I have been troubled over the last few days by a comment on a forum which appeared on my Fetlife page this week. It was written by a 'friend' who in fact is someone I have met, though not seen in a while and was on a forum where people can ask questions of bottoms / submissives / slaves. This person identifies as a Dominant, something he has reiterated to me on a number of occasions. In his response (to a question about the difference between a bottom and a submissive), he entered into something of a rant about definitions of types of submissive suggesting that in fact they are just a label for the same thing. The person in question states that all a Dominant and submissive in a relationship need is to define for themselves how that relationship should be and then leave it at that.
Ok, so in a way the last bit is fine. It is after all a personal relationship choice. But what if, over a period of time, a person has discovered that actually what she calls herself has become less of a label, a choice even and more a discovery of who she is.
2 years ago, I had recognised the submissive in me, another had recognised that too. That submission was only really allowed to fully emerge during play, but increasingly I became aware of its presence at other times. It has always been there, but I had not really realised it. Even then, I recognised my submission and my partner's Dominance as more than a label. At around that time, when I first met the Fetlife 'friend', he told me he had identified himself as dominant for many years.
Fast forward to today and I am identifying myself as slave. This isn't because I decided I needed a new label, wanted to in some way choose something new for myself. I identify myself in that way because I and another have discovered that is who I am. Of course, I am not just any slave, I am the slave of another person - Master. The voyage of discovery I have recently been on, has on one hand been enlightening, a positive experience, but at the same time it has been painful. The realisation that I need to serve another, that I need to put myself in their hands, need to be owned, possessed and put
their needs before my own fulfils needs I didn't know I had. It is also frightening. Giving up control bit by bit, until you no longer have it to own can make you feel like you are falling head first over a cliff. The need to recognise your own behaviours and modify those that the person who owns and controls you seeks to change can feel odd. It can make you do and say things that you know you will regret. But the knowledge deep inside you that this is what you want, what you actually need drives you on.
I have discovered that my need for submission is not about play, about pain, about sex even, (though all of those play a part), but about the way in which I am compelled to give up control of my whole self to Him and for His part He is compelled to take. I know I exist for His pleasure and He knows I will obey Him, I will follow His rules. This exchange of power is what makes this different, it is that which means it is not a game, that I am His slave, not some kind of label.