At the risk of repeating myself, I feel I have to once again draw the distinction between fantasy and reality, between BDSM role playing and total power exchange relationships such as female led relationships.
So many BDSM folks have on blinders; they have a very narrow view of sexuality, and they can’t see anything outside of it. Add to this a flimsy code of ethics, and you have a group of people that I find largely insufferable.
Starting with a very simple observation: If you are “role playing” being dominant, then by definition, you are not really dominant. Hence, to act dominantly, you need to play that role for a small window of time and in very narrow circumstances. If you were actually dominant, you wouldn’t have to play the role of the dominant, you would just be dominant because that is who you are. By role playing, you are tacitly admitting you are not actually dominant. The same is obviously true of submissives, and as I recall, it is common for “submissive” women in BDSM forums to claim that just because they like to role play being submissive doesn’t mean that they are that way in any other facet of life. (They then proceed to make demands of their “dominant” partners.)
So in BDSM, dominants are not actually dominant and submissives are not actually submissive. And that’s perfectly fine. What people want to do sexually, including playing fantasy roles, is completely for them to decide and not for me to judge.
Yet these same people have no problem judging others, projecting their narrow-minded beliefs onto everyone else, and pretending that their way is the only, somehow morally superior way. Even in our Facebook comments, I was amazed that after presumably reading my blog, someone still felt the need to object that “you can’t have a fantasy 24/7.” Actually, I completely agree. That is why that person can’t sustain a 24/7 arrangement. (And again, there is nothing wrong with that…) But I am actually submissive. It’s not something I consciously chose to be, it’s who I am in every area of my mental life. It is my default setting, and therefore, it’s almost impossible for me not to be submissive 24/7. To pretend to be otherwise, I would indeed have to play a fantasy role.
Likewise, I need to be with someone who is actually dominant. If I sense that the person I am with is merely playing a role, then I know they are not dominant, and they lose most of their power over me. Telltale signs of role playing include silly costumes and cliche phrases. If you are actually dominant, you don’t need such artifice. These “dominant” role playing women make me giggle to myself as they try to be dominant when it is so clearly a thin facade over who they really are. And who they really are is perfectly fine, it’s just not what I need and respond to.
(That said, it seems reasonable to ask if those same people agree that being who they are is perfectly fine when they seem preoccupied trying to be something they are not. But I think that is something for those people to reflect on, not for me to speculate.)
When you are naturally submissive, you are very outwardly focused on others, particularly those closest to you. You listen and watch them closely. You adjust yourself to them. You try to like the same things they do. You enter their world and take on their beliefs, attitudes, and values. You try to make them happy, and you feel good if they are happy, and ecstatic if you are the reason they are happy. Obviously, you become a different person, you lose yourself, or maybe there was never much that was “you” in the first place. You are lost in this other person. This is submission, and that is ownership.
I sometimes worry about losing myself in another. But often, I long for it. Taken just a little further, this dynamic can easily become so imbalanced that the relationship becomes abusive, and I have definitely learned the hard way that I am easy prey for narcissistic women. The narcissist slowly, imperceptibly, changes your framework of reality, adjusting it to their needs, and doing it so well that you don’t realize how much they have changed you. As someone with the qualities described above, I am easily manipulated by such people.
I think potential and actual abuse are serious issues that someone like me has to deal with. It’s not enough to say that “BDSM is not abuse.” (How could it be? BDSM isn’t real, but abuse is real.) Abuse has to be something that is honestly confronted and dealt with, no matter the outcome, even if that outcome is acceptance.
Perhaps you need to live this kind of life to understand that it is fundamentally different. Submission isn’t something I do some of the time in the bedroom, it is simply my natural state. For example, I have been motivated to work out in the past because I thought I was preparing myself for a future owner. Now, with Mommy, I am motivated to keep the home clean for her. I rush around in a frenzy trying to make and keep everything perfect. It’s no longer a chore that it was when I lived alone. And yet this frenzied state doesn’t produce anxiety, it is instead part of the emotional rush I get knowing I am doing something that will please her.
So, expressing my submission is not limited to sexual encounters. My service to my Mommy is an expression of my affection for her. Recognizing this, and combined with chastity and denial, a new, much more expanded conception of sexuality becomes clearer for the first time. Just as you can be submissive in an apparently nonsexual context, it’s also true that anything can be made to have a sexual component to it. Certainly, one of the main drivers of my submission, what makes it such an extreme urge, is my libido, and it’s also this that gives me the energy to clean and serve in other ways. Cleaning the house with my cage on, doing it for Mommy, has a sexual and romantic facet to it that wouldn’t exist in her absence.
This is what those in BDSM often don’t understand. 24/7 power exchange is not only attainable, it’s actually something that I can’t avoid for a sustained period of time, especially in a relationship. This is who I am, and it’s hard work pretending to be something I’m not, to role play being a confident person. I agree that this role playing can’t be done 24/7, it’s simply too exhausting. But for now, I have to do it in some areas of my life, such as my job. I have to play a role that is not me simply to survive in the other world. But I have long since lost interest in pretending to be something I am not, in playing a role that is not me. The difference is very clear to me, and I hope someday to be able to leave role playing behind me completely.