I have many memorable moments when it comes to D/s, and while my Domme moments are quick to leap into mind—her pupils dilating as I pulled her hair and slapped her face, his mouth falling open when I instructed him to pick a dress—these aren’t the things that come to mind when I think of the most impactful and life-changing moment with my own submission. I’m asked often about my draw to Dominance and submission, and my response tends to surprise people. Because unlike popular belief, so much of D/s doesn’t even involve sex.

Sure, sex with a D/s partner is amazing. So much deeper and more fulfilling, as it involves a primal instinct buried within us. But still, this isn’t the most important thing for me.

I’m going to share a story of what happened with my Dom the first time I submitted in person. I generally share what he did the moment I walked in the door—how he pulled my hair and held my mouth open, pulling me around his living room by my open mouth, and how he told me I could fall, and I did, and then to come in front of everyone, and I obeyed, and while this part of the story is incredibly hot, it isn’t what I recall when I think about that day.

To back up a bit, before I’d headed to my Dom’s house, I’d first visited a friend. Someone I had history with, and while some of that visit was great, there were things regarding others that also made it difficult. I saw/remembered things that made me feel angry, hurt, depressed, and even protective of that person, and I started to get triggered.

Then it came time to head to my D’s and the fear kicked in. Even though I’d submitted many times over the phone, and we’d spoken for many months and I already trusted him a great deal, because of my childhood trauma, I was absolutely terrified to meet with him in person. This also, triggered me.

By the time I showed up at his house, and came like a little whore for him—at his feet—some of those triggery feelings went away. Or shall I say, were repressed by me. Dropping, being in subspace, those things made me relax. But later, when that feeling subsided and more guests arrived, I found myself going inward. Further and deeper inside myself, until my Dom began to question me as to what was wrong.

I’ll never forget that moment.


I was off to the side of the room, watching everyone else engaging and laughing, seeing the joy on their faces, and all I felt was misery. My heart was aching, and I tried desperately to push the sadness away, but I couldn’t. Not only was I sad, and angry, but I was also dealing with guilt. I felt that somehow, no matter what I’d been told, bad things had happened because of me.

It must have been glaringly obvious on my face, because D kind of nudged my arm, and asked me what was wrong.

We’d already spoken many times on what withholding was. How it led to passive aggressive behavior, dishonesty, and many other negative things, and I knew it was something he didn’t tolerate. So I didn’t lie. I didn’t tell him I was okay or fine. Instead, I said something almost as bad in that moment, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

I thought it was the right thing to say, since I didn’t want to lie. But the reality was this… Even if I wasn’t withholding that there was a problem, I was still withholding how I was feeling. Maybe the why part could have waited until we were alone, but I didn’t even say that I was upset.

D calmly looked at me, told me to set my sweater down, and follow him.

He was soooo calm. Too calm.

The moment he turned away from me, my heart began to pound. I knew where he was leading me, and it was to his dungeon.

I followed silently. Running through all the things I’d just said, wondering why we were headed there, trying to see if I’d been rude in the way I’d spoken to him, or if it was something else, but I had absolutely no idea. I thought maybe he just wanted to show me the dungeon, until he told me to grab the metal rings attached to the wall.

I knew what he did there. He’d told me. And my heart hammered more. I felt my heart beating in my ears as he pulled off his belt, and took it to me.

I’m turned on just writing this. Sooo damn turned on. Yet, he did not touch me in any way sexually, we were fully clothed, I was not told to feel him inside me or come, he was simply taking his belt to me.

Correcting my behavior.

From the first moment his belt hit my ass, and my eyes opened wide with shock, I also began to understand.

I watched as he circled me, belt still in hand, swinging it at me as he made his point, and he’d say things like, “Let it out.”

I wasn’t sure what he meant. I’d already told him I didn’t want to talk about it. Which yes, is a big no no to say to your Dom, but there was more. He was trying to get me to let out all the emotions I was suppressing. The ones that were making me look ten years older than I am. The feelings that were causing me so much pain, that I ‘didn’t want to talk about them’.

Each swing with his belt, each demand for me to open up and LET IT OUT, it tore me open. That one moment, changed my entire life. It made all things possible from that point forward, because for the first time, I realized that he cared. He actually cared about how I was feeling.

