Communicate Your Submissive Little Desires From Your Heart

Communication Standards for Submissives & Littles

The Importance of Effective Communication

Effective communication is an important pillar of any healthy relationship. I’ve found that the communication skills I’ve gained through my Teacher/student kink dynamic have helped me improve my ability to communicate in other areas of my life. Learning to better express myself has made all the difference, not only in my romantic relationships but also in platonic, familial, and professional ones as well.

Just as my dynamic needs to be nurtured through effort, vulnerability, and communication, so too does the one I am cultivating with myself. At first, I didn’t know how to do that, but by mirroring my Sensei’s teachings in my private life, I’ve learned how to communicate with myself better. Through clear communication within myself, I’ve been able to discover what my needs and wants are so that I can make positive changes in my life. As well, keeping communication open and healthy with my partner allows us to maintain a positive experience for each other.

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How Communication Rules & Protocol Help My Dynamic

Sensei created a “Good Girl Mantra” for me to recite every morning. It consists of a list of affirmations reminding me of the things a “good girl” does. He established this rule to help me start the day with a calm mind. One of the lines is “a good girl communicates openly and honestly.” My Sensei values keeping an open dialogue as often as possible and this line signifies to me its importance. Not only is there an expectation for me to be forthcoming with how I feel but he also sets a great example by holding himself to the same standard.

The Importance of Communicating with Myself

As a polyamorous kinkster, I want any dynamic I have to be healthy and strong. By exploring what feels good and understanding myself better, the better I am able to communicate with Sensei or any future Dominant person who wants to help me achieve my goals or make the most out of a positive headspace. This lifestyle is only possible for me by having open dialogue with myself and by doing my self-exploration, I am being a good little helper to my Bigs.

The first, and hardest step, was that I had to be honest about what I wanted that to look like. I had to ask myself harder questions:

Answering these harder questions allows me to explore more safely with my partner and have the most amount of fun. From these questions I learned that it is okay to have a sexual context when I am in middle space but there is a moment where I am too “smol” to want any sexual interaction. I can let Sensei know “I am feeling small right now” and he understands based on our conversations what that means for me. If things change, I also let him know.

My Communication Rules

Communicate Your Kinky DesiresI like the “a good girl communicates openly and honestly” line a lot because in my weaker moments, sometimes I have trouble communicating how I really feel. In the past, that has led to me being in uncomfortable or undesirable situations more often than I would like. I was likely to say, “I’m fine,” or just let things happen to me because I didn’t want to get into trouble, be inconvenient, or make someone else uncomfortable. I thought that was “bad girl” stuff. This line reminds me that communication helps set boundaries and gives me the opportunity to have more positive experiences in this lifetime. Though it can be difficult sometimes, communicating openly and honestly is the true good girl thing. When communicating becomes hard, figuring out unique ways to still maintain communication is a very good girl thing. If I am finding it hard to say the words to my partner aloud, I can write them down or make a video so I can convey what I need to.

In addition to that primary rule, the rules I created myself include:

Say how I feel without blame or shame. Hard discussions accompany hard feelings for me but I try to avoid saying things like “you did this thing to me,” and instead say “When this happened, I felt this.” It’s something I’ve read about frequently but I also take this approach with myself. Sometimes I blame myself for making poor decisions or not taking action, and that can lead to pent up feelings of frustration and self-depreciation. So, when I have deep conversations with myself, I do so without blaming the past me for mistakes. I approach myself as I would my partner, without accusation, blame, or undue shame.

It’s okay for me and the other person to have feelings. Feelings happen all the time and they can come up for instinctual or complex reasons. Instead of getting mad at myself or someone else for feeling something, I remind myself that it’s okay to feel things.

Be curious, not accusatory. “Why did this feeling come up?” is an important follow up question that allows space to process those emotions in a healthy way. In situations of conflict, it’s sometimes difficult to remember not to get defensive. But if I do feel that feeling coming up, I let the person know something along the lines of “I am feeling a little defensive right now but I do want to understand.”

