I firmly believe that a lot of people who have submissive tendencies (especially people not already accustomed to the BDSM/fetish scene) shy away from labeling themselves as submissive, or even indulging their submissive side because they disagree with the commonly held view that to be submissive is to be less than, to be open to being humiliated/degraded or even to mean that if you’re submissive you’re meant to be submissive to anyone who asserts themselves as dominant.
If you’ve only recently discovered/accepted/embraced your submissive tendencies and you are otherwise vanilla and unfamiliar with the BDSM/kink scene then many of the “assumptions” made about what it means to be submissive can range from simply confusing to downright off-putting if you’re still unsure about what it means and how you feel.
I’ve seen comments that subs are “worthless” or “beneath” dominants, and there is regular insinuation or open talk of humiliation and degradation which personally I find very unpalatable. I do appreciate that being submissive encompasses a broad range of possibilities in terms of how the individual’s submission is expressed but my concern is that the more extreme elements appear to dominate and I worry that this may be alienating/pushing away many submissives who don’t identify with these.
Being submissive doesn’t necessarily make you submissive in general. Many of my boys choose and/or feel submissive only to me. Feeling unexpectedly submissive toward someone when you don’t identify as submissive (and/or typically identify as an alpha personality) can be confusing. Especially when you research and see so many references to humiliation and degradation. What if you feel submissive but don’t want to be humiliated? Does that mean you’re not submissive? Then why do you feel submissive?
Whilst some Dom/mes can use humiliation as a tool as part of submission (consensually, one would hope), I don’t see it as an inherent part of submission. At its essence, submission is just that – a desire to submit. Yes there are a lot of add-ons which are dependent upon the individuals personal kinks, but submission doesn’t have to be complex. It often is for a variety of reasons, but it doesn’t have to be.
For my part, I refuse to humiliate those who choose to be submissive to me. I do not see them as beneath me or “less than” in any way, shape or form. My own personal take is that submission is a gift which should be offered to someone who you trust and respect, and who in turn respects you. The recipient of the gift of submission/surrender should appreciate its value and treasure it appropriately. Genuinely offered submission is precious and should be treated as such.
A Dominant has a responsibility to their subs. Trust and communication on both sides are vital ingredients to a healthy dynamic. Again, I appreciate that some Dom/mes like to dictate their subs lives, make all their decisions for them, etc, but I question how healthy this dynamic is. Just because I am in control doesn’t (and shouldn’t) mean that I have to constantly exert that control. Surely if the control needs to be constantly enforced then the foundations weren’t very strong to begin with? Surely far better to encourage a submissive to show their respect to their Dominant by being the best possible version of themselves that they can be. By using their initiative to better themselves and finding ways to please their Dominant. This doesn’t exclude the Dominant party from taking complete control on occasion, but operating in this way those occasions become mutually pleasurable ways to reinforce the dynamic at appropriate intervals rather than constantly working to prop it up. I know I would find a sub who is confident in their submission and comfortable taking initiative far more valuable than one who constantly seeks attention and direction. The D/s dynamic should be pleasurable, enriching and valuable to both parties – not emotionally painful (I do appreciate some seek out physical pain for various reasons) and/or exploitative.
I think it’s also important to have a “safe space” for those new to/exploring submission. One where they can feel comfortable coming to terms with what submission means to them. Yes, eventually their submissive needs may evolve to encompass more elements/may become more “hardcore”, but more should be done to engage those new to submission with more reassurance and awareness of options available. Submission isn’t a “one size fits all” deal. It’s okay to dip your toe in the water and explore without engaging in humiliation. Humiliation isn’t a core aspect of submission and if I could shout that from the rooftops, then believe me I would!
Submission is a personal journey. Take your time and recognise your submission for the gift it is. Save it for someone special who deserves it, respects your gift and will take care of you.