Withholding sex. Scolding. Name-calling. Grudging approval outweighed by disapproval. The cold shoulder. Shaming. Abandonment. Humiliation.
If you're reading my writing, you probably find these things pretty hot. And they can be. But I'd like to point out what makes them sexy, and not actual abuse. Got your pencil ready? Here it is:
Ethics means being honest with your partner. It means that there's no hidden agenda. The "manipulation" of the submissive is out in the open, and "taking advantage" of him happens with his full knowledge and consent.
When I give an order, my submissive and I exchange a knowing look, and he begins his task with blushing awareness that he is being pussy whipped. He loves it. If there were any actual manipulation going on - chilly passive-aggressive hints, guilt tripping, and other childish vanilla posturing - he would have every right to call me on it. He cannot respect me if I do not respect him.
Ethics means protecting your partner. If your man is your submissive, you're in charge of his well-being. If you're going to push him into questionable tasks, they need to be beneficial: facing his fears, exploring his psyche, proving himself, making him a better man.
Demanding that he buy you jewelry will not make him a better man. It doesn't protect or improve him; it victimizes him. Instead, demand that he buy you dinner the night he launches his new business. (Or replace "dinner" with "a strap on" if that's more your thing.) Demand that he suck it up and push through difficulties. Demand that he try harder, be better, make you proud.
When I first researched femdom years ago, the instructions I found were lousy (and prompted me to write The Hesitant Mistress). The prevailing theories came out of some sort of subconscious female inferiority complex. Things like: You have to bribe your slave with sex. You can never let him penetrate you or he "wins." You have to pretend that he can't do anything right. You have to pick a stereotype to mimic (unlike male doms); you can't just use your own natural authority as a responsible adult.
Even as a beginner, I knew that was not the way to be. It's dishonest. It's fake. It adds tension instead of relieving it. It robs you of your own innate power. It cheats both partners out of an incredible opportunity to connect.
Psychopathic behavior may seem hot in the short term, but I advise against incorporating it into your sex life. Would you rather have a relationship that drains your soul, or one that fills it to bursting?
Love your partner, my dear readers. You deserve each other, so make it good.