Panelists respond to a nervous listener whose partner wants to be dominated in bed.
Wild & Sublime Podcast Transcript
#S2E42 | “Help! My Partner Wants Me to Dom Her”
[Wild & Sublime theme music]
Goddess Erica: Don't make assumptions about what a Dom looks and acts like. There are as many ways to be a Dom as there are dominant people.
Karen Yates: Welcome to Wild & Sublime, a sexy spin on infotainment®, no matter your preferences, orientation, or relationship style, based on the popular live Chicago show. Each week, I'll chat about sex and relationships with citizens from the world of sex positivity. You'll hear meaningful conversation, dialogues that go deeper, and information that can help you become more free in your sexual expression. I'm sex educator Karen Yates.
This week, a reluctant Dom asks our panel for help. Keep listening. For over a year now, Wild & Sublime has been delivering quality sex-positive content on a weekly basis. Have you been impacted by the many discussions on sexuality, both with experts and regular folks? Do you feel more aware and in the know about sex, sensation, relationships, and communication? If so, consider becoming an Afterglow subscriber with benefits on Patreon. Starting at just $5 a month, you can help us continue to bring awesome content to your ears. Or throw a tasty contribution into the tip jar. The links are in the show notes. Thanks so much for your support.
Hey, folks. Today it's a shorter episode, but a great conversation. Have you had a partner ask for something kinky, and you kind of can't handle it initially? Perhaps you get a little judgy? Well, maybe this conversation will give you some skills the next time it happens — and it probably will. You'll be hearing from recurring guests psychotherapist and intimacy coach Brandon Hunter-Haydon, sex educator Ren Grabert, and sexual empowerment coach Goddess Erica. Enjoy.
[to panelists] “My partner wants me to Dom her in bed. I am so not a dominator. It seems like a stupid act. It goes beyond me just tying her up. This is a dynamic thing I'm talking about. I'm a regular guy, and I also need to mention I feel queasy, nervous, question mark, when she wants rough play. Not sure what that's about. Suggestions appreciated. Signed, Dom LOL." Goddess Erica, to kick us off.
Goddess Erica: Dom LOL: First of all, thank you for the question, and for trusting me with the answer. The first thing I want to start with is kind of breaking down your question. You identified yourself as a regular guy, which I am to assume is to mean that you are a cisgendered, heterosexual man. But I just want to point out that gay men, trans men, masc-identifying folks are also regular guys. So, that being what that is, let's get down to the question. You're married. Your wife wants to be dominated, with power exchange and rough play, but you think the domination is stupid. And the thought of doing some of those things that she's asking you for makes you queasy. The first thing that I want to talk about, again, is the words. You said that domination is a stupid act. But you also seem really invested in answering your wife's request to serve her desires. So I would warn you that you're never going to be able to give her what she needs if you approach this with judgment in your heart or mind. You don't have to love what you're doing, but at least be neutral about it. Or, bonus points if you learn to love it because you see how happy it makes her. Ask questions to understand and empathize with her needs better. Ask about her motives — not just why she wants it, but what she's hoping to feel from these experiences that she's asking from you. Also, don't make assumptions about what a Dom looks and acts like. There are as many ways to be a Dom as there are dominant people. A commanding Dom isn't always someone who's mean or cruel. Doms can be comforting, service-minded, even protectors. So, my suggestions would be — for getting started, and also for finding your comfort — it sounds to me like you've talked about what she wants, but have you actually seen it in action? Or what you can do is you can find content to watch together, to learn more about her desires. If you're not familiar with a site called Make Love, Not Porn, I suggest that you look into that. They are an inclusive, sex-positive platform that features real people having real-world sex, and that includes kink. It's a paid site — and, full transparency, I'm a Make Love, Not Porn ambassador. I really believe in their mission. It's created and run by a woman, and they have a robust collection of kink-related stuff. I actually have content on the site related to Tantra. So if you want to check it out, you can use my link to get free content. So I will share a link to help with getting a first video rental for free. You can also find sex educators on social media to follow and learn from. Recommendations would be Syn Black, who is a sex educator and Dom, and I love their content. There is Ask a Sub, which is a submissive educator — because you can and should listen to submissives, and learn from them how to be a good Dom. Also, Planet Midori. Midori is a respected voice in the kink community, and in addition to Instagram, you can also find her on YouTube. You can also pay a professional dominatrix to share tips and guidelines. You can read books on thinking and emotion that goes into power exchange, which is dominating or submitting to other people. My book recommendation would be also from Midori — she has a book called "Wild Side of Sex." So that is my thoughts on your situation.
