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How to attend to a disobedient sub?

Ok, as I’ve had this come up recently (and acted upon it) I wondered how others would react to the following, so I’m going to set the scene and wonder what You would do…

There is this submissive in your life. You met him over the internet and met up in real life to see how the chemistry is. And, oh boy, there is chemistry. It’s a nice conversation over dinner and there sure is ground for a nice D/s to build on.


This guy is green, but it doesn’t matter, You like to start new this time. So You have him do assignments and work on his unwanted behavior. For example, he’s way too clingy, so You turn this behavior into the right type. However, you do feel he’s not sharing everything so You try to get the right information out.

After a few months or so, You tell him to come to a party for some real-time playing. It’s not that it’s the first time and You have slightly suggested some activities that do freak him out, but he doesn’t complain. He does have more than a week to think about it, but no comments from his side, however, the assignments You have set for him in the meantime for the week are either not completed or hardly could be called so.

So then the day arrives and, out of the blue, 2,5 hours before the arranged meeting, while You are already on your way, he sends a message over social, to tell You that he is not coming because he is afraid. It’s not like he doesn’t have any other ways of contacting You because he does have Your phone number and can either text or phone You. But, he chooses to send a short message over social instead.

You tell him that You still expect him to be there in 2,5 hours, and tell him that what You told him before is partly a test to await his reactions. So then, when You arrive at the club You wait for his arrival. Instead, You hear nothing, not a word and he doesn’t come. But no word on your phone, or on social after Your last reaction…

What do You do?

Answers :

  • Without knowing you and the guy, or how long you’ve been together. I also don’t know if It’s not that it’s the first time

This means it’s or not his first time at a party or not his first time playing with you or both, not his first time playing in public, which could be a huge big step for some.

So it’s impossible from the outside to tell if this is a little annoying lack of obedience which you should punish (or funish) or whatever is right for your dynamic, or if this is a real hot button and/or disconnect between his expectations and yours.

In the long run and in reality, consent is not given once and then it’s “Yes Ma’am” forever and ever. You have to inspire ongoing consent. And the bigger issues often have to be approached with some build-up, and discussion.

Only you know whether just issuing orders and meting out punishments will work. Or whether it makes sense to dig in and find out what the problem is, discuss it, and let him know that together you will help him overcome his fears. My gut reaction is it’s time to inspire consent, not order it.

  • So after a few months of what I assume is a good ongoing situation, you just write him off without asking what’s going on?

e does have more than a week to think about it, but no comments from his side, however the assignments You have set for him in the meantime for the week are either not completed or hardly could be called so.

So then the day arrives and, out of the blue, 2,5 hours before the arranged meeting, while You are already on your way, he sends a message over social, to tell You that he is not coming because he is afraid.

I can see this as someone who’s an asshole who just got his rocks off and lost interest OR…

A good guy who was very afraid of disappointing you, thought he could muscle through it, was dealing with some internal conflicts that many intelligent and thoughtful male submissives have, and finally gave in to his fear.

Only you know which is more likely the truth. But I’m saddened at how quickly people write someone off as worthless after a few months.

  • I gave him the chance to correct his mistake. He did not pick it up so I did let him of since the simple fact that he has not taken the opportunity to correct the mistake he made, or even worse, he didn’t do anything at all. I have not heard from him since (even though he has been online).
  • For example, he’s way too clingy, so You turn this behavior into the right type.

I am wondering what is the right type of behavior, and how was it attained. If a sub shares how he feels about a matter which does not sit well with the domme, depending on how it was handled, the lesson for him could have been to not share his feelings.

It’s not that it’s the first time and You have slightly suggested some activities that do freak him out, but he doesn’t complain. He does have more than a week to think about it, but no comments from his side, however, the assignments You have set for him in the meantime for the week are either not completed or hardly could be called so.

I am wondering when you say it wasn’t his first time, do you mean it wasn’t his first time playing, or it wasn’t his first time at a public party. Even if he had been to a public party, that there was talk of activities that freak him out (soft limits?), it’s possible that he was not ready for those activities in front of others.

