Being independent and submissive
I have struggled to resolve my independence with my submission at points and I know that I am not alone in this. Being an independent person and a submissive can cause a certain amount of confusion, certainly initially. So much of what we read of the lifestyle exists in a fictitious world where the sub (usually female) has her complete focus on her Dom (usually male). This is not the case for me. I have lived alone, been a single parent, and work full time in a job where I am responsible for making decisions about the welfare of others. I was a always going to be an independent submissive.
I have wondered at times if it is possible to do both, but in actual fact, it is pretty simple. We have a relationship which is balanced and based on give and take. It isn’t always me giving and him taking, as some might assume. There are things which form part of our power exchange, my body, for example, which means that he is able to use it as he wishes. People will shirk from this when it is discussed, but often it is about my pleasure as much as it is about his.We both enjoy meeting the needs of the other, so sexy play for us, as for so many other couples, is based around a shared experience of giving and taking.
Will I ever be a proper submissive?
It was the fictional view of submission which led me to have doubts about myself in the early days. I knew that my lifestyle and commitments meant that I wasn’t as submissive as a proper submissive, but I thought that I was submissive enough for a newbie and that it would slowly come. Well it didn’t really. I have always pushed back. I have always found it hard to give up my own free will. I am a thinker, a planner and an organiser. I like to feel that things are under control, not necessarily under my control, but I struggle to trust that someone else has thought of everything.
This has caused some tension at times. I asked HL once what his ideal view of my submission was and he described someone who was much more compliant and unquestioning than me. We worked through this and actually came to the conclusion that many of the personality traits that attracted him to me were ones that would be suppressed under that idea view: passion, productivity, ridiculously high expectations and a need to be all things to all people! While these can be challenging for him, he actually likes the fire that my independence brings, even if there is push back at times.
I am not a submissive, I am his submissive
I came to the conclusion that it was not about being a submissive but about being his submissive. It doesn’t matter what works for the rest of the world and what other Doms might term as the ideal submissive, it only matters that my submission fits with his style of dominance. Once we came to see this, things became easier and I no longer felt I was failing because I couldn’t fit myself into a mould which wouldn’t work. I felt more positive and that allowed me to relax much better into my submission, making it work in a way which suited us.
I am an independent thinker. My thoughts are not submissive. I used to think in time they would change but I am doubtful now that they will. I don’t actually like being told what to do. Sometimes it is ok but a lot of the time it sort of grates with me. I feel like saying no, or I get a question pop into my head which seems to challenge the instruction or request. Sometimes I voice the questions which can be off-putting for HL. Really they are a sign that I am feeling anxious and need some reassurance, but he can feel undermined and not as dominant so it can have a squishing effect.
Push-back is a sign of my submission
I have worked on this. I try not to ask the questions now but he can still see them in my eyes or across my face. Rather that seeing this as unsubmissive, actually I feel the fact that I am trying is a sign of my submission. It is a sign of my desire to fight my nature and submit to his will, rather than do my own thing. And that is what I desire. I need reassurance sometimes, but ultimately to follow his lead is what I want. Although I am naturally sexually submissive, there are other parts of my personality which are very independent and that means that my form of submission is more of a conscious giving up or giving in, than a natural compliance.
We don’t tend to use a safeword really but if he were to relate this sort of verbal push-back to being equivalent to the sharp intake of breath I might allow to escape during impact play and check in with me, he would discover that I was somewhere in between green (I want to continue), and yellow (please go slowly and reassure me). At the end of the day, submission is a choice. I choose to follow, I choose to submit, I choose to give my body and to bend my will. And I choose this as an independent free thinking somewhat feminist woman. I choose this as an independent submissive.
There is a difference between being independent and being selfish
Rather than seeing my independence as a barrier to submission, I have focussed on making sure if is not something that encourages selfishness. I learnt quickly as a mother to put my children’s needs before my own. Although that was unconditional and it is something that I do despite what they give back, applying to same thing to my first husband didn’t work. There were limits to what I could keep giving when my own needs weren’t met. Dominance and submission means that I can do this and give somewhat selflessly to HL because I know that in return he will take care of my needs.
Because I trust him to do this within out power exchange, I have been able to retain my own independence in many ways. He makes space for those parts of my nature and those parts of my life, in the same way that I make space for his. In my experience no one person is one thing all of the time, we are all made up of different parts which we tap into and explore at different times for different reasons. In this way, I can be an independent submissive and can celebrate and enjoy what both of those things give me and what both parts bring to our relationship.