Karen Yates: Awesome. Thank you, Goddess Erica. Ren, what do you have to say?
Ren Grabert: Yeah, I think that was all really, really great. I am thinking about this question again, in terms of where this person's mentality is coming from. Like, there's a lot of language that sounds like there's nervousness — "I'm feeling queasy when she wants rough play." I'm not sure what that's about. I'm wondering if you've ever, you know, really spent some time kind of thinking about where those feelings are coming from. It might be helpful to acknowledge that, if there might be some boundaries there that you haven't really considered yet, so that you can kind of talk about that as you're going through learning more about kink. Because there really could be some, you know, boundaries that are there that you could be triggered by, if you aren't familiar with what's going on internally. So yeah, I would just recommend thinking about that a little more deeply.
Karen Yates: Cool. Thank you. Brandon.
Brandon Hunter-Haydon: I first just want to say, for me, it's always such a mark of an excellent Dom or a Dominatrix when you see how generous they can be. And that was a really generous answer from Goddess Erica — so I just want to honor that, and to riff off of both what they're saying, and to echo what Ren just brought in, too. The biggest recommendation for me is to stay curious about the author's experience and his partner's experience. Right? That curiosity is going to be the antidote to a lot of the lockdown, and a lot of the shutdown between the two of them. And it was already said before, but I just want to say it again, insist upon this, is it might be helpful to take certain triggering terms off the table. Like Domming, for example. Just forget about that. There's too much baggage. There's too many associated — obviously, this person has a lot of associations to what that might or is supposed to mean. Just forget about it. What is it that his partner — how does she want to feel? Right? What's the feeling that she wants to have in this kind of play? Right? And I think if you start there, then the two people really get to collaborate on figuring out what that feels like, what that looks like. And they can call it whatever they want. Right? So it's a co-created — they can really take ownership of that co-creative element. But it sounds like there's some terms that feel loaded, and that's okay. It's pretty common for a lot of those terms to be really loaded for a lot of people. I would just take those off the table, and get curious about how they want to feel.
Karen Yates: Fantastic. Does anyone want to add anything else?
Brandon Hunter-Haydon: I popped a resource in the chat that I've used. It came out in 2014. I think it's so good. I still revisit it. It's from Autostraddle. These three authors put it together. And it's a great — it's like a workbook for communicating with your partner about your fantasies and desires. And just sensation also, too. Giving language to sensation that one wants, this is a great tool for it. It's like a mini workbook that you get to fill out together. And can help you have the conversation, so you don't have to have the burden of figuring out how to talk about all this yourself.
Karen Yates: For more info on Goddess Erica, Brandon, and Ren, go to our show notes. Also, we have the link to Make Love, Not Porn that Goddess Erica mentioned there as well, and the link to Midori's book, "Wild Side of Sex," on our Bookshop affiliate link. When you purchase the book there, you will be helping independent booksellers and Wild & Sublime. Wild & Sublime is also sponsored in part by our Sublime Supporter, Chicago-based Full Color Life Therapy. Therapy for all of you at fullcolorlifetherapy.com.
Well, that's it, folks. Have a very pleasurable week. Thank you for listening. If you know someone who might be interested in this episode, send it to them. Do you like what you heard? Then give us a nice review on your podcast app. You can follow us on social media @wildandsublime and sign up for newsletters at wildandsublime.com. I'd like to thank associate producer Julia Williams and design guru Jean-Francois Gervais. Theme Music by David Ben-Porat. This episode was edited by The Creative Imposter studios. Our media sponsor is Rebellious Magazine, feminist media, at rebelliousmagazine.com.
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- Goddess Erica – Sexual empowerment coach
- Ren Grabert – Sex educator
- Brandon Hunter-Haydon – Psychotherapist & intimacy coach
- A worksheet to talk to partners about sex – Autostraddle
- Make Love Not Porn
- Buy Midori’s “Wild Side of Sex” on our Bookshop page
- Buy BDSM education book “Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns” on our Bookshop page
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