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Author Topic: Whither the Submissive?  (Read 714 times)

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Offline UndineTopic starter

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Whither the Submissive?
« on: January 07, 2018, 08:33:29 PM »
Oh my…

I’m looking at this blank page, wondering where to start.  I suppose ‘at the beginning’ is the traditional way of doing these things, but much of what’s occupied my thoughts comes at the ending of so much in my life to this point, I might be forgiven for upending custom.  If not?  I probably won’t lose any sleep over it anyway…

The curtains are falling on many long-standing circumstances, great swaths of my life that are coming to a close, and imminently.  My youngest child is graduating high school come summer, and heading off to college.  And when she leaves, her father and I – after almost twenty years of marriage – will be divorcing.  For the moment we stay together, more-or-less roommates and mostly friendly in our house, so our daughter doesn’t have to find a new high school in her senior year.  He lives his life though, and I live mine, quite separately – the way we really should have been years ago.*  We pursue our separate interests, and that is the real reason I requested my blog space.

About five years ago, through some internet sleuthing (okay fine, some serious missteps into parts of cyberspace I didn’t know existed.  Don't judge! I’m no millennial, and anything digital/technology-related is mostly *fwoooosh* over my head) – well, to make a long story short and justify this incredible run-on sentence?  I discovered BDSM and D/s. 

I was fascinated.  I was also occasionally repulsed.  I was stunned, and then intrigued, which was followed closely on its heels by abject confusion.  For someone with my personality type (INTJ), this was probably the single best response I could have because it sent me digging deeper.  It'd be hard to overstate how floored I was, how mouth gaping, wide-eyed, breath-stolen shocked, to discover people I'd never met, couldn't have ever known and certainly weren't psychic, seemed to have tiptoed in my head, thrown back the dusty tarps and opened all the locked boxes there, discovering desires and passions and needs I'd long ago locked up tight, in shame and fear, far from the light of day.

Holy shit. 

Ho. Ly.  Shit! 

I'm a submissive...

And that realization suddenly explained so much.  All my life, even as a child, I had handled damn near everything, from trying to raise myself and my little sister to paying for college all on my own; putting a roof over my head and food in my belly far younger than most; enlisting in the military when the jobs dried up at home; acting as a de facto single parent/working Mom for my son, and then my daughter; managing my mental health/PTSD/chronic pain and fatigue issues with precious little support; going back to school for a new/second career; working full time at extremely high stress jobs, and so on and so forth ad nauseum.  You just don't get to scream "STOP!" to the universe and tell it to turn off the damn carousel already, because you've had enough.  When you have kids who depend on you every single day for every single one of their needs, you don't get to go bury your head beneath a pillow and not get out of bed, no matter how deep the black abyss in your head has gone.  You shoulder those responsibilities, because the people you love most depend on you.  You hide your tears, and you swallow your pain, and you mask your fears and get your ass in gear, because life goes on and you don't get to break because there's no one coming to pick up the pieces.  And you learn to somehow live with the most painful realization of all:  at no point do you get the luxury of calm, or peace, or rest. 

But that doesn't mean you don't desire this, with all your heart and soul.

That doesn't mean, I don't desire a powerful hand to still me, to set me on my knees and take all this heaviness from me for a time.  That I wouldn't wish to serve a man his drink, his dinner or even the ride of his life, for no better reason than to see him smile and know what I've done has pleased him, and is truly appreciated.  That I don't desire being bound, the choice to rest in that 'embrace' freely and happily lifted from my shoulders.  That I can't see the beauty in a fistful of hair, a hand pinning down a throat, in the creak of a collar or the pull of a leash, or any of a number of other acts or symbols of a commitment so deep, I could finally curl up and rest, happy and safe and secure in trusted hands.

Or at least, that's what I find in submission (or rather, a taste of what I find).  There's also not-a-few descriptors that go hand-in-hand with that word, not all of which apply to me, of course, or any one person at all:  service-oriented, slave, rope bunny, little/baby girl, kitten, princess, primal prey, and so on - it's by no means an exhaustive list, and it's not meant to be.  But this is the community of people I'm finally starting to get to know, whose company I genuinely enjoy for their understanding, their nonjudgmental ways, and, on the whole, their inclusiveness and willingness to talk.  No, I won’t be giving definitions of those terms, or any others, unless specifically asked or unless I find something new (to me) and intriguing (to me) to share.  I'm no expert on this topic, so please don't expect that.  Still, I welcome questions and discussion with the understanding there isn't a chance in hell I can know everything - though I'm always glad to research!  It's kinda my thing, you know... 

