Submissive Woman / Dominant Personality

Questions I often field from people who do not understand the Dominant/submissive dynamic in relationship have to do with how a strong feminist woman can also be a submissive partner, and how a submissive person can advocate for their needs within the relationship.  I read this article a little bit ago and loved it.  I personally connected with the author’s POV and experiences, so I contacted her and she’s given me permission to repost her article here.  The original article on Fetlife can be found at this link, so if you have an account, please do read up and comment there.  I hope you enjoy, and I’d love hearing your thoughts on the subject too.  Thank you irishmickey, I am honored to reprint your thoughts.

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin


Karin Cage Crop

I *am* a submissive woman with a dominant personality

by irishmickey

As someone who identifies strongly as a sub, I feel sometimes as if I must seem like a walking paradox. I’m strong as hell. I’m smart as hell. I can take care of myself. If I don’t have a partner in my life to submit to, it’s not as if I’m helpless. I’m more than capable of getting shit done, both in my personal life and at my job. And in terms of how I present myself to the world generally – I am no shy, retiring flower. I talk a mile a minute, swear with wild abandon, and have an incredibly sarcastic sense of humor. My laugh can often accurately be described as a guffaw. I think when people think of submissives, they often think of meek types who sort of blend into the scenery, and that’s not me at all. (I’m also not suggesting there is anything wrong with it; it’s just not who I am.) In a large group of new people, I might be a little shy at first, but as soon as I get comfortable, I’m always part of the conversation and the laughter.

And yet, in spite of all that…I have been described as deeply, genuinely submissive by those who have seen that side of me. And I know from my own perspective that when I do submit, it is 100%. Which is not to say that I don’t like to laugh and flirt and have great, deep conversations with a person I am submitting to. And I also need to know that my opinion will be valued and taken into consideration when decisions are made, even though I know I might ultimately be overruled. Because even within my submissive relationships, submissive does NOT equal meek and quiet. I don’t suddenly turn off one part of me when it is time to submit; these facets of my personality coexist.

Once someone has earned my trust, I am completely at his or her whim, although on the surface, it might not always look like it. To an outside observer, most of the time, I would look exactly the same – laughing, joking, talking. But there is that energy between us that I know is there, that I can feel, that never lets me forget what my role is. And all it takes is a single word, a certain tone of voice, from my dominant, and it’s as if I instantly snap to attention. Whatever decision you make, whatever you tell me to do – it will be obeyed. Simple as that. And I suspect in that moment, I do look different – I think there is a stillness and an intense focus that takes over me. (Although it’s hard for me to say, because my memories get fuzzy about those times. I don’t know if this is subspace or not. So often, I read about that being triggered by pain, but what I’m referring to is something that is triggered by tone of voice more than anything else and can happen totally in public.)

I have even tried to describe this feeling in poetry, but there really aren’t words that can accurately describe it, in part because of the fuzzy memory I mentioned. I just know that when I get in that space, there is nothing in the world for me other than you – my sole focus is on what you need, what you want, what I can do for you. That’s all that matters. Which is an INTENSELY vulnerable place to be in, because I’m not sure I could say no in those moments, even if I should. (Fortunately, no one has yet tested me there.) And it’s why trust is so very important – I need to know that you might (will!) hurt me, but that you would never harm me.

So why would I even put myself in that position of vulnerability? Because in those moments, I feel complete. I feel fulfilled. I feel satisfied in a way that nothing else gives me. And because with the right person, I don’t actually feel vulnerable at all; I feel safe and protected and cared for. I feel as if I can let go of control entirely, which is something I crave. All that control I have to exercise in the rest of my life wears me down; the release of submission gives me freedom. And perhaps because of how strong my personality is generally, I find that I need and desire very strong domination. I need to know the person I’m with is strong enough to control the strongest parts of me.

And this is why I come down on the side of the debate that says that dominance and submission are sexual orientations as much as straight and gay. Because this is what I need in my SEXUAL relationships (both long term and casual/play), but it’s not the totality of my personality. Does being gay or bi or straight have anything to do with what that person’s overall personality is and how they act and behave outside of their sexual relationships? No. Despite whatever stereotypes exist, sexual orientation is only one element of a person’s personality. And that extends to submissiveness/dominance as well.

Given that I have not quite 4 months of experience with and exposure to BDSM to go on, I reserve the right to change my mind completely down the line. 😉 But at least for now, it boils down to this: my extroversion and take charge nature are not a front of some sort. They are simply parts of who I am. Being meek and hiding in a corner would make me miserable. In fact, that would make me JUST as miserable as my vanilla relationship did. 🙂 Because being submissive sexually is also part of who I am. It’s what I NEED. I couldn’t begin to explain why I need it. But can anyone explain why, exactly, they prefer men to women or vice versa (or both)? No. It just feels right.

And this feels right.


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~Thank you.

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