from the Submissive Guide Newsletter 9-10-16

The topic for this article came to me from a reader survey I did over a year ago where I asked you what was most pressing to your at that moment and this question, "must I always wait for my Dom to tell me what to do?" came up. I must admit that I had a gut reaction to it first, which was "hell no!' but as I thought about it, I know that answer wasn't always the case for me.

In my early days of being a submissive, I felt, either through internet influence or my own naivete, that I couldn't suggest anything to my partner and that I had to always wait for them to give me orders. I believed that as a submissive, it was forcing my desires on my partner if I mentioned that I wanted to play or have  sex, or heck, even have something different for dinner than what was planned. I had this ginormous fear of topping from the bottom and for some reason, I thought that also meant that I could show no desire, no independent thought and that I was to be completely dependent on my Dominant's desires and whims.

Submissive Does Not Mean You Lose Your Autonomy

It is my hope that in this article, and throughout the site, that you learn that submissive does not mean pushover, it doesn't mean you give up your dreams and desires. In fact, embracing submission in whatever form you wish is empowering. It should drive you to reach more of your goals and it should definitely make you happy. So, you don't lose the ability to make decisions when you become submissive. You still have a life to live, work to do, and friends to see. The only thing that changes in a D/s relationship is the priority those decisions take.

For example, say you are invited to go out to dinner with friends. When you were single, or in a regular relationship, you might not even consider asking anyone else if it were okay first. You'd just tell the people that need telling that you were going out that night. But in a D/s relationship, your decision making is shifted to the consideration of how the relationship is set up, ie. having to ask permission, and also being courteous to your Dominant by letting them know your desires and waiting for them to decide what is best. Telling your Dominant that you'd like to go out with friends does not mean you are topping from the bottom, it's just expressing your desires to your partner. He still has the final say. Now, you could definitely screw this up and insist you be allowed to go see your friends, or demand instead of asking for permission and in that case you've left little room for your Dominant to make any decision at all. In the example, your autonomy isn't lost, it's just redirected. It's very unlikely that your partner will not weigh your desires against their plans. If the night was otherwise free, they'd probably let you go; but if there was something you overlooked they could remind you of other obligations.

This doesn't mean you aren't allowed to make your feelings known about what you consider more important at the time, far from it. After all, in a healthy relationship, it is all about compromise. Even a power exchange relationship has a compromise; it just weighs more on the Dominant to find the balance. Waiting for his decision is not about waiting for him to tell you what to do, but more about waiting for him to decide what is best at that moment and for you to graciously accept his decision.

Active Submission is Pleasing

And sexy as hell.

Unless your dynamic specifically says you can't initiate sex or play then the playground is all yours. Be alluring and suggestive. Flirt. Show him you want him just as much as he's claimed you. If you always had to wait for him to tell you to get ready for play or that he wanted sex, that puts a lot of weight on his shoulders and can result in less of what you want and need and more of what he's desiring at the time. You are not a doormat. Speak up for what you want and need. Learn how to talk about the things that interest you and be engaging in his interests. Volunteer to do things that are submissive in nature; from getting a drink for him to sitting at his feet when he's working or playing games. Be that gentle reminder that you submit because of the amazing man that he is and how he has opened you up to getting everything you ever desired.

So don't sit silently and wait for him to someday figure out what you are missing. Tell him. Don't assume he should know what you need because you had the wants and needs talk 6 months ago when you first met. Show him that your needs still matter. Open up the channel of communication and remind him that your submission is important and your needs are a part of that.

Embrace his decisions on your life and the direction of the relationship, if it's good for you and speak up again if something feels wrong. Submitting is not passive, it is not about waiting. It's about fulfilling a need or desire. Yours are important too.

Must You Always Wait for Orders?

So back to the main topic, should you always wait for orders? Yes and no. First, evaluate what you negotiated with your partner when you entered the relationship, or at your last deep talk. How much control do they have over your down time and decision making? If they have a control then it might be up to them to give you things to do when you are "in wait". But most relationships are not that micromanaged and you do have times where you will be the one making decisions about what to do. Make sure your priority is still following your rules and what your partner would consider in that situation while making your decisions. I go through most of my own day making my own decisions and carrying out tasks as I know KnyghtMare would like them done. I don't have to constantly go to him to ask him what I should be doing at any point in time and I'm certainly not just sitting around waiting for him to give me some direction.

If you are going about your day, getting things done and your Dominant directs you to do something, be prepared to stop what you are doing to comply. If it's not possible to stop, ask for time to complete what you are doing first. Of course, if they say no... then you'll just have to do it later. I've shut off the burners while dinner is going when directed to do something else for KnyghtMare before. He basically said, "dinner can wait." And he was right. It really could.

You are not a doormat, with one purpose and no independent thought. Remember, you are in a relationship and it's a two-way street. If you feel confused about what you should be doing at any point, ask for clarification. Open communication will allow you to know what's expected of you when your Dominant is not directly in control and it will remove the question of if you should just wait for orders.

Did I get this wrong? What are you thoughts on the question of having to always wait for orders? Let me know in the comments!

Thoughts to Ponder


  • Do you feel like you are always, "in wait"?
  • How do you practice active submission?
  • List 5 ways you can suggest/ask for what you want without being demanding.