On Submission and Slavery

What interests me about this discussion concerning slaves and submission is the beauty of what isn’t always obvious. Simply put – there is something beautiful to me about slaves that indicate their level of personal responsibility by not only choosing a particular lifestyle path, but being able to articulate their rationale in doing so.  When my slave writes concerning our dynamic;
“We would never have gotten to this point if it wasn’t in me to DESIRE and CRAVE this very type of dynamic. In other words yes something in me desires for and longs for the type of dynamic in which i submit AND surrender to the person i’m with.”  
That is a thing of beauty – And I’ve seen other slaves indicate their desire for their relationship style of choice in similar fashion.  I believe the allure of this approach is its insistence on the positive, namely;

This is what I want – I want a relationship in which I both submit and surrender to the will of another.

Conversely, devotees of the ‘slaves aren’t submissive’ camp typically aren’t articulating what I’d consider a positive desire e.g. ‘THIS’ (whatever it is) is what I desire, what I want.  Many times what I read in their responses is precisely what they do NOT want – I don’t want to be a whimpering puppy, a doormat, someone who isn’t respected, someone that is perceived to not have any strength etc. etc. And in truth, I do not disagree with the majority of those points – after all, it would be a rare person indeed that DID in fact want to carry the burden of those negative characteristics as part of what they bring to the power exchange relationship dynamic. It is difficult to express a positive sentiment highlighting the negative.  Additionally,  I believe that these slaves do themselves and their potential owners a disservice by even the implication that NOT being submissive is an acceptable or a necessary component of ones slavery. 

Why do I say this?  We often say that words are ‘containers’ for meaning.  The word slave carries with it an expectation, definitionally speaking that the person so referred to would be in a state of surrender, en-slaved as it were to someone or something outside themselves.  The word slave has a definition meaning to either be held in servitude as the chattel of another or to be completely subservient to a dominating influence.  It is difficult to see where we can insert the words ‘not submissive’ into this definition and still emerge with the preexisting definition of slave intact.

This isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario however – In the event that a person isn’t submissive or makes the choice to not desire, want or need to express themselves in a submissive or surrendered fashion, then within the context of the definition of slavery it is at that point that they really cease to be a slave, or to be more specific, ‘en-slaved’ by another.

Perhaps they have been misunderstood – that could be a possibility, albeit a remote one.  Our community does not lack for slaves that have articulated very well the fact that they are not submissive to everyone around them – their submission is held by and is focused toward one person, namely the person that owns them.  I get that – and bravo to those slaves – in much the same way that my owning namaste doesn’t in itself make me Master of All I Survey, it stands to reason that someone who identifies as a slave isn’t ‘community property’ as it were (unless of course being community property is their desire!)

My conclusion then is that slaves that routinely say they are not submissive are;  
  1. ‘between masters’  
  2. misinformed about the very nature of slavery 
  3. making excuses to justify bad behavior or 
  4. all of the above. 

Like the loud, abrasive aunt at the family reunion, their constant refrain about how they don’t get along with anyone because of their insistence that ‘people take them as they are’ initially sounds like a clarion call for authenticity.  However, that song gets old after a while and people start quietly leaving the room, recognizing that with most arguments of this type – if ‘everyone’ is misunderstanding you and ‘nobody’ gets it  – its very probable that the person speaking is the one with the problem.