I keep thinking about that last point from the writing I was mocking in my post Dumbinants behaving badly: 4. Understand the M/s D/s is most definitely NOT about how you [the submissive] dictate how you want everything. If a dom looking for a submissive wrote about how their submissive will “do things my way or I’ll uncollar them and find someone who will”, nobody would bat an eye. We take it as given that doms have the right to insist on getting their needs met in a relationship, but somehow it’s the end of the world when subs do the exact same thing? Funny, I thought subs were people and had the exact same human rights as doms. Why the fuck shouldn’t they leave a relationship that doesn’t meet their needs?
The idea that people stop having rights because of how they like to get their kink on is just ridiculous. We would never say that latex fetishists are allowed to make demands but leather fetishists aren’t, so why do we act like it’s remotely reasonable to expect s-types to passively accept whatever a dom chooses to give them? Sure, submission in a relationship involves giving your chosen dominant a certain (negotiated!) amount of authority, but that’s very very different from how a reasonable person with any self-preservation instincts should be expected to act toward people they aren’t in a relationship with. I say should because only total assholes would expect expect submissive people to indiscriminately submit to everyone around them.
And don’t we also say that s-types need to be extremely careful about getting to know their partners before they submit, and that they need to advocate for themselves because they can’t count on anyone else doing it for them? Again, what exactly is unfair about submissive people bluntly stating their needs up front? As a big fan of the “scare them off as soon as possible” school of dating, I think the kindest thing you can do for potential partners is tell them about all of your potential dealbreakers as soon as possible (keeping your own safety in mind, of course. Trans women, for example, have no obligation whatsoever to disclose that potential dealbreaker at the potential cost of their own lives). If you’re the kind of
pathetic overgrown child dom who can’t deal with s-types who expect to be treated like people, wouldn’t you want to know sooner rather than later that someone is completely and utterly incompatible with you?
Of course, that does assume that said overgrown children can handle basic logic, which is probably giving them too much credit. What they really seem to want is for no submissive ever to feel able to reject them. To be clear, that’s unbelievably pathetic. Nobody enjoys rejection, but if you can’t handle things not going exactly the way you want them to, maybe rethink this whole “dominant” thing. If you want to be a dom, you have a responsibility to keep your shit together when things you don’t enjoy happen, whether that’s a scene going off the rails, your submissive having a shitty day and wrecking your plans, or having a shitty day yourself and wrecking your own plans. If you can’t handle so much as a goddamn Fetlife writing from an s-type saying that they’ll leave a relationship that doesn’t work for them, then I think you have some work to do before you get any ideas about running someone else’s life.
It’s probably not going to surprise anyone that I have a theory about why some doms get so freaked out about submissive people acting like they have basic human rights. I think it’s closely related to the assumption that submission is inherently feminine. Doesn’t the dom who can’t deal with subs having standards sound just like the straight guy who can’t deal with women having standards?
In both cases, I think the solution is the same. GROW UP. I say that not because I have any illusions that the people who need to grow up will do so, but because I think that some people who might otherwise take their cues from sad bastards like that might be able to see reason. If you can’t inspire someone to submit to you on your own, all the whining and crying about how submissives who demand doms who meet their needs are great big poopy heads is just going to make you look more pathetic. Real grownups can deal with people they’re attracted to not being compatible with them. It sucks, but the answer is never ever ever that no one should be allowed to reject you.
Submission is only meaningful if your submissive could tell you to fuck off but chooses not to. If they can’t choose, it’s slavery. We all know that for-real slavery is not okay, right?
Doms, we have two choices. We can admit that submissive people are human beings with the exact same rights we have, or we can admit that we are such sad fucks that we would never get any play if we couldn’t convince s-types they don’t have a choice. Not much of a choice, is it.
5 thoughts on “Demanding submissives, oh noes!”
Consensual D/s, no matter how unequal it might look to you personally, is not real slavery. Considering that millions of people are currently living a very real slavery I think it’s insulting to compare the two things. Nobody is really forced to do anything in consensual D/s – if the sub agrees to have no “rights” this doesn’t change the fact that of course they are still protected by the law of the country they live in. Doms and subs can play with concept like slavery, “forced” whatever, contracts etc. Ultimately it’s just a game, one nobody can force you into and that you can quit any time you want (unless, again, we are talking about genuine abuse which this post isn’t about).
Fact is that many people (most people, really) are not interested in political correctness in their kink. It’s not because they are ignorant or brainwashed. They’ve heard all the arguments. They just don’t agree and they don’t care. For every dom demanding perfect obedience and refusing to use a safeword, there is a sub who wants the same. In practice, very few people can truly live that way. it’s more of a fantasy and posturing in front of people (which is part of the fantasy).
You say that subs should be allowed to state from the start what they want and what they don’t. But the same goes for doms – they too have the right to make it clear what they want, even if that includes not accepting any demands from subs. The subs can then take it or leave it. While I agree that doms whining about subs making demands is pointless and they should just accept that particular sub is not compatible with them, I also hate this trend of treating subs like they are stupid and incapable of making decisions for themselves. As a woman, I’m used to this kind of demeaning attitude and I bet it wouldn’t be so common towards subs if submission wasn’t (as you point out) connected with femininity. Every single adult human being has the responsibility and freedom of defining their relationship dynamic any way they want as long as all parties are consenting.
