And how submission is what gives the strength to go on loving, and to love even more
I always fell for the prettiest girls. Already starting in nursery school, where I can still remember my first kiss. Only once in my life can I think, and it was 4th grade, that the prettiest girl in the class paid no attention to me, but I can’t think of anyone she paid attention to. I still had a massive crush on her.
But while pretty might make you go up and say hi, in my case that was always a shy hi, a submissive overture, a doe-eyed pleading for her to take me down and to sink her teeth into my flesh. And truth be told, most approaches founder right in that moment. Why? Because not all women or girls, in fact very few, look for boys who wear their submission on their sleeves. And of those who do look for that, like that, it isn’t the submission that they like, it is the complexity, the sense of fun, the intellect, all these other things that make them like you.
I think many of us submissive boys [by calling myself a boy I don’t reserve the right to call myself a girl later] fall into this idea that a dominant woman loves us for our submission or will be attracted to us for that. That only happens in erotic fiction. The reality is far more complex. My S.O., for instance, absolutely can’t stand what she regards as my submissive traits…never mind that the first time we kissed I asked permission first—as she says, “you asked, what’s submissive about that?!” But she has no problem telling me what to do, giving me daily tasks, not realising that I accept them, relish them, in part because I try to not have ego.
She is a dominant woman. She is a strong woman. She knows what she wants and she is not afraid to express it, and get it. And I always try to give it. My commitment to her is biological and spiritual, and pleasing her and serving her are beyond anything I dreamt of on a rational level when I pronounced our marriage vows. But despite all of that, she does not accept D/s, even though it is all around us. Does she accept to flirt with my feminine side? Yes. All the time. But she does not accept even the letters BDSM. They seem to be triggering. She expresses to me that submission = “easy” and she hates “easy” in a partner. Separately, she says I am the most complex person she has ever come across. What gives? How can I be submissive and complex at the same time? Is it just because she doesn’t accept my submission that I am complex to her? I don’t think so.
I know that she loves that I respect her, that I am respectful to women. We all know that old line, “see how a man treats his mother, and you will know the man.” I asked her recently about that, as my relationship with my mother was so fraught that I went 10 years without seeing her or speaking to her much at all—I needed the separation for my sanity. That relationship merits several hundred posts! As my S.O. came into my life I eased myself back into a relationship with my mother, but had to manage the doses, the amount of time. I asked her why that didn’t bother her, that line about how a man treats his mother. Her reply? “You were always respectful.” I am thinking how hard that was at times, when being with my mother meant finding myself all cut up inside afterwards. But I wanted our children to know their grandmother, and as she was the greatest advocate for my S.O. in our extended family, they often found common cause on many things.
As we date, and fall in love, and get rejected, and do it all over again, how we love and who we are gets shaped in the process. My first real girlfriend, and I say real because of how it felt, my age (teens, I was 16), first making out, how long it lasted, and how it unfolded was the first love interest to break my heart. And how I processed this is what this post is really about.
While I was away on spring break with family in South America I thought about how much I loved her (and boy, can you remember how intense puppy love is?), and spent most of my time buying presents for her that I looked forward to giving her on my return. I walked from place to place, wondering what she would think of this or that, how she would react to the things I was seeing, experiencing.
When I got back she came over, and was delighted to receive the gifts. It was a stay of execution. She had to “go” she said. It was very convenient that I lived 50 feet from her new boyfriend’s house, so going meant a short walk around the corner. I only found out later, because mutual friends told me, or rather asked what I felt about her now dating so-and-so. Since I didn’t even know that she had decided to date someone else, I said it didn’t matter. But boy did it ever.
I was crushed inside, devastated, but didn’t really talk about it, didn’t want to show it. I had never respected him, and now I respected him less. Why is this relevant? Because in that moment, I vowed that I would never be the kind of person who would “steal” someone else’s lover. It was a morality issue for me, and I regarded him to be without values as a result. Unfortunately for me, because of family ties between his siblings and mine, and our parents, I was never able to just cut him out. Instead, I just stopped speaking to him. That actually bothered him more than me reacting with hostility. But that isn’t me.
