Friday, October 29, 2010

Service and Submission

I believe both sides of the / serve the other, granted in very different ways.

That was a quote by Sir_Russel that I read on Fetlife the other day in this thread : What is Service?. It struck a chord with me.

I’m not a service submissive. I don’t fool myself into thinking this, and I don’t believe that anyone with whom I’ve ever had a relationship with would put service in the top 10 of things that they’d say about me. It’s ok. Different strokes.

I believe in service IN submission, not service AS submission. And by that I mean, that there’s things I do for Daddy that I do which may be viewed to outsiders as “service”, but to me, they’re things I do because he’s my Daddy. I know there’s people who believe differently than I do. I’m not saying one is better or more valid than the other; I’m saying that I know what works for me.

An invitation to a High D/s Protocol event got me thinking about service. At first, I was more than a little irritated with the tone of the invitation. Even though Daddy reminded me that like any event, the person holding it was going for a particular vibe, a particular theme. And that I shouldn’t be offended by it. Some events, like some forms of submission are just not my cup of tea.

The more I thought about that event, the more riled up I got. (and to tell the truth, some few threads I'd been reading on Fetlife may have contributed to my riling). I just couldn’t figure out why. Which just made things worse. Why was I having a pissing contest with myself about an event that wasn’t mandatory? Why was I so annoyed? Was I even annoyed about the event itself? I could just say no and be done with it. Daddy’s wish to attend a “Chateau night” notwithstanding. Daddy also said that I needed to think about it because it obviously unleashed something in my brain.

I consider this a collision of bad timing in receiving that email combined with reading some really ridiculous threads on Fetlife.

After really thinking what got on my nerves so much about it, I realized that I care how others see submission. I care about generalities being promulgated about it, I care that others have fantasy-filled heads about “what submission should look like”. I care because very often, the words I hear directed towards me are "you're too bratty", "you're not a submissive" or worse, that Daddy isn't "a dominant". I've had my fair share of people questioning our public play style. My submission is mine. It doesn't look like anyone else's and because of that, it matters to me that people understand that my cup of tea may be different from theirs. Not better. Just different.

And I care that there are people out there that might feel being a submissive is only about service to dominants. Sometimes not even the one that owns you. I care that between the books and the chatboards, submission often looks like neediness, emotional instability, or sadly, even, just plain sad. Too many times do I see people asking questions about whether or not their relationship should look like something else, or they’re having problems with a particular kind of submission (pain, service, poly, whatever) that doesn’t work for them. Why do submissives think that just because someone else does something else, that their submission must be the same way? It makes me angry to see those questions simply because to ask them, the person hasn’t realized that the only thing that matters is how they live their own submission. As Daddy says: “your body is mine, your self is yours”.

It’s possible that because I had a disastrous entry into the scene myself, the result is that I've spent a lot of energy talking to submissives coming into the scene to stress that they need to have a good head on their shoulders and understand that despite what Sir Lord God Domly Dom believes, they don't owe him a damned thing. Other than reciprocal courtesy. RECIPROCAL courtesy. Unless and until you've negotiated otherwise, a dominant person is exactly equal in power to a submissive one. No more, no less. And in my opinion, a dominant anyone should never define your submission. To use a phrase that Daddy hates: it is what it is. Define your submission, and then find someone who shares the same definition. Bearing in mind of course that changes also happen. Deal with it.

It makes me a little angry that so much of the “book submission” has snuck its way into how people view submission as a whole. I’m also a little angry with submissives who think that they have to BE like other submissives, that they’re in competition with each other for “submissive of the year” or who can’t or won’t be true to their own particular type of submission.

My grandmother told me to never try to be something I’m not. It’s hard enough trying to be something you are.

I submit to one and only one person- sometimes not even willingly. I do it from a place of love, understanding, trust, and because I like to see him smile. It’s not easy for me being submissive most of the time. I’ve developed some very selfish habits over the past several years of being responsible for myself. The difference is, for the most part, Daddy is either willing to overlook those things, or they’re not behaviors that he cares to amend. In other words, some of the things that I do, he enjoys me doing them. Trust me. If he didn’t like them, he’d tell me.

And I like to believe that one of the things he’s always found in me that he didn’t want to change was my overall personality. I’m a strong, sassy, independent, intelligent, audacious, sharp-witted woman and a freaking powerhouse of energy, anger, and aggression when I have to be. I don’t need to submit to him or anyone. I choose to submit to him, because it feels right. For me. And the fact that he finds it a little bit hot for such a woman to submit to him doesn't hurt. Male ego and all I suppose (wink).

