The Contradictions Of Submission

TL;DR — I’ve been in a vanilla (non-d/s) relationship with many expectations, as well as a submissive relationship with less duties and restrictions. I’ve wondered why having a controlling wife wasn’t the same as serving a dominant woman. I believe that the reasons are deeper than kinks, and that there is more to submission.

Every relationship requires some compromise, and most require some sacrifice. We may not feel like we are giving anything up, but we choose to spend our time and attentions differently than if we were single. Even if we believe some expectations are reasonable and helpful, we change the routines or behavior we would have had when uncommitted in order to form a relationship. We take on responsibilities, become reliable, communicate our intentions and plans more, and include someone else in our decisions. This can be healthy, it can be mutually beneficial, even when it involves small compromises, and can give us more in return than independence can. On the other hand if it crosses some lines into extremes it can become unworkable, damaging and abusive.

There are many reasons why someone is submissive, but one of them may be that focusing on another’s needs gives them clarity and assurity, as well as satisfaction. It can feel liberating knowing what another wants and how to fulfill it, especially when we know it will bring them pleasure and we find happiness in helping provide that.

Those submissive in ‘traditional’ relationships, in which the other person doesn’t want or appreciate our submissiveness, may take solace in serving through trying to be a good partner, to help them in ways they may have not asked for or expected, but may like nonetheless. However, this somehow still leaves some of us feeling a lack in our lives, a need that is going unfulfilled. Why is that? Why isn’t being what someone else wants or needs enough for us? Why do we still long for someone else taking a dominant role and recognizing our submissive one? Is it because a ‘traditional’ relationship lacks some of the kink? Is it because us submissives are seeking out pain or humiliation? Maybe that’s the case for some (not for me), but I think for the true submissive there is another deeper reason.

I am a submissive whose focus is on what others might find mundane, I find fulfilment just as much in domestic service as in the sexual. Yet no amount of doing housework or cooking meals — for someone who isn’t dominant, who doesn’t accept the submissive part of me — fully fulfills my need to submit and serve. Maybe it’s just because I’m being picky, but I think it is a more fundamental part of my nature.

What was different when I was with a dominant woman is -
* I would see restrictions as a challenge
* as a test of devotion and love
* as a test for overcoming my selfishness
* as a test of focus and self control
* I would see her expectations on me as a form of love and loving discipline
* or at the very least as something that pleased or amused her
* and even if I failed I felt there was a path to doing better and that any correction was useful
* and meeting those expectations gave me a clear sense of purpose

Ultimately I think that a submissive man serving a non-dominant woman is part of a different story, with a different narrative. It is almost as if we aren’t sharing the same belief system with our partner, as if we are living by one philosophy and they another. We may love them dearly, but maybe deep down we know there is a part of us they don’t or can’t love or appreciate.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m expecting too much, or am being too slow to adapt and change, and should just accept I am lucky to have what I do (and I know I am much luckier than many). Maybe I’ll yet settle for what I have without qualms, will adapt to find everything I need where I am, or be content with dreams as a substitute for reality, but maybe I never will and am postponing fully confronting the truths I don’t want to see: that being submissive will always be a major part of me.

Note: I’m still figuring my way through all these thoughts and the life and circumstances that prompted them, but would really appreciate any comments, advice, or even criticism.