I don’t know how to dominate: When you hurt your submissive.

I said the wrong thing, the worst possible thing.

His eyes filled with tears and what had felt like a calm and gentle silence turned into something heavy and frowning.  A giant face of disappointment.  I had hurt him.  I had fucked up.

“Will you please untie me now?” he said quietly.

I sat up and quickly undid the Velcro cuff.


“Of course,” I whispered into his chest.

I clung to him, my naked body pressed against his, and listened to his heartbeat.  Candlelight flickered around us as I felt the occasional disturbance of his freed hand wiping away his silent tears.

“I’m so sorry,” I said tearfully again, “so, so sorry…” I trailed off wishing I could rewind the previous 2 and a half minutes.

“It’s ok,” he answered, squeezing me with the arm I was nestled against.  “I forgive you.  I’m just worried you think the entire night is ruined.”

“No,” I sniffed, “but I feel horrible.  I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“I know you didn’t, but you did and I didn’t know you could…” now he trailed off into a still, yet distant space away from me, beneath my tear-soaked cheek, but safely away from my Dominant clumsiness.

The night had been an intercourse-free one, but layered thick with sexiness and debauchery.  I had him bucking and writhing below me as I lashed his buttocks with a heavy brown belt and clamped his tiny little nipples with my hair clips.  He begged me to stop, to make the pain go away and my answer had been a firm, but resounding NO.

I wanted him to feel it, to breathe through it, to suffer under my watchful guidance.  To break apart and let me put the pieces back together again.

He struggled and panted against his own desire to flee from me, but he was a good boy and remained.  I stroked him gently and purred to him to “Just breathe.”  He clenched his eyes shut and whimpered then finally begged and pleaded with a look in his eye that told me he’d turned the corner of submitting to me.  He believed it, the agony and hope on his face told me.  He finally believed it.

I removed the tiny claws and crooned to him and pet his pretty, scruffy face.  I kissed his mouth and his eyes, told him what a good boy he was.  He thanked me and thanked me and nibbled back on my lips.

I felt like I had finally done something right!  That he had cracked for me, just a little, and we had gone somewhere together!  It wasn’t just me rocketing off to the moon while he stood firmly planted on earth, this time he’d mingled with the stars beside me; his vice-like grip on himself  had slipped just ever so much and a little of his light had come beaming out at us.

It was then that I tied his hands above his head and turned my attention to the giant erection between his legs.  I sucked and squeezed and slurped, lavished attention on this magical appendage of his, then freed his right hand, his jerking-off hand.

I tied his right ankle to the footboard and, remembering his request of me from a few nights ago said, “Jerk off for me.  I want to see you cum on that beautiful black ribbon you’re wearing.”

This was new territory for us both, me telling him to cum.  I’ve asked for it multiple times, but had never in a dominating capacity told him to do it.  Before his blessing, before his trust in me to make such a decree, I had avoided the power it implied, the scenario it resembled to trauma.  I was afraid of hurting him.

But he had said it was ok, that he wanted me to do it, and so I did.

And with what I thought was great understanding of the power dynamic, the importance of consent, and an eye for a hopeful outcome, I loomed over him and laced the leather belt that had been dancing across his bottom around my own neck.

I lowered the free end to his face and told him to hold it between his teeth and pressed my Hitachi against my crotch then pulled gently away from him making the leather leash taught between us.

It was a sight to behold: his luminescence bound before me, his hand a fapping arc beating into his lap, the dark brown leather a physical representation of our bond.  I told him to release me then and he obediently expelled the leather. I stood straight and tall, my leg hiked up on the bed, and gyrated into the buzzing head.

I listened to his gasps and closed my eyes as I orgasmed, hoping that my direction, my order, and my show would help him find his always elusive release.

It did not.

Finally, he asked if he could stop and I said that he could.

I lay down beside him and stroked him as any obedient fellow should be.  Thoughts tumbled through my mind of dominance, submission, boundaries, and trauma.  Had I pushed him too far?  Was it too much stimulation?

