what do I do if he is not engaging

What do I do if he is not engaging? – Reader question

Thank you for offering me the opportunity to ask a question. My husband and I have begun our journey into a 24/7 Dom/Sub relationship. I am ALL IN, but he doesn’t seem to be. What should I do? What do I do if he is not engaging?


Hi Sue,

I struggled with this one a little as there is not very much for me to go on. I am not sure what it is that your husband isn’t doing that leads you to feel that he isn’t all in, so please feel free to include some extra information in the comments if I end up on the wrong track. I have added the part about not engaging to give a focus so let me know if this is not what you meant.

From experience, I think it is not uncommon to feel like this, especially if you are a submissive who, like me, has asked their husband for this. I have already covered some of the things that you might try in my answer to Priya who wanted to know How do I encourage Dominance?. These things include researching and presenting him with information and examples of things which illustrate what D/s can look like in other long term relationships, being more actively submissive, and being very encouraging with him so that he recognises when something he has done has worked and why.

You say that your husband isn’t all in, so does this mean that he is doing some parts and not others? Consistency is quite a common issue for new Dominants and once things become more of a habit it can be easier – for example, checking in with their sub, noticing when rules have/haven’t been met etc. We found that agreeing regular times to focus and talk about how the dynamic is going, what is going well, areas that you both want to work on etc really made a difference; it helped to keep it fresh in both of our minds, as well as being able to support each other by looking for solutions for things which weren’t working.

Another thing worth considering is that it can take time for things to bed in. If you were the driving force behind initiating your power exchange then you are probably further ahead in terms of thinking about what you want it to be like and how you want it to work. If you have spent time thinking about this then mentally you are ready just to go with it. You are likely open to the idea and keen to embracing the changes that it will bring. This can lead to feeling a bit of subfenzy and being frustrated that the pace you are going at as a couple is much slower than you would like it to be.

I had a friend who found it helpful to think of her submission as a gift. Usually when we give a gift to someone we care about, we have thought about it. We have planned it out and found something we think will be perfect for them. We are excited to give it to them and hope that they will be pleased with it. But what if they aren’t sure what to do with it? They like it, they want it, but they don’t know how it works and how to set it up? They might need time to look into how to use it and they might take time to work out the best way for it to work for them.

It sounds like your husband is open to the idea as you say that you have begun a D/s lifestyle. I think it is important not to close the door to something because it doesn’t seem to be working. Look at what else you can do individually and as a couple to help the situation. Talk to your husband and ask him how he is feeling. If this is something that he wants, then establish what aspects of it appeal to him as this may provide a clue as to which aspects he is struggling with. Speak to other Doms and subs in similar relationships and see if they can offer any advice or suggestion.

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. We also run The SafeworD/s Club where there are live chats and forums which allow you to talk and share experiences with other people in similar dynamics, so you would be more than welcome to come along. 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
Active Submission
Actively Submissive
Spotlight on Communication

#425 – Closed Doors

Posted in Ask Me Anything and tagged , , , .


  1. Frequently in my online life I encounter men who are asking me how to encourage their wives to enter into the world of swinging and group sex. It is refreshing to see that there are women out there who are seeking change in their sexual relationships with their partners and not just hoping he loses interest soon. I love how considered and constructive your advice is.

    • Thank you. I really appreciate that. I suppose the nature of my blog means that it attracts women who, like me, are looking for this lifestyle. It certainly seems to be the question asked this way around is a common one 😊

  2. Another great answer, Missy. I love how you are taking these questions and answer them so clearly, not only for the person who come to you, but there is always something in your answer others can learn from too.
    ~ Marie

    • Thank you Marie. This one seems to be a common one, or at least variants of it. I love that other people are also adding their advice though as I think that is so helpful 😊

  3. Great post as always.

    4 years now as an M to an amazing SG (I’m a very lucky man). This experience tells me much of being a Dom has to be instinctual — it comes naturally — and there’s a visceral Reactive feeling of very at ease within the overall dynamic (and a deep trusting, very personal connection).

    While elements can be learned(and that will happen)/adapted to over time, a tangible portion should be ‘there’ already. Providing my Dom perspective to the questioner, I’d say this: my SG said to me she’s always wanted this dynamic her whole life, she was just waiting for the right man to come along that she felt would be right and could open up about it. Prior to me it would have been forcing it.
    As a general statement, I suspect, in general, forcing it may happen often. As such I’d suggest the questioner first ask ‘is he right for this? Does it come instinctual to him? Is he at ease when being Dom? Hopefully she can answer yes to all 3.
    I hope that helps…

    • Oh you are right. Maybe I have written it totally the wrong way around. Now I must think again. Some of the advice would be the same but not all of it. Thank you 😊

  4. Missy,
    Love your answer. I learned some things too. I want to add that I have struggled with this at times myself. I think my idea D/s and how it was supposed to go wasn’t lining up with husband’s way. When so,some asked me, “do you just want to hand him the script so he knows his part?” It finally hit me that I needed to submit to his way, but try to create my way with him just an actor in my show. I finally started listening and he started (more confidently) leading. Maybe that’s some more suggestion to …. be patient and let the script write itself instead of trying to be the producer and director too. ❤️

  5. Most men are taught that the woman they marry is a woman of virtue and worth. Pure and women to be nurtured and cherished, mother their children and respected as well as protected. They are to be treated with dignity and honor. Never raise a hand to the woman you have chosen to love always. For many men this is pounded in them till it is at the core of how they feel and treat their wife. (I know there are some exceptions) But men are basically taught once we put a ring on that finger it somehow mentally they become a part of him and his identity, he sh0ould never treat her like the dirty trashy woman or sex object.
    The D/s world can be turbulent for a newcomer much less a couple who first start engaging in the D/s realm. Suddenly he is allowed to look as his wife as a sex object, or have some dominance fantasy he has always had in the back of his mine now a possible reality. That loved mother of three now can be tossed over his knee and spanked to purposely make her cry? This lady he has given much for he can now take from without asking? This person he has never strayed from now he can sit back and watch other men take pleasure in her and her enjoy it?
    His mind is spinning, his reality is shifting. For many men it sounds good in theory but the first time the strike their wife with a hand or belt the cringe inside. This is why I stress how important open and honest communication is. What sounds good in theory, looks great on paper is often not near the same in reality.
    Just my two cents.

    • And a very helpful two cents it is too so thank you so much for adding it. It think that often it is difficult to understand how it is for the D of the relationship and so it helps to hear it first hand. Thank you 😊

  6. Following any scenario is work. And at some point you need to make an effort on yourself in order to fulfill it. And you don’t always want to. Perhaps this is the case.

    • It does require efforts on both sides to make D/s work I think and that is often something that people don’t seem to expect 😊

  7. Good communication skills are so important to allow these lifestyles to flourish. I think that weekly timeouts for talk are important. I also think that lowering (changing or eliminating??) expectations, and following his lead is important. Based on the info here, I think it is clear that she is the submissive. So all your advice about encouraging his dominance is critical. If she were the lead, the question would have been more about how to make him follow her wishes.

    • Thanks Michael and also for adding your own advice. I can’t agree more about communication and expectations. These are both key areas 😊

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