Today’s question set is a natural follow up to yesterday’s: What does submission mean to you?
So let me start with what I believe a submissive IS. And believe me, I’m in no way an expert here, I’ve just done a lot of reading and I’ve been at this a few (failed) times. Plus, I’ve talked to many people who call claim the title and follow several amazing blogs for both submissive women and men.
(I will likely use the pronouns “she/her” when talking about submissives, but know that anyone can be submissive.)
What is submission?
According to the dictionary, submission is “the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. The synonyms for the word are also pretty telling: yielding, capitulation, agreement, acceptance, consent, accession, compliance.
Submission, to me, is the consensual yielding of power over oneself to a chosen authority, likely a Dominant. Giving submission is done by choice, though the need for submission is not a choice for most. While submission, just like Dominance, can be learned and perfected through practice (thankfully, because I’m certainly not perfect at it), most submissives I’ve met or read stories about have felt the need for it deep inside and are naturally less likely to take control in a relationship. They crave the power dynamic that subjugates them.
Based on this definition, I would definitely call myself submissive.
What are the Types of Submission? And What Type(s) Am I?
There are as many types of submission as their are people who call themselves submissive, however, there are a few main “types” that most people involved in D/s know about. For the sake of shared terminology, I’ve linked to a few great posts that define these types below:
Behind Closed Doors
1950’s Head of Household
I would say that most people are on some sort of spectrum here. Rather than being contained within one classification, any submissive may be a combination of the above types (or some other type not listed). When new, I would wager that some subs could easily say which type they are NOT more easily than they could say which type they ARE. That was the case with me. For me, the list would look something like this, if I did that (I’ve crossed of the ones that I do not identify with and have put in italics the ones that I’m not so sure…there might be some elements of that type that charm me, but others that put me off):
Behind Closed Doors
1950’s Head of Household (though this one REALLY intrigues me, and I can see elements of this in my fantasies and even in our marriage, I’m far too lazy to be a 1950’s housewife)
That left me with a more manageable list:
Behind Closed Doors
This list also tells me quite a bit. While I’m willing to live D/s 24/7 365, I don’t have to. It also tells me that I’m not what some would call a “True” submissive. This is a misnomer, by the way. It doesn’t mean I’m not a true submissive. The “True” submissive type is simply a very quiet, soft-spoken, “ready and willing to do anything” type of sub. That’s never going to be me. I can be a brat sometimes on purpose to get a rise out of Mr. D, sometimes to entice him into putting me in my place and displaying his power. This goes along with the “forced/smart-assed masochist” description. In addition, I like to be taken care of, so the princess title works pretty well for me. Which is why, when I found the “Warrior Princess” definition, I was like – yes, yes, yes!
What do I want from submission?
I’m strong-willed, intense, intelligent, and perfectly capable of taking care of my own needs. I’m in charge of a lot of things at work all day, so when I get home, it’s awfully nice to NOT have to be in charge of things. The thought of handing that control over to Mr. D is so unbelievably satisfying, but it comes with the responsibility and requirement of letting go and trusting that he will do the right things for both of us. Of course, he’s human, so he’ll fuck up from time to time, but because he’s a “good” Dominant, he’ll ruminate and redesign as necessary.
Plus, did I mention, the whole thing is just über-sexy? I mean, not only is it mentally and emotionally satisfying, it’s sexually satisfying, too. Sex, of course, doesn’t have to be a part of submission, but for me, it’s a pretty important component. I need it and want it because it quiets the noise in my head AND because it keeps me mentally and physically focused on our sex life.
It quiets the noise in my head.
My brain is busy. My job requires that I be thinking about a thousand things at the same time, and it’s hard to shut it off. I’m also a mom, so even after work, my mind is full of to-do’s and must’s and should’s for on the way home and when I get there. Errands and chores and paperwork and obligations. It fucks with me, and I get easily overwhelmed. This is often what triggers my irritability and sometimes depressive episodes. Mr. D has the power, however, to snap me out of this, if I let it happen.
The submissive mindset is like moving meditation, a way to get my mind away from all the “have to’s” and toward the things that matter most. It quiets my busy brain and lets me rest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an easy state for me to achieve. In all honesty, it’s more of a goal for me than a reality 90% of the time. But, the only way to achieve it is to be conscious and focused on it. D/s puts me in the place where I am more likely to reach it.
It keeps me mentally and physically focused on our sex life.
This is sort of a “duh,” really. When I walk in to the house and am immediately expected to shift gears and do or say or think or be something expressly for the purpose of pleasing Mr. D, it’s hard not to make a mental (and physical) shift in the direction of sexual awareness. If my existence is no longer for others or myself, but for him, and I let it happen, then my mental state has to downsize quite a bit, shutting out the periphery.
Like I said, I’m not really all that good at it, but that’s the dream.
What do I want to offer as a submissive?
1. My Submission: It might sound obvious, but that really has to be the first thing offered…willingly and consensually…and accepted.
2. Respect and Trust: If Mr. D is the Dominant, then I must respect his demands and trust that he has both of our best interests in mind. While I believe I have the right to question his decisions he also has the right to deny me an answer, if he feels that is right for us.
3. Open and Honest Communication: I’ve not been very good at this in the past…voicing my needs and wants…the why’s and how’s of how I’m feeling at any given time. Usually that is because I need an inordinate (bordering on the ridiculous) amount of time to process my feelings about complex matters and events (which drives Mr. D mad).
4. Willingness: This is also something I’ve not been great with. Mr. D is much more experimental and adventurous sexually than I ever have been. My fears of the unknown get in the way of my ability to openly experience new things and enjoy them. This goes back to #2…I’ve got to be capable of trusting him to lead me…no matter what. Which then goes back to #3…I’ve got to be able to communicate my fears and process my feelings about them in a timely manner so that he understands how best to manage them. I also need to be willing to be guided for m own growth. Dominants challenge their subs on a regular basis: to stretch their limits, to grow as people, to learn, to experiment, etc. I have to be willing to let him do that, trusting and respecting his choices and knowing that he has a vision for me and for us.
5. My body: Another “duh,: I suppose. This one usually is not a problem for me, but as many subs can attest, we’re not always in the mood. At times like that, I have been known to show my disappointment through facial and body language. It’s disrespectful and definitely does not show willingness. Of course, there are times when it is fair to expect my body be left alone. Sickness and injury are good reasons for a Dominant to give a sub a break, but just being tired or crabby are not.
Submission is a complex thing, and I’d argue (rightfully, I believe) that no two submissives are alike. Sure, there are commonalities, which is why there are clearly-defined sub-types. But, no submissive should feel as if he or she must strive to fit a particular mold other than his or her own and the role as defined within his or her D/s relationship.
That’s part of why I’m struggling. To be a submissive is not a solitary role, it is a role “played” in relation to another person. The combination of Dominant and submissive, their agreed upon understanding of what they both want and need from the relationship, the Dominant’s vision, goals, and strategies, and the continual communication and negotiations that go into continually building the relationship are what define a submissive’s role.
Check out my other posts for 30 Days of D/s. Click on the image below!
(Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are simply that…opinions. These are my personal feelings on issues of D/s. It is important to note that I am and always have been in a consensual relationship, and any activities I partake of, I have done so with full consciousness and willingness. Also, on the issue of pronoun usage, I use HE/she pronouns, with the Dominant being the He and the submissive being the she. This is for ease of writing and because it is what I identify with. Pronouns are interchangeable, so feel free to fill in with those that work best for your situation. Be nice in the comments. I’m not here to be berated or argue the issues, I’m just here to explore my own feelings and opinions and share them with those that may find benefit in doing so.)