As the bubble of our play began to wane I asked him as much.  Was me ordering him to masturbate, to perform in front of me, too much?

He froze.

I froze.

The bubble shattered into a million different pieces and came clanking down around us.

“No,” he whispered, “but can you do me a favor?”  I nodded into his chest.  “Please don’t ever mention that to me while I’m in this position,” he pulled against his restraints.  “Will you please untie me now??”

My tears, which had instantly sprung to my eyes when he froze, spilled over as I saw his own glisten in the candlelight and I watched, then felt, him wipe them away.  He took long moments between speaking and I held my breath not wanting to make my upset a focus.

I explained to him that dominating him was not a gimmick to me, it wasn’t just something to spice up our sex life.  It was an exploration of my own childhood trauma and a mechanism through which to rechannel it.  My feelings of helplessness as a girl are retold as I am a benevolent, yet demanding Dominant plugged into her submissive, someone who is choosing helplessness beneath her hand and watch.  It is a defiantly beautiful thing, a synchronous dance between two souls searching for release, balance, and love.

At least, that’s what I was going for.

But what had actually happened was that as he lay next to me, cracked open, vulnerable, and upset with himself for not being able to cum for me, I stumbled onto his most tender spot.  A silly, stupid girl with no business to be playing this game.

I had crushed us both.  The wound had been open to me and I could see it there pulsing before me, but I didn’t understand until it was too late that even to blow upon it would cause him harm.  I just didn’t know…

My heart is heavy and I miss him.  I want to go next door and cling to him and cry and beg him to forgive me, but I cannot.  This is his hurt and his to handle in whatever way he sees fit.  He said he wants to try this again tomorrow, but I am ashamed and afraid.  Terrified of both my proximity to his heart and my power to injure.  I have never felt so intimately close to someone as I do now pressed up to his pain. I see it now.  It’s been long suspected, but never confirmed.

I peeked into his dark place, his private island.  I am the worst kind of voyeur: I peeped and then I wasn’t careful with what I saw.  Yet, I am confused.  A part of my fear surrounded our complicit avoidance of his Dark Place.  I didn’t want to push him to spill over with me to submission without first knowing the landscape.  I’d felt blind, but now I feel blinded.

I am fucked, damned, lost.  I am nothing.

He gathered himself slowly, gave me my usual “T minus so-many-minutes till I leave,” heads up, and tried to assure me he was recovered.  I remained skeptical, obviously.

He said he appreciated my goal to understand his emotional boundaries, but that he was also surprised  by his reaction to my probing.  “I wonder why that happened?” he said.

“Well, you were cracked open,” I suggested referring to when he’d begged me make his physical pain stop. “You were open to feeling.”

He hmphed, thoughtful.  “Yeah, maybe.”

He fell into silence again and I squeezed him over and over as though it were my last night with him ever.  I ran my hand through his petal-soft chest hair and breathed him in.  Just breathe, I told myself.  I knew he would be leaving soon.

I whispered how sorry I was again and he kissed me and my tears.  “It’s ok,” he said holding my gaze.  “I’m ok.”

He rose and tucked me in and when he gave me a final kiss goodnight — so tenderly, so sweetly — my heart broke once more as my regret filled my unworthy, silly shell of a human body.  Oh, if only I were truly celestial and beyond misakes! 

I let my hand drag across his face as he stood up and disconnected.  He smiled down at the bed, his light blue eyes soft and warm upon me when they could have been hard and cold.

I didn’t mean to hurt him.  I only meant to cause him a little pain.

A 40-something single mother who writes honestly about sex, body image, D/s, relationships, her nervous tics, and how much she loves to fucking fuck. She also likes to show you her tits.

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81 thoughts on “I don’t know how to dominate: When you hurt your submissive.
  1. This from SilverHubby who is Dom and sadist:

    You will fuck up. I do, and I have been doing this for years. Now obviously you two know each other better than I ever can but, as I read it, you did all the right things. You stepped on an emotional landmine that you didn’t know was there.

