March/April 2002

Picture Hereby Miss Ayme
Crossing The Line…

I find myself in an interesting situation these days. Having recently spent a couple years developing my Domme Role, I now sit down to write this column in my new role as slave to a Mistress local to me here in California. I got to experience a taste of the Lifestyle from the other side, but now have returned to viewing things from the submissive perspective.

Many years ago, when I first began delving into the reasons why I liked BDSM, it seemed a reasonable extension of my transsexuality. I figured if I could be honest about my gender identity, then I could just as well be honest about what turned me on.

At the time, I was very much focused on affirming my femininity. I was naturally attracted to the submissive or bottom side of things (and have since learned the differences between the two). And having all that attention furnished me by Dominants was very appealing, very seductive. Many transsexuals I know who have interests in the Lifestyle are almost exclusively submissive. Very rarely will you encounter a Dominant-identified one. I also learned that a dominant male-to-female transsexual, particularly one who doesn't look half-bad in black leather, can be extremely popular and sought-after. Heady stuff for even the most grounded of souls, let alone those of us who struggle daily with the hormonal and emotional swings between yin and yang.

So it's a little weird - switching back like this. Wasn't really sure if my forays into Top Space were going to lead me anywhere in particular. It felt healthy allowing my "residual male programming" to express itself in that fashion. It's just that, dammit, I learned that I liked being in charge! And it's hard for me to give that up now. Surrendering all control and decision-making takes a real, conscious effort and I struggle with it - but letting go is intensely liberating.

I've mentioned in this column before how I believe that being a Dominant is far and above a more difficult and demanding role. And I still think that way. It's a lot of hard work. But I'm not giving it up because I'm afraid to work hard. It's because, while I enjoyed being in control, sometimes having a submissive perform a service for me, I found myself becoming cynical and hard, demanding and impatient. My heart just wasn't in it. I was discouraged at the overwhelming number of fawning males who passed themselves off as submissive, knowing their desire to serve was motivated only by their horniness. The resulting bitterness began to cause subtle shifts in my personality, which I noticed and didn't like. Ultimately, being a Domme or a Top was unfulfilling for me. It was fun most of the time, but it didn't really float my boat.

Assertive behavior isn't a welcome quality in a slave, so I've had to go back and relearn some fundamentals. Like asking permission instead of declaring my intentions. Like being careful what I wish for because I just might get it. Like seeing to my Mistress' needs first before my own. Like really listening to what I say and how I say it, for sometimes I think and do things like a man (when the opposite objective is still, after more than ten years, foremost in my mind). I struggle daily with the tug of war between the male and female inside. My Mistress enjoys the contrasts, and while that's all well and good, it does drive me crazy sometimes.

When you're used to living an independent life, answering to no one but yourself, it's very difficult to enter into a state of dependency upon your Owner. I got so conditioned to taking care of myself and facing the consequences of my actions, that it became second nature. When this behavior manifests itself during the course of my interactions with my Mistress, I'm lucky in that she will be benevolent in the application of her correction without shredding my ass.

For there are many times when, if our roles were reversed, I wouldn't hesitate to give a slave like me a good whupping. I can be such an impertinent, insensitive, inconsiderate and obstinate cuss at times. And those are the moments when the first 30 years of my life growing up as a man really manifest themselves and get in the way of where we both want me to be. A lot of old conditioning and learned behavior emerges, often when I'm least aware of it. And the differences between responding as a woman and reacting like a man become glaring inadequacies. Men get angry, women get hysterical. Men are aggressive, women are pushy. Men speak their piece once, women want to repeat it over and over again. Men are from Mars, Women from Venus…yeah yeah yeah.

What's interesting to me is that when identifying as submissive, I thought that my potential Dominant would be a man. After all, it's natural for a transsexual woman to want to re-enforce her femininity by assuming that role in what, to her mind at least, is a male/female relationship - granted, with a twist. Males are generally considered the stronger of the species, particularly physically. So it was understandable that I sought Dominance from one who was bigger, stronger, more masculine than I. And while I gave serious consideration to a female Dominant, the general consensus among my friends was that I wouldn't be satisfied with a Domme. There wasn't a woman on the planet strong enough to subdue me. We all thought that what I needed was a powerful, male Dominant - one who could (if you'll pardon the expression) "manhandle" me, and subjugate my feisty, independent nature.

So it was a huge surprise to meet and click with a woman who eventually ended up being my Owner in a 24/7 D/s relationship. And I couldn't be more pleased. If we had met, say five years ago, she ordinarily wouldn't have been a woman I'd be attracted to. But I've learned since then not to judge a book by its cover. In spending some time with her, I fell in love with her mind, and who she is inside. And being twelve years my senior (in conjunction with the type of work she does), I have an opportunity to learn much from her.

My Mistress is everything I've wanted in a Dominant - she's kind and compassionate, sensitive and knowledgeable. And she knows how to get me to face my fears in a progressive and proactive way. She values my honesty and trust above all else. And that's probably the most difficult thing for me to deal with - coming clean, true confessions, swallowing crow. "Use your words," she'll say. God it's hard sometimes. But she cherishes the diverse, complicated and exotic creature that I am today, and tells me so. And she reaffirms her delight in receiving the gifts I give her with love and tenderness. She makes me feel loved and wanted and valued.

And it dawns on me that, had it not been for meeting her, I'd still be out there wistfully searching for these qualities in a man. And continuing to be disappointed. As a woman, she sets the standard by which I've been valiantly trying to live up to. She understands the conflicting emotions I undergo and is willing to help me achieve my goals. Now that I've seen the light she shines for me as I explore the dark side, I am challenged at every turn. And I feel profound satisfaction at taking yet another leap of faith across a line drawn in the sands of my soul.