t suggest enough delving into what came before. The Old Guard history is truly a fascinating era in what has brought us to the kinky world we know today.

The first pillar built is one of honesty and before you can be honest with anyone else, you need to first be honest with yourself. What is it you want? Do you have expectations? What is it you need, desire, crave? What are your kinks? Is that all of them? What about that one you left in the dark? Before you can even contemplate working on the next pillar, you have to be able to be honest. While we can all agree expectations tend to be unfair, maintaining an expectation of honesty is not an unjust presupposition. Going forward, extend honesty in all things with your prospective partner. You cannot expect honesty from them if you’re not honest with yourself and them.

As you build communication, you will return to your building blocks of honesty. It is here that vetting will eventually occur. Maintaining open and honest communication is paramount to any vanilla relationship and is even more so important entering the realm of dynamics. Communicating your needs, desires, and fantasies will naturally come, but you need to be able to also communicate your dislikes, soft limits and hard limits. You will need to be able to communicate your state of mind, feelings and thoughts. You will need to <strong>LISTEN </strong>to theirs. Listening is just as important in communication. You can talk to each other all day, but if what they are saying isn’t being heard, you’re just wasting your time. 

I positioned respect as the third pillar because without communication and honesty, in my opinion, you cannot build respect and in order to trust your partner, you must be able to respect one another. Respect in this aspect is multifaceted. As a Dominant, you need to respect your submissive’s limits and consent. As a submissive, you need to respect your Dominant’s authority and limits. How do you build respect though? From a relationship psychological standpoint, this is an involved, active exercise. Talk openly and honestly with each other. Listen to your partner. Value their thoughts, feelings and needs. Compromise. Speak kindly to each other. Be supportive. Keep your promises. When we get into world power exchange, some of these values can change depending on the authority transferred in your dynamic, such as compromise, but many of the same core tenets of building a healthy respectful vanilla relationship remain unchanged as you build your dynamic.

Once the pillars of honesty, communication and respect have been built, trust begins to form. Without trust, you cannot consent, gain consent or submit. Trust is a tender thing. It is carefully cultivated. It is not unlike a sheet of fine glass. Once fractured, it loses its structural integrity. Trust is vital in a submissive being able to freely submit. The submissive has to be able to trust their Dominant to be able to respect her safeword and hard limits. They trust their Dominants to lead and to protect their best interests. Trust is vital to the Dominant in that they are able to trust their submissive to obey within the confines of their structure and rules.

In building the four pillars, we are able to freely give what we have to the other. The submissive yields their power to their Dominant and the Dominant takes that power, adds it to their own, and together they are both able to fly. Without them, the whole structure begins to collapse and we are unable to reach the soaring heights we dream of.

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.

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.

Taken in Hand: A DDlg Approach to Old Ideas

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. When I offer insight, it is 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.

First, we’re going to have to lay out some definitions and then we’ll move on to the core of what I believe and my approach to an older domestic discipline. This is how I chose to approach it. It will not be for everyone and that’s okay. If you’re interested in Taken in Hand, use what works for you.

A good definition of Taken in Hand can be found on SpankingArt.org. “Taken In Hand (TiH) relationships are a consensually male-led exclusive monogamous heterosexual relationship in which the man’s control is real and for the purpose of creating a deeply connected, fully engaged relationship with a white-hot sexual connection. In a TiH relationship, the man is the head of household. The woman is Taken In Hand. How the man expresses his leadership is an individual matter, but it is for the benefit of the relationship rather than being purely self-serving. The Taken In Hand man protects and cherishes the woman he leads. The Taken In Hand woman responds positively to her man’s authority and leadership.”

Redefining this explanation, we can work with the following and modernize it to a DDlg mindset: Taken In Hand relationships are a consensually Daddy-led relationship in which the Daddy’s control is real and for the purpose of creating a deeply connected, fully engaged relationship with a white-hot sexual connection. In a Taken In Hand relationship, the Daddy is the head of household. The little is Taken In Hand. How the Daddy expresses his leadership is an individual matter, but it is for the benefit of the relationship rather than being purely self-serving. The Taken In Hand Daddy protects and cherishes the little he leads. The Taken In Hand little responds positively to her Daddy’s authority and leadership.

Alright, with that definition in hand, let’s start breaking this down in depth.

