Most of the Doms I’ve known since I was first seriously introduced to BDSM seem to have at least one thing in common… taking a sub out of their comfort zone, in one form or another. Here’s my thing… I don’t like being naked. I just don’t. Part is because of body issues, part because I have a bit of a clothing fetish (I like the clothes on myself as well as my partner). Just about everything I’ve heard/read/seen says that many Doms like having their subs naked because it often puts the sub in a place where they’re more exposed or feel like the Dom, who may be dressed, has all the power. But is it necessary? Is nudity for the sub really needed?
First short answer: No. Naked is a bonus not a necessity.
Second short answer: Don’t believe everything you read.
Let’s talk the fetish part first. The cool thing about kink is it encompasses a wide range of behaviors and fetishes. Clothing fetishes are not all that uncommon, whether they require certain types of clothing, colors, materials or just being clothed in general. Most people with the kink focus in on boots, corseted guys (or girls, depending on your orientation/preference) or red fuck-me pumps…but I assume there are those who just need to be fucked when they’re dressed. A slightly more unusual, but not a harmful variant. So if that’s what you need to get off…that’s what you need. It certainly doesn’t hurt anyone else, so what’s the harm?
Now, the naked issues in terms of a Dom/sub relationship. Naked is vulnerable at it’s most basic level. However, I think it’s perfectly valid to tell a Dom you don’t want to be naked. Especially in the beginning. If you’ve had experiences in the past where a Dom insisted and you were disturbed by it, you might want to look at how you’re phrasing your limits and boundaries.
Every guy gets if you say, “I don’t want your hands around my throat.” That clicks as a “Hard Limit.”
If you say, “I’m not really comfortable being naked,” oftentimes a statement like that will be considered a boundary…and possibly a flexible one. That may be because the Dom assumes it’s a place to push your comfort zone, or they don’t understand that it also works into your fetish. When playing you might need to actually say, “No full nudity is a hard limit.” Then be prepared to negotiate how much skin you’re willing to expose.
Now if you were pretty direct about it and your expectations were not met – well then, you had the unfortunate experience of being with a jerk. There’s a ton of Jackholes out there who call themselves Dominants. If you’re with a Dom who says, “It’s my way or the highway,” then seriously: hit the road, Jack. You don’t want someone like that putting you in a position of submission. They’re not worthy of your trust. They value their dick-trick and not your safety.
The other name for that kind of guy is, “abusive jerk-wad.”
Now at this point I’m going to remind you, that this is my opinion. As always I show my answers to several other people in the scene. They play at various levels, and identify as total tops or total bottoms, some are involved in large fluid scenes others are in more insular regional ones. The more dominant didn’t have a problem with my position. The full submissives… wow. One almost thought it was heresy to ever question what SIR wanted. You have to trust that SIR knows what’s right. Another was a little more moderate. Basically saying if you don’t trust a top enough to be naked with them, why are you scening with them?
I think that is the basic issue: It is all about trust.
In your case, if you don’t trust your Dom, you don’t want to be naked with them. As a Dom, pushing subs’ boundaries is not about making them anxious, frightened or upset…maybe a little uncomfortable. While a fully naked sub is more “vulnerable,” if the sub doesn’t WANT to be there, they’re far less receptive to being dominated. And while most Doms get that subs often don’t make the best choices in the heat of the moment, they don’t want to emotionally hurt them. The whole POINT of BDSM is that both the Dom and the sub get at least their mental rocks off (and often their physical ones too). It’s supposed work so that everyone enjoys themselves in that special way they need. And you can’t do that if you don’t trust each other.
BDSM is about negotiation. It is about trust. It is about the exchange of power between unequal equals. What that means is that you, the sub, are a human being with rights and dignities. You always have the right to say, “no.” Even a committed 24/7 slave has the right to say, “enough.”
Let’s say it in a big motivational speaker voice: Submissive is not a synonym for Doormat! Which means when I sub, I have to stand up for myself. Is this disrespectful to the Dom, especially in the beginning of a relationship…well, if you’re with a Dom who thinks that, do not walk – run towards the nearest exit. And that doesn’t mean challenging just to be difficult. We’re talking about being able to say: I can’t take this level of pain or play. Not everybody has to be a power bottom. We’re not all at that level and we shouldn’t gage our involvement by someone else’s standards. I can’t stand much pain, I don’t have a problem admitting that.
Can clothing be worked into a scene? Hell yeah. Fuck, most public exhibitions require that people keep their clothes on (outside of places like Folsom or private clubs). I’ve Dommed Brandon where he was pretty much in full uniform. Tied up, chest exposed, dangly bits out for me to play with, but definitely clothed. What’s the point of playing with a guy in police blues if he’s not wearing them? I’ve Dommed dressed, undressed, half dressed or wearing nothing but my combat boots. Sometimes my subs matched my state of attire, sometimes they wore more or less clothes than me.
If some guy wants me to blister his butt then yes, the pants got to come down. You want a flogging, I need to see the bare back. That, however, doesn’t mean the clothes have to be fully off.
Now, also, if you find someone you trust…you can renegotiate as your relationship goes on. That is another wonderful thing about BDSM is the relationship is dynamic. As the Dom proves he’s worthy of your trust, you will trust him more. Something you’d say no way to when you first met, will become things you’re willing to do…because you trust them. And I think that was probably one of the problems you had. These Doms you were with probably had done nothing that would lead you to trust them.
The big thing is BDSM is in the head, not the hands. Clothes are not power. They are merely symbols of it. Attitude and deference equate to power. If you can’t come up with creative ways to dominate someone who is fully dressed…well, I don’t know how you cure someone of not having a decent imagination.
Stay safe and sane…
If you have any questions you’d like answered, email me at Nicky@James-Buchanan.com
Remember folks this is my opinion. Others may have differing views on the subject. I recommend doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people before you start to play. I also recommend you read Safer Kinky Sex. http://actoronto.org/home.nsf/pages/bdsm/$file/BDSM%20Safer%20Kinky%20Sex.pdf