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Old 11-09-2013, 02:55 PM   #1
sophie_l
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Building confidence

So I've known for a while that I have a lot of submissive tendencies, but I've only ever really had vanilla sex.

Until recently, when a guy really took control in the bedroom and in just one night I learnt a lot about myself. The most important thing being that I'm not really confident enough to explore it enough. He asked me about my fantasies, and I just couldn't find the words - I felt stupid. I've never been able to dirty talk, or express in words how I'm feeling during sex, or exactly what I want him to do. An ex asked me once 'what do you want me to do to you?' and I had no idea what to tell him. I kind of knew, but I just couldn't say it.

I've put it down to a lack of confidence; I've always struggled in social situations. Because of a fair amount of bullying I kind of learnt to keep my mouth shut and not make a fool of myself by saying what I'm really thinking.

But now I need to unlearn that habit. I currently don't have a partner and am unlikely to find one in the near future to explore this BDSM world that I'm discovering. And before I do, I'd like to be able to have the confidence to express what I want from him right from the off. If this submissive side of me runs as deep as it might do, I don't want to end up in an entirely vanilla relationship - I want to be open from the start about what I'd like to explore.

Any advice?
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sophie_l View Post
So I've known for a while that I have a lot of submissive tendencies, but I've only ever really had vanilla sex.

Until recently, when a guy really took control in the bedroom and in just one night I learnt a lot about myself. The most important thing being that I'm not really confident enough to explore it enough. He asked me about my fantasies, and I just couldn't find the words - I felt stupid. I've never been able to dirty talk, or express in words how I'm feeling during sex, or exactly what I want him to do. An ex asked me once 'what do you want me to do to you?' and I had no idea what to tell him. I kind of knew, but I just couldn't say it.

I've put it down to a lack of confidence; I've always struggled in social situations. Because of a fair amount of bullying I kind of learnt to keep my mouth shut and not make a fool of myself by saying what I'm really thinking.

But now I need to unlearn that habit. I currently don't have a partner and am unlikely to find one in the near future to explore this BDSM world that I'm discovering. And before I do, I'd like to be able to have the confidence to express what I want from him right from the off. If this submissive side of me runs as deep as it might do, I don't want to end up in an entirely vanilla relationship - I want to be open from the start about what I'd like to explore.

Any advice?
(^_^) You remind me of me. This description could be my own story.

Before I could express any of my desires I had to learn to gain confidence in other aspects of my life. I started by making all the things I didn't like about me, and making them things that I do like about me. I'm told all the time that I suffer from ugly duckling syndrome and I should have more faith in myself.

I still struggle with confidence issues, but it's a learning process and takes time.

As for sharing what you want someone to do to you. Being confident in that person helps. It should be someone you can trust.

I've been with my husband for 9 years and I only just told him my feelings about being submissive. The first time I asked for something so devious I couldn't get the words out. He had to keep asking me, "what do you mean? You're speaking a code I don't know."

(U_U; ) I was so frustrated, I turned away from him and said exactly what I wanted. My whole body got really warm and I'm pretty sure I was bright red. He just laughed, "Oh! That's fine, we can do that." As if what I had said was simply to go out and have coffee.

^_^ Perhaps you can get into a more comfortable space with social situations and then build up to dating confidence. Also, get lots of information and think about what you want to try. I'm sure there are lots of ways to meet people with similar interests in your area. I've seen lots of people here offering to take a look at fetlife. There are lots of groups there and many often make plans for group meetings.

As for dirty talk in bed, that's become a type of torture for me. Saying things like that is so difficult and Mister knows it. He fully takes advantage of it.

Good luck! PM me if you ever want to talk.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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I can relate. I got the nickname "Silent" at one time, because I rarely talked, especially around people I didn't know well. I started to change it with little things - at a store, I'd force myself to go ask the saleslady if they had another size/color. I'd put myself in social situations even though I dreaded it. The human body is made to adapt. After doing these things for a while, I found I simply didn't get as nervous anymore. Just seeing that it was possible to change was a big leap forward. Last night I read a story i wrote to a crowd of 50 strangers in a bookstore. If you told me ten years ago I would do that I would've told you no, there is no way I would do that, I would honestly rather take a beating than get up and bare my soul in front of strangers and be judged. But I did it

When you have more confidence in general, it translates to sex/intimate situations. But I understand if you don't want to wait six months while gradually making these changes, before you have sex/play again, so another thing you can do, is tell a partner that you'd rather explain what you want in a letter/email/text messages, because you're a little shy about talking about it. After that, you could maybe pick the "easiest" thing to say out of the letter, and try saying just that to him. Good luck
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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Push your comfort level in little ways, as others have said here, what you do in one aspect of life will often ripple into other aspects of your life. Strike up a friendly conversation with the person in front or behind you in line.

