This post is part of the back to basics focus that HL and I have for our D/s this year. I started by looking in general terms at myself as a submissive and from our shared reflection and discussion, we identified mindset as being something we both wanted to address. By submissive mindset I mean the thoughts, feelings and actions which make me feel submissive and make me want to submit. Clearly this is something that I do want as I have committed to a D/s lifestyle but sometimes I feel it more than others.
I would say that my submissive mindset is never far away but it isn’t always right up front if you know what I mean. I can get lost in my other roles, mother, teacher, friend etc and can find that, although in principle I want to be owned and on demand 24.7, I don’t always want to stop what I am doing and jump to it like I should. I am submissive to HL so when my focus is on him it works really well, but sometimes my focus is on other things and I can find making the transition from those roles to my sub role difficult.
Like I say, this isn’t about not wanting to do it. I do want to. And I plan to and mean to. But in reality, this is an area where I could do much better and if I did, I would be happier and enjoy more of the advantages that I know submission brings for me. HL identified that the same is true for him in terms of his Dominant mindset. Like with my submission, his is never not my Dom, but sometimes he is more overt than others and usually this is because he is feeling it more.
If you want to know more about mindset, then I wrote How to Access and Maintain a Dominant or Submissive Mindset for the SWC. And if you want to follow the reflective task, you can find Focus Questions for working on Dominant Submissive Mindset here. To find out more about my mindset then the posts Submissive mindset and other thinking parts and Maintaining my Mindset give more detail
1. What things help to access your Dominant or submissive mindset?
Probably not surprisingly, being dominated will allow me to access my submissive mindset really quickly. If I don’t respond to an instruction immediately or with the enthusiasm that I should, HL sticking with it and Domming through will work really well. I don’t really mean to push back, so if he remains steadfast then I will fall into line.
Using my sub name or whispering something directly to me will have the same impact if we are in company as an authoritative tone will if we are alone. These things allow me to switch from feeling I am in my own head, doing my thing, making my own choices and decisions for me about my time etc, to feeling that I am his and focussing on him and his needs and wants.
Being pushed past a point where I am comfortable will also mean that I feel very submissive. This is about letting go of control and again, will come from the trust and faith that I put in HL. If I am uncertain about the task or activity then I have no option but to hand over and rely on him to lead me. I put myself aside and focus on him so this one will always work well.
Feeling that I am noticed is really important to me. One of the things I really like about our relationship is the fact that I feel seen by HL. I feel that often people don’t really see me as a person but more the role I am doing or what I represent or mean for them, so things that make me feel known and understood tend to create a deep emotional connection. My submissive is at the heart of me, so when HL seem me, he triggers that part so this is quite important to accessing a submissive mindset.
Talking to me and listening actively goes alongside this. I love spending time together and even if we are not doing the same task, I like that we are close. Feeling that I am safe and can open up and show my vulnerabilities tends to being out my submissive feelings, so this sort of communication is a key part to accessing that part of me. Feeling taken care of emotionally also triggers quite deep submissive feelings for me. If I feel wanted then I want back.
Sexual or physical
I have been quite open about the fact that D/s, or more specifically HL, has made me sexy. That is because feeling sexy is a state of mind. It isn’t something I feel usually but attention from others and knowing they see me as sexy makes me feel it and in the end, sort of become it. While this can happen from the attentions of others (this is something that pre-lockdown we hoped to explore further) we are essentially reliant on the attentions of each other. Triggering this feeling also triggers my submissive mindset.
Simple things we do that make me feel sexier in a submissive sense include dressing up, using certain positions and being touched. I have written quite a bit about how clothes and accessories can make me feel sexy and help my mindset so this is something that we could use more. We tend to play at night when we go to bed so there is less dressing up and making an effort. We could easily build this in and use items to clothing to change things and mix them up.
Being asked to wait for HL in one of my submissive positions really helps me to focus and access my submissive mindset before play. It gives me a focus and allows my thoughts to quieten which can be really helpful and means that I respond more submissively to play when it starts. In the same way, being touched and especially HL creating that feeling that he needs me in a sexual or physical sense is very hot and will help me to click into the right mindset to take things forward.
