I’d always been intrigued by the idea of being submissive in the bedroom, so when a mutual friend introduced me to Adam*, a dominant man who liked to spank and tie up his partners, I was immediately interested.

Adam and I quickly began a physical relationship, and as he helped me try out some of my fantasies for the first time, I discovered being submissive was, in a strange way, liberating. Being tied to the bed during sex, for instance, forced me to give up not only control, but my worries as well.

I truly had no choice but to lie back and enjoy what was happening to me; my decision-making, self-monitoring side got to take a welcome vacation.
When Adam spanked me, the physical sensation, the pain that led to a release of endorphins, took me further away from anxiety and allowed me to live in the moment.

As the months passed, it became clear that Adam didn’t only want to be in control in the bedroom.

I enjoyed my physical connection with Adam so much—and he understood my desires so well—that our bond naturally developed into an emotional one as well.

I found myself falling for Adam and wanting to spend time with him outside of the bedroom, and he reciprocated. And things seemed to be going great—most of the time.

Adam was funny and sweet and treated my dog like his own pet, but…

Even as we started spending more time together, we never really talked about what our relationship would look like outside of the bedroom.

And that turned out to be a huge mistake.

As the months passed, it became clear that Adam didn’t only want to be in control in the bedroom.

If our schedules didn’t match and I couldn’t meet when he wanted, or if he felt I was being too “whiny” or negative, Adam would get angry.

He would yell and occasionally say cruel things, often accusing me of being unwilling to invest in the relationship. Partly because I was already used to submitting in the bedroom, and partly because the good parts of our relationship were so good, I put up with Adam’s behavior and tried my best to make him happy. 

But it didn’t work.

I couldn’t always hide the fact I’d had a bad day, couldn’t be cheery when I was depressed, couldn’t get out of my work commitments to spend time with him. Instead of my making him happier, we were both becoming miserable.

Activities that once helped me relax, like being tied up or spanked, now made me feel more anxious.

Our physical relationship, too, started to suffer. A part of me no longer trusted Adam or believed he had my best interest at heart, so it was harder to truly let go of control and enjoy submitting to him.

As in our non-sexual relationship, I made the mistake of keeping quiet, of trying my best to go along with what he wanted and hoping we could recapture our earlier magic. Of course, we didn’t, and activities that once helped me relax, like being tied up or spanked, now made me feel more anxious.

Eventually, Adam’s controlling streak went too far for me, as he wanted to dictate my freelance work hours.

I refused, and we broke up.

Even though my relationship with Adam had been dysfunctional, I mourned the loss of the intimacy we’d once shared, especially in those early months of our time together.

But as time passed and I began to heal and, eventually, date again, I realized something positive had come out of my time with Adam: I’d learned that giving up control in the bedroom shouldn’t translate to compromising boundaries in the rest of my life. 

Looking back at the experiences I once enjoyed, which had since gone sour—bondage, spanking, blindfolds—I realized the one thing my submission depended on was the one thing I hadn’t given my partner: clear communication and a strong sense of what I did and did not want.

I needed to practice doing those things in the bedroom, if I wanted to assert myself in other areas of my life as well.

Now, as I’m dating again, I tell my partners that I like being tied up and spanked in the bedroom—and if I don’t like the way they’re doing it, I tell them that as well.

Just the act of using my voice makes me feel stronger, more aware of my boundaries and determined not to let others break them.

I’d learned that giving up control in the bedroom shouldn’t translate to compromising boundaries in the rest of my life. 

I’ll never let another man treat me the way Adam did, but I don’t regret our relationship. Falling for Adam taught me the importance of knowing and standing up for what I want, of maintaining boundaries and sharing them with my partners.

It’s a lesson that will hopefully lead to healthier relationships in the future, and it will definitely help me strengthen the most important relationship in my life: the one I have with myself.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.


https://thetempest.co/?p=130508
Stephanie Parent

By Stephanie Parent

Writer