Interview with a Conscious Submissive Male

I had the pleasure and privilege of engaging in a most stimulating discussion with Paltego, the owner and operator of Femdom-Resource, an exceptionally informative website celebrating one intelligent man's journey in submission and his appreciation for the beauty and art of female domination. His is one of the best male-sub blogs online and I encourage all of you--tops and bottoms alike--to visit his domain. Clearly a labor of love (and hormones!), Femdom-Resource also houses a well-curated collection of Femdom art, photography, videos, erotic fiction, and more. A source for quality Femdom/male-sub content, Paltego created a platform from which to engage with kinksters and promote his favorite Mistresses and their blogs (I was humbled to find My "Mind of the Mistress" page on his list). 

Paltego was kind enough to grant Me a written interview detailing his experiences as a sub, his analysis on the submissive mindset, and his experiences with some of the most preeminent professional Mistresses in the country. Our exchange was illuminating and thought-provoking, and I was moved to reexamine My own FemDom philosophy and how I present Myself to the world. 

With Paltego's expressed permission, below are the insights and musings of a thinking, rational, and hopelessly submissive man (My favorite kind!):

1) How did you come to develop your submissive identity? And around what age?

Getting my current identity was a lengthy process. I grew up in a tiny English village in the 80’s, when the internet was still an academic/military curiosity. We didn’t even have a TV for a lot of my childhood, so it was very different to the information saturation we have today.

In hindsight, kink was clearly something wired into me at an early age. I remember going to see a magician with my parents when I was 5 or 6 years old and being very excited when he tied his attractive assistant up (just lightly with scarves on the wrists) as part of a trick. At that age I had no idea why I was excited, but it made a big impression, and I can still picture the scene to this day. Throughout my childhood I was attracted to those kind of magic tricks on TV, or escapologists getting out of perilous situations, or kids' games that involved being captured or tied up. It wasn’t sexual at the time – just intriguing.

When I hit adolescence and got access to pornography I suddenly realized that fetish and kink was a thing. Most of the porn I found was terrible, but I was always attracted to the fetish elements. Typically that was the first few pictures, and then I was always disappointed when they got naked and had sex!

Even though I knew I was attracted to this kind of material – and in college I had access to the internet to further broaden my horizons – I never quite connected it with the ‘real world’. There were normal relationships with regular sex and then there was this kinky stuff that was hot, but weird and basically just a sexual/porn thing. They seemed like two different worlds that couldn’t co-exist. I never felt guilty about what I liked, but I also thought it would never be more than a hot fantasy.

What changed that was seeing a pro-domme for the first time. Then suddenly this weird kinky thing became this totally normal thing that you could actually do. That experience joined those different worlds. And it was awesome and inspiring. It drove me to look more widely than just at BDSM porn, but also to read more and educate myself on FemDom. That’s definitely an ongoing process! Writing my blog has been a very helpful forcing function for that.

2) Why do you submit to Dominant Women?

I guess the short answer is because it fulfills a need in me.

The slightly longer answer would be that I think everyone desires to make connections with others. Those connections can be physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual, etc. We generally want to make them with people we’re attracted to or compatible with and, for me, that seems to be dominant women. From my masochistic and kinky side, there’s obviously an aspect of sexual compatibility. But I also find forceful women to be a fit with me emotionally and intellectually.

On the flipside, I’ve found that my natural personality isn’t a fit for women who expect a more aggressive or forceful man. I can be very forceful and aggressive when needed in work or some social situations, but not in personal relationships. I’ve had a couple of relationships end because they were looking for someone more dominant. Someone who’d ‘just go for it’ and grab them. I was happy to do that if they asked me to do it, but apparently that was somewhat missing the point!

3) Describe your ideal Femdom--physical attributes, mind, skillset, lifestyle, training methods and approach

This is a particularly tricky question. On one the hand it’s tough to avoid an answer that looks like some sort of wish list. i.e. Someone I’m physically attracted to, who is smart, well read, shared interests, etc. On the other hand, I don’t want to fall into the trap of describing some over-the-top-fantasy that’d be fun for a day but totally unrealistic for any period longer than that.

