Those were the words that knocked my world upside down.
That statement, made in a moment of frustration, self-doubt, and maybe even emotional exhaustion left me feeling as if I perhaps, had stuffed my submission in a closet for a while.
I've had some issues with the expression of my submission off and on with Sir. I haven't made any secret of that fact. At the beginning of our relationship, I wasn't sure if another D/s relationship was something that I'd even really wanted to get into again. A few months ago, I'd learned that not only was it the kind of relationship I wanted, but that I would have to make that leap and give everything I had to it. Then there was some talk about some limits that I'd felt he kind of put out there with regards to our relationship which left me wondering if I'd made a mistake. I haven't made a mistake about him....I love him more today than I'd ever imagined I could love someone. No, the mistake I wondered about was if I'd fallen in love, only to do it with someone who had been hurt even more than I had been and that I didn't stand a chance in hell of ever being able to have him trust me enough to see that I wasn't made in the same mold.
I'd told him many times that I wanted a whole relationship. I wanted to share in the good and the bad things. Sometimes the hardest things are what make the strongest relationship. It's kind of like the more you share, the closer you become. And learning to get through the shit together just adds to the strands that hold you together. At least if they don't pull you apart first.
I'd wanted to know all of him. I told him that I didn't think that I could love someone that couldn't show me his own emotions. I think he understands mine better for being able to show his. But was I making a mistake asking him for those things? Would we be better off in our D/s relationship if he didn't? Maybe...but I don't think I'd want a relationship of any kind like that.
He's fed me small pieces of himself over the past months...but I've never felt like he'd done any of it of his own volition. I always felt like circumstances had forced him to reveal things to me that he wasn't comfortable revealing. And the latest piece to that is that the more vulnerable he feels, the harder I work to show him that he is...after all is said and done....just the man I love. Not the dominant, not the daddy, just the man. A caring, feeling, emotional and vulnerable man. And maybe that does come off too much like I'm less submissive and ready to say no to him. I don't think so...but it does make me think that we might be entering into a new place in our relationship. One which I didn't expect so soon.
So what's the problem?
A favorite quote comes to mind:
"Intimacy is based on shared vulnerability...nothing deepens intimacy like the experiences that we share when we feel flayed, with our skins off, scared and vulnerable, and our partner is there with us, willing to share in the scary stuff." The Ethical Slut by Dossie Eastman and Katherine Liszt
Its not that he's too vulnerable to be a dominant, or that when he's vulnerable I'm not submissive "enough". It's that we're learning something new for the both of us. I'm used to being vulnerable as a submissive. I'm used to sharing my emotions as a woman. But I think that for men, and dominant men in particular...being vulnerable scares them. And for women, and submissive women in particular...we just want those we love to be as happy sharing their vulnerability and emotions as we are. We sense their hesitation and vulnerability and we try our hardest to show them that they're loved, strong and secure with us. And that tips the balance just to the opposite side enough that maybe....submission doesn't look or feel the same then. I think that in helping our dominants through their own issues....we have to be stronger and more no-nonsensy, and that might come off looking like we're being less submissive. I don't think that's the reality...but perception doesn't always mirror what's real.
Intimacy in a relationship is scary. It brings everything together in a way that does leave each of us open to ridicule, uncertainty, and emotional abandonment, if not an actual physical one. Many women can't handle their partners' being anything less than strong, sure and always on top of their game. How can we feel safe and protected if our partner is unsure and vulnerable sometimes? And in a D/s relationship....that sort of thing is especially difficult considering the strength and bonds of trust that go into one.
Which reminds me of another favorite quote:
"There are two kinds of strengths: the strength to lead, and the strength to follow; the strength to control, and the strength yield. There are two kinds of power: the power to strip away another's soul bare, and the power to stand naked." - Yaldah Tovah
I think that this holds true not just for submissives....but for dominants as well. A dominant is no less dominant for his ability to stand naked.