I was reading an interesting blog post this morning about why stealth submission doesn’t work, and wanted to expand on one of the points AlphaDomme made. To quote from the post, regarding suddenly doing much more housework than usual in hopes that your partner will magically become dominant in response:
After a few weeks of this, you are starting to get tired of doing this work with no “benefit”. Your partner is not even thanking you for what you do around the house yet. And she is not at all turning into the domme of your dreams.
It’s possible there are a few completely selfless people out there who serve their partners out of the kindness of their hearts with no need for anything in return, but the vast majority of submissive people need to have their service acknowledged and to feel appreciated. Without that acknowledgement, the symbiotic exchange that makes kink so awesome can’t happen, and without that exchange, stealth submission is just free maid service.
I think one of the fallacies the idea of stealth submission rests on is the belief that simply being useful is enough to make a submissive person feel satisfied, and that if you want anything in return for your service, even just a pat on the head and a “good boy”, then you must not really be submissive. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Having needs doesn’t make you a bad submissive, it makes you a human being I can connect with. For me, and I suspect for many submissives, kink is about intimacy. If the person on the other end of the dynamic represses all of his needs in the name of being a “good” sub, what he’s really doing is shutting me out. The “perfect” submissive with no needs of his own would be a terrible submissive for me. I get nothing out of feeling like I’m interchangeable, like there’s nothing special about me that inspires his submission.
While it’s unfair to expect the dom to do all of the work of inspiring someone to submit to me, it’s just as unfair to expect the submissive to do all of the work of keeping a power exchange dynamic going. As much as some s-types enjoy feeling “taken advantage of” in a negotiated and mutually satisfying way, a truly one-sided dynamic can only last for so long before the submissive realizes they really are being taken advantage of and leaves. Again, without the dom holding up their end of the dynamic, there’s no connection, no symbiosis.
That’s not to say that the poor woman being submitted at (who is probably wondering if her husband is being so nice all of a sudden because he cheated and feels guilty) can in any way be blamed for not holding up her end of the dynamic, just that it’s impossible for one person to make a dynamic work. Which is exactly why advice to “stealth submit” is a cruel joke – by skipping the all important “talk to your partner” step, it guarantees that the stealth submitter will not get the acknowledgement and appreciation that make submission satisfying.
The sooner we drop the idiotic idea that submissive people shouldn’t have needs, the better off we’ll be.