So, whither the submissive, or rather this submissive?  I honestly don't know.  The future is a great big blank slate at the moment.  But here in my little corner of E?  Well, please do feel free to conjure any welcoming image you wish if you'd care to join me:  a small wooden table covered in a lace-edged cloth, set with a china tea pot and two cups, all bathed in morning light; a chaise lounge atop a building roof, a pair of wine glasses set on a glass end table, illuminated only by the ambiance of the city lights at midnight; or perhaps a vast mountain meadow, a thick blanket beneath achingly blue skies and a basket filled with whatever you like best beside you.  With any luck, this will be an interesting chat.

*A quick caveat:  just because my husband and I are divorcing, doesn’t mean I wish to replace him in any way at my side, in my head or in my bed.  I am not looking for someone to step in as my Dom/Domme, my Master/Mistress, my Owner, my Protector, my Top, my Daddy/Mommy, my Sir/Ma’am, or any other honorific under the sun.  I am quite content to be on my own for a while, to spend what free time I have with my daughter before she leaves, and to finally pay some attention to what I want and need out of this life I’ve ignored, pushed aside and sacrificed for far too long.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 05:16:07 AM by Undine »

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 08:43:15 AM »
Hello again, Undine. It's been a while, and I hope the new year has been treating you well; above and beyond this realization. I respect you're not looking for any one in particular in your life, and I'm not trying to be that one in anyway; not even as a mentor. I just wanted to throw this out there (and to E in general): I've been in the 'Lifestyle' for almost eight years. While I wouldn't say I know everything (I'm still learning new things here and there), I've been around the block a few times, as the saying goes.

I identify pretty specifically as a pet/rope bunny/brat submissive (and really, most people are never a "pure" one way or another, from my experience).

I would love to compare notes with you, and if you would like, answer any questions you might have to the best of my ability. I don't have an issue with doing it publicly (pun not intended), or privately, as you wish.

Offline Helios

Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 11:35:29 AM »
Insightfully, and wonderfully stated, Undine.

I think you've given great voice to, what I feel, is a common misconception among 'the masses' about D/s interaction: that the submissive is an inherently weak-willed, mousy individual, who seeks--or is coerced--to become a plaything of some puffed-up, Type-A sadomasochist. Though, of course, I'm sure this happens, I feel it is the vast exception to the reality of things.

To take make my own summation of your description, you were always in this state of hyper-vigilance--a woman who willed life to be as successful for both herself, and her children, as she could possibly manage. That is a personality which certainly does not take fate's circumstances lying down. Such a life takes power, strength, and a knowledge of what is important to oneself--attributes commonly not attributed to a submissive by those who are uniformed. So, to me, it makes all the sense in the world for a person shouldered with such responsibility and purpose, to want a moment of reprieve from that Atlas burden.

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 01:18:11 PM »
Helios, I agree with your assessment. While there are definitely all manners of people drawn into the lifestyle, I can say with certainty that most submissives are not weak-willed individuals; and at least in the people I have met, in my local community, there are actually a significant number of people who are in high stress careers or otherwise having to really power through life, that end up being the submissive.

It's exactly because it eases the burden. "Alpha in the boardroom, beta in the bedroom" might be a weird cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason. Tends to play out a lot in life.

Offline UndineTopic starter

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 10:38:31 PM »
Good evening THM, and it's so good to see you again!  I remember we had a conversation on this exact topic when we were trying to figure out how our RP characters were going to interact romantically.  I believe we finally agreed to strip everything BDSM or D/s from our characters' relationship, because we were just going to see a little too eye-to-eye on everything, and that wouldn't do  ;)

I appreciate your kind offer for questions answered, though I don't have any that I haven't already worked out on my own, or am currently working through with others.  Still, your offer led me to think of another topic I'd like to touch on - community.

Now that my husband is no longer a factor in my decisions or my future, I recently began to reach out to the local 'kink community' through [a website that shall not be named, because I am not sure the Elliquiy God/desses would appreciate that much].  It's not a hook up site (or it's not intended to be) - rather, more like Facebook for those with tastes *ahem* off the beaten path, where there are also many postings for local events and munches.

I have been researching and studying and learning and reading about 'the lifestyle' for about five years, and I have met several folks online who have been deeply and personally involved for far longer.  It's been wonderful, and some of them have become my dearest friends (obviously not because of the kink, but simply because they are beautiful people whom I adore). 

But beyond the boundaries of my living room, I have to admit, it can be a pretty lonely world sometimes. 

My default setting is 'introvert' - a hardcore introvert at that, no matter the nature of the two long-term careers I had/have, or how I might seem online.  In real life social settings I am shy, usually very quiet, not the person who's going to pick up on your conversation and comment, much less insert myself into your notice or your presence.  Online, I can hide behind my relative anonymity, and pick and choose the pieces of me I want to share or to conceal.  No one sees the expression on my face, or knows whether I just rolled my eyes at something I read, took a long, deep breath, and then responded with an equanimity and poise I definitely wasn't feeling.  No one can read my body language through a computer screen, arms crossed defensively over my chest, legs all twisted pretzel-like as I sit here and fume at some stupidity or other.  But even someone like me can miss the sound of a human voice, real laughter and face-to-face conversation - human beings are built like that.  So, a couple weeks ago I screwed my courage to the sticking point, and finally went to my first munch.

