I’ve been thinking a lot about narcissism lately. It is a singularly unattractive affliction, and identifying it and rooting it out has been a goal of mine in relation to self-care and personal growth for many years. But is blogging an exercise in narcissism? Am I guilty of the very thing I am trying to annihilate in myself through D/s? Does daring to express my needs in D/s carry any danger of narcissism in it?
While the textbook definition of the pathology is extreme, echoes exist in milder form. Narcissism is defined thus:
- A disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of self-importance;
- Narcissistic personality disorder is found almost exclusively in men;
- Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement.
These are not positive traits! Even in their mildest form they are not at all attractive.
When I think about the underlying need to be submissive, I think of it as the exact opposite of narcissism. There is something about losing oneself in the other, for the other, that is the antithesis of narcissism. Lifestyle D/s, at its purest, seems to be the antidote to narcissism. So far, so good.
But does going to a pro-Domme change that? You see online how often prospective subs approach pro-Dommes with a laundry list of kinks and things they wish to have done to them. Does asking a pro-Domme to wish fulfill make one a narcissist? When I approached my first real, in-person Domme, I shared this anxiety. I told her that like any person, I had things that turned me on and off, that I had kinks, and of course I would tell her anything at all about them…but not so that she would feel she needed to indulge them, only to know how to control me better. My one request was that she bend me in a reflection of her own tastes, to help me become a sub that she helped to create, that she could be pleased with. And my commitment to her was to do my best to follow wherever she wished to lead.
We also see the whole discourse around “topping from the bottom” being an echo of narcissism. In her excellent blog “Domme Chronicles: On Being a Dominant Woman” blogger and author Ferns writes that “Topping from the Bottom is Bollocks”. She’s a wonderful voice in the world of D/s.
I hate the thought of narcissism. But does talking about oneself tip you in that direction? Does thinking out loud on this blog carry echoes of narcissism? Does hoping that someone might be interested in hearing my ramblings and musings make me a narcissist? Yuck. I sure hope not.
If I ask my Mistress to beat my anxieties out of me, does that make me a narcissist? I do not consider myself a narcissist, though I believe we all possess some of it. One of my goals in D/s is the negation of self, the search for humility, which if successful, should wipe my soul clean of the stains of a narcissistic heart.