Take a breath if the words won’t come out. Sometimes getting words out is difficult and I have to take deep breaths before I can say the thing. This is something I learned from my Sensei because he will often have me take breaths in the middle of heavier conversations. I’m even getting better at paying attention to my body and heart and knowing for myself when it’s a good time to take a breath.

Use alternative means of communication when needed. Sometimes getting words out is impossible. So it becomes important to have other methods of communicating if things become dire. Like grabbing Sensei’s arm or shirt if I am feeling overwhelmed or writing out a bad memory that resurfaced during play.

Talking About The Hard Stuff

Communicating The Hard Things In BDSMI really enjoy who my Sensei is as a person and I respect the fact that he lives in alignment with his values and principles. I submit to him because we have similar personal philosophies, spiritual beliefs, and views on kink and I enjoy learning how to live a more integrated life under his tutelage. I give Sensei the opportunity to decide whether he needs to be more gentle, more grounding, or more dominating by telling him about the difficult things and trusting that he will help me make it okay.

For example, if I’ve delved too deep into “hustle mode” in my vanilla life and I can’t see past the stress, I might need to become a “good doggo” or one of my smaller sides for a little while to get me unstuck. Or perhaps I’ve been ruminating on my problems to the point I can’t enjoy my free time. So I might need my body stimulated in various ways to get me out of my head and to bring me back to reality. In any case, I have to let him know however I can, what’s going on internally. If ever a method isn’t as effective or not helpful, I communicate that as well so that he can make adjustments to his approach as needed.

Dealing With Complex Emotions

That being said, I have some emotional sore spots, and so it’s crucial to let Sensei know whenever they come up so that we can play safely. Sore spots have to be acknowledged if they are to be accommodated and avoided. This is especially true if we are doing heavier play. By keeping my partner in the loop about my headspace, he can tailor our play so that the session helps me move through those sore spots safely. By communicating where I am on the emotional, physical, and mental scales, I do my part to reduce the chance of accidental triggers and miscommunications during play. Due to his proven capabilities, I trust his judgment with how to support me both in and outside of a scene.

Overcoming Fear & Easing Into Discomfort

While physical safety in kinks like breath play or rope play seemed obvious to me, I also learned how to create and maintain emotional safety. I want my play to be fun and uplifting; and, with any kink, I have to play safely. The idea is to create a pleasurable experience for both parties. I don’t want to be hurt in a bad way, and my partner doesn’t want to hurt me in a bad way by accident either. Hurting someone when you thought you were both having a good time is a horrible feeling, and I wouldn’t want to bestow that onto my partner. Communication is key to this goal.

Sharing when something doesn’t feel right or when unrelated things surface up for me is so uncomfortable to me but it’s a crucial aspect to maintaining a safe space with my partner. Being brave takes practice and at the beginning it was easier for me to become brave if I was doing it for Sensei’s sake. For example, If my partner doesn’t know I’m being triggered to a painful memory, and I don’t communicate that with any of our communication channels, not only am I subjecting myself to harm, I am putting my partner in a position where he’s unknowingly causing me harm.

The lesson I take away is that by being brave and communicating the not-so-pleasant stuff, I am protecting my partner from that sort of reality. With practice and repetition, the idea of communicating for my sake primarily felt more palatable and speaking up has become easier for me.

Being a Conscious Communicator

If something happens that moves my emotional needle into a negative direction, especially during play, I need to let Sensei know. So paying attention to things that are going on with my brain, body, and spirit is important to safety. If I start dissociating during rope play, I might miss my body’s cues that the tie is too tight for example. So having awareness of myself is important. On a less physical aspect, if I don’t like some aspect of our play, I can always speak up about it. Some things don’t play out in reality how we think they would and that’s okay so Sensei has made it clear that is acceptable and encouraged to tell him when things aren’t working out. I’m getting much better at speaking up sooner rather than later and we are currently working on me speaking up about things in the moment, which feels challenging for me for now.