Definitely visit the various threads on Lit and contribute wherever you feel most comfortable.

Put modern technology to work for you in that you can text, email, video or voice chat with a multitude of people here on Lit, where the conversations can be about Obama, the NFL, ideas about what to make for dinner and what's the best way to angle your body for a g-spot orgasm. I've found that the relative anonymity of the interwebz in the last 15 years of my life has done wonders for my confidence, sexually and otherwise.

My own "fer instance"/two cents...

I'm 46 and married to a wonderful man. I'm discovering things about myself sexually that I wasn't sure he'd be able to handle, based on his slow embracing of other things in the bedroom these past couple of years.

Even with decades of knowing my husband and trusting him implicitly hasn't always equaled having the confidence in myself to broach certain topics about what I need to feel sexually satisfied and content.

In addition to that, as much as I want him to hopefully enjoy at least some of the things I want to try versus simply tolerate them for my sake... I also don't want him feeling self-conscious or doubt his physical prowess [he's an amazing lover, whether we are being kinky or not] or turned off or repulsed by my suggestions or feel that the more vanilla sex that we have is lacking or not enough for me.

My solution? I've sent him texts or emails with links to porn or images of what I'd like us to try. This way I avoid my shyness/insecurity/lack of confidence, but I also give him some space in case it's something that's really too over the top for him to handle or something he's completely unfamiliar with. It allows him time to watch what I've sent him and process it a little and even do his own research if it intrigues him.

For instance, based on other things we've tried and liked, I wanted to buy a crop for him to use on me. I sent him a video of a woman having a crop used on her pussy and nipples - my accompanying email was written in a playful tone: "hey sweetie, do I have to be a really good girl or a really bad girl for you to use a crop on me? She seems to like it, I think I might too. Do you think you'd like to try that on me? If not, no biggie, xoxo, me."

In this instance, it turned out that he was more than fine with the idea. Came home from work the other night with a big smile on his face as he kissed me hello and said: "You can buy whatever you like for me to use on you."

The crop arrived a few days ago and he's mentioned he wants to try it out on me tonight!

I wish you luck in building up your confidence. I too was bullied and it impacted how I comported myself at work and in relationships, but I've worked at and mastered a lot of my personal quirkiness regarding how I interact with others, you will find your path.

Tori
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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Even something as simple as finding a story that turns you on and reading it aloud to yourself can help.

Have you tried writing out your own fantasies? You could submit them to lit or keep them in a sock drawer, but practicing putting them into words could be helpful.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:03 PM   #6
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I can really relate to this too. I have trouble coming right out and saying things, for a couple reasons, first, shyness, but also, if I tell him what to do, then it kind of throws off the dynamic of our relationship.

What I've discovered works for us is texting. That way I can say things and he can think about it before responding, so there's not that pressure to react immediately to what I said. Plus, no chance of ruining the mood, since we're not physically together at the time. That way he's got time to plan how and if he wants to follow through on the thing I mentioned. Another idea that works is to not come right out and say you want something, but maybe say you dreamed it, or read some fiction that included it. That way you're not being quite as direct, so it's less embarrassing. Plus, if you say you got the idea from a dream or such, and you try it and don't like it as much as you thought you would, you kind of have an easy way out. You can say, oh well, it was somehow different in the dream.

Last edited by l1sha : 11-09-2013 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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great advice!!!

I'm loving this thread. There's some great advice here.

I can't urge strongly enough to utilize the areas you are strongest in as a place to begin. For me I have a long history of flyfishing knowledge. I can speak to anyone about it. I can speak in front of audiences about it, because it is so second nature to me. your sexuality should be the same. you know what you want, now it is time to vocalize it.

The first thing you need to be comfortable with is that sexuality is natural and we all face our humanity the same way. We all have penises and vaginas and cocks and pussies. How many descriptive terms can you find for them? Write them down. Even the silly ones (i.e. Breasts, milk bags, mammalian protuberances, hooters, cans, jugs, tits...) Expand your vocabulary for the parts and then do the same for the actions. Write it out as an exercise (just hide it from the kids).

