Chess pieces - challenges to submission

The greatest challenges to my submission

What challenges your submission?

The next submissive reflection prompt is about challenges to my submission. There is not one clear answer to this one as there are a few different factors playing into it, but I think it is something really worthwhile to consider. One of the main things that seems to get in the way of couples achieving the D/s they want, is the continual work that goes into it. I always say that nothing this good is going to come without some effort but I think when we want something we expect it to be easier than it sometimes is. In my experience, knowing what the challenges are is helpful as you can try to put things in place to support them.

While I would say that the biggest challenge to our D/s is life getting in the way, the purpose of this prompt is to think about the challenges to my submission. Clearly this is linked to HL’s Dominance so we do reflect on our growth as a couple, but it is also important to focus on how things work as an individual. This is helpful because the three things, my submission, his Dominance, and our D/s are so interwoven that if something affects me, it also affects us, and vice versa. Knowing why my biggest struggles are means that I can address them and use this to support our D/s as a whole.

Managing my reactions and responses

Ultimately, I think that one of the biggest challenges to my submission is me, which I know sounds a little odd. I want to submit to HL, but I don’t always find it easy to do. The layers of protection I have wrapped around myself over the years are very tightly woven. They are about feeling control and so my default is to try to hold on to it. Although this sounds contradictory for someone who is in a power exchange dynamic based around submitting, it isn’t as strange as it seems.

I am open to relinquishing control in most areas, but I can only do this when I feel safe and secure. Usually this means knowing that there is a bigger plan that has been considered carefully. This is a pretty much how I operate independently. I consider the options carefully, make a decision, and put a plan into place. There are layers around this that means it becomes a bit of a fail-safe. I think about possible problems and their solutions and usually have a back-up option should I need one.

When our D/s is working well, we use our weekly discussions to create this feeling of safety and security. It lets me see that HL is thinking about the things that affect us and that he has a long term plan. I don’t always need to know what this is. The little things that show it is on his mind and tell me that he has in under control are enough to allow me to leap blindly, and let go. When this happens, submission comes naturally and becomes my default.


It is through this process that the trust is built. Explaining the level of trust required to make D/s work is really hard. It isn’t about trusting someone on the usual level – it runs far deeper than that. Submission is about giving yourself to your partner completely, whether this only refers to play or to other areas as well. It is through these discussions that the reassurance comes. One of the challenges to my submission is finding this level of trust. If I see that HL has thought of everything, and by that I mean the things that are on my own mind, I know I can trust him and I can let go.

This often leads me to asking questions, which he can see as a challenge to his Dominance. Really this is about me checking in. When the level of trust is high, for example, he has proved himself on a previous occasion, I do this less. If we are talking about something new, then I will look for more reassurance. So my ability to trust him challenges my submission. I need more blind faith and less over-thinking but my character traits often block this.

Filling the gaps

When our D/s is strong, I can do this more easily. The structure itself with the rules and ritual leads me to feel more submissive. When the overall feeling that HL is in control of me and of our shared life is there, I question less and I trust more. When I feel it less it causes me to focus on the things that are missing or the things that haven’t happened or been followed up, and this is when I take control, stepping into the gaps which I see.

While I submit to HL in general terms, and have relinquished control overall, in reality it often comes down to the individual parts. If I am left in control I tend to micro-manage, and in the same way, I see each element as part of the whole. If one part seems to have gone unnoticed I will try to compensate by focusing attention to it. This is difficult for HL as he thinks it means that I only see the gaps and he feels frustrated, but really it means that I know he has everything else covered and am looking for reassurance that he has this part too.

Strong Dominance

It challenges my submission though because ultimately it stops me from letting go in that area and just going with it. It also leads to a general feeling that I lack confidence in HL and that will have a knock on effect to his Dominance and my submission. What I need is strong Dominance: I need to be reassured, but also challenged. I need him to turn me around and make me focus on my submission, rather than on his Dominance. It should be about what he needs from me, because he will cover what I need from him.

This can be done through things like a reminder of my role, a counter challenge to my challenge or an authoritative tone. It doesn’t take much to stop me when I start, but because it is my default, it will still happen. Often when we feel unsure, we test the boundaries. This is what I am doing. It isn’t that I want to find fault, but more that I want to know that I am safe. While I can reflect on my submission to make it stronger, in terms of action, it is very much dependent on the Dominance I receive. The stronger this is, the more complete my submission can be.

Other challenges

Other challenges can come from the stuff of life really. The sexier I feel, the more proactive I am with my submission. Being submissive makes me feel sexy so it stands to reason that the better I feel about myself, the more naturally it will happen. Somehow, being submissive makes me feel seen. There is a vulnerability to it that exposes me. This feels freeing but can be daunting when I don’t feel good about myself. This means that sometimes I don’t acknowledge those parts of me. I can feel myself shy away from my submission, rather than embracing it.

Again this would need HL to push me back into the right mindset. If he doesn’t then it leads to a bit of a disconnect. That part of me becomes more distant, not just from him, but from myself too. Realising this doesn’t always help as it would take a conscious effort on my part to embrace my submission fully again. Usually if this has happened, it takes some sort of reset to get us back on track again. Doing things to make me feel sexy and connected with that part of myself helps to prevent it happening, so it works when these things are built into the rules and rituals.

Posted in Submissive Journal, Submissive Reflection and tagged , , , , .


  1. To me this: “the biggest challenge to our D/s is life getting in the way” really is the biggest challenge. At this moment D/s is not even on my radar, even though I will always be a submissive. Life just requires something else of me at this moment. I still serve, but not in a conscious way. It’s not something I think about, I just do what I have to do, what life requires of me. But as always, I love reading your post and the thoughts it provokes 🙂
    ~ Marie xox

  2. Thank you for this thoughtful post, Missy. It is making me wonder if the desire to be in control in order to protect oneself doesn’t actually cause, at least in part, the desire to submit. As you say, the coexistence of these two apparently contradictory goals “isn’t as strange as it seems.” I am thinking one might even want to take this observation a step further and say there is no contradiction at all. “Tightly woven layers of protection” (the equivalent, I imagine, of what I think of as my walls) take a lot of energy to create and maintain. Also, over time, they can become self-defeating. I suspect, for instance, that my desire to submit is driven in part by the realization that my trusty walls are now a trap (and that I have the skills I need to handle “danger”). Submission is an appealing alternative to walls and “tightly woven layers” since where there is trust, there is also a feeling of safety/protection. That’s in addition to the pleasure that comes from letting go after being on the alert for a long time.
    I hope this makes sense. I don’t want to be either too specific or too general and I am not sure I have managed that. In any event, thank you again for the post; it’s helping me think some things through.

    • This does make a lot of sense to me Elle and I think that you could be right about becoming confined in what is meant to make us safe. More food for though. Thank you x

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