Sunday, January 25, 2009

Love, Trust and Submission

Greenwoman recently wrote a post on this topic.

Do you think that subs confuse submission with love? Is it possible to need to submit because love is there? Is it possible to love someone because they submit?

Do you think Doms confuse Dominance with love? Is it possible to need to be dominant because love is there? Is it possible to love someone because you control them?

From The Thinking Dominant.

Her thoughts on this were excellent, if you haven't read her post, you should go and do that now. I went back several times and started to comment, but I decided that my feelings on this, and the length and personal nature of what I had to say, warranted writing a post of my own. I also found myself waffling on my own answer, I think that a lot depends on the definition that you give to dominance and submission. When I first began to explore all of this, I thought that my giving in to someone was the same as submitting. I didn't see much difference between bottoming and submission. I didn't see love as a necessary component at all. As long as trust and communication were there, it was all good and doable. That was before I entered into a true power exchange.

Looking back, it was a chicken or the egg situation. The more I trusted J and the more I communicated with Him, the more intimacy we shared. I am not really even sure when I began loving Him, one day, I just knew I did. Whether my love enabled me to submit more deeply, or the intimacy created by my submission allowed me to love Him, I'm not sure. It all just evolved. It continues to evolve. Each day, I love Him more. Each day, I strive to surrender to Him more. I do remember worrying. I was afraid that my love might not be returned. I was afraid that it would be perceived as being needy or demanding. I had worked very hard at keeping certain boundaries in place and loving Him was crossing the line (in my mind). I was wrong. I was using my past relationships and experiences as the precedent, as my guideline. In my past, any love I received was bound by conditions and stipulations. It was fraught with expectations and dependent on the situation. I remember being told; "If you do not fill in the blank, I will not love you anymore." Things are very different with J, I am loved and I know I am loved. I do not have to be perfect, I only have to be me.

I know that all of what I have written above, does not answer the questions at hand. It does give my perspective, where I am coming from.

To answer the questions, I think that we have to remember that D/s relationships are still relationships. The power exchange can complicate things, but underneath it all, it is a connection between two people. Yes, I think that subs can confuse submission with love. Just as some women can confuse being sexually intimate with love, submitting is an act of intimacy, it can be confusing. Intimacy and love are different, you can be intimate without being in love. I am not so sure that you can be in love without sharing some form of intimacy. Intimacy is a deeply personal connection, it is not the same as sex or love, but I think that it greatly improves both of them.

I do not think that love creates a need to submit. I think that the propensity for submission is either there or it isn't. It is not something love can create. I will concede that someone might need to be in love to be able to submit, but I think that the inclination must already be present. Love and submission are two different things and are not necessarily tied into each other. I don't believe it is possible to love someone just because they submit. I think that there must be more of a basis for love to be sustained. Submission can be a part of that, but it cannot be the whole.

I don't really feel qualified to answer the questions from the Dominant's perspective. Though I do think that the same principles apply. Dominance and control are not enough to sustain love. If that is the only reason you love someone, then it is probably not love.

Love has many facets, it encompasses a wide range of actions and emotions. I cannot speak for men, but for women, I think it can be easy to confuse other feelings with love. I may draw a lot of fire or criticism for what I am about to say, but it always concerns me when I read of submissive women pledging their love and surrender to someone they have never met in person. Especially, when their online interaction has only been going on for a few months. Our imaginations and our minds can be powerful. Our fantasies can seem very real, but I can tell you from experience, that fantasy and reality are very different. Submitting or being spanked or whipped can be completely different when experienced in person.

In my own experiences, reality, with J, has been wonderful, more intense, more intimate, but that may not always be the case. I have been in other relationships where reality simply failed the test. What had existed in my mind, what I had fantasized about, did not occur. Maybe the trust was not there, maybe there wasn't enough communication, maybe my submission was lacking, whatever the reason, the experience did not live up to my fantasies. With J, my experiences have always surpassed the fantasies. He has freed me, He releases me, I continually want to give Him more. He pushes me, He has taken me past all of my limits, He stretches my submission, He demands answers to hard questions. Yet, He is gentle with my psyche, I know I am safe and cared for. His dominance offers me the strength and the security that I need.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Delurking on my own blog

I am still around and I am well. I have been reading all of the other blogs that I read, but I haven't been commenting much nor have I been posting here. I am not sure why, other than my mind has been a swirl of thoughts and I can't get them to stop swirling long enough to put them down in a coherent manner. Perhaps it is the winter cold, or my mental forays into my past and thinking about how that ties into my present. Maybe it is just my post-holiday tiredness. Although I have thought about many topics, my mind wanders off before I can make a point or draw a conclusion. I have been organized and ordered enough to go to work, then come home to cook and clean, take care of doggies and occasionally grandchildren. There just hasn't been much leftover when it comes to writing, as Austin Powers would say, "I've lost my mojo, baby." So, in an attempt to get back in the groove (so to speak), I am going to write about my beginnings with J.

