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I am a very dominant woman in my daily life, but I crave submission in the bedroom. How do I tell my partner what I need?

Cara Sutra
Profile Picture of Cara Sutra Cara Sutra writes at her own sexuality magazine, as well as acting as professional copywriter for many high-profile adult industry publications, both online and in print. Her magazine style website is a combination of her personal sex blog, sex, relationship and fetish advice articles, erotic fiction, sex industry news as well as a large number of adult product and sex toy reviews.  Full Bio

My fiance and I have been together for nine years. Since the beginning, I've been the one that worked, cooked, cleaned, paid the bills, changed the car oil, made the important phone calls, etc. He has been happy to just let me do that. Lately, I've realised that although I am a very dominant woman in my daily lifestyle, I crave submission in other aspects. I need him to take charge, be less vanilla, and less reserved. Is this normal? How do I tell him what I need in the bedroom? Do you have any advice?


The spectrum of adult human sexuality and desire encompasses a myriad of emotional needs, sexual kinks, and various fetishes. Please don't worry about whether what you're feeling is normal; if you feel this way, then someone has before and someone will again. Submission to a partner, whether as a part of a romantic relationship or as part of a 'session' is an extremely common desire. In fact, it's thought to be even more common amongst those who take on the more 'dominant' role in daily life. Submission in the bedroom is often not simply another sexual play aspect, but actually serves as welcome therapy to shouldering so much responsibility in other areas of life.

With the reassurance that your desires are indeed part of the 'normal' spectrum of sexuality and desire, you can hopefully move forward in communicating your wants to your partner. Make sure that you're really clear in your own mind about what you'd like to achieve. This will help you discuss these important desires with your partner in the most articulate and the least mystifying way. You're more likely to achieve the relationship balance and emotional release you're after if you can clearly explain exactly what your needs are from the outset.

Avoid raising this topic of conversation during foreplay or sex where your partner might feel criticised in the moment or pressured to immediately change their actions. You're more likely to experience a mutually beneficial outcome where no-one's feelings are hurt if you choose to talk to your partner about your thoughts and needs in a neutral setting. If you have peace and quiet and time for it at home, tell your partner you'd like to talk to them (with a smile on your face so that they know it's nothing too devastating!) and remove background distractions, such as turning off the TV. Make sure that you have enough time to fully discuss all the aspects you'd like to cover. Don't initiate this important conversation if you or your partner has to be elsewhere in ten minutes, for instance.

If talking about such intimate and personal needs at home simply isn't feasible, then why not arrange a date afternoon or evening with your partner? Someplace where you have the privacy to talk undisturbed would be ideal, such as sitting together in the park.

The 'sandwich' method of delivering information might be the best approach to take when it comes to the crunch: actually telling your partner what changes you'd like to be made in your relationship. Open with something positive. Highlight ways in which your partner makes you feel loved and appreciated. Tell them what you feel really works in your relationship. Once you feel they've relaxed into the discussion and you're not about to reveal some horrendous news, you can move into how you've been feeling lately and what changes you'd ideally love to see happen in your life together. Tell your partner that you really respect and love what you have together, and by talking openly in this way you hope to continue in the happiness and freedom you both feel as a couple. Finally, return to the ways your partner turns you on, how they support you through life, and what you feel is working beautifully.

With this compassionate approach, it is hoped that your partner will be receptive to what you have to say and will consider opening his mind to a more dominant role in your relationship - whether that's kept to the bedroom or is included in daily life. Although I receive many requests for help in 'making my partner more dominant/submissive/kinky/open to new sex ideas,' you can't ever force someone to be something they're not. All you can do is talk honestly to your partner, at an appropriate time, in the most conducive environment, and with love and understanding. In this way, you're allowing your partner to use the information you've given them about your needs and desires to consent to and decide on their next move. Because you've shown your partner love and respect broaching this sensitive topic, hopefully their response will be positive and they'll be more inclined to embrace and accommodate your needs.

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