If he was not comfortable sharing his feelings, whether for sake of personality or whether for sake of how the clingy matter fared, it is understandable that he did not share his discomfort. Given that there was talk of activities that freak him out, I think proactively checking for how he felt might have helped. To me, his silence and that his weekly assignments were off the usual course suggest it would have helped to have such a conversation.

Of course, the most courteous approach in such a situation is to call. However, in my experience to avoid such calls is fairly common–men do it, women do it, dommes do it, subs do it, customers do it, vendors do it. Given you had a power relationship and one where he was conflicted about disappointing you, and that you ordered him to still attend when he said he was afraid (a response he might have predicted) makes it more understandable that he wrote an email versus calling. Communication occurs freely best when awkward conversations can be had without fear. To me, intention matters most and I think there is room to say he intended well but was simply afraid, which is still frustrating but more forgivable than deliberate disrespect.

You tell him that You still expect him to be there in 2,5 hours, and tell him that what You told him before is partly a test to await his reactions.

So you told him that the comments about activities that freak him out were just a test? It is hard to know what you were feeling and what he was feeling. The end of it is that he still was not comfortable to come and it seems he felt that your response did not leave room to discuss how he felt. It could be that he was still afraid. It could be that he did not know what to believe, and when you were saying things as a test and when not. It could be he does not respond to emotional masochism and did not respond well to the mindfuck. It could be that he was a flake. Frankly, if he has shown up to see you and you have had contact for a few months, he has shown some behavior to his credit against being a flake.

I agree with Carolyn and am surprised how people are commenting about a relationship that has gone on for a few months and is said to have come from good interpersonal chemistry. I also agree with her comment about how consent is inspired on an ongoing basis. I recognize that I lean towards patience and empathy more than the average so my response is influenced by this tendency. If a domme friend had sought my advice about the matter, I would have suggested to treat this incident as one datapoint and look at it alongside the datapoints accumulated over the few months.

I am not convinced he is guilty or innocent. I am not convinced everything you did could not have been any different. It could be that both of you could have done things differently. It could be that both of you could not have done things differently and it simply is a matter of incompatibility. As for what to do, it might be a good exercise to examine your response with a devil’s advocate approach, whether for sake of determining whether he deserves more leeway or whether for whatever insights you might gain for the future if this matter has gone too far. If you find after this approach that you acted consistently with your relationship goals, dominance style and expectations, then ending it is the best course for you.

  • The fact that I haven’t been able to have any contact ever since this happened does give another clue though, doesn’t it Carolyn? 🙂

Well, that wasn’t clear. Your first post said

Instead, You hear nothing, not a word and he doesn’t come. But no word on your phone, or on social after Your last reaction…

Which could well be that concurrently with not showing up, he didn’t send any other messages. For all I know this all happened 2 minutes before you wrote your post. If I missed the time frame, apologies.

But still, after a few months, at least for me, I get an idea of a person. I would probably not have spent “a few months” if I didn’t feel they were a good and sincere person.

And while it is totally possible he’s an asshole, I tend to think that would have shown earlier.

Was it a failure of obedience? Or a failure of leadership? My guess is a little of both.

You said you wanted other opinions, this is mine. After something like what you described, getting scared about a play party (did you answer whether this was his first play party at which you two would have played in public?) I would not have seen that as a mistake on his part to be remedied only by him.

I would see it as a mistake on MY part in not preparing him adequately and not having made it safe enough for him to come to me with his fears. I love dealing with fears. I love helping subs overcome fears. I don’t expect uni-lateral muscling through it out of obedience, although I do see the heat inherent in that.

silk panties

I think it’s a shame he didn’t tell you “this isn’t working for me because of X, Y or Z” and as I said, I don’t know him and maybe it was just “get my rocks off until it gets difficult”

But you asked how other people would have handled it, and that’s my best guess.