Dissolving Perceived Communication Barriers

In my weaker moments, it’s very easy to slip back into my people pleasing ways, and with those feelings come a lack of communication. I put the other person’s needs and feelings so far above my own, I have a tendency to stay silent about my discomfort. Being a people pleaser comes naturally to me because my brain associates that with safety due to previous life experiences.

Sensei would never get mad at me for being honest with him but sometimes my brain says “if you say this, you’ll get in trouble,” and I might feel like I have to keep things to myself but my big girl brain knows that’s not true. So being able to tell myself “there’s no barrier here. It’s okay to say things. Remember, a good girl communicates openly and honestly” prevents me from slipping into old habits.

While it’s fine to want to make others happy, what I’ve come to understand is that I need to have some boundaries around that so I’m not taking that feeling to the extreme. Learning how to balance those tendencies to ensure proper communication and channel that energy effectively has been a part of my personal journey. Whenever something difficult comes up, Sensei continues to make talking to him a safe option by always praising me for being honest with him.

Opening The Lines of Communication with my Dominant

Communication Is Everything In BDSMWhen we have scenes, Sensei is very pleased when I tell him the things that I liked most. Even if it’s embarrassing, he likes to know those things. By sharing my experiences with him, he makes every scene more fun and pleasurable than the last. As my Dominant, he gets validation from me following his leadership. In return, I get to feel validated by being a good follower and feeling safe enough to “let go”. In order for us both to get the validation and feelings of safety we want out of our dynamic, we have to be honest with each other.

Self-exploration, self-observation, and compassionate honesty have taught me that my ability to articulate is sometimes influenced by my mood and stress. So coming up with a variety of ways to keep communication open is important.

Verbal Communication. I really enjoy CNC scenes and Sensei and I have discussed that “no” for me does not indicate to stop. While I’ve never felt the need to use a safe word during a scene, things like “it’s too much” or “this is scary” are our typical pause phrases. If I mention that anything hurts, we stop right away. Somehow, those are easier for me to say than the typical “red” safeword.

Non-Verbal Communication. This type of communication feels more natural to me. If things are getting too intense in a scene, I will tap to let my partner know I need a break. Slower tapping means I’m reaching the limit while fast and sporadic tapping means I need a break immediately. This form of communication does have some pitfalls and the chances of miscommunication are a bit higher, so every so often, we re-evaluate this method.

Written Communication. Writing is the easiest form of communication for me because I feel like I can convey my thoughts easily in this form. Following scenes, I typically write a breakdown of what was going on in my head, what I liked, what I noticed, anything I disliked or emotions that came up for me. Sensei is really good at integrating my feedback into his leadership style.

BDSM Gagged Rubber DuckyVisual Communication. We have one safety protocol in place that I call “Code Ducky”. Sometimes, if my mind goes to a dark place, I need extra support. I have a crisis plan but in those moments, it’s incredibly difficult to see anything outside of that darkness. What’s more, I used to have a lot of shame around feeling that way which made it impossible for me to speak up about it. There were times when I didn’t let my partner know and I should have. So Sensei came up with a way to tell him I was in the dark place, without words. When I feel those dark and heavy feelings approaching, I send him a picture of one of a ducky. It can be one of my toys or a random picture, but it signifies that I am in need of that extra support. I like it because it’s not like shame goes away just because I acknowledge it. I have to work through it but I still need a way to stay safe, so Code Ducky allows me to have a working model, while I deal with my motions.

Lines of Communication with Myself

In terms of self-discovery and personal development, it sometimes helps if I think of myself as three separate, yet intertwined beings. There’s my brain, my body, and my spirit and each of those selves have different maintenance requirements and desires. They all have parts that need to be explored as well. By opening up and maintaining the lines of communication between those three sides of myself, I’ve been able to delve more authentically into my kinks and improve my quality of life.

