Questions and musings about D/s for the broader community, especially for those to the left of the slash (D/s).
There are so many questions I have about D/s, largely springing from my own feelings and all the things submission makes me think about. Mostly they centre around whether it is appropriate or normal to feel the things I am feeling. And also, what their mirror might be in the heart of a Domme. This one fascinates me perhaps even more than what is in my own heart.
One of the hardest things I have had to do with Mistress thus far is to let go of the “normal” way that a man and a woman feel for one another. It may seem stupid or obvious to you that being a submissive to a pro-Domme would obviously not lead to a conventional and mutual love relationship. But that didn’t make it any easier to come to terms with. I agonised over this, mainly because I have never felt or experienced anything similar as D/s and shaking free from the fetters of a hetero-normative world is not so easy as just being aroused by submission–even for a non-binary. We discussed it at length one evening over dinner, and it was the most difficult time I have spent with Mistress—not in a bad way, but in a challenging way. I imagine that in the lifestyle world of D/s, relationship dynamics of this nature may be easier to deal with as a sub, and quite possibly never even arise as a potential issue for a Domme. But for me, it was really hard. [You can read about that here].
The vast majority of subs into D/s who go to see pro-Dommes are going to have kinks fulfilled. I am not making a value judgement. The relevance of the point is that it makes D/s very transactional, very simple, very easy to understand. “I would like you to do such and such…in this way…etc” and that becomes the basis of the transaction.
What I am seeking with Mistress is something very different, and was a big part of why it took so long to find Her, and why it mattered so much to me when she agreed to see me the first time, and then after that, to allow me to begin sessioning with her. [You can read about the search for a Domme here].
There is no secret about how much I am fond of Mistress. I can imagine that many subs develop very strong attachment feelings for their Dommes. The concept of attachment is an important one to me on many levels. First, ADD arises in part when attachment doesn’t happen effectively. In recognition of my history with ADD, Mistress introduced a great book to me, which discusses attachment and the underpinnings of ADD. Few concepts in the book resonated with me more than this one. Seeing it in print, in plain English had me bawling on the beach. [That book is reviewed here.]
Second, one of my deepest triggers is little space. When I asked Mistress if I really had to call her Mistress the first time I met her, she flashed a smile at me and said, “you can also call me Mommy.” Oh, how she could see right through me! I am convinced that attachment and attunement are the two processes that happen between mother and child that didn’t happen sufficiently with me, and which has led to much of my sexuality (and also my ADD). I am not kidding that when Mistress pins me down and looks into my eyes, attachment and attunement are what is going on between us, and why this is often enough to get me to tear up. Can you imagine? All she needs to do is to look at me, to see me, and I am hers. We’re going to a place where it is safe to love and just feel, where it is safe to just trust, and safe to be dependent and needy, and where Mommy takes care of everything.
The Jungian branch of psycho-therapy that I enjoyed and which helped me to grow up drew on these concepts heavily, as well as one of transference. The goal of my first therapist was to transfer my mother feelings and relations to her so we could explore them and talk about them. The goal of my second therapist was to transfer the girlfriend/lover feelings I had towards her so we could discuss and work on them. [I wrote about those experiences in therapy here and here]. I refer to these as my first and second therapists, but in reality, growing up I had many, all foisted upon me to deal with my ADD, and to deal with the issues and challenges my mother was having in raising me. These two were different in that I chose to go to them, had very specific goals that mattered to me, and knew that I needed help.
What does all of this mean? It means that I am going to feel more and more vulnerable with Mistress, more and more like a baby with its Mommy, and I look forward to that, to being strong enough to do that. The goal is not therapy, but its outcome is likely to be very therapeutic. A by-product of this process will be a deepening love for Mistress. I know it, am a little scared of it (because I know how powerful it is) and is a big part of why I am so glad we are taking things slowly. Slowly equals built to last. And that matters deeply to me.