And towards her? I stayed emotionally open to her. I wanted her back. I worked on myself, tried to understand what would make her not want me and choose this £@$@£ instead. It almost worked, but not quite. Why is this relevant? Because from all of the emotional pain that resulted from that, I chose to embrace the pain, to wallow in it for a while, to learn from it, and then to grow. I missed the lashing out phase, the anger. Instead, as much as it hurt, I submitted to my own pain.
The second time I had my heart handed to me on a plate all chewed up was from my second girlfriend. This was the person to whom I lost my virginity. It was not her fault. She was older than me by a year, so she went to college a year ahead. I got to see her on my college visit tour, and wanted to follow her, to go to the same school, I didn’t understand what it would be like for a young woman heading off to college for the first time. What would have been nice would have been for her to tell me before I visited instead of letting him introduce himself to me as the way for me to find out. I understand, she didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Boy did I cry after that. It’s a wonder I didn’t wreck the car on a multi-hour drive across New England. In the end, though I got into her school, I didn’t attend, but ironically, she transferred to mine to graduate. And irony of all ironies, ended up having a child with the guy who made off with my first love.
The third time was my most serious, long-standing girlfriend in college, the one I was dating when we graduated. I moved to New York with her and lived with her over the summer. She was a great teacher, so self-confident and sex-positive, she was the one who had me kneel between her legs and gave me an anatomy lesson, and taught me how to please her. She also loved to flirt and loved to hurt. She was the first person to collar me and take me for a walk; a fun memory I still cherish. Sex with her was fantastic, wild, emotional, very physical, and frequent. In the end, she tortured me emotionally, ripped my guts out, trampled on them, and left, not for one person, but several.
I am not talking about any of these relationships because I want pity. We are all hurt all the time, and indeed, most people probably more than me. The reason I bring them up, why I think it is relevant, is that any kind of pain matters for what we do with it. In all three cases, and in many others besides, I identified my submissive nature as the reason for getting hurt. Please don’t interpret “submissive nature” as “carpet” or “passive”. I may be the most demanding, high-maintenance person I have ever met, and am far from being a pushover—in any way or any field. Submission for me is about commitment and giving. It always has been. And I think that some partners find someone who gives and keeps giving as “easy” or “boring”…and in this, they simply misunderstand. Being giving and committed, being submissive, is how I speak love.
And being hurt, being betrayed, and realising that one of the possible root causes for this was being submissive, instead of making me bitter, or wishing to change, or wanting to run away from my submission, has instead made me understand and invest in that side of myself, to know that I cannot love someone unless I am able to submit to them. When someone hurts me emotionally, betrays me, I don’t find myself with anger, a desire for revenge, or even hostility. Instead, I embrace the hurt, and it feeds my existential need to submit, that being submissive, being committed, being giving lies at the core of who I am, my values, and my moral code. To get up, dust myself off, and get better at giving. Why? Because to love someone, truly love someone, is to put them above yourself, to put their needs above yours, to pursue the spiritual and existential beauty of two people coming together. Some people who receive that kind of love can’t handle it, or don’t want it for many reasons, but if we are to be together, I can’t not give it. And the more emotional adversity I face, and have faced, the stronger it grows. Submission is a recognition that what matters for me is to be able to give love, to sublimate the self, and to serve. For me it is the essence of love, to put someone else’s needs before my own, when the giving is a gift as great for the giver.
The gift that Mistress is teaching me now is how to receive, something I have never really learned. This is a big lesson, but she is a great teacher. Perhaps if I heed her well, my ability to give will grow, and I shall find even greater ecstasy in service, in giving, in loving, in submitting.
We never know how people will react to things, how they will be in various scenarios, scenes. Anyone can hurt me, and maybe this makes me more vulnerable, but I wouldn’t ever want to be another way. Thank goodness I have not ever been with a real abuser! If I love you and you hurt me, I’m not going to hurt you back. I might end up wondering one day whatever it was I saw in you, or how I could have loved you so, but to lift a finger of hostility towards someone I loved once is not in my nature. I only know this from the way I have been, and the consistency with which it has played out. It is too easy to go back to the time before I got hurt and remember what we did, how we were, and enjoy the you I knew before the pain. Always find the good that was and is.
That’s me Mistress. Yours in love and submission.