As I have written in the past, my first experiences in BDSM were as a bottom. I discovered that I had a lot of emotional trouble with the role. I loved the sensation play and I love being tied down. But I found myself feeling neglected and unhappy when things didn’t happen as I expected. At that time, when I was much younger, I became angry and pouty when I felt that way. I made the decision that being a bottom was just too upsetting and so became a top. In that role I controlled everything so there was no issue with disappointment. I was the same way as a kid. I have no idea why, but one of my emotional buttons is when I feel neglected or abandoned. When I was new to BDSM it never occurred to me to discuss this with my partner. Now, much later in life, I understand what is happening and I can speak up. Over the years I’ve noticed that many people in submissive roles have the same issue. In fact, everyone has to deal with this in one way or another. Some people shrug off disappointment. But I am sure that internally they are feeling pain too. They just smile and keep going. Eventually, it will build up and result in some sort of action.
Expectation management is the way a top (keyholder or disciplining wife) can prevent these feelings in her bottom. There are two ways to do this. The first is to never promise anything. Every interaction is a surprise to the bottom. This, at least, prevents the bottom from feeling betrayed or disappointed by unkept promises. There is a downside to this strategy. If the bottom gets less attention than he expects, he will still be disappointed. The other strategy is to communicate extensively; let the bottom know what is and isn’t planned. The downside of this is the considerable extra effort this takes and the loss of surprise.
I think a blended strategy offers the best way to prevent disappointment. In my case, at least, there are two things that push my buttons: not doing something that was promised, and no attention physical or verbal for what feels like a long time. If Mrs. Lion tells me that she will tie me to the bed tomorrow and torture me, my hopes are raised and I imagine the event with anticipation. Obviously, if she forgets and nothing happens I will be disappointed. I know she didn’t intend to hurt me. To her, the statement of what she will do is an intention at the time she said it. It’s not on top of her priorities, so if other things take up her time and attention, she could forget. It’s often the case that what is fairly trivial to the top can be much more important to her bottom.
I like knowing when my next orgasm might come. I am fully aware that on the scheduled day my lioness can tell me she wants me to wait longer. That’s part of the power exchange. But if on that day she says nothing and doesn’t give me the scheduled orgasm, I will be disappointed. It’s fair game for her to build up my anticipation and then on the day, tell me I have to wait longer. I don’t think it is fair to say nothing. This an sound strange to you. If I am scheduled for an orgasm and on the day (or before) told I won’t get it, I will be disappointed. But it isn’t the same kind of disappointment when the day is forgotten. I understand and accept that Mrs. Lion can arbitrarily cancel my orgasm. I will hate it, but I won’t feel rejected or forgotten.
That’s the key, at least for me. As long as I know that depriving me of something promised isn’t done out of neglect or forgetting, I am fine. I know the rules. I understand that being disappointed is part of the deal. Being forgotten isn’t. In fairness, Mrs. Lion is generally excellent about remembering me and making me feel wanted. Her problem, if anything, is being too soft. However, she has announced to the world that is now changing. I think it is difficult sometimes for people to understand the difference between conscious withholding of something and just forgetting. Everyone, even Mrs. Lion, forgets sometimes. It’s easy to put a band-aid on it by acknowledging the omission. I just want to be remembered, not spoiled.