I had a nickel for every submissive who hit on me, I could open
my own dungeon. The real bummer about the whole thing is that
I'm submissive myself. Oh sure, I top now and then, but when
it comes down to it, my D/s orientation is submissive. So, you
ask, why are submissives glomming onto me like those alien pancakes
glommed onto the officers of the Star Trek Enterprise? The answer
is easy: it's my dominant personae. It starts with being a plus-sized
woman, one who wears sexy and dramatic clothing. It continues
with my articulate mind, my direct way of speaking, and my forwardness
in asking for what I want.
that person, the public person, is not my sexual orientation.
I say orientation in the sense that I've committed myself to
the lifestyle and no longer date 'nilla guys. When it comes
to the bedroom, I love to serve. I love to be taken. I love
to suffer. I love it all.
why's it so hard to believe?
all seen media images of the powerful male executive who sees
a mistress on the side. We understand that men like this need
some time to let go, to not be in charge. Yet we never see media
images of the powerful female executive slipping out for a quick
bondage session, although the housewife donning a black latex
catsuit to whip up a few afternoon callers is common enough.
These are roles with which we're all familiar, the successful
male executive and the housewife. These are roles which don't
make any waves in our patriarchal culture, at least in public
where it counts. You'd think in a culture which teaches women
to give up their own needs for others, the obvious rebellion
would be to go Dominant, but the obvious is not always the reality.
dynamics of who we are in the bedroom, broadly speaking, versus
who we are as people are circuitous. Just as the mind, soul,
and body are all intertwined, so is our sexual orientation intertwined
with who we are as a whole person. Yet it does not automatically
follow they should present the same. If that were so, then we
would all be exactly as we appear. We would no longer have our
humanity of equal parts art and soul. Why should a person submissive
in the bedroom be assumed to also submit in life? There's no
obvious rationale to this statement, yet it's so commonly asked
of me I have to believe that people cannot understand the difference
between sexual orientation and personhood. The corollary is
that dominants, usually men, often assume I will submit to them
simply because they are a master, even though they are not my
master. Is this arrogance or just inexperience? Is it simpleminded
and simpleheaded, or simply ignorant?
the broader level for both men and women, there is often a confusion
between submission and passivity. Being submissive doesn't mean
you let people take advantage of you. In fact, having a strong
self means you have more to give a Dominant. If you are nothing,
if you are a doormat, there's no challenge or excitement in
dominating you. Being a doormat is not an act of submission,
but rather a state of helplessness which invites abuse.
am a submissive, which is a proactive choice of seeking to please
my partner. He, in an equally proactive way, gives me the control
and care I need. It's an equal exchange, so unlike the vanilla
world where women are often taken for granted. One of the wonderful
differences in the D/s community is that the submissive, female
or male, may well bring home the bacon as well as fry it up
in a pan, but because the exchange is a negotiated agreement,
her contributions are fully appreciated and taken into consideration.
This is not the assumption of the traditional family dynamic
where women are often working full-time and have to come home
to care for the home and children, with little help from their
speaking, both female and male dominants carry the trait of
dominance in their sexual orientation as well as in their lives.
While the image of the successful male executive who is submissive
may be a popular stereotype, I don't actually know any men like
this. In fact, my experience with submissive men is that they
tend to also be submissive in a broader sense. However I've
been told quite a few times that my experience in this is not
interesting dynamic arises with submissive women. About half
of us are like me, powerful energetic women who love to submit.
The other half, or so, are submissive in all areas of their
lives, quite often even passive.
does this gender difference mean? I'm guessing the traditions
of women's roles in our culture particularly affect those of
us who are submissive sexually. Many of us struggle with wanting
to express our submissive sides without losing the independence
for which our foremothers fought. We recognize that feminism
is threatened by women who claim their submissive sexual nature.
Of course we don't want to lose what feminism has given us:
freedom to vote, to work, and to make our own choices. Real
feminism is about freedom to choose, which includes choosing
our orientation. We must educate both our submissive sisters
and our vanilla brethren that being submissive does not necessarily
diminish our strength as women, individually or collectively.
It is only when we become passive that we are truly diminished.
the most superficial level I, too, am that executive woman.
I make decisions all day; I don't want to make them in the bedroom.
It's far more. One of the downsides of being a strong woman
is that people figure you don't need attention or nurturing,
but they could not be more wrong. In fact, because we receive
less, we actually need it more than most. Being submissive allows
me to accept the nurturing I need, that everyone needs.
of this nurturing is being the center of attention. This person,
this Dominant has spent time, money, and energy planning a scene
designed just for me. It is so focused on me that he may not
even orgasm, and is entirely understanding when I do the classic
obnoxious lover's move of rolling over and falling asleep after
the scene. On the surface, the classic scene is enacted by the
Dominant, but at the foundation it's about taking the submissive
into a different headspace. Hackneyed as the phrase has become,
it also comes down to the submissive being ultimately in control.
I give up my power within a certain sphere of influence, but
even then, even at the very last minute I can make it all stop
anytime by simply speaking my safeword.
a deeper level, serving is a spiritual act. Although I'm not
a Christian, I like the story about how Jesus washed his follower's
feet. In serving another, I put my self aside. My demanding,
selfish, childish self. The self who wants what I want when
I want it. For those few minutes of serving, I am lifted above
my mundane wants. When I am free to fully express this side
of myself, my submissive side, then I become even more of the
strong woman I am outside the bedroom, the strong woman who
revels both in her strength and in her submission.
Sadie is a BDSM columnist and edits SCENEsubmissions, a free
e-newsletter for the New England area and beyond. She is the
founder and leader (1999 - 2001) of Rose & Thorn, Vermont's
first BDSM group. Comments, compliments and complaints, as well
as requests for reprinting can be addressed to her at SensuousSadie@aol.com
or visit her website at www.sensuoussadie.com.
Sadie believes the universe is abundant, and that sharing information
freely is part of this abundance, so she allows reprints of
her writing in most venues. Copyright