Pushme Pullyou???

1 Nov

Dauntless Vitality wrote a post called the Push Pull Paradox here.  

He talks about “brats” who push and act out to get correction.   This also serves to keep them closer to their Masters.  But then He went on to talk about those of us who don’t act out.

We withdraw instead.  

But, according to DV, the sub may “…even seemingly disguise her withdrawal as giving what she sees as needed space for her Dominant.”

And all kinds of whistles and bells went off in my head as i realized, “O, yeah, that’s me. That’s what i do.”

DV says: 

“She says she needs or is giving her Dominant space, but the reality is that she needs comfort, at least some slight control, some definition to their dynamic, some attention, support, love and reassurance.  She needs to know you are the strong man you have said you are.  She needs to know that you really are the Dominant she has come to accept, and that you will stand up and be that person when she needs it most.”

And i thought, O!  how does he know that???  i am always amazed when a Dom i don’t even know reads my mind.


Of course, that’s what happened with me and Sir D, kinda sorta anyhow.  i pulled back and He let go.  i’m not saying i’m sorry it happened, as it turned out it was absolutely for the best.  But that is what happened, at least from my point of view.

The idea that i’m not supposed to pull back and give Him space is difficult for me.  It reminds me of the “pushme pullyou” of Dr. Doolittle fame.  An odd beast.

It just feels wrong to me.  Intriguing, but not quite right.

My experience says~~  if He withdraws, i withdraw, and He pursues.  i think that’s the dance of vanilla relationships, and i do it pretty well.

The rule underneath that pattern, for me, is:   If i need Him, if He knows i need HIm, He’ll leave, He won’t be there.  So i have to keep Him from thinking i need Him – or keep from needing Him.  

Either one will do, but not needing is safer.

Yes, i already know that D/s dynamics are different.  They’re about me being vulnerable, not about me being safe.  But it seems like this is asking an awful lot.

i’m not even sure i can do it.  Not withdraw if i think He’s withdrawing.

It might be easier to become a brat.  

Certainly, it would be more fun.   Well, at least it seems like it from here.

Needy, whiny, weak ~~ alone.  Those are all lumped together in my head.  DV seems to be saying that “needy”  {yes, cute needy} doesn’t belong in that mix.  Youall have tried to tell me that too.  

But the lessons we learn when we’re real young are deeply engrained, and so far my experience has supported that.  If i need Him, He probably won’t be there…

i’m going to send my Sir a link to DV’s post and see what He says.  

26 Responses to “Pushme Pullyou???”

  1. Sweet girl November 1, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    “Yes, i already know that D/s dynamics are different. They’re about me being vulnerable, not about me being safe.” When I read that I just wanted to scream no, no, no, NO! that is soooo wrong!! Then I realized you probable meant safe as within your comfort zone (right?), that I can accept, well accept I mean it’s how it is.
    I agree that D/s is about vulnerability in the submissive. But does vulnerability not mean needy per definition? Needy as in need not as suffocating. Although I think Doms don’t feel as suffocated by neediness in the same way as vanilla men do. Doms want us to need them. They want to be the one in charge and the one caring for our every need (not to be confused with wants). They take what they want, but a good Dom (in my eyes) take it when He wants it and the sub is in a good position to give it (so not so much taken in the usual meaning of the word).
    OK, I’m rambling as usual now. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I think that Doms like us -even want us- to be needy, or maybe better put; in need of them.

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

      @Sweetgirl ~

      Yes, i did mean “safe” as in “in my comfort zone…” not physical danger, although…. no just kidding.

      I think you make a good distinction between “needy” and “in need” of Him. That makes sense. I’ve heard other subs say that they don’t think Doms react to neediness the same way vanilla men do, and generally I think that’s true.

      You’ve got me thinking about some other stuff, about the last vanilla relationship I had, but I need to think about it more…



  2. Sam November 1, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    Brat sounds like a lot more fun.


    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

      Dear Sam,

      It does, doesn’t it? Maybe I just need to unleash my inner brat…



  3. sin November 1, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    Actually I don’t think it’s as black and white as you paint it here. I think a real underlying neediness is still a turn off for lots of people. Especially if someone needs too much too early in a relationship. Even for Dom types. I know I’m probably not going with the crowd here. And yes, I agree that they want a bit more neediness than vanilla people,

    Don’t you wonder what would have happened with Sir D if you had been needy instead of withdrawing? I think he might have ignored the needyness in the same way he didn’t pursue. Or not.

    Maybe I need more coffee.

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm #


      Yes, I think you’re right – it’s not black and white for real, and a neediness that comes from not having a sense of who you are, and not having personal boundaries is a turnoff, at least, I don’t like it, and I can’t imagine who would. Although – I dont know. I think there might be men who like women who are clingy and pathetic. Or think they do. I don’t know.


