In part 1 of my series of articles on male submission I wrote about one archetype of male submission “The Worm.” For clarification, a large majority of male submissives do not fit that mindset as there are plenty of other dynamics. However, one topic which is common to many male submissives is that the fantasy of desires and the reality of those desires are often quite different. Of course, fantasy vs reality is not unique to male submission or to BDSM. Most everyone has as-yet-unfulfilled hopes or desires of some sort and the reality of those desires is often different from the ideal of what we believe that we want. For male submissives with BDSM desires, this issue seems to be common.
Many dominant women on FetLife comment about submissive men who contact them but have difficulty ultimately making a meaningful connection. From what they indicate, this is due to many issues including men who don’t actually want to meet at all, men who are rude, and so on. One common issue is the difference between the fantasy and the reality of the male submissive’s desires. This issue has nothing to do with rudeness, being a fake, or even lack of communication, it is often a legitimate difficulty for subs, trying to understand what may be best left in the realm of fantasy.
Fantasizing for Many Years
Many male submissives have had fantasies for a long time before ever thinking about fulfilling those desires. Often these fantasies are not initiated by exposure to BDSM through books, the internet, or a partner, the fantasies may have originated from relatively innocent childhood experiences or observations. Consequently, many male submissives have many years of developing very strong and often detailed fantasies. These fantasies are often not a vague feeling of wanting to submit or to be dominated, the fantasies are often very detailed and can become quite extreme. After all, for many years they are only fantasies and there is no risk of anything actually occurring, so it is safe to fantasize about extreme situations.
And then at some point, he may decide to reach for his dreams in trying to find someone to share with in making his fantasy a reality. And that is where it gets tricky. Yes, it’s difficult for most everyone to find a compatible partner but in the case of a submissive with very strong and sometimes extreme fantasies, there is often recognition that it may be even more difficult to find someone compatible. This can lead to one of a few different reactions. A sub man may focus on his desires to the exclusion of the desires of a potential partner. A sub man may go in the other direction and state “I will do anything for you, Mistress! No limits!” Or a sub man may take a middle ground. From what I read, dominant women encounter both of the extremes much more than we might think, considering how unreasonable those extremes seem to be.
What is wrong with focusing on your desires? Nothing, but if you do not also focus on the desires of a potential partner, then you may not be able to find a partner at all without seeing a Pro Domme. It is very reasonable to be specific in what you want and it is typically considered as a positive to provide that sort of open communication over the course of a relationship. However, accosting a dominant woman with your desires before even establishing a dialog, and just focusing on your own desires, are not typically desirable or productive approaches. In addition, if you are not flexible in how you would interact with a partner, then that would likely add difficulty to the ability to find a partner. On the other hand, what is wrong with telling a dominant that you will do anything with no limits? It likely isn’t true that you have no limits whatsoever with someone you have never met before, or if it is true then that would be scary for most any dominant as it is not a safe or sane approach. If someone does take you up on your offer for no limits, beware!
Regardless of the communication approach, a submissive man who has rather extreme and well-developed fantasies may not understand how much of it he may actually desire or even be able to tolerate. Taking the “worm” archetype as an example, one sub man may believe that he would absolutely love to be literally stepped on by everyone at a BDSM party but if that were to actually occur he may find that he is in over his head, literally!
And that’s where fear can become a big factor. A sub man may have what he considers extreme fantasies and become fearful if and when there comes a time to potentially experience any of those fantasies. He may communicate his desires in an effective way with a potential partner and successfully negotiate a meeting, but chicken out at the last minute as realization sets in that he may actually experience what he has been fantasizing about for many years. Add that to the very common general fear of rejection, which can be acuter when one is rejected regarding something they have dreamed about for many years.
BDSM with someone new can be scary! Relationships can be scary. And factor in what a sub may consider being extreme, whatever that is, and the combination of different fears can make a sub freeze up. I have encountered male subs who have backed out of a meeting due to these sorts of fears and I have read comments from dominant women who have experienced last minute cancellations from sub men. Hopefully when this occurs there is contact with the one they were supposed to meet to communicate the issue instead of simply no-showing, but even with communication it is extremely disappointing for a dominant to spend all of the time and effort in getting to know a sub man only to have him get cold feet and cancel a meeting. There is no catch-all solution to fear, of course, but hopefully a slow approach without quickly diving into the deep end of the pool, and getting to know the person as much as reasonably possible before approaching a fearful event such as an in-person meeting, would help alleviate the sudden intensity of fear which may arise at the last moment.
