As sure as I write this post, every slave has experienced moments of doubt on the path towards their slavery, or the tweaks of pain as they struggle to reconcile the “rights” of the vanilla self to the blessings of slavery. Of course I am writing of those of us who choose this path, although for many of us, the chains that bind us to our various Masters may be stronger than the ones that bind people who are enslaved against their wills—an unspeakable horror.
Of course, if you are such a person as to be predisposed to slave feelings, then your first challenge is to find a partner who will receive and cultivate those feelings. I’d like to try and describe the feeling, the need for the feeling, and thereby explain why there is nothing wrong with it.
First, let’s start with a series of statements that I consider to be false (for me. I know that some of you will disagree, in particular about the humiliation part, but we can all just do ourselves and that’s okay).
- The desire to be a slave is about humiliation and degradation
- Slaves are weak
- Slaves can’t control their own lives
- Being a slave is about being sexually submissive
- Wanting to be a slave is weird and unhealthy
- People want to become slaves because their jobs are stressful
- People on both sides of the slash turn to D/s and BDSM because they were abused as children
Let’s take each of these in turn.
- The desire to be a slave is about humiliation and degradation
This is the last thing I want. There were times earlier in my life where this angle turned me on sexually. This was mostly in fantasies about being forced to have sex with men. This is something that was also directly correlated to stress in my life. The more stressed, the more deeply I had these fantasies of being forced into servicing men, and the humiliation and degradation came from liking it, from saying, “Oh yes, I’m a faggot.” You get the choice of language…a very inappropriate F-word. Although it doesn’t matter, I’ve never even fooled around with a guy, and a few reads of random posts on this blog might explain why.
The paragraph above I think describes a very unhealthy state of mind. I can’t explain why I felt that way. I don’t mind because it went hand-in-hand with a very prolific output in smut, and one which has given me a nice little bit of pocket money over the years. And writing it out, was a very effective way of processing it.
The first time we went out to dinner together, Mistress and I talked about female submissives, and how many of them choose that path as it helps them regain control of their lives. That to experience a loss of control in a controlled way can be healing. I think that quite possibly, whatever was triggering these fantasies of mine, there was something similar going on, but in this case, I was stuck in a rut, and it is really only in the past 2 years that this has seemed to go away. I link that to some pretty heft personal growth work. [I touched on this as well with Mistress, here].
When I think about humiliation and degradation, and I find myself aroused by something that is also humiliating, that alerts me to an area that needs immediate and urgent work. My red line with Mistress is degradation and humiliation, either intended or accidental. Thankfully she has been quite sympathetic to this, but I will never forget her almost plaintive and pouty comment, “but surely a little teasing is good.” That’s probably not an accurate characterisation, and yes Mistress, I love being gently teased, absolutely love it, you know it, and you do it to me all the time.
But at the same time as not wanting to feel humiliated, I have to acknowledge that what humiliates us varies from person to person. That also means that what might humiliate us today might no longer do so tomorrow. In other words, we can grow out of it. Time, therapy, whatever. And those things that humiliate us are signs of issues that need to be worked through.
But a slave has surrendered control. A slave has willingly given up the right to define, to choose, to decide. What if the controlling partner, the dominant, makes choices that run counter to the wishes of the slave? What if that stings? Is giving in a humiliation, or is even having the feeling a failure to fulfil one’s duty as a slave, which is to embrace the role with heart? Isn’t the slave supposed to let go? Isn’t that the whole point?
To me, this points to a sublimation of the self. When we have truly done this, there is no room left for humiliation. You have achieved a kind of zen-like state of submission. You are able to obey without question. That is the pinnacle of submission, to surrender and not hesitate. Of course this requires incredible trust…and that trust is a very positive reflection on the person who can do it as well as on the person who is trusted in this way.
2. Slaves are weak
In the pop culture narrative it is understandable that one might think this to be the case. After all, such a sub has fetishized being bossed around and having no will, being made to do various humiliating things. This may be the reality for some, but it isn’t my reality.