      I kind of wonder what would have happened with Sir D. I think I might have been able to handle it differently if I hadn’t been all emotionally caught up in deciding to let my mom die. But then if I hadn’t been all caught up in that, I wouldn’t have needed him so much…. so, you know, whatever.

      Yes, I think you’re right, he might have ignored it. And from here and now, that’s nothing but good…

      Thanks for your comments, Sin,


  4. vanillamom November 1, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Just an “imho” moment here…if you send Sir X that link? Copy him on what you have written here in your blog.

    its intimate.

    its scary.

    it’s vulnerable.

    and it’s what he needs to see of you…


    who has been a brat, AND withdrawn…and has settled down into “being” …for now!

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm #


      Yeah, I was thinking about that. I thought I’d give him time with His own thoughts first and then share.



      P.S. Hard to imagine you a brat, but sure… hugs.

  5. greengirl November 1, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    I’m brilliant at the withdrawal thing – it’s both protective and a test. As you say – if i don’t voice my needs i can deny i had them, and then deny it hurt to not have them met. But i use it as a test too- a lot like other people brat to poke and prod and test the other person’s commitment. Sometimes, he should come find me and reassure me, but often it’s an unfounded, unearned lack of trust on my part.

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm #


      “…if i don’t voice my needs i can deny i had them, and then deny it hurt to not have them met.”

      Brilliantly put. Exactly. And yes it’s a test.

      What i really hate to do is ask for what I want or need. Yeah. So it’s been my goal since – gosh, since 2005, six years now, to get better at the whole “asking” thing. I hope i am!



  6. Sky November 1, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    I found DVs article set off the bells and whistles too, Aisha and I wrote about how I am doing those exact things right now.

    Being bratty. Wirhdrawing. I sent the DVs post to my Master and will post his response on my blog.

    I agree with you. We withdraw and we want them to pull us closer. Sometimes this D/s thing is so confusing (for me!). I think I withdraw to protect myself (defense mechanism.)

    Great post. Thank you for helping me feel I’m not the only sub who has/is acted this way.

    Take care. Sky

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm #


      Thanks – I think I read about your thoughts before I read DV’s post. I’ll look forward to hearing what your Master has to say back!

      It is confusing – relationships are confusing and for me, well, I spent a lifetime learning vanilla rules and now I’m rethinking and relearning…

      Thank you, Sky, for your comment, and your blog!


  7. Jazmine November 1, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    I just don’t have it in me to be bratty. I don’t mean that in a superior way, I just mean I can’t ever get myself to be a brat, even when I want to be. I was taught from 4 or so on, that acting out was not in my job description, and I just needed to be accommodating no matter what the situation.

    Master doesn’t want me bratty, but He is working with me on learning to voice my feelings about things instead of just accepting everything.

    Now withdrawing…ohhhh yes. Especially if I get scared. I start backing away, becoming scarily quiet and try not to “disturb” my Master with my emotional neediness or tailspin.

    He has since forbidden me to do this and has said that if I try to withdraw and tell Him nothing is wrong when there IS something wrong, or that I don’t cling to Him when I need to, He will just get off skype if we’re on it, or get off the phone if we’re talking. He figured out early on that the fear of Him disconnecting our contact, even for that moment, is something so awful for me, that I will always open up right then, lol. Not fair He has me all figured out,

    I have gotten a lot better at telling Him when things are going wrong, or I need to cling to Him. He is actually one who wants me to be needy and clingy,..thank God. lol

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm #


      I can sooo relate to what you say – just from the bit I know you, I can see you withdrawing and tiptoeing – well, I’ve read it in your blog!

      Your Master is so good for you, it makes me happy just to read you talking about him. I don’t think he wants you to be “needy and clingy” exactly ~ I think he wants you to trust him and rely on him to be there for you. Not the same thing, in my book.



  8. Conina November 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    DV’s post is an awesome one. I’ve sent a link to it to my husband as well.

    I do this same thing on a smaller scale. Last night, in fact. He asked me “Now what can I do for you?” perfectly willing to continue, but I just shook my head, completely unable to voice what I needed because of how he phrased it. Didn’t want him to do something “for me,” if he was otherwise finished. So I withdrew. When he started to drift off to sleep I couldn’t, too aroused. It was when I moved to leave the room, to leave him to sleep, that he stirred, grabbed me, and then gave me what I needed.

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 8:10 pm #


      Interesting, there’s three of us just here who’ve sent the link to our Sir’s. How cool.

      And it sounds like you’re got the same “don’t ask” issues that i have! I’m glad he realized what you needed and made sure you got it.


  9. Ally November 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    not sure what to say except a big fat… YES, me too….