Taken In Hand relationships are a consensually Daddy-led relationship in which the Daddy’s control is real. Consent, if you don’t know what consent is at this point in my blog, I don’t know why you’re here, if we’re going to be completely honest with each other. Without consent, literally none of this can happen. Moving on. A Daddy-led relationship: Daddy is the boss. He’s the caretaker, provider and Dominant. My whole approach with TiH is to make sure that every single aspect of my little’s needs are accounted for, provided for and fulfilled. As the Daddy, is is my job to make sure these needs are being met. Be they her submissive needs, her little needs, her emotional needs, or sexual needs.

Using my last sub as my example here, she was a service submissive, a little, a masochist and demisexual. I was therefore responsible in making sure she feels safe and secure in her submission, safe in her littlespace, providing for the needs of her little, her needs as a masochist and the emotional bonds between us. This isn’t done selflessly. I need to feel needed. I need to provide structure. I need to feel secure in the structure I provide. Through my structure and guidance, I ensure both of our needs are being met. Our relationship is purely symbiotic. If one is struggling, the other struggles too. I am accountable to her. If her needs aren’t being met, then mine aren’t either. On the flip side, she provided for my needs: my emotional, Dominant, sadist and sexual needs are all satiated through her.

A deeply connected, fully engaged relationship. It is worth learning your love languages and your partner’s love languages. I cannot tell you how easy this makes our relationship when speaking love to one another. If you don’t have the same love languages as your partner, learn to speak and understand theirs and teach them how to speak and understand yours. I promise you it’s worth the time and effort. Check in with your partner. Ask them how they’re doing, what’s going on in their world, and if they struggle with communication, have them journal their thoughts and feelings. Communication is key and one of the pillars of BDSM. Without communication, you can’t have trust, honesty or respect. Ask your partner what more you can do to meet their needs. This doesn’t have to be an all the time thing, but make it a regular check in. Fight complacency. Complacency kills relationships.

A white-hot sexual connection. In TiH, it is my role to fully ravish her and not solely to my benefit, though I assure you that’s there too. I will know I have done my job adequately and thoroughly when I have taken her ability to walk. As she lies there, in a quivering heap, riding the waves of subspace and bliss, I will be striding through my own Daddy Domspace and euphoria.

The Daddy is the head of household. As mentioned before, Daddy is the boss. He leads the dynamic and the relationship. The Daddy exercises his authority through consensual power exchange. The little trusts Daddy to make the decisions for her, to support her and her goals. The Daddy ensures the house stays at peace and is a safe place for both partners. As the Daddy, I am the decision maker, though I do consult and take my little’s thoughts, opinions and feelings into consideration with all things. She is my partner and equal in value, not a doormat. I will take full account of her needs and often place them above my own, but not neglect my needs either. Being a Daddy Dom is often service Dominance to my little in a lot of ways, especially in TiH, but in return I expect her respect, love, support, devotion and submission. If she is a service submissive, I will assign her household tasks to complete. She is not my slave. I will assist her in running the house, but if it is something she enjoys doing and finds fulfillment in, I will leave a majority of the housework for her and assist her when asked outside of tasks I have already accepted as my responsibility.

The little is Taken In Hand. From the structure we negotiate, to the rules negotiated and created for her needs, the little looks to Daddy for guidance and leadership. This can include what she wears for the day, to panty selection, to her daily tasks, affirmations and routines. Literally and figuratively, he will take her by the hand and lead her and the dynamic. I will support her in all things. From daily aspirations to life goals, I will push and do my best to inspire her to succeed.

The Daddy expresses his leadership for the benefit of the relationship rather than being purely self-serving. Accountability is something not often discussed in D/s. As in any D/s dynamic the Dominant should strive for consistency as much as possible and uphold his little. In providing guidance, leadership, rules and structure, I get to feel needed and wanted, loved and adored. If I’m not providing the structure, attentiveness, caregiving and Dominance she needs, she can feel abandoned, unappreciated, and even unloved. It is through consistency that we maintain those ties. We speak our complimentary love languages to each other through acts of service, words of affirmations, quality time and even sadism and masochism.

The Taken In Hand Daddy protects and cherishes the little he leads. This isn’t going to go where you think it’s going and you can’t see the wry smile on my face as I contemplate the words and put fingers to keyboard. It isn’t often I tell her no. When I do, it is to protect her. It isn’t out of some misplaced domineering need to be the boss, it is as her caregiver and loving Dominant.

