Making love and respect synonymous with D/s is an existential priority for me
I have asked this question of a small number of people pre-disposed to give me the answer I want to hear, but a big part of me still wonders what the truth is. I am selfishly and particularly interested in Dominant Female/submissive male, because there are different social and cultural dynamics at play in both same sex couplings and in Male top/female bottom relations.
Why is it complicated? Please, as much as these words come from me, they are not ones I wish to believe, but rather are ones I am scared to admit may have truth. Socially, physically, we look at men as strong, as protectors, as naturally dominant. The strong, silent type typifies. Our whole world looks up to this archetype, idolizes it. It seems to go toxic for many men who fail to live up to the ideal. A Dominant Man seems to naturally embody these ideals. And a good one, will take this as far as being a carer and leader of those around him.
As society changes, it is becoming acceptable for women to identify with these ideals too, because they are attractive. And we increasingly see in mainstream culture the appearance and respect for strong women, female heroines, female winners. That is great, and a positive development, and totally understandable that all of us would laud this. After all, who doesn’t like strength? And indeed, who is to say that the opposite of strength is weakness? And who in their right mind would begrudge a woman strength? It is true, that what we define as “strong” might change, but the principle remains.
But what happens when a man chooses a different role, chooses not to be dominant? What if his nature is otherwise? Does society look at such a man and think negatively of him because he has cast aside these outward displays of strength? I draw parallels from the world of cross-dressing and trans, where some people who react negatively to the m-t-f path as one of going from strength to weakness—and who in their right mind would choose that? Have I got this completely wrong?
I know that my S.O. loves me most for my strength. Emotional strength. That I show up when she needs me, that I am there, supportive, quiet, prepared to give her whatever she needs no matter how big or small. That is the foundation of any loving relationship.
But my S.O. does not ever see my submissive side. At least not overtly. She doesn’t want to. And if I even get close, she is quick to spot it and shut it down. What she doesn’t realise is that so much of what she loves about me exists in me because of my /s nature. There in a nutshell is why I am permitted both.
Mistress recently spoke to me about the positive qualities of masculinity…the solidity, the desire to support, to be there, to be a rock. I love talking about these issues with Her because she has seen much more than I ever will because of her profession, but also because she is totally open and non-judging, whereas to have these conversations with friends or family are too risky.
And in truth, there is nothing incompatible with being submissive and being strong, at least in my life. I understand the fetishistic appeal with humiliation, especially for a male submissive, but it isn’t my taste. But my guess is that most submissive men that are into humiliation are playing out some version of the trope laid out above where we as a society look down on a submissive man—why would you give up your privilege? And this humiliation that turns them on is somehow tied to that.
I didn’t want that for me. I am proud, not in a narcissistic way, but based on what I have done in life, what I set out to do, on accomplishments. And being submissive is intensely motivating for me—to achieve things in the professional and personal realm are even more important to me the more I submit, because they seem to provide some kind of spiritual counter-weight.
I am sorry that this is not more clear, because it is very important, but bloody difficult to articulate. Imagine for a moment that you are me, and you meet in a normal vanilla social context a person who is a Dominatrix. The very few “genuine” lifestyle Dommes I have been educated by have taught me consistently that the attraction lies mainly outside of D/s. The two people must love one another as people outside of the power dynamic, and that this is before the power dynamic takes root. I don’t know if this is true because I have so few people’s experiences to base it on.
But I also know a very small number of professional Dominatrixes and they self-describe as “polyamory”. I don’t fully understand what this means other than being in an open relationship, and don’t know whether this means sex partners, love partners, friendships, and also clients. But they also seem to be married or at least formally coupled, and their partners are not part of the D/s dynamic. I confess to not understand polyamory, only that I know I could possibly play erotically with more than one person as long as my heart stayed true to one person.
It is a very rare Dominant Woman and what I think of as a much less rare submissive man that can make a viable coupling. I know of a small number of people living this dynamic, but I believe that their numbers are dwarfed by the number of Pro-Dommes and their clients, and more particularly by Dominant Men and submissive women. And both of these points play into my thesis.
The Pro-Domme world exists as a market because there are so many more submissive men out there than Dominant Women—and there are almost no true outlets for these types of relationships to exist in real life. There is a miniscule market for submissive women to pay for domination, but my guess is that most of these instances are submissive women also seeking Pro-Dommes, as I suspect that Dominant Men who would take on a submissive female are both numerous and not able to charge for it for this very reason.
What I am really getting at, though, is whether there can ever truly be a loving and long-term relationship between a submissive man and a Dominant Woman. My deepest wish was always to submit to my S.O. I know that avenue is closed, I shant force it, but it doesn’t make me any less hungry to know if it’s possible. I believe that many pro-Dommes develop even deeply affectionate feelings for their subs, but has that ever turned into romantic love? I doubt it, or at least don’t know of it.
On a recent experience share session I participated in, one of the Dommes on the speaking panel noted that, “as a Domme we often develop motherly feelings towards our subs, or that we start to regard them as children, and we don’t want to @£^!$* our children.” That point really resonated with me. If I submit to you, do I automatically become your child? Does relinquishing control have that as a consequence?
It saddens me deeply. Because on the one hand I know that I have a deep-seated biological need to submit, but I also have this terrible feeling of loss that when I do, there can no longer be adult-to-adult interaction, that there is no longer the ability to appeal sexually to someone you are submitting to. That the energy that might exist, that my ability to be an equal vanishes…Maybe it shouldn’t matter, but it does.
How many relationships in my life foundered on this? My own fear? Several past girlfriends were there, ready to take control, and out of my own fear, I backed away, backed away because I was afraid of what would happen when I let go and submitted to them. I was afraid because the few times that I had actually gone forward with it, everything blew up in my face, and because having something blow up in your face post submission is a lot more traumatic than having it blow up in your face when the person doesn’t even really know you yet, it made me so wary to do it.
And that is where I got to with my S.O. She is so important to me, our relationship is so important to me, and my fear of what might happen if she actually knew what I felt, what that might manifest itself like that not only did I never go there with her, but we talked it out many years ago and she gave me the space to explore this with someone else as long as I kept it out of our lives. But she’s the one person that I really want to submit to.
I look at Mistress, supremely attractive, cultured, worldly, interesting, articulate, sure of herself—she is just like my S.O. in so many ways…and ask myself what if I had met someone like her when I was in my 20’s, would I have found my way through this? Would someone who is naturally predisposed to domination have ever considered a relationship with someone naturally predisposed to submission? I think I know the answer to that, and I don’t like it.
And I think that the path forward for me lies in this: when D/s is the most important aspect of a relationship between two people, then the relationship is doomed. When the relationship is based on a million other things, and two people engage because of mutual respect, amuse one another, make each other laugh, then the relationship has a chance. D/s can creep in then, perhaps in the bedroom only, perhaps beyond that, but cannot be the sine qua non.
I do know that I need to understand this for my sense of personal peace with my own journey. If you have wisdom here, please share it.