One of the smartest things I ever did.

For anyone who's never been, and who's about scared out of their skin to give it a go?  It's really a simple thing to contact one of the organizers, send him or her a message, and just be honest:  "I've never been to a munch before, I'm a bit nervous - do you have any suggestions?"  You will probably be referred to a list of ‘munch etiquette FAQs’ of some sort or other (READ THEM!), and given someone who will gladly act as that first friendly face, the one who says ‘hey there’ when you walk in the door of the restaurant or pub.  I currently live in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., a place you might not think was oh-so-friendly, and yet...  

I was embraced and welcomed wholeheartedly, and have met some wonderful people who are glad to chat about other events, other munches, and some of what they do (within boundaries of course - people aren't going to just open up and gush about their lives, particularly their kinky lives, to a virtual stranger.  A little common sense, respect and a sense of propriety will take you a long way).  Mostly though, we talked about ourselves and one another, getting to know one another as people simply out to have a good time, to socialize, to meet new folks and share some conversation and laughs with the friends they've known for years. 

You know.  Like normal people... 

One of the biggest benefits of all though, as a submissive, was having the opportunity to meet other submissive-types.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for a submissive - particularly someone new, or someone young, or both - to form a circle of submissive friends and acquaintances who already have some experience under their respective belts.  These are the people who can be a sounding board, a testing ground, a shoulder to lean on or an ear to talk right off when most needed. 

And really, it's not that the dominant-types are 'scary,' because they're not - well, most aren't at least (unless you meet the right one, ask nicely and negotiate a bit, of course ;) ). 

Still, there's something inherently vulnerable in a submissive-type that, when compounded by naivete and/or the excitement of the bright and shiny and new, leaves them open to predatory behaviors that can have long, lasting and traumatic consequences.  I'm talking with adults here, so I don't assume I need to go down the list of “bad things that can happen to good people."  But when it comes to BDSM and D/s, there can be a barrier there to talking about 'certain topics' with your bff since high school, who thinks a spreader bar is what a mechanic pulls from his toolbox to change a tire, or that kinbaku is a new kind of sushi. 

Yes, there are creeps, assholes and predators in any community.  It's a given, because sometimes people simply have evil or selfish intent, and the only mind readers in this world are found in fiction.  But in this community, a circle of experienced submissive-type friends, available to lean on and talk to and ask questions, can help keep a new and/or young submissive from the very worst mistakes - even those made with the very best intentions.

**********

And Helios, thank you, truly – you are, as always, far too kind to me.  But yes, of course you’re right:  the ‘real’ submissive-types aren’t often accurately portrayed in the public eye (any more accurately than the dominant-types, when you get right down to it).  I think I’ll try to wrangle that a little bit next time from the submissive side…

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 10:56:49 PM »
Aye, that's the way I remember it as well. I'm glad to hear you went to a munch; they can be amazing ways to get into the local community. Low pressure, safe environments; and as you said, it can be easy to reach out to the organizer(s) and get a little hand-holding for that first time.

I actually have found that, just for me personally, going to munches has done a great deal to "cure" (probably a bad word, but I can't think of another one) me of most of my social anxieties. it really helped to get me out of my shell; then again, I've always seen myself as an ambivert.

Wishing you the best of luck with your explorations, Undine.  :-)

Offline SithLordOfSnark

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 04:54:42 AM »
I am pretty sure I know what site you mean. I'm a member there too, under the same name as here. lol

Offline UndineTopic starter

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 07:19:29 PM »
I have been contacted by an Oracle today, and it's the right way to go without naming the site.  I hope she doesn't mind if I offer her words, directly quoted:  "Since this is a publicly-viewable blog, you should avoid posting sites that could be used as contact information, primarily because anyone could be viewing the site as a 'Guest' and make use of it."  And that makes perfect sense to me.  The site we belong to isn't the only one out there, so it's probably best to leave this reminder for all of us  <3
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 04:43:54 PM by Undine »

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 07:25:52 PM »
I'm also findable on the secret-site-that-shall-not-be-named. The only difference between here and there is that I don't have a 'The' in front of my name over there; THM was already snatched by somebody else (despicable people stealing my name~).

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 04:39:02 PM »
Even hinting at it is too much in my opinion.  If you want to talk about that site, please take it to PM.  That is not at all what this blog was approved for. 

Offline UndineTopic starter

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 04:49:54 PM »
Even hinting at it is too much in my opinion.  If you want to talk about that site, please take it to PM.  That is not at all what this blog was approved for.

Consider it done, edited I hope, best as I can on my phone at the moment :)

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 04:50:47 PM »
Thank you! <3

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: Whither the Submissive?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 10:48:03 PM »
Nothing to see here.