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.


M:e said...

Wonderful posting. Coming here is often like looking in a mirror.....and having reflected back at me many of my own experiences and emotions of the amazing journey M and I share with each other.

love and hugs xxx

Louise said...

It definitely is a complicated topic to comment on, Alice; it does depend on the definition one gives to dominance and submission, and on love as well, and it's obvious there are LOTS of definitions. I agree with your concern about online relationships, because the impact can be so huge; on the other hand all kind of real D/s relationships can concern me as well. The only true guideline I've seen is unconditional love; definitions about love may vary, unconditional is quite clear. I'm so glad for you you've found that in your relationship with J!
Love, Louise

Tapestry said...

I do agree, a person is either dominant or submissive (or neither) and that is not about love. I suspect much of our need to dominate or need to submit is formed in our younger years through our family interactions. But our need or desire to love and be loved is a basic human trait and not dependent upon love.
Frankly, I think you said it much better, but I did want you to know I agreed, and that I appreciated reading your post.
I'm glad M:e helped me find your blog!


Alice said...

Thank you for your lovely comments and also your link. I am glad you have found a kinship here.

Every experience is so individual. Each person has different needs and different expressions of those needs. I think the bottom line is to evaluate each experience honestly. Problems occur when assumtions are made, the communication of feelings, expectations and needs is important for both Doms and subs (and actually anyone in any relationship).

Welcome to the blog. I am not sure what develops an affinity for submission or domination, I know for myself, it was there before I even had a name for it. I agree that most people do have a need to love and be loved. Sometimes that need is so strong that it blinds us to reality and contributes to confusion about our emotions. That happens in all relationship, not just D/s. What I think does happen in D/s is that the power exchange is the only thing developed and the rest of the relationship is ignored. Eventually, that can cause it to become so imbalanced, it topples over.


Greenwoman said...

Alice, beautiful written and you certainly had some lovely points about making a relationship real time.

You always write so beautifully and with such love and respect for everyone.

I'm very blessed to know you. *smiles*

anni said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. I feel I have somehow failed my partner. I struggle to understand this world.

Alice said...

I was glad to see your posts on your blog back up and to have you posting again. Any relationship (D/s or other)is never contingent on only one person. Both partners bear responsibility for successes and failures.

For me, finding the right person eased my struggle and gave me understanding and acceptance. I hope that you can find the same.

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