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

      @Ally ~ Thanks – for commenting! I appreciate it! aisha

  10. Little monkey November 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    My thoughts are like an extra large load of laundry in a dryer, mixed up, overheated and cycling round and round on this one, aishsa. Hopefully , once i get it all folded and sorted away, I’ll have more to say, or rather, be able to say more.

    I do agree that if you send DV’s article to your Master, your post needs to go too.

    • aisha November 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm #


      Nice analogy! I can just picture your thoughts tumbling around in the dryer. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts when they’re ready.

      And yes, I will…



  11. angel November 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    You know, i have seemingly come full circle on this one. Originally, the lifestyle represented the freedom to me to be a brat without the worry of being walked out on. Some time passed, and i realized that the brat phase had something to do with testing limits and being uncomfortable with expressing anger. So, i withdrew when i got (get) angry. i ask myself a series of questions, starting with “Am i being fair in my anger?” Then i move on to “what do i want from the other person?” before i will even express myself. i figure its not all that fair to just dump anger into someone’s lap when i don’t even know what i want them to do about it. Nice of me to figure out all of that stuff out, right?? (laughing) Um. Gee.

    i do test boundaries. A little. Because if i don’t test them, i don’t feel safe. Its one thing to make a statement about what will happen. Its a very different thing for a person to follow through.
    If we are brat, or withdrawn, or a mixture, or neither….we are all looking for a way to feel safe, to see if the Dom is fair, to see if we can trust.
    In my thought process, they are looking for those same things in us.
    Are we fair and honest and able to express ourselves?
    Are we able to follow even if we disagree?
    Do we take the risk to keep reaching out? Are we trusting them?
    They are vulnerable too, in real ways.

    • aisha November 2, 2011 at 4:41 am #


      Yes, of course you’re right, and you bring a nice perspective. It isn’t fair to dump anger on someone without checking to see if there’s some reason there ~ so long as you’re not judging yourself for feeling angry, imo.

      Testing boundaries ~ which is kind of what my Sir talks about as “challenges” ~ are designed to see who the other person really is, so yeah, some of that is important to do.

      But I particularly appreciate you reminding me of the Dom perspective. Of course they’re vulnerable too. It’s easy to get self-absorbed and forget that somehow..



  12. Faithful November 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Great Post aisha and great comments too…

    I guess I will add after 1 3/4 years with Master that it all comes down to communication. There is no need for me to be bratty or withdrawn as our honest communication is the key to our successful relationship. He wouldn’t allow either anyway 🙂

    Looking forward to Sir X’s thoughts too!


    • aisha November 2, 2011 at 4:42 am #

      @Faitful ~

      I know – it has been a terrific discussion, hasn’t it?

      i’m glad your relationship with your Master works so well, that’s such a wonderful thing.



  13. DauntlessVitality November 2, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    OK I’m a little late here, but better late than never. When I have a bunch of Masters/Dominants coming after me because you all have tried to send them a message by sending them my post…I’m coming after you all. LOL! Seriously though, I’m glad I was able to write on a topic that has touched and resonated with so many of you, and even caused subsequent posts of your own on the topic.

    I wrote that posts from my own recent personal experiences. We all (or at least most of us) are familiar with the brat mentality and that dynamic in D/s. It’s the converse of that mentality that seems to fit more of us, which was the main focus of my post. Withdrawing and pulling back by a sub, and how subtle it can be, is something that can be very difficult for a Dom to recognize. He won’t always be able to see it. Yet, as some of the comments mentioned, I think it comes down to communication between Dom and sub, and being willing to be open and vulnerable. It was mentioned in the comments on my post about A Dom being a mind reader. A Dom can’t automatically read your mind and know what you need. But..he can do his best to know his sub, her moods, her tendencies, her typical reactions and personality, etc… to be able to gauge when things are a bit off. He must realize these things and step up to take the appropriate action.

    It was mentioned, by at least one comment here, about the Dom pulling away causing the sub to pull away. That is kind of a double whammy. I can’t speak for all Doms, but can myself. When I begin to pull back a bit, or am having a tough time, having my sub pull back can make it worse. I need to know she is there for me, supportive, and aware of my issues. It can compound things when she pulls back, and can make things even worse. I prefer her to lean a bit to the needy side. I like and need to know she relies on me and needs me…That she counts on me to guide and lead her.

    Thanks for the reference to my post. I’m glad I could stir up such a commotion, and get everyone wound up on this. I have come to see that this topic is obviously one that stretches out and touches almost all of us in one way or another at some point and time.


    • aisha November 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm #


      Thank you for stopping in and commenting! It is,clearly, a powerful topic, and I appreciate the feedback here.

      Again, it’s good for me to recognize the Dom side of this ~ very helpful. And interesting. It’s just interesting, isn’t it?

      Thanks, again!


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