  • Yes, I have made mistakes on my part (and I know where they lie). And no I haven’t written down every detail of what has gone wrong above (I’m not sure that would help). But I feel the grandest of mistakes lie on his part. He has not been communicating his fears even though I have given him plenty of opportunities to do so. Up to the last moment, he told me he was excited, in a good way.

This indeed would be the first time we would be playing in public. I understood fully that it would be scary for him and therefore I gave him plenty time to get used to the idea and talk about it.

On the clingy part, he was asking me about every day whether I still wanted him as a submissive in the beginning. I don’t mind answering that question a few times, but having to answer that every day does not work. So I told him that question wasn’t helping.

I did have some bells and the unfinished assignments (or sloppily finished ones) did ring some bells, but other things went well. So it was a bit of a surprise to get this message, this way. He had been texting me quite a bit before and now suddenly nothing but a message over social.

I know he has been online since (I saw him on Messenger) but no answer to my mail or nothing, so to me it’s really a sign of a flake to be honest if he’s not even willing to take the chance to fight for it…

  • I value relationships that I have put time into and I would not have spent months with someone if I didn’t really really like them and think that there was real potential. I don’t find that often at all, and so I don’t see submissives as disposable or replaceable.

Like Carolyn, I love fear, adore it, but she is absolutely right, you can’t muscle through it using orders and punishment. It is more complex than that and you have to be very aware of his headspace at all times so that you can bring him along with you and not lose him along the way.

Part of a dominant’s role is to lead their submissive and to do that, you have to know his headspace well enough to see when he is struggling (with emotional, mental, physical challenges, all of those) and then handle it appropriately. That’s not easy, and you missed seeing it, or understanding the depth of it. While you may think the communication was good, it wasn’t. He needed serious reassurance and didn’t get it. It happens and sometimes you can recover and sometimes you can’t.

Having said what I think the dominant is responsible for, he has to take responsibility for his own actions – it sounds like he was in an increasing panic leading up to the event, and he took the easy route with the FL email on that. He is also being a coward now in not talking it through with you, so I would be very very disappointed in his behavior.

Only you can judge if he is worth trying to get through to. And if he won’t communicate with you anymore, then he has made his choice. Expect him to come back full of apologies in a few weeks or months. If you think you can give him another chance when he does, you both need to be very clear about what went wrong and how you will handle it next time.

  • Yes I have made mistakes on my part (and I know where they lie).

That’s good. Hopefully you will have learned and grown from the experience.

And no I haven’t written down every detail of what has gone wrong above (I’m not sure that would help).

It wouldn’t really. Without knowing you and him, there is no way a few more details would really help.

But I feel the grandest of mistakes lie on his part. He has not been communicating his fears even though I have given him plenty opportunity to do so. Up to the last moment he told me he was exited, in a good way.

Sometimes we don’t know how deeply our own fears run until we have to do that fight or flight thing. Men in particular need to be given more than an opportunity – they need to be poked and prodded to get them to discuss their fears.

But as I said, you know him (and yourself) If you are, as you seem, content with your decision, there’s really no point saying anything else.

  • I’ve read everything in this thread so far and I think there’s been one thing that everyone’s missed.

I feel that Nyara’s feelings are being invalidated. She has every right to be very angry at having invested much time and energy in a relationship with this submissive, only to have him say he’s not attending an event via a message on social and then end the relationship but simply not communicating with her ever again.

For my part, I would be hurt, disappointed and very very angry. Nyara I think your restraint in your postings has been admirable, I doubt I would have had as much self-control.

Yes, the submissive in question may have needed more coaxing. Yes it may have been a lack of leadership on Nyara’s part. Yes the submissive may have not been ready to go public despite the warm-up he had. And so on…

Leaving BDSM and D/s aside, what it really comes down to is one person dumped another person after months of relationship in a manner that I think is really spineless. Quite frankly, that stinks. I hope someone does the same to him one day so he knows how awful it feels!

