Lord Saber's Views On Being A Novice Sub
Author: Lord Saber © 2002
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Last issue, I offered my thoughts or 'advice' to novice Dominants. Since I'm a firm believer in "equal time," I now offer my "advice to novice subs. And some of this may be a repeat of my last column. Oh well, sometimes advice to anyone new in the "scene" can apply to Dom/me or sub, male or female. This column I originally wrote like the novice Dom column for a friend's web site 3 years ago. It never did show up there, but I posted on my own site a few months later and still get favorable emails about it on occasion. I revisited it recently to see if much of the advice from three years ago had changed much. I realized it hadn't and decided to use it as my column this issue. I feel my essay still seems quite timely, and I was reminded of it not too long ago when the issue of new people joining the community and how often do they get "taken advantage of" by so-called "predators" came up on a mailing list I'm on.
And while this essay originally was written to novice female subs, a lot of what I've written applies to novice male subs too. So all of you novices, listen up. *s*
So you're a novice submissive? Wonderful..and congratulations! It can be exhilarating and frightening at the same time to discover this about yourself. It can take courage to admit you enjoy submitting to a Dom/me. And since I'm a Dom, I guess my first reaction to finding a novice sub female for example would be "Oh Boy!!" he he. Those raging hormones get going and well they can get me in trouble! But I make that remark to bring up a point I'll get to a little later in this column.
If you're a novice submissive male and you see some gorgeous Domme at a party, those same hormones might cause you to immediately kneel at the Domme's feet and say something like "Oh Mistress whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks!" Not a good thing for sure. At the very least, the Domme will roll her eyes, look at you as some hormonal-driven madman and that I would think is the LAST impression you want to leave in her mind.
In a case like this, common courtesy dictates that you approach the Domme and say a polite hello, instead of automatically looking at her as your potential "Mistress." Try to be friends with her first before you go into automatic 'slave' role. If she makes it clear she is busy or isn't interested in talking with you further, just walk away. It's the same with online chat channels; so often male subs will instantly message a Domme who joins channel. Totally uncool. If there's a Domme you'd like to get to know better, just say hi to her in channel and try to get to know her first. This is something I can't stress enough. I've always found as a Dom that politeness and manners impress a woman more than anything else!
Another important piece of advice I would give to any novice submissive is to LEARN all you can about BDSM. It's always been my philosophy you never stop learning. I've been involved in Janus and the San Francisco scene for eleven years. In fact, another long-time local scene member once referred to me as one of the "patriarchs" of the community. To that I can only say "Eeek!" I always thought patriarchs were old, wise elders and while I may be firmly ensconced in middle age, I don't considered myself "elderly" yet. The point of all this being that while I consider myself to be a darn good Top, I always try to learn new tricks and ideas. I wish I could learn better rope bondage, for example.
When I say LEARN all you can, it means for example buying books about SM and reading them. Books like SM101, Screw the Roses, or Different Loving. The first SM book I ever bought was the Lesbian SM Safety Manual, because it contained good safety information about playing with women. Unfortunately, that book has been out of print for several years now. <sigh> Also, you can do web searches and find pages that have good information about BDSM.
Here in the Bay Area of course, there's Janus, Odyssey, and maybe one or two other groups you can join and attend programs. These programs offer you the chance to learn more about SM. If you live in somewhere other than Northern California, you can go online and do a web search for groups like Janus. I've compiled a fairly good list of groups on my own site at http://www.tdl.com/~thawley/smgroups.html. Another good place to look is http://www.drkdesyre.com. Go there and click on the organizations link.
Groups along with munches (which I'll get into in the next paragraph) also give you the chance to meet like-minded folk. If you're uncomfortable about going to an SM group meeting by yourself, try and find a kinky-minded friend to go with you. A few groups have a "buddy system" in place, that is, they have women who will accompany you to the program. This is usually more for female submissive who are worried if they go to an SM event alone, they'll be hit on by every man in the place.
If you live in a rural area, find out if they have a local 'munch' or not. Munches started here in the Bay Area and are another good way of meeting like-minded people in a relaxed setting. If there isn't one in your area, think about starting one. Although it seems that virtually every place on the planet has some kind of munch now.
I mentioned the "Oh Boy!" syndrome earlier in this column. Though not all, or even most Dom/mes are like this, I've seen too many male Doms at SM events that seem to "salivate" at the thought of a new female sub to play with. They will walk up to them, talk with them, possibly even pressure them for a phone number or a time when they can get together to play. I may have even done this myself once or twice. *s* If you encounter one of these critters, it's perfectly ok to politely say no if you're not interested. Most Dom/mes will take the hint and leave you alone.
Ok, let's say that you've spent time reading and going to programs, and now you've met some really hot-looking Dom/me and decided you're interested in playing with that person. So now what??
Well, first off you of course need to arrange to meet at some neutral location to talk further. Depending on where you meet, it's also considered a good idea to let a friend know you're meeting somebody and set up what's known as a "safe call." A "safe call" is where you arrange to call a friend & let them know you're ok. If your friend doesn't hear back from you within a pre-arranged time (say within two hours of your meeting), they know to call the police. This seems to happen more often with people meeting on IRC channels and then arranging a meeting in real-life than it does with people that meet at SM groups or munches.
OK, during that initial meeting you should find out what they like and what you like and see if you can find SM-related activities you both enjoy. This of course is what's known as negotiation and countless other folk have touched upon this much better than I ever could, so I'll leave that part up to them.
What I'd prefer to discuss however is what happens afterwards. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, or because a new sub is afraid to say no for fear, hard limits will be broken. The Dom/me may be new themself and not experienced, or doesn't care about the sub's well-being and is more interested in getting off than anything else. Remember again, if you have hard limits set, Stick To Them! Don't allow some Dom/me to intimidate you into doing something you don't enjoy. I've heard of a few cases where a sub played with a Dom/me and went much further than they were really comfortable with just because they were afraid to tell the Dom/me No. Or they were afraid the Dom/me wouldn't play with them again if they called a safe word too soon. I know for me that even with the experience I have, I have no clue when playing with someone for the first time if what I'm doing is too much for them or not. Having a safe word lets me know if everything I'm doing is ok or not with them.
A real Dom/me respects limits and safe words. I've played with a couple subs where it was their first scene. They both told me afterwards they felt badly because they couldn't handle very much. I assured them they did quite well and they had!
A real Dom/me also practices safe sex with new partners. One big peeve of mine are male Doms that refuse to practice safe sex..grrrrr! Hey, I don't like condoms or gloves that much , but I don't want to wind up with a STD either. Female subs, if you meet a Dom that tries to get out of using a condom in a scene, LEAVE. Or tell him you will not play with him unless they use barrier protection. Chances are the Dom has played with several other women and done the same thing with them.
One thing I'd like to see more of are support groups for submissive. It's always good to be around like-minded people so you can share experiences, information and just give each other hugs when life crises occur.
These are just my thoughts on what I would tell a new sub. I hope that if you are new to this world and reading this, that they are helpful.
Until next time,