A Rose by Any Other Name is Still a Rose.
Here we are, Week 2 of 30 Days(weeks) of D/s. If you read last week's post, then you know my husband and I do not define ourselves as D/s. However, I've titled this one A Rose by Any Other Name, because I'm talking about myself. A rose is still a rose, no matter what else you want to call it. I am my Husband's wife and I'm submissive at my core. I love to serve. I feel most fulfilled when I'm making someone else look good, fulfilling a need that would otherwise go unanswered, making a moment/hour/day/week/year/lifetime better. These are things that bring me joy.
Life is a continual journey. As humans, we are in constant states of dynamic change – for better or worse. It would be a disservice to yourself to think you have to have it all figured out before embarking on a relationship, but it would also be a disservice to yourself and your partner to try to remain the same as you were when you met, just because that’s what’s comfortable.
Since I'm such a fan of definitions, let's look at a couple:
- An act of submitting something (as for consideration or inspection); also: something submitted
The condition of being submissive, humble, or compliant
An act of submitting to the authority or control of another
- Characterized by tendencies to yield to the will or authority of others
- Willing to obey someone else
When I look at the above definitions, I scratch my head just a little and go, "huh." Because yes, I am generally a compliant person, easy to get along with, amicable most of the time, but I'll fight too. If you get me fighting though, you can bet I won't "fight fair". I'm going to do whatever it takes to come out on top. Maybe that's because I felt so helpless most of my life, like I had no control over things that happened to me, but yeah, I'll get scrappy. Also, I'm EXTREMELY competitive. My Husband has helped me tremendously in that department - helping me do things for the "fun" of it, not just to win, but it's still an internal struggle for me to say "it's okay to not win, it's okay. It doesn't matter in the grand scheme..." But if you're walking beside me on the sidewalk, we're racing - It's what made me top of my class in college, made me a winning rider in the show ring, and helps me do my best work in our business - being super competitive isn't a bad thing, but I've worked really hard learning to channel my competitive nature for positive outcomes. It's also important to know when to let it go - like on the freeway, or when needing to use your safeword. One night, my hubby told me (as I was tied to the bed) that he was going make me use my safeword that night - know what my immediate thought was? "I'm definitely not using my safeword." And if I was the old me, I would have endured anything to prove him wrong. Fortunately, I'm not the old me and my next thought was, "don't be an idiot, it's there for a reason, use it if you need to."
For the record: I lasted longer than he did... just sayin'
So, I said I'm submissive, but also competitive and scrappy and you're probably reading this, thinking, "this poor girl is all over the place!" And you'd be both correct and incorrect. Herein lies the complexity of myself and the part about being submissive. I am a pleaser. No doubt. It is a deeply entrenched part of my personality. My mom used to call me a chameleon. I would do what I needed to do, act how I needed to act, change whatever bit of myself I needed to change to fit in with the group of the moment. At home, I was one person. At school, another. At church, another. At shows, another, kind of like a shapeshifter. Whatever/whoever you needed me to be, I was that.
THIS WAS NOT HEALTHY. Let me make this clear right now. I did this because I had no identity of my own outside of how I thought others perceived me or what they wanted from me. I was thirty-years-old, sitting in my therapist's office when she asked me what my favorite color was. My answer? "What colors do you like?" I didn't even know what my favorite color was! Because I always chose what seemed popular or "right" at the time. By the way, my favorite color is purple and I'm freakin' proud of it. I even painted my second apartment purple. It was gorgeous and I had a fabulous retro purple sofa. Anyhoo, moving along...
In cultivating healthy relationships, I've had to learn (and am still learning) how to take that innate desire to please and temper it with a backbone, learn to set boundaries, keep them, and be okay with people getting unhappy over it. This is one thing I love about BDSM and D/s - Consent, Communication, Limits, etc. At their heart, these fundamentals encourage a person to understand themselves, their own wants, needs, and desires and take that into a relationship with another person who's willing to listen to and abide by those wants, needs, and desires.
After all that rambling on - on to the questions!