    You then reacted as any good Dom should: you gave emotional after care to your sub and helped him come down and back. You talked about it and you need to again as soon as you can. After that, try it again. You know the landmine’s there now.

    It’s horrible to fuck up, I know. But keep up like this, and you will get better and better at it. You will never be perfect.

    All that being said, may I offer you a big hug?

    Take care of yourself, as well as your sub.

    Best regards,

    1. Yes! Please, I need hugs :) I haven’t heard from him this morning, yet (not at all unusual), and I am in total despair. This is hitting me harder than I thought, been up since 3am.

      I’m glad to know I’m not alone in hurting someone I love — and your words are wise ones — but as the dominant in this, I’m uncertain how much of my own distress I should share with him. I don’t want to unnecessarily convolute something as simple as: I hurt you and I’m sorry. But neither do I want to sweep this under the rug.

      Thanks again for your kind words, SH. xx Hy

      1. Sorry, we only just saw this. SH thinks you should be as honest about how you feel about the cockup as you’re wanting him to be about his side. That way, you have a really good chance of putting it ‘right’.

  2. One thing I’ve learned is that when you open yourself up, as TN did by connecting this deeply with you, it can be raw, painful & difficult…..

    But also rewarding, educational, exhilarating.

    But then – isn’t feeling? Isn’t living? Isn’t love?

    Mwah to you both sweetie x

      1. I agree with Licentious. When my Dom and I are traveling into the darkness together, even though I trust him to direct us, there’s also the risk that what we stir up may feel painful and difficult. Sometimes I’m even more surprised at my reaction than he is. Those moments can be deeply cathartic for me. Even when it seems like something went “wrong” in a scene, in the long run it has proven valuable and a learning opportunity for our journey together. Hugs!

  3. You need to cut yourself a little slack. You’re learning just as he’s learning, and you’re bound to make mistakes, just as he’s bound to discover new emotional weak points he didn’t know he had. Believe me, I make mistakes with Sofia quite often, even though I don’t write about them in posts. It can’t be helped when you’re pushing boundaries and entering new territory. Stop beating yourself up, find a way to get a hold of him (don’t wait for him to call you) and talk about the interesting/fun/exciting thing you have planned tonight. He doesn’t want you to re-hash this too much like a woman would. He knows, you know, both of you know the other knows, that’s enough for a man to move on. And don’t go about it timidly. A man will recognize the timidity and be turned off. Be a Dom and manage the situation like a Dom. Step around the landmine next time. He’ll certainly know you stepped around it and appreciate you for it. Finally, stop making his orgasm your goal (you’ve written several posts mentioning this). It’s not a measure of your success. It’s just a flash of pleasure at the end of a long, pleasurable experience, and if the flash isn’t there, the experience remains. A man, especially a man over 35, can deal with that.

  4. by the way, I thought everything you did up to the landmine was perfectly done. For someone so new at this, you managed it like a pro.

    1. Thanks, JK. For the record, he’s 29, just turned!; also, he asked me “to order him to cum” the other day. It wasn’t my idea.

      Maybe my writing lately has made it seem that it’s a big deal to me, it’s not. What it does means to me, though, is that I am taking more than I am comfortable with and he and I have discussed it. I share it here because I want others to know they’re not alone. I admit to sometimes having very convoluted feelings about his not cumming, but it’s not at all attached to how he feels about me or the sex we share. I know it’s separate. But if he wants to make it a focus, I like to oblige him.

      Last night was definitely an experiment and you’re right, I should cut myself some slack. It takes me a few hours, sometimes days, though, to process things of this intensity. I will consider your guidance and plan on getting back on the horse tonight. No sniveling.

      Also, am I breaking some kind ofcode by sharing my thoughts and confusion? My distress? Just curious. You Doms are often very silent about your wizard behind the curtain. Ferns and Dumb Domme talk about it, but they’re female, too. Just curious :)

      Thanks for your advice on this. Truly. xx Hy

      1. Not breaking some kind of code. We men don’t talk openly about our stuff because we’re men, not because we’re Doms. You know men, we just like to pretend we’re the wizard and just hope your little dog doesn’t pull the curtain aside.

