When I was a novice (way back when) I heard about training a lot from the online conversations I held and the forum threads I participated in. In all the discussions I read, there was only one thing that was a common thread and that is that everyone had different interpretations of what training was, what it entailed and how to go about it. So if there is so much discrepancy in understanding, when a Dominant tells you that you need training, what does he really mean?
Treat all approaches from someone who says you need training with caution. If you don't know what training is for you or how it could be a part of your submissive experience then I would strongly suggest you not enter into anything a Dominant would call training until you know what it is. D/s is such a unique and personal dynamic there are so many people who don't believe training even exists. Those that do have other ideas of what training is and I'll cover some of those further down in this article. But, let's weed out what I consider the false ideas of training.
Let's start with the get in your pants sort of Dominant. These people are usually online only or your first encounters are online. They will volunteer to train you in the ways of being submissive and then go on to suggest a bunch of sex-based "tasks" that will possibly get you to learn what a submissive is and earn something from them. No one has yet shared with me how masturbating over webcam can teach you how to be submissive though, so consider these tasks well. Your reward could be a collar, albeit short-lived, a visit, or for them to disappear altogether because you are no longer a challenge. Yes, this is cruel, but it does happen. There is such a huge variety of people online that you will find people who just want a sexual thrill and will use naïve submissives that don't know what training is to please their sexual urges. Once you've done that, they are off on a new adventure.
I'm really hoping that I can help some of you out there not get into these situations where you will be lead to believe this person is teaching you how to be submissive and that everything you do for those Dominants is just to feed a sexual urge. That is unless that's what you want to do too. If you are looking for kinky playtime and nothing else, then these Dominants are the type to give it to you.
But if you are honestly looking for a relationship and are doing the majority of your searches online, you will encounter this phrase more often than anywhere else and it means something different each and every time.
What is training?
Training is the idea that you have to learn about your submission and the service the Dominant expects from you. It does involve effort for both parties and it can be intense, some of it can occur at scheduled intervals and some of it can also happen in sessions. But most of the training is simply learning about each other just as any other relationship would develop.
Take, for example, you just started a relationship, what things would you like to know about your partner? What about favorite foods, how to fix their favorite beverage, what they expect as far as the division of housework and parenting (now or in the future)? Now, as anyone who's read about D/s relationships can tell you, communication and transparency happen a lot more regularly than in other relationship styles. So, instead of just learning about your partner in a casual, less obvious way, D/s relationships will often have conversations about these expectations and preferences. You may even have sessions where you practice the behaviors expected of you. Or you may not.
In a casual setting, learning how a Dominant likes to play, what they prefer as responses during play and your behavior for sessions is considered training. People going through training in these settings can learn positions, mannerisms, specific phrases or body positions that make play more intense and erotic for either or both parties. In books and other media, this is often the epitome of training that novices see as the only form of training. It's hot, it's erotic and it's sexy.
There is nothing wrong with this expectation of training. I admit it is quite fun to be drilled and schooled in submissive positions or learning that during a spanking I'm not allowed to struggle or move. It can even be hot to learn how to orgasm on command. Back to the example of the online Dominant, these sexy times training are the main course in his repertoire of training.
But that's not all there is to training.
Why you need to talk about training before beginning a relationship
One person's idea of training is not going to be another's idea. So, if you've agreed to some training as one person's submissive, expect that your next relationship may not use any of that training. You'll have to start all over again. That's not all bad, you know. Every relationship you will learn new things, you adjust to another person and a different style of relationship. But this does mean one very important point. You can not learn to be a submissive from one person, you can only learn how to be their submissive.
In your conversations about training with a perspective Dominant, make sure you get clear explanations of what would be expected of you as far as learning, behavior, and activities. If they use the word training (some Dominants don't), find out what they mean by that. Some Dominants feel that they need to send you to someone else for training in something. Are you okay with that? Other Dominants are very possessive and will train you themselves. Let me remind you that training could mean something very specific, it could be sexual or kinky or it could simply be working at Starbucks so that you can learn how to make a good cup of espresso at home.
Learn How to Be Submissive?
If you really want to learn to be a submissive, learn about yourself. Part of what I emphasize with Submissive Guide is that you learn who you are as a submissive, that you understand what you want and need for a relationship to fulfill you and that you search for the Dominant that will make all that happen without compromising your dreams. Training with someone can not get that for you if you aren't willing to work on yourself first.
In closing, before you agree that you need training by some Dominant you just met, understand what training is to you and make sure you both are on the same page. Remember, happiness in a relationship comes from mutual shared dreams and joys. This includes your ideas of training. Make sure they match!
Thoughts to Ponder
- What is your opinion about training? Is it something that you desire of have in a relationship?
- Have you ever encountered a Dominant who said you needed training? What came out of that encounter?
- Why is it important to agree what training involves before you get into a relationship?