Photo by Grendelkhan

Photo by Grendelkhan

Submission is an interesting subject for me.  It is one I’m currently working on understanding more deeply within myself.  The first time I considered whether or not I was submissive, or whether the act of submitting was an important one for me to understand more fully was when I read the book Conquer Me by Kacie Cunningham.  My response was extremely intense and emotional, I still haven’t sorted it all out.  It went something like:

Wow!  I’m right here, in these pages.  I’ve never heard someone talk like this before.  This is important.  This is amazing and important and… … and terrifying.

What IS Submission:  This subject is enormous!  To start out, I’ll state that it simply means, “to submit”.  This can happen in any which way from wanting to please or service a Top/Dom/Master/Playfriend, to bear what another wishes them to bear, to be forced into submission, to serve, to surrender to a partner…  there are many great verbs that can be employed in the submissive occasion and everyone will have their own reasons or desires.  Regardless of the reason though, the through line is that the act of submission is equal to a person submitting to the will or desires of another.

Now, identifying as submissive is wholly different than the action of submitting to someone.  Why do I bring this up?  Well, I think people get that a little confused sometimes…  Important: because you are near someone who defines themselves as submissive, it certainly does not mean that they will even entertain submitting to you.  Submissive does not mean pushover, weak, without will, lesser than, powerless, or indecisive (not even close).  Someone who identifies as submissive can be or feel submissive on their own, in a relationship, or in multiple relationships.  A submissive person can do anything they want in their lives without giving that identity up too.  A submissive person could top a scene or activity with their partner, make their living as a Pro Dom or CEO, submit only in one context and not others (sexually and/or out of the bedroom in their primary relationship, submit only as a kinky game with people they trust, or perhaps this person is in a 24/7 Master/slave relationship arrangement where they make absolutely no decisions at all from what to wear in the morning to what chores they’ll get done throughout the day… the options are endless).  Submissive people are into all kinds of things.  Some submissives aren’t even kinky aside from the desire to engage in power dynamic play.  Some submissives are not masochistic in the least bit and have no desire to be involved a scene where pain will be employed, some submissives would never be interested in being in a 24/7 relationship, or serving their partners, or acting as though they are in a “1950’s household”…  What someone does or does not desire to DO is a very different thing than who they consider themselves to BE, and every relationship someone has will be defined by what those people find makes them most happy with one another.  It will change partner to partner as much as it might change over the span of a person’s lifetime.  We (r)evolutionary beings are magnificent that way!

Dresseuses d'Hommes by Luc Lafnet

Dresseuses d’Hommes by Luc Lafnet

So, what does it mean to submit?  This will be very differently answered by everyone who has ever submitted or wished to.  To some the feeling of surrender is what they desire and endeavor to find in their interactions.  This is potentially a very different type of interaction than someone who’s ideal reason for submitting is to bear.  For example, someone looking to surrender to a feeling or sensation with their partner might not get off if they do not like pain and they are being caned by their top.  That person may feel very unable to surrender in this situation, while the person looking to bear whatever it is their partner wishes to throw their way might love the challenge of a painful activity.  That person might find being tied up and fucked just plain boring and unfulfilling in a way that “the surrenderer” could consider ideal.  Now these are just random examples and there are as many ways to define and redefine which type of activities pair best with which root desires as there are submissives with root desires and favorite activities!  For some, submission is an act of giving time and attention to detail within a relationship, or it might mean pleasing a partner through caretaking or pleasuring, others wish to submit physically and never emotionally, while some will submit in the bedroom and not outside of it in their relationships, and other submissives might feel that finding a partner they can submit to heart, body, mind, and sex organs as a whole package every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment is the holy grail of power play.  No one is more right than anyone else.  What I would say is most important though, is that people find playmates and partners who share similar views on how to get the deed done.  Someone who desires to be a Type A service oriented submissive will probably work out much better with a Militant type Dominant than with a sensualist who has no desire to create rules, give orders, or ask for help getting anything done…  you can see how knowing what your particular brand of submission is might be an important distinguishing factor in finding happiness submitting (as in: I may be submissive, but please never ask me to clean your house – I promise neither of us will be turned on by the result).

My Experiences submitting:  Great segue Karin!  So, submission and me…  This is very much an ongoing exploration.  I find the verb that comes to me most frequently is “to bear”.  There is more to it than that for sure, especially when we take more than kink or sex play into account.  On the emotional front I’d say that “to caretake, to please, to love, and to inspire” match much more closely to my way with long term relationship partners.

I have bottomed to many people, and in the process found myself submitting to their desires, will, or actions in the scene.  I feel I melt at times like these.  Care leaves me, my mind empties, the chatter in my head stops, and I find myself happy and present.  “To bear” is also active though, not just an experience given me.  I am masochistic by nature (or I can take a lot of pain and desire to please my sadistic top?), and when I’m in a scene that requires me to pain process I am actively engaged in taking what I can, setting a (usually pretty non-verbal) pace that will keep my body healthy and the interaction continuing, I am focused on breathing and connecting with the energy of my partner, of taking what they are giving to me, feeling it cycle through my body, and then pushing it back into them to complete our connection and energy exchange cycle.  With this type of communication I feel I can go anywhere I am led, and I desire to.

Outside of the bedroom submission has a different texture though.  I want in my relationships to know what things will make my partner happy and I want to bring them things…  Much like a cat bringing her owner a fresh kill, there is a part of me that wishes no more than to please, to give, to caretake, to shine for my partner.  I desire to feel valued, loved, and as though I have done a good job pleasing.  I love to learn about the subjects my partners are interested in and want to bring those things into our relationship or experiences together.  I like to listen to my partner and pick up on little things that they say, and bring thoughtful gifts or occasions from those ideas to my people.  I very much enjoy care taking as well: grooming my partner, sitting quietly by their feet as a moment of quiet connection, researching subjects we both are interested in and coming up with ways to implement those things in our lives/home/relationship…

I have not had very many relationships with dominant people in my life, and I find it hard to submit sometimes.  I think most people read me as Dominant in general (as I am a workaholic who is constantly engaged in too many projects to count), but nevertheless, in my relationships I crave a steady hand, to relax under a strong and purposeful touch, to trust my partner’s intent and be free to react and encourage, rather than manage and make do.

There is more.  I am curious to see where it will go with me…

Image from "Bizarre" magazine

Image from “Bizarre” magazine

Further information:  On the subject of submission I find that a lot of different sources for continued thought are helpful.  Reading as much as I can about the subject is a great start.  I feel in this instance that actually talking to people who are involved in identifying as submissive is really important and helpful too.  Every person feels differently about themselves and how and why they do what they do, every submissive gets something uniquely their own from submitting, and every relationship a person has with others (not to mention with themselves) further changes the thoughts, ideas, inspirations, and experiences one wishes to pursue.  Community can be extremely helpful in your evolution of understanding and your opportunities to explore.  Even online forums where you can read other people’s posts on various subjects will be great help getting your brain around the plethora different ways there are to approach this lifestyle or these relationships.  Fetlife has been a pretty good resource, I find, as long as you are mindful to keep the extremists, over-opinionated, and too rigid at bay.

Good luck finding what works for you, I think that is one of the best journeys to be on.

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin

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~Thank you.


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