Everyone needs positive feedback in life. We all want to hear when we have done a good job. We all want people to tell us positive things about ourselves. This can be praise from bosses, friends, family members, even strangers.
In my case, while I will accept positive feedback from a male, I don’t go looking for it, and I try to end the process as quickly as I can, even if it is something I like to hear. On the flipside, though, I actively seek out positive reinforcement from women.
At its most fundamental, I am an insatiable flirt. I love to chat to women, to compliment them, to engage in witty repartee. This could be the woman at the checkout counter, it could be a shelf-stacker at the supermarket, or even a woman on the end of the phone in a call centre operation. I find that they aren’t expecting it, and feedback comes in the form of returned flirtation, freebies, favours, and compliments. Instant gratification. And so necessary.
“I love your nail polish.”
“You have the most beautiful voice.”
Always said with truth and no intent of gain, other than levity.
And if I am standing before her, I tilt my head and batt my eyes in a way that I think of as the hallmarks of the submissive flirt. Very rarely, a woman is not amused, and just gives a bored or hostile reaction, but mostly the opposite happens, special treatment of one kind or another—car upgrades, better seats, early entry, extra freebies, etc. In that moment of a positive reaction, I get the feeling that this person is seeing me in this way, not as an “alpha male” but as something softer, gentler, more emotive, and submissive. And when they do this, recognise it, and flirt back, it is as if they are telling me, “it is okay to be submissive to women. Some of us actually like it.” It is very validating. Especially since many women when asked would respond on a rational level that a submissive man was a turnoff. I know that we are conditioned by the patriarchy to think that way; what I don’t know is whether there is any biological truth to it.
Even though my S.O. likes to tell me how complicated and exhausting I am, and that I am domineering, the truth is that her word is law, mine is just a suggestion. The other day we talked about apologies. I could count on one hand in all our years together the number of times she has apologised to me for something.
“That’s because I’m never wrong,” she quipped.
My reply? “Well, I must be wrong all the time then, based on how often I apologise to you.”
She just raised her eyebrows. But it is true, I have no problem apologising to her, even getting on my knees in front of her if needed. I did that once in a job interview to a woman who shortly thereafter became my boss. She told me later that no man had ever knelt before her and begged for a job, and she rather liked it.
My S.O. also has no qualms being stern with me, issuing orders. I do what she asks, and in truth, it feels good to be told what to do by her. It has the funny effect of reinforcing my commitment to her, especially when I do something that requires me to either swallow my pride or to do something I didn’t really want to do. She is most definitely dominant in that sense, but she would never acknowledge it.
I see plenty of back and forth online about how wimpy a man who submits to a woman in this way sounds. That “beta” men are weak. But I know the opposite to be true. It has taken me a life journey to reach the point where I had the strength and confidence to let myself be emotionally supple with my S.O. It takes strength to apologise and strength to obey, and to bury feelings of resistance. I have yet to meet an “alpha” that is stronger than me or is better at getting his way. Martial arts teaches this too. Aikido is about using the force and movement of your opponent to defeat them. In a way, that is what submission is about too. It is to flow subtly with the energy of the moment, to tune into it, and to shape it like the riverbed shapes the river.
It is only natural that this way of being plays out beautifully in a D/s power dynamic. Here, for once, we are able to really live out these roles, in a safe, sane, and consensual way…which may, or more likely not, have sexual undertones. In my case, having a woman that encourages this way of interacting, but on a much deeper level, gives me an intense dose of the affirmation I need to be grounded, and gives me a much better understanding of my motivations. Both of these are good things.
There are few things in the world more beautiful than a woman who recognises her own power. In these small ways, across the spectrum from strangers to my S.O., these interactions are my gestures of submission intended to encourage women in the recognition of their power, and the willingness to embrace it. Most intoxicating of all is a woman who not only knows she has it, but isn’t afraid to use it, or to live by it. Enter the Domme. My version of D/s is F/m and lived in small ways with every woman I meet. Respect.