George Orwell had it wrong when he wrote, “Freedom is slavery”. For those who have read his anti-communist “futuristic” novel 1984 (the quotes are ironic as the future is here), you will remember these tropes. His descriptions of society are not exactly what they are today, but that is only superficially. In reality, they are. So much for the early and inspirational vision of the beauty of the internet being its power to unleash the personal voice! Now, so much technology is used to invade our privacy, rob us of our agency. This point was really hit home to me when I filled out a series of forms to allow me to travel through several countries…this included information on where I had been, where I was going—down to addresses, but also how long I was going to be there, when I planned to leave. It is enough to make a libertarian lose his mind.
I sat next to a woman on the plane recently who told me she loved all this intrusive technology. She said, “I have nothing to hide.” In my somewhat limited experience, people who say they have nothing to hide have the most to hide of all. Says one who has been hiding all his life!
As I parse my feelings and think about all the fun and serious things I have been up to lately, I can’t help but figure that my truth is not Orwell’s cynical phrase, but rather its converse. Slavery is freedom. One of my kinky friends put me on the phone with one of his subs recently, because he wanted to hear both of us talk about the nature of submission…and she and I had a wonderful and enlightening conversation about the parallels we both felt in this.
She, like me, finds slavery deeply empowering. She, like me, feels uplifted by it. She, like me, has or has had high-powered roles, large groups of people working for us. And she, like me, does not feel that submission is the result of her job or her life—in other words, she doesn’t “need” submission because her life is so stressful. [That is a popular narrative, but I think it is really one that has been authored by people who are ashamed to be submissive, and who want to say instead that being submissive is just an outlet, a stress-release mechanism, but really they are just such powerful people—in other words, submission is therapeutic]. She, like me, found that this narrative did not fit.
What she described was that she has given to the Dom permission to control certain aspects of her life, what she wears, when and how she will cum, what she will eat, when, aspects of her daily routine. And what she said was that it freed her up to think about him, and his pleasure. That removing certain decisions from her life, her life was less complicated, more sure, more solid feeling, which was comforting, but also efficiency-creating. And that her pleasure, her source of joy, was to take this additional time, additional energy, additional momentum and use it to give to her Dom. I think that’s rather beautiful.
I worked for a very famous designer for a while. Very famous. He had a quirk, and one that was confirmed by a quick peek in his closet. He had only one suit. I mean not one actual suit, but one design. He probably had 20 of them. But they were all identical. Ditto one shirt. He wore the exact same outfit every day. It was his signature look. He had taken to the extreme the efficiency of the male suit. When asked why, he explained that removing all choice from his daily attire kept his creative stores for “more important” considerations. Since he is and was globally famous, it clearly works for him.
But I also think that one of the best things about being female is the range of self-expression through clothes which are available. And this fellow submissive said to me, more or less that giving this up was liberating for her. In my case, I don’t find that exhausting or taking away my creativity either, but rather feeding it. And I find the same thing with submission. The more I submit, the more submissive and obedient I become, the higher my kite flies, and that gives me the air I need to breathe creatively.