2. What things help to maintain your Dominant or submissive mindset?
Rules and rituals help me with maintaining the mental mindset that I need. It keeps my focus on D/s and even if the actions I am carrying out are fairly straightforward, they give a structure and routine. It means that my submission is never far from mind even when I am not actively submitting as there are still requirements of me. We have played around with our rules and rituals to find ones which are a good fit for us both and have a purpose so I do find them really helpful.
Emotionally I would draw again on the things which help me to access my submissive mindset above. We have two weekly talk times which really help to maintain the emotional connection and allow me to feel connected to my submission. Likewise our weekly maintenance session is very helpful. It allows us to reaffirm our roles and the commitments that we have made to each other.
Sexual or physical
Being in close physical contact is also something that helps me to feel close and ultimately that maintains my submissive mindset. It doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual in terms of touch but regular contact will keep my focus in that area. Because I like erotic humiliation, being teased and threatened with acts which are sexual but push my boundaries also really helps me to feel sexy and excited about the submission I need to give. Statements of intent, reminders that I am wanted and desired and positive comments help that part too.
Taking pictures has been something that we have focussed on quite a bit and since moving to sharing some of those images, that has also helped. It doesn’t mean that I feel sexy all of the time of course, but it has helped to boost my self confidence and challenge some of the negative thoughts that can take over. This allows me to see myself more as HL sees me and in turn allows me to become that person.
3. What are the barriers to accessing and maintaining your Dominant or submissive mindset?
While we know that all of the things I have mentioned help to keep our focus on each other life can get in the way. I am a busy person and I throw myself into the things I do, so getting caught up in other things can be an issue. My work is demanding and my need to set sometimes impossible standards for myself can lead to me become into quite stressed about other areas. This is definitely an issue for me in terms of mindset and giving up control.
Sometimes, we can feel stuck in a rut. A power exchange works on give and take and is a continual cycle of dominance and submission. If something happens to lessen this in one area, then it ends up impacting both of us. In the same way as we can be in a pattern which means the power exchange is being played out in lots of different ways and is quite intense so we can find that it falls back to a minimum we need to get by or more of a bread and butter D/s.
I have already said that we have busy lives and at times, such as currently, we are never really alone. This can have an impact as it stops us for doing some of the things that we would to maintain our mindsets. We are left with using more of the things to trigger them but that requires continual transitions from one headspace to another and can be problematic. Not enough time and attention and focus also becomes part of this.
Things work so much better when they are applied consistently so inconsistency is probably one of the biggest barriers we face. The belief that the other is focussed on meeting your needs is reinforced through attention to detail and through doing the things that help to access and maintain mindset. If these are not done consistently then it creates a sort of stop/start feeling that I find really challenging. I found bedroom only D/s difficult for this reason, so making sure that the things which keep me in a submissive mindset are there is essential
4. Focus Points / Goals
Choose two or three goals or areas of focus to work on to improve your mindset.
Obviously what we focus on comes from discussion with HL. Based on the reflection we have done he has decided that we will focus on the following:
- Make sure that the rules and ritual are applied more consistently and use the weekly talk time and weekly maintenance sessions to reinforce them.
- Initiate a transition or greeting to mark the change from work to home. This has come from the fact that we are working from home much of the time so there is less demarcation than there was.
- Introduce more of the things which keep us feeling sexy such as taking pictures, dressing up and more sexual intent and references during the day.
HL has some ideas about these areas and I have made various suggestions too so hopefully this will be a start and something that we can build on. We will use our discussion times to evaluate progress and can add in more goals then as we see how we do. As with everything, we are a continual work in progress and as long as we feel that we are moving forward in our D/s, that is really the point.
I am creating a Dom sub workbook over at The Safeword/s Club with the reflection tasks that we are using so if you are interested and want to use them for your own reflection then feel free. You can find the relevant blog posts here, and the forum here. If you decide to join in and you blog about your reflection then please credit the source and link back to the project using the badge at the bottom of the page. The other reflective posts I have written so far as part of this project can be found here.