  • Well hindsight is a wonderful thing and I, for one, have always found it easier to advise someone else than follow my own advice. I have been stood up more times than actually had the person show up, and even when I followed all my rules and everyone else’s, I still got snookered big time twice. Its disappointing, its maddening and it just plain old sucks.

But I think you don’t have the choice of continuing with him, even if you wanted to. He’s not responding, he’s not communicating and regardless of the reason why, he’s done.

That said, other than my personal thoughts of why bother with “assignments”, I don’t see where you did anything wrong except choose the wrong person. And there is not one person in this group, no one that hasn’t chosen the wrong person, at least once. Women tend to want to understand what’s going on and smooth things over, even dominant women, and when you are dealing with an insecure and immature man, you aren’t ever going to win that one. In other words, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince or princess.

  • What happened has given me lots of thought. My initial response were to be angry, disappointed and somehow a bit lost. I felt that the trust we had been building up was all for nothing and there was no similar feeling from his side to build with. So I send him, hours after him not showing or showing any sign of response, a long and clear e-mail that I felt he did not trust me like I thought he would and that I could not continue putting energy into this, the way it is. As I feel trust is the basis of everything here, and if he doesn’t trust me, I have nothing to build on.

Nyara appears to be taking on board what everyone is saying and she doesn’t seem to be taking any of it personally. If she’s as smart as she appears to be, I’m sure she’s learning as much as she can from the situation.

  • As things have changed over the last two weeks, quite drastically, I thought I’d give an update anyhow for you nice ladies that really helped me.

The submissive we have been talking about in this thread has been active on Fetlife in the last two weeks (he’s done changes to his profile and talked to different people) but I personally have not heard a single word from him.

After the party and coming home  I promised myself I would take time to get to grips with the situation and what I wanted to do. I thought I would take some time (most likely months) to get myself back on track in figuring out what I really wanted.

However, as life happens to you while you’re busy making other plans, this is not what life came up with. There was this really supportive and nice male submissive that I have known for quite some time and spend some time talking to. And before I knew it, I really ‘fell’ for him as he did for me.

So here I am, like it was supposed to happen (and who says it wasn’t ;)), I have a new submissive, who I am happy with and I can close this for myself…

  • Apparently, my take on this is somewhat different. What I see is that the submissive in this scenario was becoming increasingly afraid. His assignments were incomplete, and his communication became increasingly sporadic. This is a red flag for the Dominant that something is very very wrong.

Going to a play party for the first time is a TERRIFYING new step. As it got closer, it sounds to me like your sub became more and more afraid. And, on that final day, in those final moments, facing a solitary drive to a “PLAY PARTY,” he balked.

A D/s relationship is about a lot more than just assignments and plays parties, beatings, or even service. It’s about communication, first and foremost. It sounds to me like your sub was sending you some very substantial signals that he was not ready for the step you set before him. If something is wrong with a submissive, it’s the Dominant’s job to know what it is. It seems to me that the signs were all there. When your submissive starts to drift away from you, you NEED to step forward, and guide, nurture, educate… I sympathize with your pain at being stood up and losing your submissive, but I think that if you had been tuned in to what he was trying to tell you, you either would have seen it a lot sooner or might even have been able to prevent it.

I don’t say this to make you feel bad. Things happen. I say it in the hopes that should such things begin to happen again, you will be able to recognize what is happening with your submissive, and key into what he is thinking and feeling. If he is truly afraid, that is the time to stop and reassess the activity.

  • I’m not sure I would nessacerrily write him off. If the chemistry between you two is as good as you say, that is difficult to find. If this is his first time doing anything like this he may have gotten spooked. You need to remind him and make it clear how important open communication is. He may have been hesitant to share his reservations with you for fear of disappointment or something.
    I would just be straight forward in emphasizing the importance of communication, and how his lack of communication is the biggest disappointment to you. If he continues not to communicate with you, or if he doesn’t follow through on things, then you need to make a decision based on your feelings weather or not that is acceptable to you. You may at that point have to let him go.
    This is just my opinion for what its worth.

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