BDSM/Follow up: Curious
QUESTION: I've read about D/s relationships and as a female I have read Fifty Shades of Grey. I understand that the book isn't really much to go on but it intrigued me. I find it stimulating to imagine myself as a submissive and I was wondering if you might be able to fill me in on some important aspects of this kind of relationship from experience. I am sometimes shy and I'm a bit of a bookworm. I am intelligent and kind-hearted and in my early 20s with no romantic experience whatsoever. I can be stubborn in some matters and tend to fight for the underdog. I am often willing to please those who are good to me. I just don't know for sure if I can be a submissive or not. I was hoping you could tell me some things that may be good/bad traits for a submissive to have so that I could figure out for myself if I should give it a try.
ANSWER: Hi Brook, and thank you for your question.
Unlike many of my peers I actually enjoyed the first volume (less so unfortunately the remaining two which I read to the , at least to me, unsatisfying end) and as an introduction to BDSM it is perhaps an easier transition than say "Screw the Roses Send me the Thorns" (which I would recommend by the way).
As we move through life we all learn how to submit. We voluntarily submit at work, and involuntary submit at tax time. To identify as a submissive takes this into a different area, erotic relationship based on a consensual understanding of (1) expectations and (2) limitations.
As the submissive you actually have a great deal of both power and responsibility.
Responsibility first. You are responsible for your own well being. Not anyone else, you. Defining your expectations during negotiations with a Dom is not topping from the bottom, rather it is you, as a mature adult, discussing what you will do, and what you will not do. This was very well done, I thought, in 50 Shades.
Power - you have the power to choose. You, again as a responsible adult, have the power to choose who you will submit too and under what conditions. You may choose to be a submissive but anyone who, without your consent, expects you to submit to them, is just a dominating jerk.
Throughout history men have assumed some divine right over women. This has been enforced by culture, law, and religion. However a central point of any valid BDSM relationship is that of negotiated mutual consent. You have rights, keep them intact until you are sure that this level of giving up is what you really want.
So good/bad traits. Willingness to please; very good. Willingness to please at any cost; not good. Race Bannon said in his keynote speech at the 2011 Master/slave Conference (paraphrasing) "The first tradition to which all others must be subservient is happiness". "At any cost" is generally too high a price to pay.
Not understanding your personal limits; not good. Not knowing your personal limits; understandable, but this is where education comes in. Fetlife is an interesting place, but be prudent in what you accept as true.
I hope that I've touched on a few things that are useful to you. Please feel free to ask a follow up question if you would like.
Regards, and again thank you for your question.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
Thank you so much for helping me out! I am also curious about how to find people who are interested in these relationships that would be willing to teach me about the lifestyle. As of yet I am wary of everything but I think if I could meet people in a safe environment to discuss things I would be better able to make a decision. I also would like to meet people with potential to be a good Dominant for me if I do decide to give it a try. Do you have any advice or suggestions?
I have always thought that "how to meet" is one of the hardest questions to answer. I met my wife in 2006 when Skype had a really neat IM service which allowed a person on one end to say "Skype Me". When this status was selected that person would be available for "drop in and chat". I would select a region of the world, gender, and then could check profiles to see if there was something to start a conversation with. When we first started we were both vanilla, but over the course of six months we kind of arrived at a relationship which we now recognize as "simple minded D/s." When we first met "for real" her first words to me were "I am yours'." I've been smiling ever since.
Unfortunately this service is no longer offered, and might not actually might to be appropriate for kinky folks.
Another option is a site like "collarme.com". An overall perception of this site would be "meat market" and a new submissive who offers themselves to this market would be getting themselves into some very exciting situations.
Another option would be to use the FetLife search feature to find cities around you, then find people in those cities, then see what events they are attending. If one is in your area, or reasonable drive, a "munch" is a good way to meet kinky people in a vanilla setting
Volunteering at events is also a good way of meeting people and also getting experience without actually needing to know someone before hand.
I hope I've been helpful and I apologize that this is one area I don't have a lot of experience in.
A word of caution. There are lots of married guys who are "on the hunt". An affair is, unfortunately, something I do have too much personal experience with. While very exciting, the consequences will ultimately hurt everyone. You have a responsibility to yourself to ensure you know the status of the person who is showing an interest in you. Anyone who will cheat on their spouse needs to lie, and also to steal time, to be a cheat. So the question becomes "if you know for a fact they are lying and stealing from their partner, why wouldn't they do that to you?"
People can, and do change. When I met my now wife I was in a very unhappy relationship which was disintegrating; as was hers. But unlike my previous relationships I had matured emotionally enough to realize the consequences of lying - and had taken a vow to not knowingly speak a mistruth. She understood that, decided to trust me, and in doing so changed our lives for the better.
I wish you well in your quest