Submission is at its richest in the empty spaces, when it really isn’t about “me”

This path of travel into the liminal is like suddenly having all the windows in life getting a good clean…windows even that I might not have even been aware of.  One sees with a clarity that astounds—so much that we might find we never even knew there was a view.

So much of submission relates to a form of control.  We hear about topping from the bottom as a common complaint.  And it is sure that the dance of D/s takes two.  That the submissive heart cultivates the dominance of the other, and vice versa.  At its best and most healthy, this is a mutual exploration, a process of unfolding and one which is troubled by set views.

My first experiences in this world, the actual and literal world of power exchange within D/s, have been well-documented here.  I was blessed with finding my way to exceptional teachers and guides.  They were professionals, and to a certain extent, I was able to rely on their professionalism and experience to guide us, and to maintain boundaries.  My naïve assumption on starting was that “reliance” on such things was possible, and even something I could expect as a client.

Expectations in any relationship, however, are the hot sauce of failure.  They make it sharp and piquant in the moment, for good and bad, but lead to trouble after.  In a way, the respect of boundaries are about trust.  They are not the same coin, but they are important bedfellows.  We cannot trust someone who doesn’t maintain healthy boundaries.  We cannot trust someone who pushes against our boundaries.  Expectations, if not clearly spoken and understood, will interfere with boundaries.

My first forays into BDSM were all characterised by issues of expectation and boundaries.  All of my early experiences involved intense violations of my own boundaries.  Moving from the catfish I started with and who almost all ended up blackmailing me, is a very literal example of both boundary issues, trust violations, and the dangers of misunderstood expectations.  In part, this process is what drove me to seek an ever more genuine union with people in real life.

But my big lesson was that people in real life are just as likely to run rough-shod over your boundaries and expectations as the catfish.  That a professional domme has expectations of conduct, financial support, and privacy are unassailable constants.  We can all learn a lot regardless of which side of the slash we sit on, whether we are professional or lifestyle, and there are good lessons here for life.  But if a relationship is static, or there is an absence of equity, what you get is way out of proportion to what you receive, or vice versa, it either won’t last long, or it will come to a point where boundary violations are guaranteed.

My most central and important boundary is to not be degraded, made lesser, or made to feel shame.  I know that many people are drawn to D/s as a /s because they want to be humiliated and put down, degraded.  That has never been my goal or desire.  I am super up-front about this.

My stated goal on meeting my first in-person domme, Ex Mistress, was in line with this feeling.  I was asking for her help to become the best me.  I regarded submission to her as a pathway to get there.  I respected her, was intrigued by her, and was prepared to disarm myself before her to be able to absorb her teaching.  My stated aspiration was that she shape me into a sub that she would be proud to own.

Why did that matter?  At the time, it was the most important thing in my life.  By a country mile.  I didn’t go through life thinking I needed to be fixed.  Instead, I seem to have woken up one day and realised that what I was, how I was, just wasn’t enough—not in the sense of manifesting abundance, but in the sense of the boundlessness with which I hoped to live my life.  Too much compromise, too much burying of the self.  I needed to change not so much who I was or what I did, but rather, how I was going to live my life.  I needed to be free with an all-consuming desperation.

And why a dominatrix?  Well, therapy was familiar ground.  I know what I am capable of, the pace at which I can move in therapy, but I wanted something deeper, faster, more profound.  What was inside of me, these internal obstacles, needed a partnership, needed to be willing to ‘break’ things, and needed ownership from the outside.  I couldn’t do it by myself.  I couldn’t get to where I needed to go with a therapist.  As someone who had never played with BDSM before, had never had anything other than a passing titillation for the aesthetic, I knew I needed to submit to a dominatrix, and that I needed her to beat me.  That whatever it was that needed to change inside me was only going to change through intense physical and emotional sensation.

My “partner” in this process was a competent and conscientious domme.  The landscape she was willing to traverse with me included love.  It was the first thing I asked.  “Can I fall in love with you?”  Yes.  Unsurprisingly, such feelings are quite normal.  That was reassuring.  I needed to know whether a submissive male, a slave, could be loved in turn—I had no fear that I would find love, but I needed to know whether the converse was true.

