My sub is disrespectful at times and I'm just so unsure how to handle it. I'm pretty sure she acts out because she wants attention but how do I teach her that negative behaviour just makes me upset and not in a headspace to dominate? I respect your opinion man, I'd appreciate your help.
Keep an open line of communication. This sounds like something that, instead of making a “lesson” per se, you should talk to your girl about.
First and foremost, assuming you’re in a relationship with her and it’s not a D/s only partnership (though this likely applies in that scenario too!), your relationship with her should come first and you shouldn’t have to “teach her a lesson” so that she doesn’t do what you dislike - you should talk to her and explain the consequences of what she is doing and how that affects your desire to engage in play with her.
Secondly, you might want to tell her that she can act out and be disrespectful (if she’s into that, and its not just an attention thing) during approved sessions where you both know (a) that she is going to be disrespectful, (b) she’s doing it because she likes what follows after and (c) you know how to appropriately respond to it. There, both of you are getting something out of it, no one feels upset and hopefully your lines of communication are sufficiently open so that she takes on board your advice and doesn’t act out purely because she’s not getting attention.
I fielded an ask from someone before, who I won’t disclose, who said pretty much the same thing but from the other perspective. They wanted attention and so they acted out. It turned out to be the wrong decision to make in the short term. And its important to remind her that disrespect and acting out is a short term fix but it will likely sow seeds of dissent either in her mind or yours because she has to act out to get your attention or when she does you are put off by it.
I think my last piece of advice is to tell her that as much as she is a sub and has needs, as the Dom you have needs too and they are just as important. Your needs are that you want to be excited to play with her but that to you disrespect isn’t sexy; it’s just disrespect.
I hope that helps.
Extremely wise words from ED.