        Sorry for my misconception about your focus on his orgasm. Now that you elaborate, it strikes me that his tears could have been tears of disappointment that he couldn’t do as you ordered (he wanted to badly). They could have been there, behind his eyes at the time he asked you if he could stop, only to come out when you asked the question. Just a guess. Probably also something he can’t reveal to you. It’s something I might expect of a sub.

        Forgive me as well, I realize I was brusque with you.

  5. Not to be left out ,…
    All relationships have difficulties. Emotionally challenging relationships have emotionally challenging problems. You did nothing out of malice, everything out of love. At some point it became to much for him you stopped comforted him and stayed close.
    The issues he has with orgasms is not an unknown, I can have great difficulty orgasming during sex. This can be a blessing at times just ask g :) . It has taken me a long time to relax about it. I am not driven to orgasm everytime, I enjoy the sensations, pleasing my partners, and watching them enjoy themselves under my touch. If I want to orgasm during sex I find it is better to do so quickly then start over. Sometimes it is all about me but even then its not just for me as making me cum and reaping the harvest can be just as rewarding as being reaped.
    I hope you two have talked by now if not stop reading this and text him a boob pic. Make contact, say something nice, its no big deal. As soon as possible tell him or show him he is ok, worthy, whole complete and as perfect as you tell all of us he is.
    BTW I am quickly becoming a fan of coconut oil handjobs. To just lie back and leave everything to someone else is exquisite. No rush no time frame And the coconut oil is unbelievable. No really !!.

    Always around somewhere >. Cruel

    1. Cruel, thanks for being so supportive. Re: him and his orgasms, he’s told me it’s because he doesn’t care enough to NOT jerkoff 14 times a day. I have all sorts of theories about that, none of which have anything to do with ME personally. And like you, he often enjoys the stamina it affords him and only occasionally wishes it were easier. But, to do that, he would have to care about something; an act he’s not comfortable or familiar with (by his own words).

      Every so often he’ll abstain so he can cum with me, but it’s not 100% successful. Sometimes I decree he may not touch himself or cum until he’s with me, but it’s more of a dominant directive than it is to have a goal of him cumming.

      And yes, we talked last night. I’ll write a quick post updating everyone :) Thanks for always being here! xx Hy

  6. I’m a little grumpy at TN (are you surprised?) Though not for my usual understanding (or misunderstanding) of him. I don’t understand why “is it too much for you?” Is a trigger so I won’t comment on that. However, entering into a bdsm arrangement, no matter how casual is going to bring out emotions. It’s going to crack you. You aren’t going to be able to be stoic and secure and stable. The gravity of what you’re doing with one another sort of blows that out of the water.

    He’s entitled to feel however he wants, but it’s not fair of him to blame you or to shut you out. Top Drop is as real and as serious as Bottom Drop. You gave him aftercare and he withdrew. I’m losing steam here because I care about you and I’m frustrated. I’m not making a good point anymore so I’m going to let it go. However, if you feel too droppy make sure you take some time for yourself.


    1. Aw, Fay, I must not have written well if this is the case. He was absolutely there for me. I can’t go into great detail about exactly what happened out of respect for his privacy, but needless to say, I stepped right on a landmine (that’s a new term I’ve learned from you all!) and he asked that remove ourselves from it. He was very kind and loving to me as I fell apart and we reconnected last night and he assured me everything was more than ok between us.

      But the fact is, I did hurt him. Accidentally, of course, but from what I’ve learned the past 24 hours or so, it’s an occupational hazard for a Domme. Go figure.

      Are you angry at him for always trying so hard to hold onto control?? I’m curious.

      Thanks for being so wonderful to me. xx Hy

      1. You write fine. Better than fine. Maybe I was projecting (its been an emotional… month… year… life? I dunno).

        I guess I am upset at him for that. He wants so much without having to give back… or so it seems. He wants to keep tight inside of himself and not be affected. I understand it’s hard when you want thag and you realize you can’t have it.

