Feb 112017

One of the reasons I love twitter is the ability to have conversation with people around the world and get inspired by what others are experiencing and talking about.

So when Domina Dynasty posed this question on twitter, I was intrigued…

Can you teach someone to be submissive?

It’s a really interesting question and like so many aspects of kink, prompts more questions before an answer can be found.

First it got me thinking about the huge variety in submissives who have served me over the years. This is yet another example when language matters and individual definitions matter the most. The way that I define submission very likely could be different than the way that you define submission.

Yes, I know that I talk about this all the time but it’s that important.

This all boils down to one of my core concepts and it’s this –

Focus on intention, not activity.

Submission is an emotional state. Submission can look very different from person to person.

  • Crawling & groveling
  • Quietly respectful
  • Bratty & defiant
  • Obedient & obsequious

And to really blow your mind, sometimes submission looks like dominance but I’ll get to that more thoroughly in a future post.

However obedience is one of the most obvious expressions of submission, so we’ll start with that.

As a dominant, you can teach obedience. You can teach someone to submit to your commands, and you can teach someone how to do different tasks and actions. You can use punishments, rewards and bribes to encourage or require that someone “acts” obedience, because obedience is an action.

You can also teach someone how to model emotional submission with body language indicators such as keeping their eyes to the ground or crawling or always walking two steps behind.

Those are indicators of submission, but they don’t in any way guarantee the emotional state of submission.

Forcing someone to crawl might put them into the emotional state of submissiveness, but when you force someone else to do the same thing, they’re just crawling. It may not have any have any connection to the way that they are feeling inside.

The action and the activity is not where the energy lies. It is inside of the individual themselves.

Yes, you can teach someone to model submissiveness. You can teach them obedience. You can teach them to express emotional submissive indicators, but there is no (healthy*) way (that I know of) to externally teach someone to be submissive internally unless they want to achieve that headspace. They are the ones that have to put in the internal work no matter how much time or energy the dominant spends on the training.

So the person has to have at least a kernel of submissive desire even if they find it difficult to express that submissiveness. It’s not always easy behave submissively, even when it is desired.

But if they are motivated then there are definitely ways to develop submissiveness. There are ways to cultivate the mindset of submission and to use external actions to create internal headspace.

With the combination of consistent training from the dominant and sincere effort on the submissive it’s possible to grow a desire to be submissive into actual submission.


What do you think? Are you a dominant that has trained someone to BE and FEEL submissive, not just ACT submissive? How do you know? Are you a submissive that has been trained to deepen your internal experience? Tell me about it in the comments below!



* I’m sure that there are ways to teach someone to be genuinely emotionally submissive, but I am unsure of the healthiness of those methods. What I’m talking about right now is consensual and either relationship/emotional submission or sexual submission.





Oct 112016

‘Topping from the bottom,’ is one of the first things I remember hearing about when I entered the kink scene nearly two decades ago. From both dominants and submissives the view was the same….’topping from the bottom’ is abhorrent. All submissives should avoid it like the plague and all dominants should watch like a hawk, to nip that shit in the bud.

And sometimes that’s true. I recently received (yet another) email from (yet another) submissive (after very little actual interaction, and no established relationship) sharing his fantasy. This was prefaced with the absurd idea that it would delight me first thing in the morning to hear all about how I can bring his fantasies to life. There was no mention of anything that would please me specifically as the person I am, not just a vessel for his desires.

That’s obnoxious and doesn’t improve his odds of earning any real playtime.


But I still think this oft-repeated phantom that haunts so many dominants and submissives has done more harm than good.

The real problem is when any and all communication, feedback, or unsolicited fantasies (within a relationship) get lumped in with selfish and/or manipulative attempts at getting a dominant to “perform.” This is the nuance that I’ve seen is lost when new, or even long-time kinksters profess a unilateral disdain for ‘topping from the bottom’ when what they might be talking about is “submissive expressing desires and needs.”

Concern about ‘topping from the bottom’ has created a lot more negative experiences for kinksters than saved anybody from them.

Over the years, I’ve seen both sides of the D/s dynamic express the reasons ‘topping from the bottom’ should be avoided at all costs.

From dominants:

  • “Do they think they’re in charge?! They are NOT in charge.”
  • “This isn’t about them. They’ll take what I give them and like it.”
  • “I don’t need them telling me what to do, I’M the dominant.”

From submissives:

  • “I don’t want to try and control the scene, it’s not my place to do that.”
  • “I want whatever you want Mistress, my needs aren’t important.”
  • “I shouldn’t tell you my fantasies, I wouldn’t want you to tell you what to do.”

All of that is fine within a fantasy context, but healthy kink has to be rooted in reality…and that includes plenty of communication from both sides. If either partner lets fear of ‘topping from the bottom’ stop communication from happening, there’s bound to be trouble.

When it comes to ‘topping from the bottom’ the two critical elements are the Intention and Delivery.

A submissive HAS to be able to communicate to the dominant when it comes to their desires, needs and fantasies. All kink is deeply personal, and when it comes to psychological play and humiliation, it’s even more so.

The difference is the energy with which those things are communicated.

If a submissive shares their fantasies with impatient expectation, or an expectation of perfection, then that would be what I consider the traditional concept of ‘topping from the bottom’ and it’s not helpful.

However, if a submissive shares their fantasies, needs, and desires in the spirit of giving their dominant information to be used at the dominants discretion, then that is entirely appropriate and is often incredibly useful.

If a dominant isn’t willing to listen to their submissive the chance of a problem occurring skyrockets… everything from unsatisfactory scenes to accidental consent violations to abusive situations and relationships.

If you’re a dominant, you don’t have to be the only person contributing creatively to your kink. And even more importantly, you don’t have to be afraid that suggestions or feedback from your submissive automatically undermine your dominance.

It’s all well and good to do the whole “I AM AN ALL-KNOWING DOMINANT” thing, as long as that thing doesn’t stop your submissive from being able to communicate with you like you’re both actual human beings.

Submissives shouldn’t abdicate all responsibility for creating sexy kinky good times.

If you’re a submissive, look at your intentions when sharing your fantasies and feedback. Communication shouldn’t be an issue but your style, delivery and timing might be. No dominant wants to be scolded by their submissive (unless there’s an agreed upon brat dynamic) and no one enjoys being whined at or having to watch someone pout.

I recommend that you watch the tone of voice you use if you’re talking in person with your dominant. Plenty of useful conversations have been derailed by petulance or the tone of disappointment.

When you share your fantasies as a way for your dominant to understand your psyche, then you’re arming them with the most useful kink tool of all, personalized information. However, if you expect your dominant to simply play out your fantasies then unless you have a Service Top* that’s likely to end up in frustration for both of you.

Find a way to communicate that supports your power dynamic

It doesn’t have to turn into a demand-free-for-all. There are options for submissives to communicate which can help ease the feeling that sharing = demanding.


*Plenty of people enjoy playing with dominant energy in a scene, but don’t at all mind getting information that’s more along the line of instructions and might even prefer it. This is what might be called “Service Topping,” or in this case “Service Dominance” which is dominance ‘in service’ to the submissives desires/needs. Yes, this is a real thing, and yes this is still “real” domination.

You can order my book Enough To Make You Blush: Exploring Erotic Humiliation on Amazon

What do you think? Does ‘topping from the bottom’ exist? Have you had any experiences with it?