On Being Selfish

Photo by Becca A. Lewis

Photo by Becca A. Lewis

I was telling my partner what felt good to me while being asked to do something.  After hearing me out, my partner asked what the difference between these four asks was:

I think you should paint your toes.

I really like seeing your toes painted, and it’s been a while.

I really like seeing your toes painted and it’s been a while.  Will you paint them?

I really like seeing your toes painted and it’s been a while.  Will you paint them for me?

Below is a short explanation of what I had to say.  Please keep in mind that this is my response and you are completely within your right to adamantly disagree with everything I have to say, and your relationships do not have to end up looking anything like mine, so long as we all find our bliss somewhere.

“I think you should paint your toes.” A command.  It is not necessary in a command to find connection with me when letting me know what is desired.  I will most likely feel a little confused or panicked (my baggage, not yours) about why he wants this, what it means, whether or not I can engage a discussion about it, etc.  This is not my favorite way to be asked for anything; in fact I find it emotionally and pleasurably distancing.  Someday I may not find it abrasive, or I may desire to feel that way – there will be a lot of trust-water under the bridge when that day comes.

“I really like seeing your toes painted, and it’s been a while.”  This is not a question.  My partner is passively topping, and I really like to be asked questions.  It just feels respectful.  I am likely to feel annoyed that he isn’t actually asking me for anything, yet seemingly expects me to give him what he’s mentioned.  This does not feel like a partnership proposition to me, nor a D/s engagement, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to get out of it when I’m not even being asked.

“I really like seeing your toes painted and it’s been a while.  Will you paint them?”  Now we’re starting to get somewhere.  Technically there is nothing whatsoever wrong with this question.  For me though, I still do not know what I am supposed to get out of it.  I like doing things for my partner, that is a major motivation for me.  This question feels like an upkeep request rather than a connected and loving desire I can fulfill.

“I really like seeing your toes painted and it’s been a while.  Will you paint them for me?”  Ahh, yes!!!  This one fits like a glove.  I am being told that I am appreciated, that my partner likes something about the way I look and desires to see me look that way, and I am being asked to do it for him.  For some reason those two tiny little words make all the difference to me.  All of a sudden I find myself smiling and actually desiring to say yes.  I feel giddy from the request, and I think giddiness is one of the major reasons I signed on to D/s in the first place.

After hearing all this he said he understood and wanted to make me feel that way, but he had a hard time phrasing questions in terms of “for him”.  It was scary and it made him feel selfish.  “But Doms are supposed to be selfish”, I said with a grin.  In reality what I meant is that I enjoy making my partner happy, and to do that I need my partners to be just selfish enough to tell me exactly what makes them happy.  I pointed out that s-types (read that term as you like: submissives, bottoms, slaves, or whichever label you most enjoy) are supposed to be selfish too – I feel completely selfish when my back is being bitten from top to bottom (one of my favorite activities), and I just lie back passively and take it with complete and utter bliss.  I know that my partner likes what they’re doing, and I know my partner likes my true response to the moment, so why would I rob my partner of their pleasure by being one ounce less than selfish in that scenario?

Perhaps this is one of the greatest reasons I’ve discovered to date to have a D/s dynamic – to have it written into the rules that it is ok to ask your partner for the things you most desire, and to know that they wouldn’t be in the relationship if they weren’t open to (at the very least) just that.

PS:  It’s pretty damn selfish for me to have asked to be spoken to in certain ways anyhow, I think 😉

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin

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~Thank you.

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