Does a submissive have certain behaviors?
I think a submissive absolutely has certain personality traits that lend themselves to certain behaviors, but each person is different, so one might do or act in ways another would never dream of and visa-versa.
For myself, I love to serve. Give me a room full of people and a kitchen and I'll be happy as a clam making sure everyone's fed and satisfied. I like to bake because people like my cookies. I like to see people smiling, laughing, talking, having a good time, and I like knowing I had a hand in that. If we're at someone's house and they've cooked, I'll be the first one rolling up my sleeves to help with the dishes, tidying up, etc.
I do my best work in observation and anticipation. I enjoy underpinning a good leader, doing my best work enabling them to do theirs. I don't like to lead or be in charge. I can. I can do it really well if that's required, but I like having guidelines, parameters - give me a box. I'll make it the best box you've ever seen. I enjoy being creative, but I enjoy being creative with guidelines. I was never the kid who colored outside the lines!
Does that mean I can't be innovative? Absolutely not. Tell me the problem you have that needs solving and I'll innovate your socks off. I'll ask you a gazillion questions to get a clear perspective on what you want, but that's a strength too - asking the right questions is what gets you the answers you want or need.
Do submissives do specific tasks?
If you and your Dominant agree on specific tasks, then yes, a submissive performs specific tasks. In our relationship, I put away the laundry. Yes, I said I put away the laundry. My Husband washes and drys and I fold/hang. I cook the meals, he does the dishes. I clean the bathroom, we make our bed. I run all administrative aspects of his business, he does the filming and teaching. When I get up in the morning, I set his alarm and give him his schedule for the day.
My Husband doesn't drink coffee. ::gasp:: I know, I don't know how he does it, but he doesn't like coffee or tea or any of that. He likes steamed apple juice and eggs, bacon and toast. I have to get my coffee or I'm just not as happy as I could be. So I get coffee, he gets apple juice.
We definitely have some clearly defined roles. I have tasks, he has tasks, but they're things we've talked about and each agreed upon. When one of us doesn't do our thing, the other gets to say, "Hey, do your thing." Sometimes when I don't do my thing, he ties me up and makes me orgasm a bunch of times, then asks if I've learned my lesson.... uhm, yeah. I don't mind those lessons, but if one of us misses a big thing, we talk about it in-depth and that really can be punishment!
So, in general, yes, by nature of the relationship, a submissive will have specific tasks, but if you're that submissive, those tasks should be things you've willingly, eyes-wide-open, agreed to.
When you think of a submissive and submission, what thoughts come to mind?
Submission isn't all about sex - unless you're just playing for an evening, party, etc. then it really is all about the sex, but for me and others in longer-term relationships, it's not all about sex - though it's a lot about sex and the sex can be really good!
As a submissive, it is absolutely crucial for you to take the time to explore and understand yourself – what you like, what you want, what you need.
Who are you outside of a relationship? Who do you want to be in a relationship? I believe a majority of people associate the word relationship with something long-term when that doesn’t have to be the case. If you have coffee with someone and talk to them for twenty minutes, but never see them again, you were in a relationship with that person for that time. Did you act or speak the way you wanted to? Did you conduct yourself in a way that you’re proud of? Who were you when you were with that person and was it who you wanted to be?
Submission should never be an excuse for you to stop growing as a person or an excuse for someone else to abuse your desire to please. In my post about Dominance, I said, "A good Dominant will want to learn and grow as a person and seek opportunities to improve themselves." The same is true for a submissive. The more you know about yourself, the better partner you'll be, whether it's for a night or a lifetime. The onus is on you to find and use your voice because the Dominant partner may ultimately "call the shots", but you're the one who really holds the power. The fact that you choose to hand it to someone else makes you stronger than you can imagince.
Thank you for reading! If you've enjoyed my post, join me next week as I discuss my thoughts on Titles and Labels.
© 2017-2018 Hey, Mrs. Robinson | T.J Robinson
Photo courtesy of Pixaby and used with permission via Creative Commons