How To Train Your Dom 1: Mu

When you’re first starting out in a D/s relationship and both of you are new, it can be rocky going. It can be really frustrating to be so excited to try out Dominance or submission and not have your partner be on the same page as you. Today in chat on The SafeworD/s Club one of the newer subs¹ had some questions about getting her Dom to, well, “get his Dom on”. She was frustrated that her Dom wasn’t doing what she wanted, and wanted to know how to make him step up and do the Dommy stuff she craved.

Some of you more experienced subs are already smiling because you see the inherent problem here: if you’re the submissive, how can you surrender control if your Dom won’t step up and take it? But if you make your Dom step up and take control, which one of you is really the Dominant? And if the Dominance you receive comes at your own command, can you really surrender yourself to it in the first place?

This is exactly the sort of deliciously complicated, intricately messy little problem that I just love to roll around in my head. Beth and I talked about this off and on throughout the day. You might want to get comfortable, because this is going to take a while to get through. Well, actually, no: I’ll try to keep this short, but I hope you like this topic because I’m probably going to be talking about it all week.

For today, let’s start with the actual question and the actual answer. The question is: “As a submissive, what can I do to make my Dom step up and take control?” And here’s the answer: Mu.

It might be cheating to ask a question in English and answer in it Japanese, but it is necessary. Our language literally does not have a word for the answer to this kind of question, but Japanese and Chinese both do. The word mu is central to Buddhist thought; it literally means “not have” or “no thing”.

Please don’t misunderstand. In English if you ask “what can I do” and I respond with “nothing”, it’s not the same. I’m not saying there is nothing you can do. I’m saying mu, which sort of means “your question does not make sense”. But mu does not mean “you should not have asked the question”. It is just… well, it is just mu.

I once had mu explained to me thusly: if you ask a Japanese man “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” he will not understand that it is a joke. He will simply answer mu, because to him the question is valid and yet makes no sense, and to this there is a correct response: mu. One way of interpreting mu is to mean “the mind that frames this question cannot comprehend the answer.”

I’d like to ask you a favor. I’m going to stop my post here because mu really is this important. The question “how do I control my Dom” is obviously logically flawed. But you know how we say “there are no stupid questions”? Mu sort of says this. It says “your question is fundamentally wrong, but it is a good question”. So very many subs ask this question when they are starting out. The question might be wrong, but the people who ask it are good, and they are coming from a very real place of frustration and pain and fear.

I’m going to come at this question from a bunch of different angles this week. But for now, will you sit with this question for a moment?

¹ Note: I’m not naming the submissive for a number of reasons. First, I don’t think she reads my blog and therefore she is not able to defend herself here or clarify my misunderstandings. More importantly, however, I found a thread of pure feeling in her words that was so common to so many of us in our early experiences, and I want to honor those feelings without shaming her for being new to D/s. If I have represented her here unkindly, I hope you will take this to be a failing of my writing and no fault of hers.

17 thoughts on “How To Train Your Dom 1: Mu

  1. I found the Mu concept fascinating so I spent a while researching. I am even more confused now but from what I read that is the purpose. So win?? lol

    The biggest and at times hardest lesson in all this is that I cannot change or force his path. It is his alone. I work on myself and share with him what I learned. I can share things I think might help him but it must be done with care. I cannot determine what he takes from it. I can only have patience and trust that the man I married cares to grow with me at his own pace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hee hee! Yes, very win! Mu is a fun concept to play around with. Pretty much every way of explaining it in English falls short in some aspect, so if you’re confused you’re probably on the right track. 😉

      As for working on yourself and sharing… you’ve put this very beautifully. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Forgive the intrusion to your interesting topic and explanation. Not being on the same exact page is a common issue for those starting on the D/s journey, especially if both Dom and sub are new to the lifestyle. Is it topping from the bottom for the submissive to say to her Dominant, “this is what I have heard/read/seen others do” etc as suggestions to him? In many relationships the (new) submissive is the one asking or suggesting the lifestyle to her prospective (new) Dominant. It is perfectly natural for all of us to feel frustration when things don’t go or seem to go in a direction we feel they should. I think all questions are relevant. Whether one is a top, bottom, or switch, new skills must not be rushed, but always, always discussed, questioned, and tried. There will be frustration, anger, and lots of tears involved. Domination is a skill which can be learned, while submission sometimes is a trait one is born with and can be fine-tuned. As toraprincess said so eloquently, trust and patience are the keys to opening the doors to this amazing life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Not an intrusion at all, welcome! I don’t think it’s topping from the bottom at all for a sub to do research and want things and have opinions (even LOTS of them). I think it’s also not topping from the bottom for a sub to say “We are here, how do I make us be over here”, but early on in D/s it can be hard to find answers that aren’t “toppy”. It’s a subtle difference, which is why I love this question so much.

      Thanks for commenting! Feel free to intrude all you like. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Thank you for being sensitive to the fact that the new sub may not have wanted to be “outed” and for your comments about her having “pure feeling” and not want to shame her for being new to d/s. I’m pretty sure I’m the sub you’re referring to MM, unless another sub in that chat on that day asked the same question? Lol

    I do not feel shamed for asking or being new to this. I really was feeling frustrated about my husband not taking more control and needed to know what I could do to help it along. It was a good conversation, I’m glad I asked because I received some helpful advice (yours and Beth’s included!) and actually after following through on said advice I’m happy to report things are flowing along nicely! I realize we will hit another snag in our new d/s journey, at which point I will probably be back in the chat room asking what do I do now??? LOL

    Since this is so new to us (less than 2 months!) I’m doing my research and I’m asking all I can but I also follow one important piece of advice I received (from HisLordship and Submissy), that’s to take what I feel will work for us and discard the rest, which makes sense because we our forging our own version of d/s -one specific to us and our long term marriage.

    I am so looking forward to reading your other posts on this topic!

    Thanks again for honesty, sensitivity and your helpful advice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi and welcome! You are indeed the person who inspired this post (which has since turned into a saga, lol)!

      That advice from HisLordship and Missy is spot-on. There is no shortage of D/s experts on the internet who say they know the only way to be happy… but there is also no shortage of divorced and unhappy D/s “experts”.

      Welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. The concept of mu is very intriguing and it certainly pertains to this topic. Has been following this topic for the whole week, but work has been busy so brain was mostly fried to make any intelligible comments.

    When Kit first started on the D/s journey, it was really rough. Later Kit realized that it’s a paradox as a sub to tell a Dom what to do. So Kit researched and resherched hoping to find someone who is willing to guide the Master and Kit did. It definately helped greatly.

    Kit knows that she can’t change her husband. Especially when He was so used to be a vinilla. That change have to come from within Himself. It’s Kit’s nature to be the submissive so all Kit can do to the best of her ability is to listen to His feelings and concerns and respect His opinions. If there is something that Kit don’t agree with, Kit will bring it up in a nonconfrontational manner. So in a sense Kit had changed herself a lot in the relationship and that in turn enables Master to have the courage to step up more and more.

    It’s been 7 months since Kit had adjusted her ways of thinking and Kit can see a change in Master slowly but surely.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beautifully put. That’s largely where this series is headed: there’s not anything you can do to control your Dom but there’s a lot of things you can do to become happier and more submissive, and this absolutely will create a space for your Dom to do and become something more as well.

      Thank you, Kit. You are most welcome here.

      (I notice Kit does not refer to herself in the first person; is Kit comfortable being addressed as “you” by others?)

      Like

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