Let me skip over the obvious stuff that applies very generally (e.g. intelligent, confident, self-aware, etc.) and pick out a few things that I think are particularly important to me in Femdom. These apply to both professional and lifestyle…

  • Sense of humor. I think a lot of BDSM play can get very humorless and lack a sense of perspective. I find it important to be able to laugh at oneself and retain a sense of fun. It’s possible to take a subject seriously, without necessarily becoming a totally serious person.
  • Creative. This description is often used in the context of roleplaying, but I think it also applies much more broadly to activities like piercing, bondage, electricity, teasing, corporal, etc. There’s endless scope for creativity in the dynamics of a session, how the layers of sensation are built, how the balance and intensity shifts, etc. Of course, I realize in saying this to you that I’m preaching to the choir :-).
  • Inquisitive. I hate it when I discover I don’t like something. That means it’s an avenue that’s now closed off to me. I’m always keen to explore new things and would always want to have a domme who felt the same way.
  • Sadistic. Maybe an obvious one, but I have a masochistic streak after all!
  • Sensual. Again, maybe this is obvious, but the trope of the ice queen domme does show up pretty often. Sensuality can of course be directed in many different ways, and used for and against a submissive, but I think it has to exist somewhere in the dynamic for me.

One difference for me between the lifestyle and professional domme would be in skillset. For a lifestyle domme, I don’t think her skillset is particularly important, assuming she’s interested to try things out and experiment. I actually enjoy being a test dummy for practicing techniques! For a professional relationship, where time is very limited, I look for a domme with an extensive existing skillset. I don’t want to spend most of the session waiting while she tries to figure out how the ErosTek box works.

When it comes to approach for play, then I always love someone who can be caringly cruel. The sensual sadist who can commiserate with you as she ratchets up the pain, secretly enjoying every scream and whimper :)

For a more service approach, I like the ‘PA to a Rockstar’ analogy. E.g. The rockstar who says she wants to eat at a good French restaurant, start with her favorite cocktail and not worry about transportation, and the PA makes it all seamlessly happen. It’s pretty much the opposite of the parent/child micro-managing style some people enjoy in D/s. I dislike being micro-managed, but I do like a clear statement of requirements!

4) What do you NEED from a Mistress in order to feel controlled and deeply swimming in subspace?

A sense of connection.

Deep in subspace the rest of the world falls away. There’s just a little bubble with me and the domme floating in it. At that moment she’s the most important thing in the world. At that moment I need her to be there in the bubble with me.

Of course, it’s difficult to define exactly what is meant by a ‘connection’. For me, it’s a sense of reading one another. It’s about non-verbal communication and empathizing with the sensations. Being very focused on what’s happening and letting it evolve organically.

That’s not to say all scenes need to reach that kind of intensity to be successful. Objectification can be fun, and that’s the opposite of connection! It can be relaxing to be a thing or a toy. But I think my most memorable scenes, involving deepest subspace, have all had a sense of connection and control.

5) Do you have an idea of your ultimate, ideal fantasy D/s relationship? Or do you session from time to time for pleasure that is exactly what you need but no more?

While I enjoy doing sessions, I’d definitely like to have a more complex and deeper D/s relationship with someone. But I don’t think I’ve got a single ultimate model for that in mind. I can think of different dynamics and configurations that would potentially work in the right context and some that I definitely wouldn’t consider. But I suspect there’s a fairly big range for the former options. It’d really depend on the person involved and the circumstances.

6) Have you noticed any common traits/characteristics amongst the Femdoms with whom you have interacted throughout the years?

I’ve consciously always tried to play with pro-dommes who are independent, experienced, successful and well regarded by their peers and/or other submissives. That tends to naturally select for a certain set of characteristics. I don’t think you can be a long term successful independent pro-domme without being highly intelligent, well organized, sincerely interested in kink, have a good understanding of psychology, highly empathetic, etc. So I’d say those are all common traits, but arrived at via a selection set bias!

From the wording of the question, I’d guess it’s also raising the question of traits/characteristics that I might have subconsciously selected for. That’s a trickier question to answer. I suspect two traits for dommes that I repeatedly play with might be creativity and informality.

My favorite way to play is to suggest a topic, or an activity or a piece of equipment and then let the domme riff on it. I dislike sessions that feel like we’re working a menu, ticking off 20 minutes of X, followed by 15 minutes of Y, then finishing with some Z. With Mistress Lydia I’d suggest say ‘piercing’ or ‘bondage’ or ‘breath play’ and then let her jump off from that. Sometimes we’d play for 2 or 3 hours of with just one thing, other times it’d be woven with other ideas and occasionally she’d have an entirely different plan and we’d forget the suggestion and go somewhere else. I loved the creativity and the organic feel it created. So I’ve tended to play a lot with dommes that adopt a similar approach.

As for informality, I’m not big on protocol. I’ve found some dommes like to create a lot of rules to follow, mostly I think to trip the submissive up and keep them off balance. It creates excuses for punishment and heightens stress. I don’t tend to do repeat sessions with those dommes. I understand some submissives like being yelled at and enjoy the structure of trying to remember specific things they have to do. For me I just find that gets in the way. I like to play more informally and collaboratively.