        I guess a part of me just wants him to wake up, to grow up, to come to you and say, Hy I’ve loved you for a long time, I’m an idiot with hang ups. Let’s just do this for real.

        –I really am projecting here. Hah.

        I want what is best for you, woman! I’ve been reading you forever now and I worry about you. You are real people to me.


  7. I can only echo what others have said. You did nothing wrong. If this relationship is to grow deeper, more has to come out in the open. More deep emotional back history needs to be shared … and understood. Often a submissive will be open and share. Sometimes a Dominant needs to extract.


  8. From my very little experience, the one very deep moment I had with a past lover. Without going into details, the place he took me to was deep. But at the moment I became withdraw and upset he held me and wanted me to talk. But there was nothing my mind could comprehend in that moment. Those things one holds so deep within are pivotal and can feel damning. But knowing you are safe with that person was the most comforting thing. Not necessarily completely understanding where I went. He loved me through it. Let me be. I needed time to process what happened. But I let him know I was OK. It was nothing HE did to me but where our shared experience had taken me. It wasn’t about HIM, just like you. I know he was afraid afterward, but it wasn’t that he did anything wrong. He took me to a beautiful place that I had never before with another person.

    I hope this make sense. Hugs.

  9. Everyone makes mistakes, man/woman/Dom/sub no one is immune. Yes you hit a landmine it happens, did you make a mistake, no not really. The world of BDSM is about pushing boundaries, learning growing.

    You cracked him open like so many are wont to do in a D/s relationship and in doing so you hit a tender spot. Nothing you did prior to that point or after was wrong, You tried to console and administer aftercare like any good Dom/Domme would do.

    The difference and I say difference not wrong doing is that when you tried to get him to open up about it he shut down. For me when something like that happens it is important to talk about it between one another.

    Even if the sub is unable to vocalize it I will strongly encourage them to write about it later in a letter. Some subs are better at communicating through written words then talking. The basis of this is communication and trust.
    For a relationship of this nature to grow sharing has to take place.

    He may need time to process all this himself, give him some time.

    1. Who knew it had a name! “Landmine” is so perfect!! And that night was the very first time I ever cracked him. It was a big deal. And thank you so very much for supporting my stumbling around. It’s good to know I have a resource. I can’t imagine doing this all alone.

      We’ve since talked about it and everything is re-calibrated. We were very tender with one another and I sense a stronger connection between us. Time will tell, I suppose. xx Hy

  10. This hurts my heart to read, and thanks for the callout up above there. I think it’s really important to talk about stuff that just doesn’t work, that isn’t super-domly domdomdominant-know-everything-perfect. Shit happens. But talking about shit happening makes us feel vulnerable. So it’s not easy. Your sharing this is really brave and I’m sure it wasn’t a cake walk.

    I can’t say I understand what went wrong there, but it appears you do, so that’s really useful.

    I want to reiterate what others said: Mistakes happen. And it *was* a mistake. You didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t push too hard, you weren’t unreasonable, you just hit a vulnerability that surprised you both (I want to stress that: it surprised HIM, they are called ‘landmines’ for a reason).

    If I can make a suggestion for tonight (I’m not sure about timezones here, maybe it’s already happened for you): do ‘safe’ things with him. I suspect your confidence has taken a big blow, and god, do I ever understand that. You don’t just ‘get over it’ like some magic wand getting waved and go on as if it never happened. It will live there in the back of your mind and you need to gently pack it up and send it on its way. My experience is that after something goes wrong, you both need to regroup, so when you meet up, do sweet things together that you *know* are ‘in the zone’. Nothing risky, nothing new, essentially petting each other back into place as reassurance that you are both really okay.

    Thank you for sharing, and *hugs* if you will have them.


    1. Aw, thank you so much, Ferns. I was afraid to write about and debated for about an hour whether or not to hit Publish. Writing about this experience is 10x more scary/intimate than writing about just fucking.

      I took your suggestion to heart last night and kept it very simple. We cuddled and talked and I gave him only one small spank with my hand. He was pleased to receive it, but not one thing more. Nor was I ready to give more. At first I’d thought maybe we would be, but we both vocalized neither of us were ready for playing. Being sweet was just what the doctor ordered.

