There are lots of misunderstandings about Dominance and submission. One of these is the idea that ownership is a negative thing. For a submissive this is not the case. Ownership and the sense of feeling owned or belonging to someone is a powerful and beautiful thing. It is not about worthlessness or inferiority but actually about quite the opposite. It is about being appreciated, adored, and held in the highest esteem. It is about having a value greater than and beyond all conceivable possessions.
I suppose this is the crux of it. People assume that in order to belong or be owned you have been depersonalised to the point you are comparable with material possessions. Conversely, in reality, you are being acknowledged as having a value which is above anything material that can be bought or acquired. Really this can only be done if you set aside the usual conventions for measuring value and worth.
What does it mean to be owned?
Being owned is about giving yourself as a submissive to a Dominant partner. It is about an agreement to engage in a power exchange where the other person makes decisions and directs aspects of the relationship. It is possible because of the deep sense of trust that each partner has in the other. It requires open and honest communication about what the needs of each are. It works because each party has a deep respect for each other and a desire to put their partner’s interests ahead of their own, within the context of the agreement.
When this happens, there is a freedom from the requirement to make sure that your own needs are met. It allows a vulnerability which arises from the openness you share. There is a deep intimacy and connection due to the exploration that arises together. It allows you to put yourself in someone else’s hands and to switch off the thinking and feeling parts so that you become more of a physical entity. You become more responsive, more reactive and more pliable.
Dependence and independence
Being in a power exchange dynamic, like the one I have described above, does call for a change in the levels of dependence, and therefore independence, that you have. Often it is assumes that a submissive is completely dependent on their Dominant partner, but this is really not the case. As individuals, submissives are often people who are very independent in other areas of their lives. It might seem odd then that they would choose to rely much more than they need to on someone else, but this is part of the exchange of power.
Allowing yourself to rely on another person to meet your needs creates space to put aside your own agenda and stop battling to manage everything. This is possibly not an issue for some but trying to meet my own relentless standards by always being so independent takes its toll on me. I can do it, and I have proved I can do it, but I am better when I don’t have to. Allowing myself to become a bit dependent is a positive step. It allows me a calm that I don’t feel in the same way when I am battling to manage everything myself.
Being completely dependent on someone or completely independent is also a myth. We all need others at times and I don’t think it is realistic for anyone to really be completely self-sufficient on every level. We all can benefit from sharing the load and working together on a project. Essentially that is what happens in a D/s relationship. You find a balance of give and take, of independence and dependence that works for you both so that together there is equilibrium. This feels like a positive move for me.
Delving deeper into ownership – being a belonging
I know that for some, being able to serve is a good way to explore this feeling of ownership, belonging, or of existing for the purposes of pleasing another. For me it also plays into objectification, or rather, that can be the vehicle to allow me to slip into ownership on a deeper level. By shedding some of my own sense of self, I am freer to explore myself as a physical thing, rather than something with thoughts and feelings of its own. I become a sort of extension of HL – his plaything I suppose – and my behaviour and responses become much more determined by his actions.
Again, this is something that is very freeing, as well as building an incredible connection. As an over-thinker, over-planner and over-achiever, it can be challenging to switch off ,but being owned is that switch. I don’t need to think, I just need to do and be what is required of me. I am made vulnerable, exposed at my core and that allows me to become much more needy and dependent. While this would frighten many, it actually meets and feeds a need in me. It feels good to be small and to be taken care of, at the same time as feeling like the most important thing in the world.
Sharing our possessions as a mark of value
I really didn’t understand this until it happened and it wasn’t something that I had ever looked for. Like many things it happened in an organic way, slowly over time, rather than being something that we had set our sights on. HL always had fantasies of sharing me in small ways and I suppose the pictures were part of that. I know that for some it works differently and they see value in keeping something for themselves, but for others it comes through sharing and enjoying the reaction of others.
I suppose it is like many things in life that if we have something we think it great, we want others to appreciate it to. I think this is how the idea of HL sharing me really developed and while I was scared of the idea at the start, I came to see it as something far less threatening than I had initially thought. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care enough about me because for him it works in the opposite way. This is something that we haven’t yet full explored but I do know that when I feel owned by him, the feeling is so overwhelming that other things become possible which wouldn’t be otherwise.
Ownership and belonging
At the end of the day, what we have created between us feels like home. We belong to one another and each is, to an extent, an extension of the other. We move together and grow together and this is only possible because we are interdependent. The balance of power plays a big part of HL’s ownership of me and my belonging to him feeds very much into this. I can be his toy, his plaything, his submissive, his wife, his soulmate, his life, but only because he wants me and I give myself to him.
It is unconditional. Although there are rules and protocols and structures, it is something that we enter into and commit to completely, and at the end of the day it is about us and what we give and take from one another. It is more than the individual parts which make it up and while I may belong to him as a body and as a heart and as a mind, in reality we belong to each other. I love being his. I love being owned by him and belonging to him and it gives me a sense of my own self worth rather that detracting from that.