What I was asking for was that she provide a loving container.  One that was strong enough for me to work on myself from.  Her ask in return was that I be serious about psychotherapy.  I honoured her request, and although she and my therapists never spoke directly to one another, there was a very real sense that they were working together.  And she did it…provided the container with the strength that was needed for long enough for me to do what I needed to do.  It was beautiful, and I wanted it to last, to never stop seeing how far it could go.

The process worked brilliantly as long as trust was there.  For various reasons, trust did not stay intact.  The reasons are unimportant, what matters is that when trust breaks down, we begin to question things, everything.  Operating in D/s in an absence of trust in my case, led to a feeling of degradation.  I couldn’t handle that direction of travel and sought to change the things which were causing it.  In other words, preventing my own boundaries from being violated I needed to push against the boundaries of Ex-Mistress.  It didn’t work.

That isn’t really the point but is simply context.  What was important was that I expected to rely on her ability to provide guard rails, to imagine that her experience meant that she was uniquely responsible.  I can chalk it up to inexperience, and it was certainly immature on my part.  There are times when I think back wistfully and wish that I had been more experienced when I had seen her, so that this would not have come to pass.  But I also realise that people come in and out of our lives at certain times to fulfil certain roles, and that time has passed.  I know that I grew enormously with her guidance, and I also believe that she grew from her experience with me—I have seen it and heard it.  And that is enough.

Curiously, the person who helped me process my emotions at peak /s Ex-Mistress loving delirium is current Mistress.  I don’t feel compelled to talk about what we do or who she is, as I feel it is sacred.  With ex-Mistress, there was permission to write about this, and we had an occasional public flirt on this platform and on others.  With current Mistress, I wouldn’t even ask.

And why is that?  Trust.  When one is trusted, it brings out the best in us.  When one is not trusted, it eats away at us.  Why not?  What’s wrong?

A domme friend of mine spoke eloquently of power in D/s.  A teacher who raises their voice to control the class, has demonstrated an absence of mastery.  A teacher who is silent in authority, has real power.  

What got me onto this was something a fellow blogger wrote on her excellent blog.  She is a lifestyle slave and was writing about how the fantasy of a submissive is a 24/7 life of debauched sexual depravity, chains, collars, and submission.  The reality is 90% down time.  Her blog and the post I am referring to can be found here.  Shae Madigan.  Pop on over for a read if you are interested in a steady flow of musings from a full-time lifestyle slave.

A pro-domme in theory inhabits the 10%.  Ex-mistress was a Goddess of that 10%.  For real.  I would struggle to find someone who was more gifted in that regard—I have not come across anyone who even comes close.  Every session with her was a tour de force.  And we only scratched the surface in her bag of tricks, literally.  I would miss the 10% if my sexual self was in the same place as it was when we met.  As it was, my sexual self, absent hormones and transition, was already changing during our time together, and for that, she was a prime mover.

[I say, “pro-Domme” as if to say all of them. I have recently met a pro-Domme, however, who has “interviewed” me for the 90%. She said, “I haven’t kept a personal for a while…” meaning a personal slave. We are not in the same city. I will see how and whether I can rearrange my life to suit, and if it feels right. So, there are exceptions].

Part of what caused us to come unstuck, and her own diagnosis of my need to find a lifestyle partner, was that my version of submission lives in the 90%, not in the 10%.  What we see in the media, what we all live for and are titillated by in the world of Sex Work, blogging, erotica, porn, fantasy, is all about that 10%.  Nobody ever talks about the 90%.  The closest I have seen is one of my favourite, but rather infrequent, bloggers, a lifestyle domme @silkenclaws or the prolific and very talented lifestyle domme @ohmisspearl.

