I am a submissive living in a full time D/s dynamic with my husband and Dominant. Assumption would dictate that I will be weak and dependent on a stronger (male) partner to make decisions and choices for me. It would struggle to imagine how I could be of a nature which is anything more than one where I am unable to take control for myself. Those who know me would probably tell you that I am the opposite. Strong, feisty, a champion for others and a bit of a control freak who expects others to fit in with her high standards and expectations. In reality, I am neither of these. There may be parts of course, but the whole is always much more than just the parts!
Control is something that I have thought about a lot. I have also written about it a lot and have learnt a lot about my relationship with control and indeed, its relationship with me. It sounds odd to say that control controls me, but in many ways I think that it does. When moving into a full time submissive lifestyle, I naively assumed that I would have to give up all control, both in the bedroom and beyond. Having realised that my need for control had effectively emasculated my first husband, when I felt HL bowing to it in some senses, I was happy to give it a go. You see my need for control was not a need to control others, but a need to control myself. If I could hand over the reigns to someone else, then that need would no longer drive me. It had been born from necessity, not from choice.
I wrote in Letting go about how I managed the slow relinquishing of control and the trust that I had to built up in order to let it happen. Letting go was hard. It is still hard. When I wrote that post I thought I had done it. What I see now was that was the first part. I did let go, but I only let go of some of the control and of some of me. Control had become my protection. My multi layered defence. I had been building those layers up, adding to them, strengthening them over years until they sat, a tight fortress around me. It felt good, exhilarating even, to cast off those first few layers and I revelled in the freedom that I found as a result. I don’t think I questioned, not then but why would I? It was a win-win. The taste of freedom, the picture of submission and still to really be in control.
I know that some of this may sound paradoxical. How could I both relinquish and retain control? Well there we come back to the parts. I gave up controlling some things. He took the things I gave and I gave the things that I wanted him to take. I remained within my comfort zone, most of the time at least. I had married a man who was strong and caring, kind and nurturing. He loved me and he wanted what he thought was best for me. He listened and he watched and he saw what was there to see. And together we explored the giving up of those first few layers. I do think that there is probably a difference when you introduce a D/s dynamic to an existing vanilla relationship, rather than when that is the basis of the relationship from the start. Neither of us had any previous experience in this area and we were discovering ourselves and finding our way.
Rather than being an overnight change, it was a slow evolution born from communication and discussion. We found ourselves together, locating our balance of give and take in a very collaborative way. As the instigator of the dynamic initially, I had always been active in my submission, supporting and sharing the research I found. I came to see that perhaps this had meant that I was a little more comfortable in my submission than I should be. I needed him to own his own brand of Dominance and not be trying be the picture I had painted in my earlier request. I realised that I was holding back, and that he was allowing me to. This didn’t sit well with me and I felt a bit of a fraud, as much as I see how easily this can happen in the sort of dynamic that we have. Some of the things that I love about what we have, security, safety, familiarity, love, commitment are things which I see need to be managed within the D/s.
I came to see that anxiety was one of the things which was stopping me from giving up the next layer of control and this was something that I wanted to do. It was holding me back and we were allowing it to, it was Controlling Me. I wrestled with this a bit and worked through why I thought it was happening on a deeper level. I came to see that actually it was my self-control which prevented me shedding these layers and that came from my need to control what others thought, due to being self-conscious. This deep desire to be nothing, actually came from my recognition that I was not allowing myself to really let go. My recurring desire for humiliation was actually part of wanting to be pushed to the point that I would do this and I saw quite clearly that I used wriggle tactics to keep myself safe. I would like to say that this discovery allowed me to finally shed the remaining layers and taste the promise of freedom from myself, but alas it was not quite so straightforward.
It seems ironic to me that the very thing I want is also that thing that stops me from achieving it, hence the statement at the start that control is controlling me. Rather than the dramatic shedding of a cloak in a sudden flourish, I am left more with the slow and cautious peeling of an onion. Unable simply to prize my self-control from me, HL is having to uncover and expose me bit by bit. This involves the complex undoing of the connection between mind and body, thoughts and feelings, and is something to be taken in baby steps rather than giant leaps. The trust is huge and the responsibility greater so it is something which it is important that we take our time and get right.
I know that I will always need a lot of control in my life. It makes me feel calmer and safer and more at ease. What I have discovered is that I can relinquish my control to HL as long as he makes it clear that he has taken it and he has my back. The more he takes, the more I will give. Conversely, if he gives a little then I will snatch it back, not because I want to but because it has become my default and so my relationship with control must be tightly managed by him, but with my support. I often wish that things were more straight forward for us and that I could just ‘be’ without all over the overthinking that pulls me back, but we are what we are I suppose. I am excited and scared to see where all of this leads and that is a compelling and delicious combination. The internal conflict which is born from my loss of control is one which frightens me but turns me on too. And anything that turns us on is good, right?