There is a difference between being a submissive and being submissive. Being a submissive is something that you are and have agreed to be. Being submissive is something that you do and it affects not only your behaviour but also your thoughts and feelings. This caused some confusion for me for a while. I had expected that as I grew in my submission, I would become submissive all the time; that was what happened in the books! This was not the case and it made me feel like I mustn’t be good at submission or that I wasn’t cut out for it because my thoughts and feelings and responses were not always submissive.
Actually I am a ‘good’ submissive, I am just not required to be submissive all the time. I am submissive in certain situations and at certain points, and I have discovered that there are different levels to my submission. Seeing it more simply has been helpful. It has stopped me beating myself up for not being something I thought that I should be, and for not feeling the way that I thought I should. I am his submissive as I am his wife. I submit to him when he requires it of me. The more I exist for him, the more I submit to him; the more fully I exist purely for him, the deeper into my submission I go. There is always a choice, but when it works well, my mind becomes engaged with it and the decision is no longer a conscious one.
When I am deep into my submission I give up the need to control my own thoughts, so I become much more reactive and responsive. I think that is why I feel such a huge sense of freedom. I become more fully connected to the unconscious part of myself. This process was more obvious to me through play initially, but I can see now that it will happen to me during other times too, so it has moved past the conscious everyday submission. It affects not just the sexual submission that I offer to Sir but also the submission of my will. The part of me who responded to pleasure with a sense of abandon seemed to come more easily but over time I have also discovered the part of me who will also lose all inhibitions in other ways too.
Giving up control of my body and allowing its responses to be controlled by someone else was a big step and was freeing in itself. But being pushed past my limits so that I have to give up the sense of responsibility and commitment that holds me back, is freeing in a different way. The flashes of conscious thought that flicker there have always frightened me more than the ones that flit across my mind during play. Those are irritating and distracting, but the others are negative and engage me in a more emotional way. To give up control of my mind and bend myself to someone else’s will is a far greater thing for me than to submit my body to them. As a result, it has taken me longer to reach the point where I was even aware that I wasn’t actually submitting myself completely.
I suppose in a sense, at the start, it was on my terms. In communicating my limits, I actually set ones which kept me within my comfort zone. We pushed the boundaries much more with play and were more experimental there than within the other areas. We didn’t have the sort of relationship where I was asked to do things that I really didn’t want to do, and I think that when Sir did try, the result would always be less positive than when it was something sexual. This makes sense as I have always been naturally submissive sexually but I am not really in others areas. I like control and I like to be in a very controlled environment. It is not that I wouldn’t give the control to someone else, it is more that I struggle to trust someone who will take the control I need to that level.
I also see submission as being on a vertical continuum, hence my reference to going deeper. In asking to be his submissive, I have agreed to be submissive and submit to him, but depending where on that continuum I am, it may look and feel different to us both. There are things we do or things that happen which will trigger a move to a deeper point for me; there are also things which will mean that I stay at that point for a length of time, but it is not a set point at any one time. I think in the beginning when it was all a shiny new toy, I was overwhelmed and mentally it was at the front of my mind. Agreeing to begin living a D/s lifestyle, establishing rules and rituals and beginning to explore the kinks that we had talked about was pretty much a constant trigger which left me in that submissive space.
However, as with all things, we adjusted and it took more than just doing those same things, to have that same effect. I did worry about this. Why didn’t it work the same? Had it all just become normal? But I suppose this is a lifestyle and, as it becomes your new way of life, it should become a more comfortable fit. So while I see myself as being his submissive all the time, I recognise that I can not actually be submissive all of the time. I do other things, I think about other things, I focus on other things. If he engages with me, if he dominates me, if he needs me, or if I need him then it will be an automatic thing where I slip further into that role, regardless of what I am doing.
These things are really where the triggers for my submissive space are rooted. Some will be physical, but most tend to be psychological. Much of the time I will probably be near the top end of the continuum. I have given up control of some aspects of my life. I behave in a submissive way, following my rules and sticking to the rituals we have created. I am respectful and open about my thoughts and feelings. Although this is often where I feel I am, my mindset is such that I am on standby, ready to give the ‘more’ as and when it is required of me. This is when I will shift further down that continuum and move deeper into my submissive space.
This happens when we play. How deep I go will depend on what we are doing, how long we are playing and other factors outwith our control such as what else has happened that day and what else is on my mind. Holidays are easier, term time is harder. The deeper I go, the less these thoughts will pervade my mind and take from the experience. The further I go, the less self conscious I will become and the more I will let go and just feel and react to that feeling. The pleasure becomes the focus and I lose myself and my awareness of myself. I become part of him, in that he is the one who is making me do and feel that things that I am experiencing. This leads to an intense connection between us. In giving my body to him he is able to set me free.
Going deeper into that submissive space when in non-play situations has taken longer. I think I have resisted it because it scares me. Not the simple giving up of control as I can manage that, but the letting go, the putting aside of my thoughts and pushing myself deeper in. Where this is something that Sir can trigger easily within play, I have found that it is something I have to be open to doing myself in other situations. It is a mental state that I have to allow myself to go into. I have to stop thinking, to push myself aside and exist only for him. I have to focus on him to the point where I don’t resist his control no matter what my mind says. I shut out the reasons and give myself up.
As I slip deeper down in this way, it is different because it scares me. It is my fears that keep me from the places he wants to take me and for so long I listened to them rather than to him. In turning things around, I have to let go of not just my fears but my reason. My responsibilities and they way that I see them, and myself, are usually what holds me back. The potential consequences unfold before me like a pack of cards as I catastrophize the situation in my head and this usually causes me to throw up a string of barriers that can’t be broken down. So when all that goes, when we do push past and I am able to let go, the intense freedom and release is extraordinary. I feel first a state of complete calm while I sort of detach from my thoughts and fears, and then an exhilarated rush when I am able to leave it all behind.
I wouldn’t say that I find it more intense than giving up my body, it is just different. It scares me as I don’t know where it will go. I feel altered in that space and it feels good but I have the pulls of life to consider too. In fantasy I am always deep into my submission in both senses. I have been pushed so far that I have left the rest behind and no longer worry about it, but I am not sure that is something that would ever happen. Submission is a choice from beginning to end and we chose the parts we want and the places we go. I am content at the moment that I am choosing to explore new ground. I think that as circumstances change, things will move and shift a bit and there may be more opportunity to explore letting go of both mind and body more fully.