No matter how much you love any job, you are always at risk of burnout if you’re not careful. The more you throw yourself into a role, the more likely you are to give up a lot of energy, which may not always be easy to replenish. And if you’re a submissive, when you give up too much of your energy, that might lead to feelings that cause you to be less effective for your Dominant. To make sure you’re not burning out, you need to know the signs and how to prevent yourself from getting to that point in the first place.
Signs of Burnout
Just like any sort of burnout, there are signs that will tell you that you’ve given too much of yourself or you haven’t taken care of yourself.
- Frustration – When you’ve worked hard at being a submissive, you might do so much that you become frustrated that you’re not ‘better’ or that you don’t have a certain result that you anticipated.
- Anger – You might also become angry at yourself or at your Dominant for allowing you to feel burnt out or to get to a place where you’re not having fun.
- Lack of motivation – In sessions with your Dominant, you might find you don’t try very hard to do the things asked of you, or you don’t do things as well as you could.
- Sleeping and eating changes – Outside of the dungeon, you might notice you don’t take good care of yourself, as you may have before.
- Depression – You may also start to have feelings of being down and sad, and they might not seem to be connected to anything.
While seeing these signs means you’re already burnt out, knowing these signals can help you know when to reach out for help so you can get back on track.
When You See These Signs
Talk with your Dominant immediately. Let them know what is going on, the signs you are experiencing and how you are feeling. This way you can both figure out a way to deal with it together and get you feel refreshed and eager to serve once again.
**Warning: If a Dominant does not listen or understand your request for help in dealing with your feelings of being burnt out, might be a good indicator they have either lost touch with reality or never had it in the first place.
You are human after all and if you do not deal with your exhaustion sooner rather than later it can lead to more difficult issues. A true Dominant will understand that and do whatever they can to support you in dealing with it.
Things You Can Do To Prevent Future Burnout
Be Clear from the Start
The best way to avoid burnout is to have clear expectations of what you will and will not do from the start of your relationship. Though you might need to adjust these expectations, from time to time, having a starting point that will enable both you and your Dominant to feel good about the energy you expend will create a strong foundation for success.
Start with clear boundaries about how much time you will devote to your relationship and its training sessions. Figure out what makes sense in terms of how much you will both be available, how you will be available, and what you will do when you are in the same room with each other.
The more you can come up with a realistic schedule, the more you can see when you will have time ‘off’ to recharge. When you don’t have a clear schedule, it might begin to feel as though you must be ‘on’ at all times of the day, which is not possible for anyone. Most people have commitments outside of a Dom/sub relationship (work, children, etc) and those commitments need to be respected and worked around. They also must be considered as part of a submissive’s expenditure. As stress, and outside commitments increase submissive training needs to be adjusted accordingly.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
While this is often stated numerous times for BDSM partners and relationships, communication is the key to success. You need to make sure you’re constantly communicating to see what works, what doesn’t, and what might need to be adjusted. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed in your role as a submissive, talk about it. See what your Dominant says and what you can change to make things no appropriate to your level.
In addition, make sure to talk BEFORE you feel completely burnt out and exhausted from your submissive duties. Now, this might not be possible when you’re not sure what to look for, but if you’re starting to feel as though you’re doing too much, becoming overwhelmed by little things in and out of the relationship or you’re not getting what you need out of the relationship, you need to speak up and let the Dominant know.
The earlier you speak up, the more easily you will be able to fix the problem. It can be harder to come out of burnout when you’re already deep into it.
Do You Need A New Challenge
Another reason why some submissives can feel burnt out at times is that they can become drained from the monotony of their life and/or their submission. They might feel as though they know everything about their training and they are just going through the motions. Again, if you start to feel this is the case in your relationship, then you need to reach out to try something new. You need to let your Dominant know that you need more of a challenge to feel helpful in your role.
You might both want to consider new scenes and new activities to make sure you’re able to both enjoy your time together. You might want to reevaluate your agreements together to see if there are new boundaries you want to approach or if there are new ‘yes’ limits that used to be ‘no’ limits.
There is nothing wrong with a submissive doing their own research to discover new things that they might like to incorporate into their training. If it’s something new you need, figure out what it is you want, safe and creative ways of incorporating them into your training and present your ideas to your Dominant.
Step Back Occasionally
Just as in any job and in any role, the best way to avoid burnout is to make sure you’re taking a break from time to time. Everybody needs a vacation or a break from time to time, even submissives. This doesn’t make you a bad submissive and it doesn’t make you a bad person. Stepping back and taking a rest means you care enough about yourself and about your Dom/sub relationship to take steps to be healthy.
You might want to take a break from training for a few weeks to see if this helps reinvigorate your desire to be a slave. You might want to take a vacation from life to see if you just need some time for relaxation.
Some submissives have one day a week, where they are not submissive or serve at all. This can allow them to rest, recover and mentally prepare to better serve for the week ahead.
It can also help to find ways to rest your mind each day. Meditation, for example, is a way to help you restore your mental strength, while also helping you come back to a balanced state of being. Other ways to reset your mind and body include regular exercise, breathing exercises, healthy eating, and time with friends.
Your job as a submissive extends beyond the dungeon and the scenes you are in. Though you might do well with each order, you also need to take care of yourself to make sure you are the best submissive possible. Have boundaries, talk about what works and what doesn’t work, and stay challenged.
You’ll find this not only helps a submissive avoid burnout, but also the Dominant, as well.
The founder of the BDSM Training Academy. Master Bishop has been involved in the Dominant/submissive lifestyle for over 14 years. With a love for education both learning and teaching, Master Bishop has passed on his knowledge and experience to others entering into the BDSM lifestyle for over 8 years. Join Master Bishop on Google+
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