This part won’t be for everyone and I respect that. In your country or due to your personal beliefs, you may disagree heavily with what I’m about to lay out. I am pagan, heavily heathen, a moderate centrist and a red-blooded American. Accordingly, I do believe in practicing my Second Amendment rights. I have taken several safety classes, training courses and go to the range regularly. I’ve participated in urban combat training and a few advanced self-defense classes. I have undergone all of this training to protect myself and my loved ones. I am not a gun-totting, swaggering Bruce Willis wannabe, but I do believe that in training, in the event of a terrible, dire circumstance, it behooves me to acquire the skills needed to protect me and mine. There is true and terrible evil in this world and while I may not be entirely a sheepdog, this Wolf will protect his submissive.

I cherish and adore my little/submissive. I will spoil her both with attention and affection. Occasionally, I may spoil her in other ways as well, such as rewards. She does not ask to be spoiled. If it is an expectation, I will have lost a lot of interest.

The Taken In Hand little responds positively to her Daddy’s authority and leadership. For many submissives, this is just ingrained into their personality. My preferred submissive is a good girl. She takes so much pride it in and in making me proud of her. In groups and on discussion boards, you can often see littles express their worry when their Daddy starts letting his authority slip. They need it and crave it just as much as we need and crave expressing it. This again ties back to love languages spoken. Even in my Alternative Love Languages essays, I go over how to speak to the caregiver and sadist through appreciation and communication. You don’t always have to speak the same or complimentary languages, but it is important to know how to speak and understand theirs. A simple thank you can go a long ways.

Taken in Hand isn’t for everyone. It isn’t for all Daddies and it isn’t for all littles. This is my approach to an old idea. I’ve intentionally left out the parts on monogamy. While I am a monogamist, I don’t feel like TiH can only be applied to monogamous relationships. At the end of the day, you will know if this appeals to you or not and if you want to take these ideas and incorporate them into your dynamic and lifestyle and that is truly the best part of this lifestyle. It’s truly a la carte. Take what works for you and discard the rest.

Alternative Love Languages: Sadism

Perceptions from a Daddy Dom

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. When I offer insight, it is 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.

For the masochist, sadism is a love language. Through giving and receiving pain, we will speak love. You meet her very real need for corporal punishment and play through expressing your sadism. 

In expressing my sadism, I first need to know my masochist. I will explore every inch of her mind and her body before I ever let her meet my sadist. I will understand what she needs, why she needs it and gain understanding of her wants and desires. I will know her limits and respect them and be ever mindful of her safeword. I will explore her tender flesh. Every freckle, mole, beauty mark, scar and/or blemish will be committed to memory. I will trail my fingertips across her skin and kiss every delicious part of her. I will devour her deliberately and thoroughly, mind and body. 

I will speak love to her by planning the scene carefully and thoughtfully. I will pour over books, blogs and articles learning the how to’s, the risks and then practice my skills. I will be exact and methodical in methods. I will master the skill set and be proficient in it’s craft. I will prepare myself mentally for the scene ahead and ensure that I am present and in clear mind.

I need to express my sadism just as much as she needs to express her masochism. We will speak love, not with words during these scenes, but with thuddy smack and stinging lash. Her flesh will glow and bruise and my mark will speak to both of us, validating both of our very real and primal needs.

In expressing my sadism, I validate her wants and needs. Through barehand, flog, cane, hair brush or whatever other wonderful toy my deviant mind selects, I will mark her as Mine. She will feel my love through brutal affection. I will tend to her and be mindful of her responses as she transcends into subspace. I will be diligent in both care and affection in aftercare. I will reaffirm she was good, did good and she is perfect in every way, is loved and is totally and completely owned by Daddy.

It is important to focus on aftercare as much as planning the scene. Before play begins, I will have medical supplies, gatorade and water, snacks, stuffies and blankies all at the ready so if she drops, she will not have the additional panic or anxiety of wondering where I’ve gone or what’s taking so long. As I tended to her in the scene, I will tend to her in aftercare. I will be diligent, attentive and loving.

In speaking love back to sadism as the masochist, make sure you are tending to your sadist, especially if he drops. Dom Drop can be crippling. They can doubt the very core of their existence as the emotions fade, or in the case of new sadists, they see the welts and bruises they’ve inflicted. Remind them that you need their sadism. Remind them that you consented and you feel loved through their attention and that you needed this too. Reaffirm them and their actions.

On Protectors, Mentors and Foster Daddies

Perceptions from a Daddy Dom

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 insights that I have gained from fifteen years of experience and through trial and error. If I offer insight, it is 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.

You see it on Fetlife some times and rarely mentioned in groups anymore: twuesub69 protection thiccdickDom666. What does it mean though? In the ye olde glory days, when a new member would join a Leather Community, they would gain protection of a Leather family. Within that frame of reference of protection, there were also strict protocols that covered BDSM and life based decisions while the new member of the Leather Community learned the ropes. While appreciated then, it’s return would be much valued now, if done like it used to be. Today, I see all too many “protectors” or even more loathsome still “Foster Daddies” running rampant in our various online communities.