This is the same sort of fear many of us have when attending our first munch. What if I make a fool out of myself? What if the whole thing is a huge disappointment? There are some who do not feel much of this sort of fear and it greatly depends on the individual. Many of us do not know how we will react but it seems reasonable to expect at least some fear to arise in these new situations, and to prepare ourselves emotionally for that likelihood so that we may examine the source of the fear and try to cope with it.
Will I enjoy it at all?
In addition to the reality being potentially more frightening than a long-standing fantasy, there are many who fantasize about situations they would not want in reality. Continuing with the “worm” example, maybe a guy fantasizes about being humiliated by people he barely knows but he has a realization that this would not actually be enjoyable at all, or maybe the thought about being trampled unmercifully is exciting but he knows in reality that he would not enjoy it. It is very helpful to have this realization to be able to avoid miscommunication with potential partners, but it is understandable and common for subs to just not know for certain what they would actually enjoy.
Often we don’t know which of our fantasies we would enjoy for certain. It makes sense, in that case, to communicate this with a potential partner and, if possible, experiment with mild experiences. For example, if someone has fantasized for a long time about being tied down and spanked unmercifully but has never experienced any BDSM, they may be helped by initially trying a mild spanking even if that risks seeming like a potential disappointment for not allowing something more severe. Communication ahead of time should alleviate disappointment and also help build trust. Starting slowly is smart and should not be a disappointment to anyone.
Another type of fear is experienced by a man in a committed relationship with someone who is not into BDSM. Often a man will keep his BDSM fantasies and desires secret from his significant other for years before finally opening up, or sometimes he never opens up and either just bottles up his feelings or secretly seeks elsewhere for satisfaction, which is a situation which can cause significant pain for everyone involved. It is scary for many men to reveal their BDSM desires for fear of being rejected by their partner. It may seem strange to think of a man in a loving and committed relationship not feeling the trust that his partner would accept him for who he is, but this is a very common issue without a one-size-fits-all answer.
Reality in a Relationship
The issue of fantasy vs reality also sometimes comes up during a relationship. After a submissive man reveals his BDSM desires to a significant other, the reality often does not match what he would expect. I will use my own situation as an example. For over a decade before I ever experienced any BDSM, I frequently fantasized about being whipped. Once I met my wife over 15 years ago and we began to communicate our deepest desires, she was interested in whipping me so we tried it out. However, the reality was not particularly fun for me and I learned that whipping can cause me pain. It hurt!
I was able to bear the pain but it wasn’t that much fun so we stopped our occasional brief whipping sessions. That was quite disappointing for me at the time because I had fantasized about something but couldn’t really tolerate much of it or enjoy it. Our relationship was great even back then but I figured that whipping or any pain play would need to just stay in fantasy, lesson learned. As it turns out, it took me a long time to realize that what I enjoyed in fantasy about being whipped was not the pain, it was the emotional feeling of being tortured or victimized by a sadist so that once BDSM re-entered our lives over a year ago and the approach my Princess takes is different, whipping is great. Yes it still hurts a lot and I do not like the pain itself, but I love the emotions and the overall experience of being whipped in addition to how I believe it helps our overall D/s dynamic, plus my Princess enjoys the freedom she has to let loose her “inner devil”. It happens sometimes that a fantasy is fulfilled only to find that it is not enjoyable, or at least not initially.
I have read comments from others that reality almost never lives up to the fantasy as if fantasy is almost always better. However, speaking as one who fantasizes about BDSM almost every day of my adult life I can say that reality can very well be better, because strong physical feelings are involved and that typically greatly amplifies the experience. From before I met my wife and experienced a whipping, or even afterward, the fantasy of being whipped can be enjoyable and, depending upon how well the mind can go into the realm of fantasy, fantasies can be emotionally rewarding. But the actual reality blows those fantasy feelings out of the water as the intensity of reality is much greater. And for me, luckily, the reality is much more enjoyable.
As a summary:
- Many submissive men have fantasies which have been developed over many years, sometimes leading to a focus on extreme and/or specific situations despite not having experienced anything
- This may lead to misunderstandings with potential partners between fantasies and actual desires as the sub man may not even be able to recognize the difference at first
- This may also lead to last minute fears of experiencing extreme situations or fears of disappointment and rejection
- To help alleviate the stress of fear, take things slowly with a potential partner and become comfortable communicating before you get to a potential point of fear
- Many people fantasize about things they would not enjoy
- Reality will likely be different from fantasy in many ways, it may be more or less enjoyable but expect that reality will typically be more intense of an experience