Changing our public habits takes more time, but start out doing something silly. I was told to chew a big wad of bubblegum and blow bubbles in public. Let people notice you. You will become accepting of the fact that people are staring at you for something so innocent. Then do it while wearing lingerie beneath your coat (or something similarly sexy).

What we need to do is break it down into simple steps that work their way toward our goal, be it talking dirty in the throes of passion or verbalizing our desires 9the writing an e-mail was a great hint - unfortunately I never have a computer when I need to be romantic).

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Old 11-09-2013, 11:26 PM   #8
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So much of this thread is me. I can't believe anyone else felt the way I did/do. I have opened up a lot from reading stories, this forum and one on another site. Talking to faceless men long distances away and finally am building more confidence than I ever had before.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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Amazing how many women have this problem

I am another woman that really struggles with expressing myself. I struggle with this horribly. This thread has some awesome advice
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:45 PM   #10
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For myself, a lot of my struggles with sexual self-confidence revolved around the [societal] message that what I wanted, needed, was interested in, etc wasn't okay.

Good girls don't ___.
___ is slutty.
Men [always] have the higher sex drive, etc.

There's a subconscious Madonna/ whore mentality (especially in more conservative areas) that permeates society, even in the face of daily images of blatant sexuality everywhere we look.

It's this really bizarre "be super sexy, just not *too* sexy or else..." attitude that (for myself, at least) got in the way of feeling confidant about who and what I am [as a sexual being].

What worked well for me may not work well for anyone else, but I'm offering up the advice just in case.

I'm a research junkie; knowledge cures fear [for me]. So I started researching sex, sexual attitudes, and how society has viewed woman and sex over the centuries. I read books on "nymphomania" (an imaginary condition), erotica themes from from the Enlightenment & Victoria eras, Edwardian era "female hysteria", prostitution, the history of courtesans, the physiology and biology of arousal, BDSM/ kink, and just about everything I could get my hands on re: sex.

I got comfortable with the subject on an intellectual level, and (for me) it offered a safe space to work through things. I could talk about X with a little distance, because it was something I read about that piqued my interest. The vulnerability of acknowledging desires/ interests was still there, but because I was talking about what I'd read vs wanted, I could adjust the conversation as necessary. Positive reaction = open up a bit more. Negative reaction = it was something I read and was just wondering what you thought.

I started my sexual curiosity research thing almost a decade ago (about as long as I've been on Lit, actually), and somewhere along the way I figured out how to be okay with who (and what) I am... which is a very complicated mishmash of sexuality. LOL

Sex and sensuality is a very important, integral part of my daily life - even when I find myself unexpectedly un-partnered and celibate [as I am, currently]. There's no reason for me to be embarrassed or ashamed, or apologize for recognizing where sex & sexuality sits on my priority list - which is to say, pretty fucking high. (I made a funny! )
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:00 PM   #11
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This thread is amazing!!!!!

Getting comfortable in ones own skin is a journey few people do but it's a very needed one!! Once u get to that point the sky's the limit! Having said that it took me 2 years and having some wonderful people in my life who encouraged and challenged me. I found out I am an exhibitionist at heart. So I have a blog my second Dom helped me to launch it. It's been up a year and a half it has over 30,000 hits if that's not a confidence booster I don't know what is. I've only gotten positive feedback so amazing!!! The experiences I've had over these past two years since my epiphany have been amazing and a fabulous learning experience. I've lived out some fantasies and have gained an amazing amount of confidence. I hope u will learn about yourself in in doing so u will blossom into the confident woman u are and enjoy yourself ! Also join fetlife and go to munches learn from others!

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Old 11-10-2013, 09:05 PM   #12
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Writing is a huge outlet for me.

Okay, I think I need to back up. I've always been submissive, though it took an actual dom to help me figure it out. I let the boys do what they wanted, and the closest I ever got to "asking" for something was to whimper or <gasp> move his hand in the right direction. I guess I was lucky enough to have some smart boyfriends and good timing.

My first Sir was as much a teacher as a dominant, but I was still, mostly, in a serving role...I did what I was told and was very lucky to be wired in ways that made us work in synch. For the first many months I had no clue what the hell was happening to me (he exploited my own wiring to teach me to love and crave pain and to perceive it as pleasure--at least that's the best way I can explain it), and after that I just went along with whatever he chose to do to me. It was always clear that my own pleasure was a lucky by-product and not his primary interest. Curiously, I wasn't dissatisfied, but I wasn't always sated.

