I want to share a brief commentary on something that’s been bugging me lately in writing about D/s relationships geared towards submissives. I keep seeing a submissive empowerment message, which on its own is great, but I’ve also noticed a kind of hostility towards submissives who are naturally shy. A few different people have said some variation on a theme of “go after what you want, because if you don’t, you’re boring and no one will ever want to scene with you.”
Now, I realize that dominants are not mind readers, and that it is important to have some comfort with approaching someone you’re interested in if you want to hook up in a D/s space. Submissives shouldn’t expect to stand shyly in a corner and have a dominant immediately approach and proposition them. But it’s also insulting to put down shy personalities. It’s not unreasonable for someone who identifies as submissive to prefer to be the one reacting when it comes to flirting. Many submissives may be more comfortable accepting an invitation than making one. And frankly, that can lead to a more rewarding submissive sexuality.
Let’s say a submissive person runs up to you and says “hey, I’m interested, let’s go, here’s what I want to do, right now, come on.” If that approach attracts you, you may very well be uncomfortable taking the lead. If that’s true, then submitting to you might be be difficult, scary, and possibly unrewarding. It would seem to make more sense, then, for a shy submissive to wait for someone more compatible than risk that kind of thing happening.
This post was originally published on the blog Sex Positive Activism, which has now merged to become the sex & relationships section of Queer & Now.