I’ve always had a bit of an issue w/ the idea of labeling myself “a submissive.” Not that it bothers me… I just don’t find it entirely inaccurate. Not that I’m a switch either. I’m certainly no dominant, and I’m most definitely not a sadist! I don’t want to hurt anybody, I don’t want to boss anybody around, and (as my Owner recently, again pointed out) I don’t generally do well when the planning is left up to me – tell me what you want done, and I’ll make it happen… but leave it up to me to choose the plan, and I tend to bog-down in indecision. So, as far as the label goes, “submissive” works okay.
And I am certainly a masochist and a bottom. I like pain. I also like being made helpless – having control taken from me. I get hard every time I hear the “click” of the lock as my Owner locks me into my collar and I know that I am absolutely HERS.
So that would make me “a sub,” right? But here’s my thing… When I play w/ a Top, and when it’s a good scene, often I will find myself in a submissive headspace… during that scene. Now, this doesn’t always happen. There are some skilled Tops whom I enjoy playing w/ that I never wind-up feeling submissive towards – our play is a purely S/m exchange w/o any D/s aspect at all. Sometimes I even like interrogation play… so I can be very un-submissive, resist, talk back, and say, “fuck you.” (I do not do interrogation play w/ my Owner – that just would sooooo not work.) But many times I will play w/ somebody and they will put me into a yummy, warm submissive headspace… during that scene. Then the scene ends, I snuggle and eat a cookie (doggie treat!), come back to earth… and the subspace gradually fades.
If you talk about me being “a submissive” (as a noun), it sounds like I’m just submissive in general – to just anybody… or to any Dom. But… that hardly seems accurate, at least in my case. There are many Doms that I respect but w/o feeling submissive towards. Of course there are some Doms I don’t even respect, and a few that I wouldn’t cross the street to piss on if they were on fire…
I think for me it makes more sense to talk about the “act of submission” as a verb. Instead of “I’m a sub,” try “I submit.” Or, better, “I submit to ___.” This may be a temporary headspace (like when I play in a really yummy, hot scene and I get all weak in the knees and just want to collapse at your feet and lick your boots)… or it may be an ongoing D/s relationship like I have w/ my Owner and my Alpha Pup. But those are the only two people I am submissive towards in a generalized, in-and-out-of-scene, ongoing way – not towards just any Dom who walks up.
And isn’t one of the classic beginning-Dominant mistakes to assume that you can issue orders to just any sub/bottom/boy around? “Well, you’re a submissive, right!?”
“Dude, I submit… but not to you!”
“Well, you’re not a true submissive then.”
“Well, you are a true jackass.”
(Can you tell I’ve had this conversation before?)
And there’s the corresponding mistake for beginning-submissives: thinking you have to obey every self-identified “Master.” So I think maybe the label is misleading… like, if you identify as “submissive” then you must be submissive toward whoever in some generalized way. To my thinking (and I know my Owner agrees, b/c she’s told me so) my submission is worth more b/c I don’t submit to just anybody. Ma’am used to frequently tell me, “Walk w/ your head held proud; I don’t want to see you lower your eyes to anybody but me.” I guess now that’s: “…me and Loki.” :)