But who wants to read about the 90%?  It doesn’t make for sexy and titillating copy.  And yet, in terms of lived experience, of being true to one’s submissive self, of truly experiencing submission, it is life in the 90% which counts. With ex-Mistress, I yearned for this, and frequently asked to bypass the 10% to get to the “normalcy” of lived D/s. That isn’t for everyone.  But it is what I need.  I am not sure if it works in the world of the client/pro-domme dynamic, though I am sure that some relationships evolve to that place.

Getting at the 90% in real life

Coming out as a slave has been more interesting and mysterious in some ways than coming out as trans.  Being kinky is more taboo than changing sex.  I get lot’s of public affirmation as a trans woman.  I also get its opposite at times, but we won’t dwell on that.  But is anyone going to walk up to me on the street and say, ‘gosh, you wear that collar well’, or ‘you look so elegant the way you are bound’, or ‘submission looks really good on you’.  And yet, part of what is going on with me is a settling into existential slavery.

Part of this is social reverence for the dominant party, not the submissive party.  All of the hot fashion is centred on the (female) domme, although the female slave is often depicted in a sexy fashion—indeed, much fashion draws on the BDSM sub-culture for aesthetic flourishes.  Mostly dommes say that it is the sub who is in charge, though.  In my own case, it seems untrue.  If anything, isn’t that what we are running from?

Submission is a path towards enlightenment.  If we are true to our submissive selves, then we bring all of us to the party.  The domme that sees the best in you, encourages the best in you, encourages you to be your best self, gosh, do what you can to keep her.  The domme who is able to do this by being, not by commanding, double-gosh, do what you can to keep her.  Trust is the most solid foundation for D/s.  It is continually fed by open communication, about boundaries and also about expectations.  If those are continually out of alignment, then something is wrong, and perhaps you are not suited.  It takes too much work.  And when that is the case, then you should stop, because if it does, it means you are trying to mix two things which should not be mixed.

What am I saying?  It is the 90% that counts.  

I’ve been dating a lot lately.  I am delighted beyond belief that women I am attracted to appear to be attracted to me. The truer I am to myself, the more this seems to be the case.  I am very open and up-front about being a slave.  I’ve said it at times even before the first date.  Being open is a way to destigmatize.  To reassure and to ensure that no aspects of life become fetishized.  Fetishism is dangerous within the context of a relationship, unless you both share the same fetish, and exploring it together is a game of mutual growth.

My sexuality is becoming what it always needed to be.  What I begged my therapists for when I was younger: to be turned on by her, to be totally and utterly present for her, and for that to be my kink, the itch that just had to be scratched.  I was so miserable and depressed because I wasn’t “normal” that I was intensely self-destructive in my early 20’s.  I hated my need for fetishes to get off.  I hated that I couldn’t just want to have straight-up vanilla sex…that a pretty woman just as she was, was enough.  I needed fantasy, and I didn’t want that.

Stepping into being me, coming out as transgender, coming out as a slave, taking oestrogen and just settling into myself, are all aspects of helping me to be present, to find that an emotional and intimate connection really is enough.  Finally.  This cocktail of self-work approaches has given me what I spent a lifetime trying to access.

The key to life and lasting love is when that kink, that desire, is driven by the 90%, not the 10%.  It is to live who you are, not to allow yourself to confine it to the 10%.  Yes, we want to be attracted physically to the other person.  We want sexual sparks.  But if ‘my kink’ is not fed profoundly and utterly by service to the 90%, then the prospects for the relationship are dim.  Excuse me for thinking there is universal truth in this.

I write often about how the things that turn us on are a kind of language that speaks to a deep inner world.  Sadly, when it is tinged by shame, we either limit our access to it, deny ourselves the fundamental need it represents, and most certainly never develop fluency.  We might never even understand it.  But figuring out what it is, where it comes from, why it is so important, and then bringing it out of hiding, making it core to how you exist in the world, well, that becomes the greatest act of liberation, the greatest act of self-love you can ever do.  Freedom.  In my case, the Orwellian statement “Freedom is slavery,” really has proven true, but not at all in the way the author intended.

If what we love most about being with someone isn’t about the 90%, the downtime, then the relationship is doomed.  The empty spaces.  The quietude.  The time when our couple’s attention isn’t on me, or vice versa.  The part where we just are.  Sitting in silence together in the same room.  @silkenclaws has written beautifully about this.

