D/s can be role play. Don’t get me wrong. Playing out a scene where someone is the Dominant party (like the professor) who ties up or spanks the submissive party (like the naughty student) can be perfectly satisfying. And there is nothing wrong with D/s being an occasional part of your sexual repertoire.

But D/s can be more than role play. It can be a way of life.

Dominance and submission are really just personality types. And there’s a sliding scale. I would wager that the vast majority of us are more or less one or the other (though it can be situational and can change in particular environments or with certain people). Up until just recently, I believed I was fully dominant at work, neutral as a parent, and mostly submissive with my husband. But after careful reflection, I’ve come to believe that my personality is submissive in most situations, but it is exhibited in different ways, some of which may not look “submissive” per se. While I do “lead” during the day, my job is entirely one of service to the community at large. I would say I am less openly submissive in my capacity as an educator and a parent, but the underlying presence of particular qualities, such as nurturer over protector, guide/collaborator over dictator show that I am less Dominant, even outside of my marriage. I suppose some could argue, that those are still Dominant qualities, and they certainly can be. But I would still say, on the sliding scale, I am nearer the middle most of the time.

People who are only submissive or Dominant in the bedroom, probably still exhibit some of those qualities outside of it. And those who switch, well…they move, from side to side.

Just like sexuality, I don’t think we are one thing or another or that we must always stay put on the scale. In fact, being bound by a label or an expectation can be harmful to our mind and soul. We should feel and do what comes naturally and accept that we are malleable, changeable creatures.

However, even knowing that, I know where my limits are on this scale. And for me, I also know that submission isn’t just a role I play on occasion. It’s both a personality trait (that I spent years trying to squash, because I was raised to see it as a weakness) and a deep need.

When my submissive needs are met, I feel much calmer and have less anxiety. I’m happier, because I can leave certain responsibilities and obligations to my Husband. Having Him take the reigns assures me that things are getting done, which is what is really at the base of my fears. I know I am protected and taken care of, and that He has a plan…that He knows my weaknesses and strengths, that He knows my goals and has His own for us. I can let go. And just be. Which is a very hard thing for me to do. I usually makes me feel shaky and nervous…as if I’m somehow going to fall.

We are not a couple that ever seems to get things right the first time. Sometimes it takes us multiple tries before we start to see where we are going wrong, as well as where we are getting it right. Each time we set out again on the path, we are armed with more knowledge about the journey and each other.

Fifteen years in, and we are still learning…still finding our way. Together.

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