Submission and Resistance

In the Submissive men and women who love them group on Fetlife, someone recently asked an interesting question, which I’m going to paraphrase here for convenience:

If you enjoy it when a man submits to you, is it better if he automatically gives no resistance, or if he fights back a little bit/legitimately resists you?

This is why I ask, in case it gives a more clear picture: I am a sub, but the way my spirit is, I cannot give control to someone who cannot prove to me that she deserves it, not just based on my desire to be dominated.

Like others in the thread have said, I think there are really two questions here – whether it’s reasonable to expect your dom to earn your submission, and whether any doms out there enjoy resistance play. My answer to both of those questions is yes, but stopping there would make for an awfully boring post 🙂

Personally, I have no interest in a sub who acts like his submission isn’t valuable. Self-loathing and/or the lack of any sense of self-preservation is just not attractive to me, and neither is the implication that there’s nothing special about me, that this guy is just submitting at the nearest woman who will tolerate him. I want someone who knows that he is awesome and isn’t about to throw his submission at just anyone. I want someone who will get to know me over time and submit to me because he thinks I’m awesome and knows that I can be trusted to take care of him. For me, kink only works if it’s personal, and as soon as someone submits to me because “she’ll do” it’s not personal anymore.

I think it’s absolutely reasonable for a sub to ask a potential dom tough questions when they’re getting to know each other. If you’re going to put your safety in my hands, you’re damned well entitled to ask how I’d handle it if you were dealing with sub drop and needed me when I was busy. While I don’t want to be interrogated, it’s not terribly difficult to ask questions respectfully. And honestly, if a potential dom freaks out about you having the unbelievable gall to ask her a few questions, you really haven’t lost anything by scaring her off.

However, there’s a difference between a bit of rational self-interest and an exhausting power struggle. I like a little resistance play as much as the next person, but when it comes right down to it you either want to submit to me or you don’t. If you don’t want to, what on earth would I gain by fighting you? Just like submission isn’t worth anything to me if all I have to do to ‘earn it’ is have tits and come within 10 feet of you, it’s also not worth it if you make everything into such a power struggle that my life would be easier without you in it. I have a certain amount of sympathy for people who need to push the boundaries to be sure they’re there, or who are new to submission and still struggling with it, but those people are just not right for me. This may be unfair, but you are in fact a grownup and as such you should have a basic handle on your issues with authority before you come around asking for me to dominate you.

Also, it’s not as unusual as I would like to see some jackass online talking about how tough he is and how he’s had such a terrible time finding a woman who is strong enough to make him submit, and is anyone here brave enough to take the douchebag challenge? Shockingly enough, that doesn’t generally go over well. Being a pain in the ass is not exactly a selling point when you’re looking for a dominant woman. If that’s what we wanted, we could get it from any vanilla guy who’s overly impressed with himself.

Resistance play, on the other hand, can be super hot. It involves a certain amount of play acting, given that I have the upper body strength you’d expect in a sedentary female nerd, but so does a lot of what we do. It’s something I would most likely make me drop afterwards, and I’d only do it with someone I really trusted, but that doesn’t stop it from being fun to think about.

I guess the short version is: for me resistance in play = fun, but resistance for real = come back when you’re ready to submit. What do you think about resistance, readers?

4 thoughts on “Submission and Resistance

  1. I occasionally write fiction on the ‘dom meets sub’ theme, and frequently include resistance as a theme. The resistance is token in the sense that the last thing the submissive secretly wants is for the dom to leave or lose interest. On the other hand it is real in the sense that the ‘worthless worm’ scenario is deeply unflattering to both parties, and the sub has pride and dignity as a human being.

    I suspect that the reason why token resistance, either physical or psychological, is hot is that it makes the eventual surrender more complete, which serves the deepest, darkest desires of both parties.

    Another way of looking at the question is to note that the ‘concept space’ in our minds in which reside our notions of dominance and power, is very close to the one involving resistance overthrown and unconditional surrender.

    • I suspect that the reason why token resistance, either physical or psychological, is hot is that it makes the eventual surrender more complete, which serves the deepest, darkest desires of both parties.

      That makes sense to me. Particularly in fiction, I like the contrast between a bit of resistance and complete surrender.

      On the other hand it is real in the sense that the ‘worthless worm’ scenario is deeply unflattering to both parties, and the sub has pride and dignity as a human being.

      I was emailing with a friend about that, and he made a really good point about how just like I want to feel like I’m more than just the first dominant woman not to run from a guy, he wants to feel like his dom wants him in particular and is willing to ‘fight’ a little for him.

  2. My wife doesn’t like resistance, unless it’s in the bedroom. Anything that causes extra work or mental effort for her is a no-no. My job is to make her life easier, not harder. If she has to fight me, then what is the point? I understand the desire to feel like you’ve tamed somebody, like training a dog; however, at some point it isn’t power exchange if the sub hasn’t given up their power.

    • however, at some point it isn’t power exchange if the sub hasn’t given up their power.

      That is exactly why I get so frustrated with the ‘I want someone to make me submit but I haven’t found anyone who is up to it yet’ guys. It’s completely reasonable and understandable to be afraid to make yourself that vulnerable. But trying to make your lack of readiness my fault is just irritating.

      I wish more people realized how fragile power exchange is – we all like to pretend doms are all powerful, but if the sub doesn’t feel like handing over their power, there’s not a damned thing I can do about it.

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