How do I encourage Dominance

How do I encourage Dominance? Reader question

How do you deal with a partner that struggles in being the Dominant? This issue is weighing on my marriage. I discovered my submissive personality and needs about 2 years into our marriage. We’re 15 years in now. I wasn’t this way when he married me but now I can’t change. I can’t go back. His struggle in being the dominant I need affects all aspects of our marriage. I love him, but I can’t change myself from being the sub that I am. Honestly not having a Dominant force to appreciate my submission upsets me quite often. He’s been willing to try in the past but can never maintain it. The times it worked were my happiest, it was devastating every time it failed. We don’t know any other D/s couples as our, well, my lifestyle is a secret. I know he feels inadequate but I can’t act like I don’t need these things. How do I encourage Dominance?


Hi Priya,

I feel that I want to ask you some questions before giving an answer as I would like some more information. You say that your husband has tried but that it seems to fail. I wonder why? If he wants to be Dominant, which part of it is he finding difficult? Is he Dominant in other areas of his life, and if so, can you draw parallels between those areas and your life together so that it becomes easier for him? It is a little hard to suggest a way forward without knowing more about when things do work and when they don’t, but I will try to offer some general thoughts which you can apply as appropriate.

Have you explained to your husband what it is that you want? (Sorry – another question!) I think it can be really hard when you have an idea, do your research around the topic and feel excited by it, but actually explaining how you see it working can be really difficult. Just to ‘be more dominant’ can be a hard thing to interpret and what dominant is can also look quite different from person to person. You may have done this already, but it can be helpful to try to find some material which gives an idea of what Dominance is to you and take that to him.

I would also suggest thinking about what you are doing currently, and what you might be able to change, in order to support his Dominance. D/s is a continual circle where one feeds the other. Being active in your submission can help to encourage Dominance in your partner. It took me a while to realise that in being submissive, I was often being quite passive. I was waiting for him to exercise his Dominance over me. While this would be the ideal, I found at the start, and still find sometimes when life is challenging, that he needs me to help to keep him on track by offering my submission.

One of the really easy ways you can do this is by asking permission for things. Often when I ask for permission for something, I know that the answer will be yes. “Can I work late as I have something to finish off?” “Can I go and help my mum to do the update on her phone?” “May I suck your cock?” While he is unlikely to say no to any of these things, they are for my benefit, my mum’s benefit and his own pleasure, the fact that I have asked puts the control in his hands. It changes the dynamic between us and makes it a power exchange.

This technique is simple and can be applied to many areas of life, depending if your D/s is a lifestyle that you are aiming to live full-time, or a play based arrangement which meets your needs in the bedroom. You can also show respect for your partner by creating rituals that you feel are important. I decided myself that I would make sure to serve him his meal first and not begin until he had started as a token of respect. Similarly, I will turn down the covers of his side of the bed at night and stop what I am doing when he comes in.

Being attentive and intuitive about his needs is a good way to encourage his response, which will then often counter your submissive action with a dominant counterpart. Doing those little things to show that you have noticed what he likes and wants, for example, showing that you have thought of him and are taking care of his needs. You could send him a sexy picture, leave a note for him to find, it doesn’t really matter as long as it is something that will mean some thing to him. It is important, however, to make sure that you don’t take over. Checking with him about the things that you want to do and leaving space for him to say no if that wasn’t what he wanted without taking offence is also important.

Deferring to HL was another change for us. Again, I knew that usually he would be thinking along the same lines as me, but checking with him about questions from the kids etc meant that his status and position in the family began to change. We are a blended family so decisions about my children are always mine but I do tend to run it past him, especially where it is something that could impact on him. I also used this to highlight him in areas where he is stronger than me, for example by saying something like, “I think x, but lets ask Dad as he knows more about this than I do.”

One thing that was really important in building his Dominance was encouraging him. You say that when it has worked it has been the happiest times, but did he know that? D/s is about being open about your feelings and not assuming that the other person knows what you are thinking. Taking the time to build in communication where you really talk about your dynamic and what is going well is so important. If he has said or done something which has made me melt because it has hit the spot it is very easy just to enjoy that feeling. Making sure that I let HL know, at an appropriate time, how the said thing made me feel really helped him to know what to do more of.

Ok, this is a hard one, but looking in the mirror. When I did this I saw that I had behaviours which sort of squashed his Dom, so I was limiting the very thing that I longed for. My use of language was one as it undermined and challenged him without me ever being aware of it. Stopping to think about why and asking myself what I could do to encourage and what else I might I be doing to discourage took me quite a long way in moving toward the relationship that I wanted. The other thing was community. Having other subs and Doms to talk to certainly helped both of us to reflect and grow. You would both be welcome at The SafeworD/s Club, or feel free to contact either of us by email if that works better.

I have linked some relevant posts at the bottom of the page in case you would find more reading helpful, but please feel free to contact me if you want to follow up on anything I have included either in my reply or in the links. Good luck, have fun, and thank you for helping to make my world a little kinkier, one question at a time.

missy x

If you are reading this and have a question that you would like me to answer, then just head over to my Ask Me Anything page, type it in the box, and hit submit.

I am also aware of the wealth of experience and information available in the blogging world, so if you are reading this and have your own thoughts and advice, then please add them in the comments section.