      Thank you a million times again. xx Hy

  11. I’ve had something similar happen, where my Lady and I were in a scene and I ended up in a headspace where I didn’t safe word, even though in retrospect I clearly should have. My Lady picked up on it and stopped the scene, but just a touch too late. No real damage was done, other than shaking us both up. We’re both newbies, and this was an effective reminder that mistakes will happen, despite how much care you take.

    It didn’t stop us, but we did stop for a week to each process what had happened, and talk it through. I was withdrawn for several days, mostly because I still needed to work through my own feelings. Never once did I feel my Lady had failed me, or had anything other than the greatest love for me. No doubt. After talking it through, we started play again, a little nervously, but with building confidence. We’ve learned, and we’re also better prepared for the inevitable mistakes. Accidents, especially when they happen in the spirit of love, are the easy hurts to get over. 8-)

    1. PaganBoy, I greatly appreciate your support and kindess in sharing your experience. TN and I are also so new at this that I sometimes forget that we’re allowed to screw up a little. I suspect he is feeling similarly as you did; he plans on talking to his shrink about it, which I applaud. I’m happy to know that you and your Lady are back on track. xx Hy

  12. I don’t know you personally and I don’t know him but I do know the landmines far too well unfortunately. I think his shock of you stepping on that landmine comes from the fact that we, in our pride, fight hard to hide those landmines deep down where noone can possibly find them. We hide them to avoid hurt and avoid reliving the hurt. We bury that landmine deep and if anyone comes close to us we bury it even deeper. You stepping on that landmine shocked him because he didn’t realize just how close he had let you in and how open he had allowed himself to become.

    Accidents happen and it’s not your fault. He had that landmine long before you and knew that someone was bound to come around and step on it eventually. He just needs time to assess things, to heal and recover. Don’t blame yourself it’s not either of your fault it just happens. *hugs*

    1. I can’t believe I’m just now learning the term “landmine”! You’re, like, the third or fourth commenter to name it and I am so very grateful to you all!

      I couldn’t agree with you more about some of a landmine’s potency and particularly TN’s that night. You’re a smart cookie :)

      Thanks again for your support and taking the time to help me figure this out a bit. *hugs* xx Hy

  13. While I have never been in that type of relationship I have had that kind of moment. As a woman who sexually abused for most of my life allowing someone to go there with me is daunting on a good day, emotionally explosive on a bad. A bad one was when my partner decided to wake me up with oral sex. What he got was a busted nose and in the floor while I continued to sleep. Here is the issue, he did not know my full history when he did that. Without that knowledge he acted like a typical person would. Once he had it he altered how he approached me to give me what I needed. I think you did exactly what needed to be done. Give him time to process, they just work it much differently than we do, which for us is hell in the hallway right?? Sending you lots of love and hugs..

  14. Pingback: e[lust] # 50
  15. I was touched by your post. Domination and submission have been fantasies of mine since I was very young. As a boy growing up in a man’s world, in a family where men ruled completely, I remember that inside I rebelled against the idea of men always being in charge. Women are supposed to be equal and everything I saw growing up told me that women were inferior. I thought it was BS then as I do now.

    Your tender feelings for your lover are a thing of beauty. We all have a dark place. I guess I never realized just how fragile people can be and that’s something you have to learn as you go. I never considered myself fragile emotionally, but frankly I have never been taken to a place where my inner self was laid open for others to see.

    I hope you can reconnect with him. The fact that you care so very much for him is something I think he could cling to, knowing that you never intentionally wish to harm him. I would give anything to be in a relationship with someone as caring as you.

    Good luck.

    1. Greg, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to this caring note of yours (I’m only just now seeing it). I hope you may find what you need someday. I definitely believe it’s possible!

  16. Pingback: e[lust] #50
  17. In my opinion it is a very brave (and hopefully curative) decision to write about your experience in such an intimate way. Thank you for sharing.

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