Do I serve Daddy? Sure. Does he serve me? Absolutely. I view submission as a very selfish act. I’d like to think it could be altruistic, but in reality I’m selfish. I do things for him to make him smile, and so that he’ll be more inclined and happier to do things for me that will make me smile. We service each other. He provides for my needs (and usually plenty of my wants), and I provide for his. It works for us not because I am a service submissive, but because I’m HIS submissive.

It doesn’t change my idea about the party. I’m still not going. I’d be horrible at living the rules of any dominant I’m not in love with, even for a short fantasy-filled event. Besides, I wouldn’t dream of ruining the fantasy for anyone. I'm sure it will be a lovely event for those so inclined. And I'm sure Daddy would really like to go. So I'm really sorry that in this case, my definition doesn't quite match.

All I dream of is that when the fantasy is over, that the reality of submission is remembered. It’s not easy, it can’t be found in books or chatboards, and it really can’t be done unless you’re honest with yourself about how much and what kind of service you’re willing to provide, and how much you expect from the other side of the Slash.

Photo Courtesy of Digiyesica.


Spunquee said...

Very well said. The comparison among and between submissives is what generally drives me not to discuss my opinions in a public way. I love your sass! I think your Daddy is a wise man to let you be you, for without're not the girl he fell in love with. :)

Victoria said...

The question I'm left with is whether or not you look down upon submissive or dominant people that understand that being a submissive doesn't necessarily mean "book submission" but enjoy and want to live that way, whether for an evening or a lifetime.

Speaking only for myself, I have enjoyed the high-protocol "book submission" events I have been a part of. Does that mean I'm going to submit to every Joe Domly Dom? No. When I've gone singly and have served Joe Domly Dom, it has really been in service to myself. When I've gone with a partner, my service to third parties has really been to my partner and myself - fulfilling my partner's desire for me to serve the third party.

I'm true to myself. I've done it because I enjoy it, not because someone thinks I ought to be a certain way. I'm not trying to be the submissive that anyone expects me to be except the one that I want to be.

What I'm getting at is that I feel it's possible that some view their submission in line with "book submission" and that there's nothing wrong with that. What's wrong, for me, is when I force my expectations, definitions and norms onto others. I try not to put people into neat categories but rather let them define their own boxes.

Personally I'm just saddened that I have a prior commitment on the night of a similar (or the same?) event. I feel I would have enjoyed it.

silverdreams said...

I don't look down on any form of D/s. This blog is about MY submission. Everyone does it the way that they want to. As it should be. I know myself and service is not something that I enjoy. That others do, is great. But the post isn't about whether one kind is better than another. It's about recognizing the form of your own submission and to hell with what others think.

I don't look down on anyone. If Sleeping Beauty submission floats your boat, that's wonderful. Whether it's for a night or a lifetime. As long as you're doing it for your needs and not because it's "expected" from some sort of belief that there's some sort of hierarchy of subbies.

The problem comes in that far too many (mostly young girls) coming into the scene think that THIS is the "only" form of submission that "counts". Then they get lost and question their own relationship and lives simply because they can't BE Sleeping Beauty.

As I said, one kind of submission isn't any better, or any worse than any other. Some people like pain, others don't. Some like poly, others don't. And some like service. I don't.

For me? I have a little different take on things simply because I'm living my life in my own way. Some pieces work for others, some don't. But none are anything except MY opinion and my life.

I wouldn't have done well at such an event. Septimus and I don't have that sort of dynamic and my energies would be better spent on doing the things we like to do together.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this. It's helpful to me in my thinking about what I want in a partner. And it's good to know that there are people like you around, who I would be much more compatible with than the "true submissive" types.

I'm flabbergasted that someone would tell you that you're "doing it wrong" in your play with your partner, which is what I hear "you're not a submissive" or "you're too bratty" as doing. I can't express how rude that is. Appropriate responses that occur to me are "It's a good thing you don't like the same sort of relationship I do, because I would never be interested in you anyway", or "If you want to hold a party where submission like mine is prohibited, feel free; I won't go. This isn't such a party, so shut the fuck up!"

I think these responses are considerably more polite than the thing they are responding to.

MagicFingers said...

Wow, really powerful post. For someone just coming out of the kinky closet this provides much to think about in terms of submission and partners, expectations and agreements. Thank you for sharing.

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