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“But I’m not submissive”

Well hell, neither am I.

What do you think of when you think “submissive”? Someone weak, indecisive, wavering, timid? Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary before James Spader gave her all that confidence? Sure, some people with submissive tendencies also have the stereotypical traits. There are also kick-ass, decisive, high-powered people who find being submissive on occasion a welcome relief. And every kind in between. There are even some women I know who identify as slaves, and believe me, you would want them on your side in a dark, deserted alley.

“Submissive” is just one of those labels that people love because they’re convenient, but that can ultimately hold us back and keep us from going for what will make us truly happy. In your pursuit of a dominant man, try not to get caught up in what you think it says about you that you enjoy being knocked around in bed or tethered to the bedposts, or ordered what to wear to dinner. For one thing, you don’t have to want things like that to happen 24/7; you can take as little or as much of them as you like. For another thing, if you’re spending all your time worrying why you feel this way and what it says about you, and being concerned that you’re setting the women’s movement back a hundred years, you’re not getting the fulfillment that can come with surrender.

I’m a self-employed single mom, and much of my life feels like a battle–to make ends meet, to get the best for my kid, to beat back the depression that seems to be always waiting for me to fall back into it. There is nothing in my day-to-day life that would make you think, “Now there’s a submissive woman.” But when I’m at the disposal of a dominant man–one I trust, one I know cares about me–I feel the burden of all the fighting and the endless choices and decisions fall away. I feel light and free, especially in bondage, as paradoxical as that sounds. It’s like a vacation for the mind and soul, and then I can go back to life’s battles with a rejuvenated spirit.

So maybe you’re not submissive. Maybe you are. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you find the courage to pursue what will make you truly fulfilled, in whatever form that takes. Let the label and its associations go, and you may find it much easier to accept what makes you happy.



One thought on ““But I’m not submissive”

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