While I would not contrast what it takes to be submissive to what it takes to be dominant, I know that it asks a lot of me. For one, I must be willing to let go and to sublimate my own interests and desires at times to those of another. At its most basic, it means to silence the id, and effectively to transfer the ego to someone else.
It also requires a willingness and the follow through to be completely open. This in itself can also require an intense level of work. Often, to admit things to oneself, and then beyond, to admit them to another, is a task of colossal introspection and hard work.
There are also physical demands. I have not really experienced much in the way of intense sensation when it comes to whipping and play, etc, but there are many who have. To take that kind of punishment takes heroic strength.
3. Slaves can’t control their own lives
On the contrary, many slaves are so good at the organisational aspects of life, that many an enlightened Master has engaged a slave for their secretarial-organisational-executive skills. Without discussing my own career trajectory, I can certainly vouch for the idea that professional success is not hindered by being a slave. I am convinced that my slave self has made me a better listener, quicker to put myself in the shoes of others, and has imparted incredibly valuable leadership skills to me.
We talk about real leaders being the ones who abandon ship last, real leaders are the last to serve themselves, the last to take a seat at the table. That is absolutely my philosophy, and I am not sure that it would have come to me so easily, if I were not so deeply and viscerally of the mind that a true leader is one who sublimates his interests to the interests of the whole team s/he leads.
A good slave takes care of the home and has plenty of room leftover to take care of the Master. And being so competent and put together is exactly the kind of fulfilment that a good slave wishes to feel, to be recognised for these qualities.
4. Being a slave is about being sexually submissive
Slavery does not automatically mean sexually submissive. Slavery just means that the slave puts the interest of the M above his or her own. That s/he seeks to deliver pleasure to the M first, before ever thinking of him or herself.
Even outside of D/s relationships, this has been the essence of my life. I have always enjoyed drawing a bath for my partner, listening to my partner, giving a massage to my partner, and back when I still had sex with my SO, to focus on her body and her pleasure first. Admittedly, it is uncommonly arousing to incorporate kink into this, but even when the kinks are my kinks, I have certainly felt that whichever ones we end up using are ones that have aroused her too.
As an example, I had one partner who loved, and I mean loved, putting me into diapers. She wanted me diapered a lot. Whenever we went out and about, if she saw anything that was possibly kinky baby related stuff, she would use it to tease me and turn me on. When I went on business trips she would always slip a small “care package” of diapers into my suitcase, and then expect to call me and have what I would call “phone sex” with me. And when we were together, she loved to see me padding around in nothing but a diaper and skimpy plain white t-shirt that showed everything. She liked me to worship her body this way, and to especially be this way when going down on her. She felt that in this way, I would focus on her and her alone, and that I was already taken care of. And in this sense she was right.
I don’t know if it is coincidence, but the GF that first leashed me also liked me to provide the same service when leashed, and she liked to use it to pull my face up close to where she wanted it. But in her case, this was only ever a prelude to a banging, and that is exactly what she wanted and asked for. She liked me to bite her and scratch her, and she did the same, and sex with her always left me bruised and scratched and totally out of breath, and always left her screaming, and scratching and biting.
And while some of the symbolism above might seem on the face of it to be submissive, I don’t think it is…it is just being thoughtful and taking the time to care for Her needs first.
5. Wanting to be a slave is weird and unhealthy
Being a male slave threatens the dickens out of the patriarchy. After all, patriarchy is all about power. A man who willingly tosses down the power and says to a woman, I want to serve you, for you to lead me, well, that is an outrage to the system. All of the opprobrium this path attracts, is in my mind, related to this.
And I say this too, because I don’t think that the same judgement is reserved for women who submit. Instead, they are seen as “good girls” and that the idea of a submissive woman is the fun and safe and normal side of kinky.
I have certainly found lots of misunderstanding of my desire as I have explained my passion to friends that I have opened up to. The explaining sure feels good, as it brings it out into the open in a healthy way, and having to explain it means I have to be articulate and have it all though through.