So what is a protector supposed to be? Well, to be perfectly frank about it, it’s just like what it sounds like. A protector is supposed to ensure the safety of a submissive. They help screen and vet would be suitors, help find research, help educate and are like a gatekeeper for the submissive. While not exactly a mentor, they can definitely fulfill mentoring roles, but if your protector is on the opposite side of the slash from you, I personally discourage mentoring and we’ll get to more of that later. A good protector separates their wants and needs for what’s best for the submissive and for what the submissive wants and needs. Some protectors did and should still do, in my opinion, vet any suitor Dom before the submissive finds. That’s not to say that the submissive couldn’t vet with her protector, but the protector’s primary role is to be her defense against predators, especially in the case of those new to the lifestyle. This can and should extend into real life beyond the realm of our groups. An experienced protector can show the new sub the protocols of their local dungeon, screen potential play partners and be present for said play. 

Being a protector isn’t something that one should consider lightly. They should be experienced and understand the implications of what they are about to commit to. The prospective sub seeking a protector should vet their protector. Almost all of their questions should be experience based. By protecting someone, in its very nature, there would be a small element of power exchange involved in this relationship, but only in regards to protection and caring for the submissive. Rules, structure and punishments should never enter this level of dynamic. It is not the protector’s job to be the Dom. There should be clear and negotiated parameters for the expected protection and what the protector is protecting the sub from. 

One good example I found of a protector was a Domme that took a new sub underwing. The new sub had a problem telling perspective partners no and was getting in too deep and not recuperating enough. The Domme, after a long conversation with the sub, took her underwing and screened all potential play partners ensuring they were not pursuing the sub for just sex. In the end, the Domme relinquished her protection over the sub when the sub found a partner that wanted her for just more than play and was willing to actually be her Dom.

What about mentoring? As I had mentioned above, mentors should be on the same side of the slash that you reside on. This is purely an ethical standpoint. A Dominant can only teach a submissive how to be a good submissive for him. Not all Dominants have the same wants or needs. How do you find a mentor in our internet world? Well if you’re submissive, it’s a lot easier sadly. There are several good submissive only Facebook groups out there, some of them even leaning heavily on Old Guard traditions. I’ve been asked a few times if I would mentor a sub and I’ve told them no and pointed them either to submissives I trust or more recently, ‘networked’ groups that I know they’ll get a decent lifestyle education. Generally speaking, someone seeking mentorship should just ask their prospective mentor if they would be willing to consider it. Rarely do those offering mentorship have good intentions. 

A good mentor is someone who is experienced in the lifestyle and yes, you should vet them too. They can teach you the ropes, show you articles and essays and even help you find a local community if you haven’t already. The mentee needs to assess their own needs and what they want to develop in themselves and then identify a suitable mentor. A good mentor is someone you will feel comfortable talking to, someone you can trust and build trust with and someone who has knowledge in the areas you want to develop. For example, a mentee wants to learn rope play, they would go find a rigger.

I am so loath to even talk about Foster Daddies, but here we go… You see it pop up from time to time in the DDlg groups and I got to say, well over half of what I’ve seen and interacted with is highly predatory. That is not to say that there aren’t good and legitimate Foster Daddies out there. I am saying that I’ve yet to meet one. If you’re set on having a Foster, vet them. For the love of everything holy, vet them like you would a potential Dom or Daddy Dom. You get a single red flag, run. The chance of being groomed while you’re supposed to be feeling safe and protected is so very high, I can’t in good faith recommend it.

In an ideal world, if this worked, you would vet the potential Foster Daddy. You would negotiate for what structure and rules you needed and would negotiate any and all punishments. I would be slow to negotiate or ask for too much in the way of structure and punishment. Be careful about being trained as a submissive by anyone who isn’t your Dom. Personally, I don’t think there should be any structure from anyone who isn’t your Dom, but that’s neither here nor there. Just like with a protector. there should be no sexy time with a Foster. Again, in case you didn’t read that correctly: THERE SHOULD BE NO SEXY TIME WITH A FOSTER DADDY. Ethically, he or she shouldn’t have an interest in your princess parts. Their role should be to provide whatever structure you negotiated for while you find a forever Daddy. They should act like a protector in all other regards, including vetting your potential Daddy with you and I do say with you. Even if it doesn’t appear like you’re a part of the conversation with the potential would-be, you need to be in the know and should be able to direct questions.