I met Master online. At first there was little likelihood of us ever meeting in person. Then Kismet (quirky goddess that she is) stepped in and made it possible. Knowing that, and knowing that I wanted to make our first meeting as satisfying as possible (because it might be our ONLY chance), I started writing...more than just our daily chats, I damn near wrote essays about how I'd been trained, what I liked, what scared me. Bless him, he took my outpourings to heart and was kind with my drivel. Eventually they became three of my best-liked posted stories (I swear I'm working on more).

To this day I still have horrible cases of shyness, but they are fewer and more far between, mainly because I not only have confidence in myself but a deeply rooted trust in Master.

All of that is to get around to the 2nd ingredient. I think most of us submissives need not only our own confidence in some form, but trust in whoever we confide in. I could never, ever, reveal so much of myself to someone to whom I hadn't given that deep trust. I revealed things to Master within a year that I'd NEVER told my husband of 14 years, at the time.

But there are still times when I have to hide my face in his chest to actually say something out loud.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:44 PM   #13
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To this day I still have horrible cases of shyness, but they are fewer and more far between, mainly because I not only have confidence in myself but a deeply rooted trust in Master.

All of that is to get around to the 2nd ingredient. I think most of us submissives need not only our own confidence in some form, but trust in whoever we confide in. I could never, ever, reveal so much of myself to someone to whom I hadn't given that deep trust. I revealed things to Master within a year that I'd NEVER told my husband of 14 years, at the time.

But there are still times when I have to hide my face in his chest to actually say something out loud.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:10 AM   #14
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Wow, thanks so much for all the replies! Its definitely given me food for thought.

Seems most of it is having the right partner (which completely makes sense) and the other half is feeling comfortable enough in my own skin. For now, I guess I'll work on the things I can work on - opening myself up to new ideas, being more adventurous and being more confident in general day-to-day life. I think it'll be a slow process - while I'm outwardly a bubbly person, there is so much of myself that I hide from the world, not just sexually, but emotions and opinions too. Perhaps if I can learn to express those initially, I can learn to express myself more openly in the bedroom.

I'm lucky that I am surrounded by a wonderful group of people - I have supportive housemates, fantastic friends, and in particular one lovely friend who is always there for me. And now, it seems I have the support of all you amazing Lit people
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:24 AM   #15
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If you are looking to meet some like minded people in RL I'd be happy to introduce you to the Under 35 or South Yorks Munches.

Friendly, mostly non-threatening groups of people.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:34 PM   #16
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Because of a fair amount of bullying I kind of learnt to keep my mouth shut and not make a fool of myself
This part of the original post stuck out to me the most, and has one of the easiest answers:

Study the lifestyle. You don't have to live in it to learn about it. Take your time, read up on different kinks, talk to someone online willing to break down concepts. Learn all you can so that when you meet your future dom you can have confidence in your knowledge.

After you know the terms, the kinks, what your interested in, and what your not; it all depends on the other person and your relationship. take it slow. If talking your wants is still too hard or worrisome, try writing it. write him a letter. have him read it with or without you present. the main point is that you open the lines of communication.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:07 PM   #17
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So I've known for a while that I have a lot of submissive tendencies, but I've only ever really had vanilla sex.

Until recently, when a guy really took control in the bedroom and in just one night I learnt a lot about myself. The most important thing being that I'm not really confident enough to explore it enough. He asked me about my fantasies, and I just couldn't find the words - I felt stupid. I've never been able to dirty talk, or express in words how I'm feeling during sex, or exactly what I want him to do. An ex asked me once 'what do you want me to do to you?' and I had no idea what to tell him. I kind of knew, but I just couldn't say it.

I've put it down to a lack of confidence; I've always struggled in social situations. Because of a fair amount of bullying I kind of learnt to keep my mouth shut and not make a fool of myself by saying what I'm really thinking.

But now I need to unlearn that habit. I currently don't have a partner and am unlikely to find one in the near future to explore this BDSM world that I'm discovering. And before I do, I'd like to be able to have the confidence to express what I want from him right from the off. If this submissive side of me runs as deep as it might do, I don't want to end up in an entirely vanilla relationship - I want to be open from the start about what I'd like to explore.

Any advice?
Options can be overwhelming! When a new person asks such open-ended questions about what I want, I cannot respond because...well there are just too many things that I'd be open to and I am reluctant to be forced into a niche because of my answer. For this reason, I find it is helpful to start by listing the things that I do NOT want to explore. This seems easier somehow.