7) Do you view kink as a sexual orientation, innate in some of us? Or just another means by which you become sexually stimulated? Do you NEED an element of kink to be sexually aroused?

I have a pet theory on kink and how it comes about. It’s totally unscientific, but it seems to fit what I observe. I’d be interested if your observations contradicted or correlated with it.

Basically the theory goes that people are either born sexually open or sexually fixed. For the latter, people might be gay or straight, but their wiring is pretty much locked into conventional physical sexual characteristics. There’s doubtless environmental influences still (what is considered conventionally attractive has historically changed over time), but that’s more a matter of fine tuning than a change of direction. Genetics locks their wiring in place. For people born sexually open their wiring is a lot more loose and malleable. They still have an orientation, but what triggers their sexual drive is far more permeable and open to influence. Nobody is born with a foot fetish or a love of bondage, but they can be born with a very open sexual drive that can easily absorb environmental factors, particularly when they’re young. Sometimes these factors might be explicit (a trauma that gets incorporated into latter kinks) and sometimes these factors might be so subtle or happen so young, that the kink appears to come from nowhere.

So I don’t tend to think of a particular kink per se as being an orientation, but I do think that this malleability is a genetic thing and analogous to an orientation you’re born with. I don’t necessarily NEED kink to be sexually aroused. I’m (mostly) straight and I can get aroused by simply seeing a woman I’m attracted to. But it’s a small slice of my potential range of sexual arousal. I enjoy regular vanilla sexual activity, but it’s a bit like eating a snack. Fine and tasty, but not quite the same thing as a great meal with wonderful wines :-).

8) What is it about a ProDomme's site that grabs your attention and inspires you to see her in a session? What is it about a ProDomme's site that produces the opposite effect?

One key thing I look for is a well structured professional appearance. I don’t mean that it has to be particularly fancy or complicated, or have hundreds of professionally shot photographs. But it has to look like some care and thought was put into it. I treat a pro-domme's website as a proxy for how she thinks about her business. So if it looks like it was thrown together in 10 minutes, or last updated 10 years ago, or is full of typos and selfie style photographs, then I assume she’ll run her business and sessions in a similar haphazard way.

On the flip side, something that makes me very unlikely to reach out is a site written in a pre-supposed D/s context. i.e. If the domme is already proclaiming herself a goddess and queen that I, a lowly minion, should consider myself lucky to interact with. I get the marketing idea of that, but it just seems silly to me. That kind of dynamic might be fine after negotiation and discussion, but until that happens I think the interaction should be on a professional level with shared respect.

Note, just to be clear, I think your site definitely meets this first criteria and doesn’t have a problem with the second one!

After those two issues, there are a number of factors that aren’t necessarily deal breakers, but they’re pluses and minuses in my ‘do I contact this person’ calculation. No single thing tips the scales but they add up.

On the plus side…

  • A list of activities or preferences. That helps figure out if our interests align before reaching out.
  • The city the domme is generally based in. Often it’s easier to find touring cities than figure out a home city!
  • A rough suggestion where the playspace(s) is. i.e. The district or neighborhood.
  • Evidence of a general interest/involvement in kink. This might be a blog, or taking/teaching classes, or social media that shows a connection with a kink community, etc.
  • A tribute rate.
  • Links to other pro-domme friends. If I see someone is friends with someone I know and like playing with, it makes it more likely for me to reach out.

On the minus side…

  • Lots of drama on social media. i.e. Arguments with other dommes or potential submissives.
  • A suggestion that the domme is more interested in selling clips or online interaction and that live sessions are a second priority.
  • A requirement to use the phone as a means of contact. I get that some dommes like to screen via phone before meeting for the first time, which I’m fine with, but for general session set-up and negotiation, I find email far superior.

Like I said, there aren’t deal breakers (although the phone one is close), but they do weigh somewhere in the decision making process.

9) Beyond the realm of Femdom and kink, who do you think has more power in this world--men or women?

In the US I think one only has to look at the people in the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government to see who has the power. It’s overwhelmingly white men. Same thing applies to the executives in tech companies, powerful figures in media, lobbying firms, journalism, etc. It does vary in some areas, but sadly the variation is between overwhelmingly male to mostly male. Similarly there’s variation across different countries, but it’s just a question of the degree of imbalance.

10) What is the most powerfully intense element in a session for you?

This is a tough one to answer. I guess I’d tie it back to my response on question (4)  - that sense of connection. Specifically making eye contact where we’re deep in the session and the sensation level is particularly intense. It’s simultaneously a simple physical act and a complex psychological exchange. I’m vulnerable and exposed. Pain strips the social façade away. My expression communicates the intensity of what I’m feeling. I love to see the domme read and react to that, to stay with it and share the moment.

Thank you, Paltego.