My little, My Heart

Perceptions from a Daddy Dom

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 insights that I have gained from fifteen years of experience and through trial and error. If I offer insight, it is 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.

I’ve received more than a few requests for the little companion to Daddy is God… or at Least He Should be. Every dynamic is different, so I will try and paint in broad strokes what I think all littles/middles/babygirls and boys should strive for, without invalidating anyone. As always, what works for one, will not work for another. Going forward, to keep things simple and to not have to pen endless characters, I will only be addressing the little title. This is not to exclude middles or babygirls or baby boys. Swap the titles of the roles to fit your needs.

What is a little? In DDlg, a little is at the heart of everything else: submissive. Being submissive can be limited to sex, but in the realm of BDSM, sex isn’t always included. There are non-sexual relationships. A lifestyle submissive versus a bedroom submissive is going to very wildly in how they express their submission, but at the core of who they are, the submissive is consensually obedient and compliant to their partner and is someone that has exchanged part or full control of their daily lives to their Dominant. They crave, need, desire to serve and to be used. They strive to please their Dom in all things, just not sexually. It is not uncommon for a submissive to feel utterly devastated when they perceive a failing or disappoint in their Dominant.

Littles are more than just submissive. Littles also embody the pure childlike youthfulness and innocence of their inner child. They look to their Daddies/Mommies for guidance, leadership and even friendship. They desire to be looked after, cared for, and protected. Some littles age regress. Some littles engage in age play. Some littles do neither. That doesn’t matter. At their core of who they are, they express their truest self with childlike qualities. 

Littles should be needy. What? How crazy is that? One of the common worries that you can see a little express is that they’re too needy. To that, I say bullshit. Daddies need your neediness. Through your neediness, you express the need and want for your caregiver. You cannot be too much. It is okay to express it. After a long and hard day, by all means, crawl into your Daddy’s lap and just be. Decompress. Let the worries and stress and fears fade away. What’s that? You think you’re too big for Daddy’s lap? Nonsense. Curl up on the couch or bed and lay your head on his lap. He will play with your hair and let you unwind. You’re home now. You’re safe.

Littles should be expressive. Tell us what you’re feeling. It’s okay to struggle with the words. It’s okay to be non-verbal. You can still relate to us what you’re needing or feeling. Littles, just like Daddies, should be patient and kind. Sometimes, we have a hard time understanding when you reach states on non-verbal expression. Even if we have to turn it into a guessing game, we’ll get to the root of it. Just as much as you want to be cared for, we want to care for you. So tell us. Express yourself how best you can. Tell us about your exciting day. Let us know why you’re sad. Share with your Daddy your inner fears. We’re gonna talk through it. We’ll listen. Your Daddy is going to validate you. And it’s okay to cry. We’ve got tissues, hankies, or you can even soak Daddy’s shirt in your tears. It’s going to be okay.

Littles should be supportive, compassionate and affectionate. Your Daddy needs your help too. Be his safe place. His peace. His happy place. For many Daddies, you are who we will turn to when the world has worn us down. Cuddle him. Lay his head on your lap. Give him all the kisses. You should reciprocate the love your receive from caregiving to your caregiver. Saying thank you goes a long way, showing it goes even further. Use your love languages and show him what he means to you. Through your affection, however you express it, you validate your Daddy.

Good littles include their Daddies in the journeys. A good Daddy is going to want you to show us what you like, are interested in, and what makes you happy. You wanna go on crazy adventures to the zoo or park? So do we! We are just as much invested into your little self as you are and we’re going to support it. Whether it’s helping you achieve your goals or coloring with you in littlespace, we want to be there.

Good littles are good girls. Now, before I get burned at the stake or skewered with a pitchfork, calm down. I’m not saying you can’t be bratty, for those of you that feel the need to brat. That’s not what I’m speaking to. Good littles are good girls. You want to please your Daddy. How you do it is entirely up to you. At the root of DDlg, every little wants their Daddy’s approval. That means there are rules, protocol or structure set in place and those rules are to be followed. The structure that is set in place should always be to support you. To bring your best self out to the forefront. You may not always see it and that’s okay. Your Daddy most certainly does. 

DDlg is the most pure, loving and symbiotic lifestyle dynamic I’ve even seen. Both partners need the other so completely and fully to be able to express their true selves and in the expressions of their roles are able to find the fulfillment of their need and love. DDlg is highly individualized and complex when you get into the individual dynamics, but at the end of the day, it boils down to a girl loving her Daddy and a Daddy loving his girl.