I cannot comment on the motivations of other people who choose a path of submission, their motivations, their desires, what drives them forward, what entices them. As I have come to understand myself, and really from when I began my journey, my search for submission inside of me has a bizarrely quixotic flavour to it.
To Mistress I articulated a desire to respond to her dominance. I requested the opportunity to not be before her with an agenda, but instead, to explore the landscape that was of interest to her. That my submission would have value only insofar as it reflected genuine desire on her part…maybe desire is a misleading word here. What I mean to express is that being a slave, being submissive, is to accept the loss of ego, is to accept that someone else’s will takes over, and that this makes you happy. That fulfilment comes in letting go.
I think that is it. I don’t necessarily understand why submission is important to me, or even why it is taking on this particular form. I also know that it is, and will, at times, be difficult. There are other times where progress will be easy. Throughout, I am noticing a growing sense of calm, and a growing feeling of joy. Somehow, that another person, another independent human being, would take on the responsibility of “ownership” of another human, and all of the interesting and fulfilling ways this might take shape, is deeply beautiful. I am fortunate to have found someone whose person is so enriching, and whose grounding is so deep, and whose knowledge and intuition are a an ever-unfolding joy to behold.
Perversely, at moments when submission is difficult, we learn the most. The reality of slavery and submission is felt strongest when something is hard for us to accept or submit to. Learning what those moments feel like, learning how to accept them, well, that is perhaps the most important part of the journey. And these difficulties can come in small ways. Being told “no” is the simplest and most perfect example. We are all “needy”…our birth state is to satisfy what we want, right now. The essence of being a baby, indeed a baby’s very survival, depends on letting it’s needs be known, and “manipulating” the environment and people around it to ensure those needs are met. Crying is just one tool in the arsenal. Growing up involves being told “no”. Growing up involves learning to delay gratification. Growing up involves learning to share, to be generous, to be solicitous, to not just be insatiably oriented towards the self. We all do this in life, it is a necessary right-of-passage as we grow for us to become effective members of society. I am beginning to wonder, however, whether submission is the next step. Is it actually a path to enlightenment?
We don’t always get everything we want. Choosing the life of a slave is an explicit admission that our wants are base, and that fulfilment lies not in their satisfaction, but in letting go of them. I am not advocating tests and trials for the sake of proving oneself. That is a kind of submissive machismo (eg. look at how much pain I can take) which feels inherently selfish—it is an act of fetish fulfilment—that I have something to prove. My own hope, is that through submission I find that I have nothing to prove at all. That I can just be. And to know that in my being, someone else, the person who accepts my submission, is enriched and given joy, and best of all, energised, motivated, and empowered by the acts of service, the genuine devotion, and the purity of intent in which they are sheathed.
I have discovered that my “kink” is innocence. I am tongue-in-cheek with the word “kink” in this sense. What I mean is that kink is a pathway for me to be in touch with my own innocence. Not to have it despoiled or taken away, though the whimsy and power of a Domme is a beautiful thing to behold for one such as me. But rather to bare one’s soul, to be naked and humble before someone else, and to offer them one’s self, one’s heart, one’s intent where it isn’t the act of doing so that matters, but rather the way in which it is done…To offer these things with innocence means to do so without strings attached. No quid pro quo. No expectation of a comeback. And what I am learning is that to be without expectation, to be innocent, and then to experience a gift, to receive something that is not expected, is sublime.
Babies don’t get to decide what is best for them—Mommy knows best…and a baby has a very limited and primitive arsenal to work with when Mommy says no. As we grow up, our arsenal becomes infinitely more complex, but so too should our acceptance of “no”. As an adult, accepting “no” should be easy. Of course it is not always like that. The Mommy, however, is the first being in all of our lives, who teaches us to accept “no”, and who also nurtures us…and this combination of nurture, thwarted desires, and yes, a form of external discipline, “I know what’s best, and that is what you will do,” is our first lesson of life, and one that is absolutely fundamental to our growth. And I think that there are parallels in this to what transpires in a D/s relationship. “Mommy” in this case is simply replaced by an external authority. But this fundamental process of accepting the control of another, is this important developmental step played over again.