What kind of love am I talking about?  When I sit with her and explore how I might nurture her, care for her, love her, support her, tend to her, it is for those moments when she is silent, for when she is simply in herself.  That is a kind of life and love that is based not upon on what she does, especially not what she does to me, for me, but is based upon who she is, and how she is.  

Owning a slave is a responsibility.  But it isn’t a responsibility that is owned by one person, the slave owner.  It is a shared responsibility.  Doing the work to be worth being owned rests squarely with the submissive.  Appreciating that work, and guiding it, is the gift to give of the dominant party.

My lawyer and my friends don’t want me to marry someone who doesn’t have that gift, appreciate it, or wish to give it.  I don’t know whether it is fair to ask of someone that they give that gift to you—or that a D/s relationship is possible (for me) with a person I live with full-time.  I don’t know if I am capable of it or would want it.  It is very scary to let go that much.  What I do know is that I need it, but the need is very particular.

@silkenclaws in this post described a microcosm of that need when she described an afternoon with her boyfriend/partner/slave…she worked, he knelt, collared, under her desk, in silence, for hours.  That is my need in its extreme form.  The practical realities of a racing mind, a life filled with activities, is that sitting still is impossible.  This is also the legacy of ADD.  IScattered Minds, Gabor Maté refers to how much better an ADD child studies when a parent or other authority figure is in the room, even if their presence is only silent.

That is a metaphor for my life.  And in this case, what it means is having the 90% becoming that force.  The 90% is the metaphorical authority figure, the quietude.  The 90% is certainty.  When the person who is there for you is the person who induces that self-harmony which allows you to quiet your restive spirit, calm the raging storm within.  If that is the case, then service to her becomes service to yourself.  And your partnership can live in harmony.

When we look for partners, seek our ideal mate, we are constantly drawn to the affect.  What she looks like, how she talks, what she does for a living, what her values are.  I am not saying that these things are not important.  But they are the 10%.

The 90% person is how this person is.  How do they conduct themselves?  What is their energy?  If you are in service to that energy, how would it feel for her?  Does it nourish her, feed her, build her confidence and strength?  Does she welcome it?  

In other words, does how you are, heal and grow how she is?  That is the most important question.  After that, if you can make each other laugh, then all is good.  We all need healing, and we all need laughter.  Nothing else matters.

4 thoughts

  1. very interesting indeed. i was reminded a while back an assicoate from work had a sibling pass away. we weren’t very close and he wasn’t liked much a loner. But i went there was alot of family i said my condolences and sat quietly for about 45 minutes in thought. He was busy wiht family i went shock his hand and said good bye. when he came back to work, we went to lunch a surprise request from him. He detailed how much my silence presnse meant not just to him but his family. i didn’t even think anyone knew. We were friends after that.
    Also there are many times when i am required to be seen and not heard by Mistress and Sir. omething about silence is golden. i am glad they found me because i wasn’t going to look for another relationship.
    I trust You will find exactly what You need to be You. Your journey has been long and You are truly finding You.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya Sindee. Thank you. You are on to something here. Normally, I am an avalanche of words, of energy, of excitement–all of it coming out at once. I hate to be reductive about it, and I also hate labels, but it is not so uncommon with people who have ADD…high energy, all of the place.

      The woman I am gradually falling into a potentially D/s relationship with has noted how a night out with me means that we cover at least 500 topics.

      Recently, I said to the domme I am seeing that I would like to come to her in silence…we always end up blabbing away, and although it is a great time, there is something very powerful about silence. She has responded to the concept of silence with genuine interest, and I look forward to exploring this.

      The more time I spend in the world of D/s, leashed, in submission, the more I realise that it is a spiritual practice. Your description of the time in Church, is very powerful. Playing silent witness does not mean that you are not totally there…In some ways, the power of that is awesome, even greater than words. Emotion is its own energy…I am sure they could feel it. I am glad he has become a friend.

      All the best. GB69

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s