Also, I hate it when someone asks me to tell them about my fantasies. I used to try to answer, but now I just get annoyed. Those fantasies are MINE, dammit! No admittance! If someone wants to gain access to them, then they'll just have to inspire me.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:31 PM   #18
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Also, I hate it when someone asks me to tell them about my fantasies. I used to try to answer, but now I just get annoyed. Those fantasies are MINE, dammit! No admittance! If someone wants to gain access to them, then they'll just have to inspire me.
As much as it's a bit off topic, I'll agree to THAT! You tell them the fantasy on your mind at the moment then they roll you into it as though it's the only thing you think about.

INSPIRATION: makes the world go round, doesn't it? A woman who truly inspires a man can write her own ticket, because he will make it happen. (had that once - once)
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:52 PM   #19
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If you are looking to meet some like minded people in RL I'd be happy to introduce you to the Under 35 or South Yorks Munches.

Friendly, mostly non-threatening groups of people.
I would take him up on this offer, OP. This is a mostly-comfortable way to meet people who understand your interest, in a public, non-sexual, non-fetish-gear-wearing setting.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:50 PM   #20
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I can't speak to you as a female...I'm not one...
Maybe my being male will somehow negate any of this advice...But I will put it out for you and you can read it and judge for yourself.

I knew I had a fetish for male cocks but until about 5 years ago I had never even DARED think that I might be bi-sexual or anything. I don't have any sexual arousal from men...Only their cocks.
Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago when I joined here and I found out that not only am I not the freaky weird bloke I thought I was...But I was actually rather vanilla in my kinks. (Thank you Mr Briggs!)

In the past 2 weeks I have opened myself up to having PM and online sexy chats with people. Now...I'm not an extrovert AT ALL. In fact I am rather insular. I don't have any friends other than my wife and my work colleagues and I only see them and speak to them when I go to work. I don't do their social scene at all.

So imagine my terror when I admit on this board that I am openly attracted to cocks! Now I often get PM'd to chat...The first time it happened I broke out into a cold sweat..I shit you not I very near turned my laptop off and threw up. I was THAT scared.
But I didn't. I just replied....Somehow in my head I worked out that this person on the other end of a PM did not know me from Adam... All he knew was what I had put in a post on a thread about liking cock as a male.

The chat was...Well...Less than stellar! The guy thanked me and then disappeared. I had gotten him off and didn't have A CLUE how to make a man happy...I was franticly thinking about what I would want.
And I guessed it would happen again... So I got my laptop and copy pasted the PM chain and read it out to see how it really read...And it was crap...I had read enough porn to recognise shite writing before!

So, now knowing I had some time, I edited what I wrote so that it read better. and read it out loud to myself. practicing, if you will.
And I got better...As I had more and more chats I felt more confidence in myself.

2 days ago I did my first sub role in a chat...I had NEVER done this before and I was scared...I DESPISE fucking things up. So I just thought how I had seen a sub act in a porn I had watched ages ago and channeled that. And it worked! Ok..It wasn't perfect, but I bet I could do better next time.

TLR

Practice!
There are some nice people on here that would be willing to chat with you....USE IT!!
Even if you screw it up you can play the role a little knowing that the other person won't hold it against you and if it all goes pear shaped you can just drop out of character and try again. Maybe in time you will grow some confidence to voice the things you want...And maybe have some fun doing it!

I'm sorry this has been a rambling read....But its been so difficult to say what I want to. I too have real issues with people.

I hope in some way this helps you.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:47 PM   #21
midwestyankee
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Confidence develops as a natural product of increasing competence. Most of the advice you've received here about trying little baby steps, testing your thoughts in wiriting, etc., revolve around building up confidence by developing your competence in expressing yourself and your sexuality. I would suggest that you can develop your capacity to express your sexuality by building your skills in expressing yourself in any way that's troubling to you now. Even if that's sharing how you do something quite ordinary like make a sandwich, find your way to an unfamiliar place in the city, or bake bread.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:31 AM   #22
Sweetdaisymae
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malich View Post
If you are looking to meet some like minded people in RL I'd be happy to introduce you to the Under 35 or South Yorks Munches.

Friendly, mostly non-threatening groups of people.
I know going for RL meets can be hugely intimidating, but I can happily vouch for Mal, he has been my safe call, my mentor and one of the few litsters that I have actually met in real life. He knows the local groups pretty well and will be able to point you in the right (and safe) directions.
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