5 things that encourage Dominance
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Actively Submissive

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  1. Hi! I always love the great advice that Missy gives.
    Becoming a Dominant is not as easy as turning on a switch. Its more like a solar panel. It takes time to charge up and become a light source. With that being said, sometimes trying to be D/s full time is hard because there’s no room for the charge up. I would recommend being in your roles for a couple hours. Then move up to a Day, then a weekend, you see where its going.
    It can be hard to learn what type of partner you’ll be when you’re just doing what is expected of you and not what feels right and natural.
    It takes time, but there is no time restraint. Work at it together at a pace that suits you both.
    This will be a time of great awakening in your lives and relationship. Be kind to each other. It does get easier..
    Best of luck.

    • That is a really good suggestion Mrs K. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am loving the community feel of this project ❤️

  2. Have you considered a contract? Also, missy’s suggestion to defer to him is probably the most positive and successful thing I do to revive or reset the D/s in our relationship, too. If it is sliding, I can put it back on track by asking for things and throwing in some little service actions. You might want to consider your why here. Why do you need it? Why do you want this from him? Why is he struggling with it? Then move on to the what and how? He might understand it better if you start with the why rather than the what.

    • Great advice Brigit. All really good points and the why is always so important. I love that people are adding their own advice to this. Thank you ?

  3. Thanks Missy for taking the time to answer my question. After reading your response, I realize I really didn’t give a lot of information. I guess initially I was thinking in terms of how can a sub live with someone whose not a dominant and be happy long term. I’m not sure. Our D/s falls apart because of his inability to maintain the dynamic. The things that maintain it for us like text messages, protocol, and contract agreements fades over time as he slowly slips out of the role each time. He says he does enjoy the lifestyle but can’t maintain it. This leaves me feeling worthless in terms of a submissive. I ve always felt like being his submissive was a gift I wanted to give him. Now it feels useless and rejected. I think I believe in it way more than he does, more than just a kink.

    • Hi Priya. It is really nice to hear from you. I think it can take time. It is really hard for them to be consistent I think as outside influences can impact those feelings of being dominant or being in control. Continuing despite those challenges it hard so maybe he isn’t always finding that he is in the right headspace? Have you talked to him about what might help him? Would he speak with another Dom? Perhaps he feels like he is failing too and that can be tough and make you not want to try ?

  4. I definitely think the right headspace can be an issue for him. Its hard for me not to feel like I’m topping from the bottom when trying to help the situation. I think he would find it helpful to speak with another Dom but its never been something we have looked into.

    • Topping from the bottom often seems to be used as an insult but I think when you are both new and starting out, and especially when it is you who has asked him for it, then you need to do some of that. You will probably have to set it up a bit for him until he grows into it. If you decided to take a trip and you had bought a map then you would help him by reading the map and being the navigator while he drove. The next time he did the trip he would likely remember some of it and be more confident so you could watch more of the scenery as he drove, and by the time he had done the trip many times you could sleep at his side while he did the work. Or if you are D/s more likely wriggle on the remote control bullet he has put in to watch you squirm during the journey. ?

  5. I don’t necessarily think I can offer much in the way of advice but surely being dominate has to be part of who u are- just as being a sub is too.
    I am sexually submissive and some partners of mine could not get to grips with spanking me for example. They had been indoctrinated through out their lives, being told, “don’t hit a woman,” and there was me – bold as brass – saying “hit me now” – so I can imagine their confusion.
    All i can say is communication will be key to you progressing. Wishing you luck
    May 😉

    • That makes a lot of sense May and they are valid points. I think that most of us have elements of both D and s although there is often a leaning to one in certain situations. I know what you are saying though. You have to want it and feel it in order to become it ?

  6. As always I feel Missy’s advice is spot on, and it also helps me to read these, to remind me of the little things, and things I can do to get us both back in the right mindset again.
    ~ Marie xox

  7. I am beginning to learn more about dominance and I found myself inside its part of me. I would like always exercise control in all aspects of life but your guidance and answers definitely helping/shaping me on how I should react to a sub (which I am hoping to get in future). Thank you for everything x

  8. Thanks Missy! Have been a lurker for awhile and this entry had some very valuable advice. Hubby and I have been trying for 24/7 for a few months. Sometimes he has a hard time maintaining his Dom space, sometimes it’s me with my Sub space. Reading this and your entry about kneeling has given me some ideas to try this coming weekend.

    • Hi Tibby and thank you so much for adding your comment. It is great to hear that you have been reading for a while and also that you have found some of it helpful. Good like with your ideas for the weekend. I am always happy to chat via email if you want to talk anything through 🙂

  9. It has been a few years since any comments on this, but I just found your wonderful blog. I am a male sub and have the same type of issues with encouraging my wife to be dominant. It is somewhat more difficult due to historical role models, although my wife is naturally fairly dominant and I am not. I laughed at May More’s comments about overcoming the stigma of not hitting a woman. My wife is a nurse and is naturally adverse to causing pain, but is learning to beat my ass harder all the time. Things do change!
    I relate very strongly to the original poster who says that it is so much better when I am sub. I have been so frustrated at not having this be more prevalent in our relationship and have many times thought I should just give up on the whole concept. I also feel that I can’t change from the sub that I have discovered that I am and have found so much emotional depth and fulfillment in that role.

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