I used to struggle with being able to listen to myself. From dissociation to suppressing my feelings to believing endurance was the key to successful relationships, there is a lot of old programming that I need to get out of myself. As a little, wanting a Big that pays attention to you comes with the territory, but at the same time I asked myself, “how can I demand that if I don’t pay close enough attention to myself?” So, I started exploring what that looked like for me and how I could be the type of person little me needs.

Verbal Communication: Marco Polo Check-Ins

Through self-discovery and seeing what worked best in my own dynamic, I learned that I process things externally. I have a tendency to ruminate, experience intrusive thoughts, and ultimately overwhelm myself when I’m stressed or have a complex problem. Even small decisions take me a long time to figure out on my own and things tend to get jumbled up in my head.

So, I started verbalizing aloud what I am doing or need to be doing, and from there it escalated to me asking myself “hey, this feels weird, what’s going on?” I noticed the more I did that, the less I ruminated. If I noticed I was daydreaming about some potential hypothetical conflict, I’d ask “why are we feeling combative right now? We are safe and okay,” and such things until I felt okay again.

I started a Marco Polo group with just myself so that I could have these dialogues and process my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I go back to them but there’s no pressure to. Just verbalizing the feelings and thoughts helped me uncover when I was leaning into old behaviors, when fear was holding me back from things I wanted to do, or when I was withdrawing from my partner. I don’t restrict myself to a time and some of my Marco Polo videos are quite long but it’s incredibly therapeutic. If anything interesting or dynamic-related comes up, I write it down and share it with Sensei who is always happy to hear about my revelations.

Written Communication: Journals, Blogs, & Private Texts

I discovered that I need multiple avenues for processing. Sometimes I don’t want to make a video or the ideas are more complicated than I can articulate. So, I created several written alternatives to help me in my dynamic and overall life. I have a journal for each area of wellness: physical, mental, spiritual, financial, social, & intellectual as well as a journal for late night thoughts, day time thoughts, and story ideas. They all have designated spots so if I have a mental revelation, I go to my journal holder and get the mental health one.

If my thoughts are intense and flooding my brain, I use my phone or the computer. I have a few blogs, google folders, and even my own discord group and private text so I can get my ideas out quickly. It has really helped me compartmentalize my thoughts. Having one notebook for everything is too overwhelming and things would get lost. So separating things has helped immensely. If any kink related things come out of anything, I share them with Sensei.

Practice Makes Progress

Communicating effectively is a great thing but it’s not always easy. It can be challenging, especially when difficult things come up. For example, telling Sensei when I don’t have the headspace for rope is hard because I know he loves rope. But I know that he’d be hurt if I played when my heart wasn’t in it. I owe it to him to be honest. Telling Sensei things were too hard or too soft during a scene is hard because I don’t want my partner to feel like what they’re doing isn’t good enough. But I know that by sharing what I didn’t like, it can be changed. If I keep that to myself, Sensei is not given the chance to improve things for me. Just because something is challenging, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it—especially if it’s something that has a positive outcome. What it does mean is that I can practice until it becomes easier. I have made this process more fun by integrating my little energy into it.

Communication Ambassadors
Littles and stuffies are like peanut butter and jelly, it’s natural they’d go together. I have loved stuffed animals well before finding the lifestyle. After exploring what littlespace looks like for me and endeavoring to make my life more kink-intergrated though, I’ve incorporated my stuffies into my Big life as well. I have stuffies that are appointed as Ambassadors for that area of wellness. Garbanzo, a wonderful gray elephant, generally serves as my Second in Command with most things (he’s also the Ambassador of Finance). Sometimes if I’m having a big issue, I’ll practice with Garbanzo a couple of times before I tell Sensei. Even though we don’t have a ddlg dynamic, Sensei is very understanding about the importance of my stuffies and has often suggested I get them when I’m stressed. He even gifted me a stuffed wolf which I’ve named Kai who is the Ambassador of Intellect and whom I practice Japanese with.