The problem is that D/s is never, ever going to be politically correct. It can’t be. It’s a fantasy of inequality. We can talk all day long about how subs are just as precious human beings as doms and in fact they are the ones who hold the real power since they can use a safeword (idiotic logic since doms have the ability to stop a scene too) blah blah blah. But people don’t seek out D/s relationships because they want to experience equality – not the vast, vast majority anyway. As a female dom I accept of course that my sub is equal to me in the eyes of the law, has the same value as human being etc but I don’t want to FEEL equal to him. If I did, I would just seek out a vanilla relationship with a progressive man.
So I want him to tell me clearly what he wants and doesn’t want – at some point. But not right at the start. Because at the beginning, he needs to prove his submission to me (and I my dominance to him). Later in relationship, when you know your partner, you don’t need to prove anything and it’s different. But first impressions matter. My entirely subjective idea of what submission means is simple: the sub gives, receiver pleasure from giving, the dom takes, and receives pleasure from it, and then rewards the sub, which motivates the sub to give again and it goes on like this. But the sub needs to give first, be selfless first and be vulnerable first – otherwise, if I’m the one who’s pleasing him from the start, the power will be in his hands.
There is also a huge difference in where F/m couples begin compared to M/f. Because the assumption is that men lead and dominate, men’s pleasure is what matters most and woman’s role is to bend and please. In my experience most men who call themselves submissive expect the domme to put in far more effort to please them and get their dicks hard than they are willing to give back. How many malesubs expect domme to dress up for them, to be their sex object? How many have ever even considered of doing the same for her? For a dominant woman it’s essential to be strict about demanding some level of submission from the start, because otherwise it’s most likely you will never be getting it.
Well duh. That’s what I was trying to get at when I said ” If they can’t choose, it’s slavery. We all know that for-real slavery is not okay, right?” If the submissive partner can choose to leave (and I mean really choose, without getting harassed or guilt tripped or physically harmed on their way out the door), whatever they do is cool. If they don’t have a choice about entering/staying in the relationship, then that’s basically slavery and is not remotely okay. I was bitching about sad bastards acting like it’s never okay for a woman to reject them, which would enslave women if they were able to enforce it.
In my last post about this sad little douchebag, which I clearly linked right up at the top (it’s right here http://www.notjustbitchy.com/dumbinants-behaving-badly/), I said that:
Having whatever personal requirement you want is fine. Acting like those requirements are universal is blatant assclownery. Also, in this post I’m talking about subs having the right to insist on a relationship that works for them. I didn’t say anything about doms not having the same right, I just said submissives rights don’t magically disappear when they decide to call themselves submissive.
You don’t say. Here I thought people sought out d/s relationships because they wanted to have more arguments with their partners. Of fucking course they want negotiated inequality – after they fucking negotiated it! Until I’ve made an agreement with someone that I’ll dominate them and they’ll submit to me, they owe me absolutely nothing beyond basic courtesy.
That is actually a huge pet peeve of mine, and I think it’s totally reasonable for dominant women to expect men who say they’re submissive to show that they actually give a shit about the woman they’re talking with beyond her ability to get their dicks hard. I don’t think it’s necessary to demand submission right from the start, however, and that could even play into some douchebags fantasies about largely anonymous women who just order them around.
Personally, I insist on submissive guys talking to me like I’m a human fucking being for a little while before I talk about what I’m willing to do them. If they can’t talk with me about anything besides what I can do for their penises, I know they’re a complete waste of time.
On the other hand, if by “demanding some level of submission from the start” you meant demonstrating a basic willingness to follow your lead (in terms of conversation topics, frequency of contact, physical intimacy, etc), then we’re totally on the same page. I am simply not interested in guys who try to boss me around or repeatedly drag the conversation to what they care about rather than showing an interest in what I care about. I’m not sure how much of that is being submissive and how much of it is being a decent human being, though.
If the inner potential is there, and the people ‘click’, the submission and dominance will come and blossom between them, once the people decide to allow it.
It is perfectly reasonable to wish to get to know a dominant person, before making a commitment to obey anything. All people who are not in a relationship can expect from each other is ordinary politeness.
For a dominant woman it’s essential to be strict about demanding some level of submission from the start, because otherwise it’s most likely you will never be getting it.
In this sentence I see a fear, that because of social conditioning, social pressure, or other for reasons, any hetero couple is likely to default to the man bossing the woman around. I don’t think acting out of such a fear, pre-emptively demanding instant obedience, is necessary or wise.
Starting out with ordinary politeness is possible for people regardless whether they have F/M, M/F, F/F or M/M, switchy or other interests. Women and men are perfectly capable of interacting as equals while getting to know each other. If they have the inner potential for one submitting to the other, and one giving the other orders, waiting until both have decided they really want to try out such a commitment together does not damage this potential, it gives it the space it needs to blossom.
Exactly! And if someone can’t manage ordinary politeness without me bossing him around, that’s a very useful thing to know about him.
Fantastic post. As a non-masochist sub, I find it very hard sometimes to communicate with doms. I am interested in dom/sub play without sadomasochistic activities and that can be a real challenge as many doms don’t want to hear it. Even telling me that I shouldn’t use the word “sadist”.
I have learned to be very very picky. So the vast majority of dominant women I will never submit to, and this offends some of them. Many do understand though and appreciate that I know so clearly what my limits are and what I want.