I don’t think that power exchange is weird or unhealthy at all. What is weird and unhealthy is anything that involves non-consent, true non-consent (under age, under the influence, mentally challenged, or with animals)—when true “adult” and “sober” consent cannot be given, it is wrong.
5. People want to become slaves because their jobs are stressful
Nonsense. It is true that the experience of slavery, of playing, and the catharsis of BDSM is deeply stress-relieving, but there is nobody who ever became a slave because of the stress relief advantages.
I think that the chicken and egg conundrum implied here is exactly the other way around. We become successful executives because we have this really powerful way of depressurising, of learning not to take ourselves to seriously, of learning not to be arrogant. No matter what we do or achieve in life, we have found our way onto our knees before someone whom we revere, and that is a beautiful and healthy thing.
6. People on both sides of the slash turn to D/s and BDSM because they were abused as children
Well, according to my ex-therapist, I was sexually abused as a child. I don’t accept that narrative. I experienced life. My parents did the best they felt they could based on the lives that they had, and blaming them for me is a waste of time. I can do the work to get over the “damage” I experienced growing up, and ironically, it seems that D/s is a really effective way of getting at some of this. And I am commited to doing this. So, no, I was not abused into this.
In fact, I think the earliest feeling I had of being submissive was sublime. I used to ride in a taxi to school. It was one of those big old NY checker cabs, the big boxy kind with the enormous back seat area and jump seats. It was a car-pool of sorts as we were off of the school bus route. There were four of us—three girls and me. One of the girls was older than me. Almost every day they would wrestle me to the floor of the cab, pin me down, take off my shoes and socks, and tickle me until I cried. I will never forget the glorious expression of conquest and triumph that suffused the face of the eldest girl, who invariably sat on my chest and stared down at me, while the younger girls held my legs, removed my shoes, and tortured me in this way. I loved to look back at her, through the laughter and the tears, and the experience was powerfully erotic for me. She invariably wore one of those short plaid skirts, the kind with the giant safety pin on the front. I still love those (but now I am the one who wears them)! I was 8 and 9 at the time. One day I learned how to shut off sensation using my mind, and I didn’t react. They stopped. And they didn’t do it again.
One day I begged them to do it again. The ringleader said, “No, it isn’t any fun anymore.” I was so sad, and from that day forward, I have taken a fear of sharing my feelings about stuff like this in case it would turn things off.
7. Slaves are betas
We are all betas. Even Jeff Bezos, who thinks he is the world’s alpha, and loves to demonstrate it with his exploits is just a dick-pic sending weirdo. And Bill Gates, is an insatiable flirt. I know, he tried to hit on my wife. Men with that much power think they can do anything, and often, they probably can. Power is very seductive, very erotic…You get it? What are we doing in power exchange? The Domme has the power and this becomes intoxicating; we surrender our power to her and it becomes even more so.
But are these men alphas? No. They are betas too. In any group, in any society, there can only ever be one alpha. The rest are betas, no matter who they are. At Microsoft, Bill Gates’s number two was the alpha, Steve Ballmer, who succeeded him as CEO. At least, that is my theory.
What we are talking about then, is relative dominance within a community of betas. Dominant traits. Well, if I were to apply my own life, I think I display many alpha traits—go-getter, doer, making things happen…but I also happen to carry the desire to submit inside of me. But I am not going around and submitting to strangers, or to any random person, I submit to one person. And for the rest, I use my submission to read situations, to read people, and to be more understanding. That I then use that understanding as a means to further my own goals, well, that doesn’t sound very beta to me.
My version of submission may be different to yours and may be different to what you might have thought before, but I bet that there are more submissives out there like me than what the pop narrative suggests. There are those of us out there who see submission as an expression of our greatest personal strength. It is a motivating force, and also a reward mechanism…and I will tell you what, it takes enormous strength and will to respond to someone else’s desires, to put their needs and desires above your own, and to do so with a genuine and open heart, not out of a desire to get something in return. Selflessness is the ultimate expression of submission, it is a quality I revere, and is one that I am really enjoying the cultivation of.