Everybody makes mistakes along the way, but I refuse to be held back by the possibility of failure. I enter every endeavour with intent: to see it through, to see where it goes, to explore without preconditions. Submission to me is also about commitment. First and foremost submission is a commitment to self. I cannot submit without a deep and fundamental belief that self has value, and that offering self to someone else is to give true value—indeed is the greatest thing you can give. That raises some interesting issues.
If submission is an offering of the self, then rejection in D/s must be very rough. In my limited experience this is true. Scary. It makes this a high-stakes proposition.
It also begs the question, what does submission actually mean? Very often we hear that “submission is a gift”. In most ways, that does not seem to me what is going on—the person giving the gift is the Domme, not the sub. But in the sense I am describing now, submission really is a gift. But it isn’t the submission itself that is the gift, it is what you can do with it. If I can submit to someone, what can we do with that? How can we make it useful and valuable? And therein lies the real work and why the passage of time is so important.
There is a reason I never call Mistress “my Mistress”. She is not “mine”. She accepts my submission, and I hope to never take that for granted. I see her as the one giving, accepting–to submit a Domme, to a Princess, and to have that submission accepted, embraced, cultivated, gosh, that is to receive the most sublime gift of all. There is nothing that makes me feel more cherished when She shows obvious relish in my obeisance.
As I submit a little bit more with every passing day, so too is it worth exploring how Mistress can take that submission and mould it in ways of value to her. There is no point in me being “my submissive”—to do so would be to remain alone; what I pray for is to become her submissive—crafted and moulded and bent by her into something she wants to have control of. It is no easy path, and the chances of failure, both big and small, is very real, but I am committed to find out. And again, this will take time. Life plays out in strange and sometimes beautiful ways. This narrative may fit into the cracks and crevices of several beautiful lives.
Intimate or Explicit
This is part of why so much of what we are experiencing together is not sexual. Sensual yes, spiritual yes, physically painful yes, emotionally cathartic yes, ennobling yes. I recently made a trip to La Perla, some of the world’s loveliest lingerie. It is beyond beautiful. I should very much love for Mistress to have some, but in the end I felt uncomfortable buying it for her. It felt too intimate, too sexual. I find Mistress uncommonly beautiful, and I know how divine she looks in lingerie, and in truth, she could wear rags and I would find her totally captivating. But I felt not ready to gift her something so overtly sexual—and worry that such a gift also implies intent. What do I mean by that? I fear that giving Mistress a gift of lingerie I am asking her to let me see her in it. That feels like objectification. It also feels premature. She will rescue me from this quandary as she does so many others.
I remember as a child walking home from school through a park. I was 7. About 50 feet from my home, two dogs chased me down and surrounded me, barking like crazy. They rooted me to the spot in terror. They were gnashing and baring their teeth, and I was terrified of getting bitten. There was no owner anywhere in site, and I was scared. I dropped my rucksack and cried, rooted to the spot as they barked at me. We had a lodger in our home who paid to live with us, and who lived in the room that looked out onto the park. Fortunately, he was home, saw me, and ran downstairs, came tearing into the park, screaming at the dogs, and they bolted in terror. I was very grateful to his emergence like a whirlwind that saved me from these savage dogs.
He taught me as we walked home about dogs and their minds, and how they see and smell fear. In fact, all emotional states. I learned this later especially with horses. He taught me the importance of mastering your fear and protecting yourself. He was a little disappointed in me too, I could hear it in his voice. After all, the dogs were only dachshunds! I am still embarrassed to this day. BUT, the lesson is real. And indeed, this is what Mistress is teaching me. Find the fear and root it out. And more importantly, once you do, the fears are just little ol’ dachshunds.
Back to letting go of the normal hetero male response to a woman he develops a crush on…
In vanilla world, which is really the only world I have ever really known, being with a woman has meant certain things. A way of behaving, expectations, a style of approach. Most important of all? Respect. Mutual respect. It is the foundation of a vanilla relationship. My fear of D/s and ever letting those feelings creep into the vanilla world is that the next step would be her loss of respect for me because I was submissive. Certainly our culture conditions that thinking.