It was a surreal moment. Time slowing as I let each hit sink all the way to my bones. They weren’t hard hits. Left no marks (and for those of you who know how easy I bruise, that’s saying something). But I didn’t need them to be.

What I needed was exactly what he was giving me. He was in control. He was making that point be known. Especially when he pulled me from the rings and stood me in the corner. Repeating how he ‘would put me in that corner, so I would know my place’. And in that moment, I did know my place.

Not as someone less than him, as some that don’t get D/s would think, it was the exact opposite. I felt cared for, safe, and the moment I realized that he didn’t want me to hold in those feelings, that whether of not I wanted to talk about it, I was going to, I was going to let it all out, I did. I sobbed. I admitted all that had happened, all I was feeling, how I was sad and angry and hurt and feeling guilty all at once. And that I didn’t want to feel those things, but there they were anyway.

And he praised me for sharing. For feeling those things. He didn’t judge me for my emotions, or tell me why I should or should not feel those things. He just praised me for letting it out.

I shook, and he hugged me, and I cried, and he hugged me, and this moment changed me for good.

It was the moment I realized that I didn’t need to pretend to be okay. I didn’t need to lie about how I was doing. I didn’t need to say, “I’m fine” or “I’m good” when I wasn’t. When he asked, I got to be honest and tell him I wasn’t okay. I got to share my feelings, and know that he honestly cared and wanted me to share. He wasn’t pretending to care. Wasn’t pulling one of those, “Tell me how you’re doing,” but the moment you do, the person needs to suddenly take care of something.

He changed me, because he showed me just how much I withheld. How much I walked around every day, suppressing so I didn’t have to inconvenience anyone. He showed me what it was to have someone care. To just get to be honest.

He showed me what it was to submit. What it meant for me and everyone else that submits to him, or to me.

I really just wanted to curl up in his arms and stay there. But I didn’t. Instead, we left the dungeon and I engaged with people. I felt lighter, happier. I was able to have conversations and not feel like I was bringing everyone down. Because ‘shocker!’, I’d released all the negativity that was keeping me bound up and hiding in the corner.

And the best part? I got to engage with them with puffy eyes and running mascara, and not feel ashamed or embarrassed. I felt great knowing that D had put me in my place, and in doing so, made me feel safe and loved.

Now, I’m very focused on honesty, being forthcoming, not withholding, and rewriting my personal narrative to align with that. I even do it at the store. At the kids’ school. With family… I don’t lie and say I’m okay if I’m not, I’m honest when the grocery store clerk asks me how my day is going, and when it’s not going well and I’m honest, I end up having REAL conversations with the cashier. Not ones based on the latest Hawks game or the weather. But real conversations that have led to everything from marriage, to trauma, to depression, and joyful things as well.

The point being, I get to be honest. All the time. And if it’s something I can’t share because of legal reasons or someone else’s privacy being an issue, then I get to be honest and say, “That’s not something I can share currently”, because that’s not mine to share. But when it is mine, I get to share it. I get to talk about it and blog it if I want. I don’t have to withhold my truth, simply because it makes someone else feel uncomfortable.

I get to be honest.

I get to be me.

I get to be cared for and care for others.

This is my most memorable time with submission. Not the most fun, but certainly the most memorable as it changed me. Showed me that when some people ask how you are, they actually want to know.

THIS, is why I love D/s relationships. When done right, they change you in ways you never thought possible.

If you are reading this, thank you, D, for letting me know my place, and in doing so, teaching me that people really do care and that I really can be honest and not withhold my feelings.




gerund or present participle: withholding

  1. refuse to give (something that is due to or is desired by another).

“the name of the dead man is being withheld”

synonyms: hold back, keep back, refuse to give; More
  • suppress or hold back (an emotion or reaction).
synonyms: suppressrepress, hold back, fight back, choke back, controlcheck,restraincontain

“she could not withhold her tears”


About authorsienna

Author * Speaker * Blogger on sex, erotica, LGBTQ, BDSM, Dominance, submission, consent, and polyamory. Authors tales of dark desires and hidden fantasies.
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2 Responses to Withholding

  1. This is so inspiring, and relevant to me, and thank you. 🙂


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