In the spring of 2007, I caved in to the pressure of some of my friends and co-workers and I put up a page on a social networking site (Yes, it was My Space). I wasn't into the whole adding friends and leaving comments sort of thing, but I did start blogging there. Most of what I wrote had a political slant with a little social commentary mixed in. Everything I wrote had a chip on my shoulder kind of air to it, but in spite of that, I began getting messages from other people. Given the statistical odds, about half of those people were men. And given the nature of that site, more than half of those men were looking for women.

At that point in my life, I had been single, dateless and celibate for a long time. There was a reason for that, my past relationships (especially my last marriage) had left me not only with a bad taste in my mouth, but a damaged psyche as well. It made me fiercely independent, cynical and solitary. As much as the men I heard from did not interest me, I realized that maybe meeting someone, for a casual type of relationship, did interest me. That summer, I put a profile on a (vanilla) dating site. On my profile, I confirmed that I was not looking for a particularly serious relationship, that I was very independent and I also included a minuscule reference to possible kinkiness. Again, I was not very intrigued by the men that messaged me.

It was in browsing through profiles that I came across J. His profile was brief, but well-written. It reflected similar (vanilla) interests and a location that was not too close (though not too far). I sent Him a short message expressing interest and requesting a little more information. His reply is what captured me (literally). He responded specifically to things I had written in my profile. He was clearly intelligent, funny, disarmingly honest and He brought up His interest in D/s and spanking. Though I was a bit surprised (and taken aback) by his candidness, I was also very intrigued and drawn to Him. We began corresponding online and talking on the phone, within a couple of exchanges I felt very submissive towards Him.

I had never encountered a man like Him. He was naturally dominant (whatever that is) and He seemed to have known me my entire life. It was as if He could read my mind, He just knew me. I never questioned my ability to trust Him, nor His ability to lead me. I felt cared for, safe and submissive. In less than two months, we met. Being with Him in person, only confirmed everything I had been feeling. That was a year and a half ago. In that time, I have only become more enamoured with Him, more trusting, more cared for, and very much in love. I have told Him things I have never told anyone. Things that I thought made me too needy, too high maintenance, too damaged. Nothing fazed Him, not my insecurities, my confessions, nor my past. He has exorcised my demons, He has healed me, He has made me His. Even the distance (that was originally my safety net), has not adversely affected us. I feel close to Him always, even when we are apart. He has become part of me, His presence is inside of me.

He has freed me, so He can possess me. He has healed me, so He can see me shed tears. He has strengthened me, so I can surrender to Him. The casual relationship that I was seeking has snared my soul. Surely, we have shared past lives, for He is my twin flame. For someone who has never believed in soulmates, I have had to rethink and temper my whole philosophy. In J, I have found what I never even knew existed.

Ain't No Other Man ~ Christina Aguilera

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Illuminating the darkness

I have been absent here for awhile, but I have been writing elsewhere. The new year brought a new focus, or maybe it was actually an old one. Despite the feelings of acceptance and the healing that J has fostered in me, I still had many demons lurking in the shadows. If you are told enough times, that you are unworthy and shameful, that sentiment latches onto you. No matter how deeply buried, it is a mantra that surfaces from time to time and echoes the words back to you. I have been writing confessions of dark thoughts, and the fears and shame that accompany them.

J has been both my healer and my dragon slayer. He has stood by my side and encouraged me, as I journeyed back to those strongholds. The places where I had battled, and lost, in my past. Those corners of my mind, that I was unable to face on my own, have been illuminated and swept clean, with Him at my side. He has silenced the accusations and replaced them with affirmations. He has slain the dragon, He led me through fiery places and has brought me back to where I belong, with Him.

David Usher - Black Black Heart