And you know what? Being told “no” from time to time is just what the doctor ordered. It is an important reminder of the guardrails. And I wrote about this concept in a very different context, that to raise healthy children it is important to impose a superstructure that is always solid. [Written about here]. The same is going on D/s. Every relationship will differ, but there are rules, rituals, protocols…and respect for those, whether formal or informal, is a critical part of learning to let go of self, and to just be. And the closer and closer I come to being able to feel that way, the happier I feel, the more relaxed I feel, but also the more expressive, the more loving, the more creative, the more fulfilled, the more energized, the happier I feel. In this sense, D/s therefore fulfils two absolutely vital roles for me. First, the personal growth that it requires in order to be genuine is deeply fulfilling. Second, it is spiritually fulfilling. Spirituality is a quest for meaning. D/s is giving me a language to understand the world around me in new ways, to find comfort in the divine, and to allow the divine into my life.
24/7 and Total Power Exchange (TPE) are misleading concepts
Nobody is dominant all the time. Everyone needs to be a bit of a switch in life. We have moments when we are strong, moments when we are weak. We have moments when we are not even feeling the erotic or interested in power dynamics…and all of these may even be more numerous than our D/s desires. Tuning into that, being without expectation, but also being ready to serve, is what I begin to feel is important. To submit without submitting, without labour. To just be.
When we talk about self-acceptance, that sounds too conscious. I read a post from a Domme the other day, one who I quite like in her online persona. She is big into fitness and training subs to be their most physically fit selves. You can imagine why I might like her. She wrote in her post that submission is genuine and revealed when it is public. The specific example she gave was slapping a sub in the face in public. And how some subs react resentfully or emotionally. I think if my SO were to do this, I might react that way. But I have noticed that I have not reacted this way with Mistress. She has slapped me from time to time on the face in public. Most of the time I am not even sure why. [Oops. That’s probably not a good admission, and one which might earn me another one—and no, I am not catting for it]. But I haven’t even thought about it. It just seemed natural. If that is what she wanted to do, then that is what she wanted to do. What went through my mind at the time was, ‘She just slapped me in the face. Why am I not reacting? It feels fine.” And in truth, it felt “good” not in the sense that it was good to be slapped, but it felt good to not be bothered by it. In other words, who am I to question what she wants?
We have a tendency to put our Dommes on pedestals. A blogger acquaintance of mine @silkenclaws, who is also a lifestyle Domme, and who is also incredibly articulate about power dynamics, wrote an excellent post on the topic here. Nobody can be in “space” all the time. Not Domme space, not sub space. Apart from being unhealthy, it would also be an impossibility. We might be aroused at the thought of this, but our arousal is fantasy…reality is something very different.
And that is exactly where I am going. I do not wish my submission to be a fantasy. A kind of temporal kick that disappears when we “get off” or stop playing. I do not wish to play out some pre-set notion of what a submissive does or should do, or how s/he should be. I do not wish to have my own version of slavery that I come to Mistress with and ask her to play with. I simply wish to submit, to bend to Her will, and to feel and respond to Her needs no matter their nature—not just play time, but in life, or in whimsy, or in whatever. To serve. That is all. And it doesn’t need to be active. Domination can also be passive. Rules, ritual, structure, are all things that can shape a subs life without needing to tap into Domme space.
Mistress often uses this expression of “relaxing into” things…just letting yourself be. This is not always easy for me. That expression usually applies to moments where we are together, and doing D/s things. But I am drawn to the idea that “relaxing into” something isn’t an isolated moment, but rather a way of being. That living this way, “accepting it” (which is in itself far too active), and just being submissive, responding without question, just naturally, innocently, lovingly, from the heart, is zen. It is in a sense, the goal, but it is the process itself, not the goal, that is the whole point. For to be submissive, or to be dominant, and to live it and experience it and learn from it, is to just let it be your way. How you are. Your essence.
What is your goal?