A sub with a non-dom

I’ve entered into a relationship. It’s great. It hits every level of satisfaction except sexually. I’m frustrated and unsure of where to go from here….

It’s unsatisfying for both of us. To me, it feels forced. He is extremely attractive..a catch, smart, business owner-blah blah blah but down to earth and relatable.  He would get whoever, whenever he wants until I came along. I, am much harder to please. Although willing beyond belief, his idea of pleasuring me is just so different from what I want. To the point that discussion only makes him feel progressively more insecure….which in turn progressively turns me off more and more.

My dearest dominant Abby, please help. 😉

This e-mail arrived the other day from a truly gorgeous woman I “met” on Tinder some months ago, but whom I’ve yet to meet. She’s crazy busy and, honestly, I think a bit ambivalent about meeting me. She’s a little intimidated, a little… nervous. (Anyone who’s met me would tell her to chill – that while my experience may be daunting, I’m not.) But anyway – she wrote me this, and because it brings up some interesting issues, I thought I’d share my response – after the jump.

I have a conflict here. Because I want to toss you around and use you for my pleasure in ways I think you would very much enjoy, and he’s making it even less likely than it was before. So of course, I’d prefer if you weren’t seeing him.


Here’s what I think.

I think you crave sex with a dominant guy and that’s not him. It’s VERY HARD for a guy to learn to be dominant. I did, and it took more than a decade and, honestly, it’s still really hard for me to do that with [anyone] with whom I started my relationship before I knew how to be, that I AM, dominant.

Your guy isn’t dominant.

So the question is, are you monogamous with him? Do you cheat on him? Do you open your relationship? Do you leave him?

That’s my instinct. I don’t know the right answer for you, but those are the options I see.

Does this make sense?

Option 1, monogamy, seems to have a fork in the road: either you confront the challenge head on and discover whether, together, you can solve it, or you shut down and accept how it is. That’s a path that many people (try to?) take, and at least for me, it didn’t/doesn’t work. For me, sexual fulfillment is important enough that my body isn’t willing to forego it – even when I think my mind is. Sure, I can for short periods of time, but eventually, my lack of satisfaction morphs into resentment and anger. And that’s no good for anyone.

Option 2, cheating, seems a shitty option so early in a relationship. In many long-term relationships, cheating is, in fact, what makes it possible for them to continue, and that’s not necessarily bad. But at your early stage, I’m skeptical that it’s a recipe for happiness.

Option 3, opening your relationship, doesn’t sound like an option from what you’ve written.

And Option 4 sucks, given how much you’ve said everything else with him works.

One final bit of “wisdom”: I once had a friend who said that you can have any two of the following three: sexual satisfaction, intellectual satisfaction, laughter. But that you have to pick two. I’m not sure it’s quite that formulaic (or that those are the only three variables – there’s also kindness, openness, generosity, compassion, etc.), but I do think that we don’t get to have perfect mates, and part of what falling in love involves is settling for imperfection. So in this case, then, the question likely is, is this where you want to sacrifice – in terms of sexual satisfaction. Or would you rather know you have that?


  1. Ah yes. I am not sure I agree with laughter being the third, but I completely agree it is difficult to find the combo of intellectual and sexual stimulation. I am not sure which I would sacrifice. Probably not sex, again… You?

    1. I’m in a fortunate position. I’m happily married – in love with the imperfections as well as the perfections of my mate. I like the mix of sacrifices I’ve made, and hope never to have to weigh those difficult questions again.

  2. I’ve sacrificed one or the other in long term relationships (don’t necessarily agree with laughter, either), not the greatest of options.
    I like your points to her. Sexual incompatibility just doesn’t work with my personality, despite what my brain says, so that would be a no-go for me. And that’s the one you need to make a relationship work with monogamy – you can always find friends to have an intellectual conversation with, but not a person to have sex with when you don’t open the relationship up for that.
    This is why open relationships are pretty good options for the right type of people – no one can be someone’s everything.

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