Wednesday, February 29, 2012
that is why it is called submitting and not being enslaved
A few people have commented lately in ways that make me think i'm fixated (again, still) on defining ourselves - i hadn't felt i was - but there must be something coming through, must be something more to it. So i spent time thinking about it, and talking about it, especially with my husband, but also in a different way with a friend.
I realized two things, well three actually. The third thing is that we aren't going to fit anywhere neatly and i will continue to stumble with how to talk about us, with him and to the world, starting with the rest of this post. But that's not new, not the focus, and isn't really even important. The other two things i was able to start to see i think are important. They have to do with what lies behind the terms, the ideas not the labels.
First, i realized that there is something about the idea of 'slave' that speaks to me, intrigues me, appeals to me deeply. When my stress increases, it becomes an almost overwhelming desire. I want it - i want the control, i want stricter and harder and more difficult, i want cages and harsh use and humiliation, i want to be stripped down and brought low, etc etc etc...
But i also realize that is fantasy, it's escapism, a desire to trade the real work and stress and responsibility of my life for no responsibility - just follow and do. Yes - i know real life doesn't work this way - no mater what the dynamic - it is indeed fantasy. I think probably the fact that my mind and my heart wander that direction says something about me, but i don't think it says i should or could be 'slave.'
I think i really am sub. There is that definition that gets tossed around - a slave consents once then never again can say no - vs. a sub who makes each decision as it comes - decides each time to submit - can say no any time... That feels insulting to me. I really can't say no. I've consented to anything and everything, any time, all the time, no time out's or take-backs or exceptions.
But what i've really consented to - because all i am able to do - is to try. Yoda aside, the reality of being human is that i can try to do and be as he wants - i may often succeed, i will sometimes not - that's not the same as saying no i won't even try - or worse yet - saying i will, then not keeping my word.
It's work - it is in fact deciding to submit each and every time. It is sometimes so simple as to not seem like a decision. Sometimes however it is very hard, it is work, sometimes i fail. And maybe that's where the appeal of the fantasy of slave comes in - it's back to the idea of not work, not responsibility, no decision to make... Again - i know life doesn't actually go that way, everyone has to try and work and succeed or fail at each point - this is part of why the damn definitions are so unhelpful.
My friend gave me a slightly different way of looking at it though: that is why it is called submitting and not being enslaved. And it is, it is submitting each time, which is what i have promised my husband i would do.
There is nothing new here - no grand revelation, no paradigm shift probably -except for me to have it laid out in a way that lets me look at myself more clearly.