January/February 2001
A View from the Top


by Master Douglas

Some people may indeed have a gift for submission. Like some have a gift for art or a gift for music, a few people have the natural ability and need to serve and please others.  But most submissives have to work at it, or be re-taught to their natural tendency. Being submissive is, for all accounts, un-American. Our school systems routinely attempt to teach every child to be dominant, a leader. So, like many of us work hard to be an artist or a piano player, many submissives work hard at being pleasing and serving.

I can imagine a gifted artist on a deserted island finding a way to make art from palm trees. Using the same imagery, I can also see a natural submissive finding an ant colony to serve, but it is not a pretty thought.

Now, assuming a person has the gift of submission, or a facsimile thereof, can it be given? A gift, unless you happen to be a Congressional lobbyist, is something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation. Lets take a look at those two conditions of a gifting.

Assuming a gift is bestowed voluntarily, it implies it happens without guidance or coercion. If that is the case, while a warm and fuzzy thought, it does seem to take the Master/Dominant out of the picture. Most Dominants I know are not lazy people. For their own self-image it is important to believe they have a guiding hand, no matter how active or quiet, in the development of the submissive nature. To voluntarily bestow what a Dominant enjoys working for seems counter to the D/s relationship.

Part two of the definition says a gift is without compensation.  I am aware of a very few submissives who are into abject humiliation and sensory depravation.  Most submissives want some attention in return for their submission. They require a degree of grooming, some listening, an occasional smile, an affirming hair pull. Almost without exception the submissive needs feedback. Without some attention the "gift", mysteriously, will be taken away.

If the D/s relationship cannot be defined as a gift of the submissive to their Dominant, then how can it be described? I like to call it a lease agreement.

While I hold and pay the lease, the property is mine to use as I wish within the guidelines established in the lease agreement. The lease may well be for a lifetime, but enforceable only as long the payments are met.

How much are the payments? Determining that is part of the enjoyment. Some days it costs but a smile, other days the Dominant needs to listen to concerns for hours. But one way or another the price must be paid.

Submission is not a gift given. Submission is a commodity earned and paid for.