Property Maintenance Card. Sometimes I struggle with taking care of myself. From eating and sleeping properly, to hydrating myself to giving my physical body the extra care it deserves. If a depressive episode occurs or a particularly stressful event happens, these things can fall by the wayside. However, these things matter alot. How much water I drank or how many times I ate in a day can make a difference in my mood, thought patterns, and headspace. We don’t live together so we got creative with accountability for these things.

Sensei has sometimes referred to me as his garden and that metaphor has really helped me provide care for myself in a sustainable way. I created a worksheet so I could keep track of all “property maintenance” tasks which I fill out every week and turn in to Sensei. I called it the property maintenance card because viewing myself as Sensei’s property makes it easier to take care of myself from a place of joy because the idea of taking care of something that belongs to someone else was much easier for my spirit to grasp. As well, the idea of being property in this way is a fetish of mine so it feeds right into the dynamic. Things like “taking vitamins”, “moisturize after cleansing”, and “teeth time” are on the card. I also have a part where I write how many feedings I had that day, how much water I drank, and what my quality of sleep was. In the “extra love” section, I get to highlight what activities I did to show myself extra care. Things like “body scrub”, “food soak”, and “dry brushing” are on the list.

I use one of my stamp markers for the task I complete (or write in a number in some cases). It makes me feel really happy to see all the stamps at the end of the week. Keeping track of this information is good for me because I need a way to keep consistent even during low days. I recently updated the sheet and got approval for the latest design. In this interaction, I have a section where I write what my weekly challenge and self-study goals are for that week and included a section for notes for Sensei. It’s also good for Sensei because it provides him more context. If he notices patterns he can bring things to my attention or we can work to address them.

Good Girl Cultivation List
Thoughts are the language of the mind, feelings are the language of the spirit, and sensations are the language of the body.In a similar fashion, to facilitate communication with myself, I created a “good girl cultivation list”. It’s a stamp sheet with various activities geared towards my mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. These activities allow me to tune in to those different sides of myself, cultivate a more positive headspace, and keep me on track with goals. Things like “reading time”, “tea party with Kai” (in which I practice Japanese and tea service), and “walkies” are on the list. I created it to appeal to little me, middle me, and my pet side.

By taking time to understand the languages of my being and learning how to speak them, I’ve been able to tap into different headspaces, understand what I crave out of my dynamic, and experience a wealth of positive emotions that I’ve never felt before.

Being My Own Safe Space

I entered the lifestyle in 2017-2018 and since then I’ve come to realize that communication can only really happen if there is a safe space between the parties. I’ve had Dominants in the past who got angry with me or even dissolved the dynamic if I spoke up about things I didn’t like. So communication was very limited and I ended up feeling frustrated, trapped, and pressured. I know that my Sensei is not like that but sometimes those old feelings come up in these new situations so I have to remind myself not to project. With Sensei’s way, it is safe to talk about anything. Even if I’m struggling with old feelings, he makes it safe to talk about them.

By following his example, I try to provide myself with a safe space in my private moments. I might even remind myself “this isn’t something Sensei would get mad at you about,” if I’m really struggling. The idea is to allow myself space to think or feel what is true without judgment and work to process, recycle, trash, or utilize those thoughts and feelings.

However, though I have to be more considerate in my weaker moments, it also creates a safe space for Sensei. If I was the type of person who never spoke up when I was uncomfortable, or said I like something when I really didn’t, how could my Sensei trust me? How could he be able to determine if I really like something or if I was just saying so because I got nervous? It would make it difficult to play safely that way and because I care very much for my Sensei, I want to do my part to make our space as safe for him as he does for me. By keeping the lines of communication open, I am able to be a safe partner and experience the joys and rewards that come from it.

Scarlette Hemsworth BDSM Author Bio

By Scarlette Hemsworth

Scarlette is a polyamorous kinkster, freelance writer, sex worker, and indie author based out of California. She was introduced to the kink world in 2018 and identifies as a 24/7 little, sub, and ABDL. Scarlette enjoys watching anime, playing video games, and building terrariums in her spare time.

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