That I respect Mistress is without question, and I am so grateful to her that she sees it written all over me. But that she respect me too is without question the fundamental scary, important elephant in the room for me to be able to trust in this process. That was the fear that I had were I to let go of the vanilla worldview. That is precisely what kept me from ever opening up this part of me, precisely what held me back from letting any of my vanilla relationships evolving in this direction—a fear of loss of respect from Her to me.
The first time I was with her, I stood before her and choked out, “I want you to be proud of me. Please never let me go anywhere or do anything that would make you lose respect for me. Expect a lot, demand a lot.” I sobbed when I said it, but she took it to heart. She catches and sees it even in the smallest of gestures, and she yanks it out, makes me acknowledge it, so we can stomp it out. I must be tall and proud. Could anyone ever ask for anything more?!
But here I am with a professional, someone who sees this all the time, and who plays with people in this emotional landscape. Who else would be better prepared to take me through this? Nobody. Knowing still doesn’t make it easy. Reconciling respect (my fear that she might lose it for me) with submission was thus far one of the most challenging parts of this journey. And then one day it just clicked into place for me. I realised that I don’t need that “normal” relationship. That my desire to submit to Mistress dwarfs my need to have a “normal” relationship with her. My goal and desire is to become her slave, not her boyfriend, but her slave. Letting go of baggage associated with vanilla rules and views is part of that. And anyway, I have just such a “normal” relationship already. I don’t need another one. That cup is full.
And how does a slave feel about Mistress? Respectful, dutiful, obedient, dedicated, worshipful, earnest, eager, committed, honest, honour-bound, fascinated, happy and filled with an inner warmth and goodwill to this person who has brought these feelings to life and allowed me to lay them, and all of me, at her feet in devotion.
What I seek from Mistress is very, very different. I cherish that she accepts my submission. I wish for her to own me. I once asked her to demand of me that I submit to her on her terms. Cheeky boy! Submission may in part be coming from me, but it takes a gifted Domme to guide it and tease it out. For all of that, I will love her, and I am not ashamed of that or scared of it. I also know that time to allow this to grow and evolve is the most important ingredient. These seeds we plant will only grow if we both tend to them. As Mistress also works with me to find ways to serve her, I will grow both as a person and into her. Therein lies the beauty of what is ahead. Mistress has asked me to savour things as simple as a texture of an object in my hands, the taste and feeling of a food in my mouth. So too, I feel, is there an opportunity to savour this landscape which lies before us, peppered with love.
Her slave. Can I do this? I don’t know. Am I capable? I don’t know. Where will this go? I don’t know. What does it even mean? I don’t know. But this is what I do know. Mistress is a lovely human. Playing and exploring with her is sublime. It is also fun to be with her in ways that I cannot explain. The spiritual element is the aspect I find I cherish most. When everything else is stripped away, there is only respect. She is a blessed human, so blessed, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for what we have already done and look forward to what lies ahead. And if all this ever represents is some beautiful time spent in the company of a blessed human, well, bless her. To submit is to feel, to live, to love. I am already better for it.
Where are the questions?
I would be very grateful to hear from D/ who sees these feelings develop in their /s’s. How do you feel about submissive feelings? How do you see them from the receiving end? How do you encourage it? How do you grow it? What is its reciprocal for you?
As a /s, do you feel that the love you feel for your Domme is different than other love you have felt? If yes, how? How do you manage your feelings?
For those of you in lifestyle D/s relationships, what do you see as the elements of a natural balance, a yin-yang, that keep you both growing and developing? For those of you who are “seeing” professionals, and I would guess that this is most usually sub men with Dominant Women, I’d love to know how your dynamic has played out. I know that there are some of you out there who have been submitting for many years to one Domme. I find that inspirational. I’d love to know what parts have been most difficult and how you have managed those.
And finally, have any of you come “out” in the wider sense of the world as /s to your D/?
And to all the D/ of this world, what about your own arousal?
Do you find it arousing when someone submits to you? If yes, what is it that triggers this? Are there any particular instances you could share where a sub did something that really did it for you?
Please don’t be shy. We’d all like to know.