The Imagined Gift
Copyright Screamer 1998 All rights reserved
(As article appeared in SandMutopian Guardian Magazine, 1998)
Iím not going to say Iíve always been into BDSM. I am, however, going to say that my earliest fantasies were such that would lead me to believe I knew along that this was the kind of lifestyle I wanted. I can remember being about seven or eight, and shutting myself into my closet. I would pretend I was the kidnapped princess, and that the thieves that had captured me wanted me to do all sorts of Ďthingsí with them. Now, at seven or eight, I didnít know what Ďthingsí they meant, but I certainly knew what part of my body they were going to do them to. I would spend hours in that closet.
I think thatís when my parents started to worry.
Now, at the ripe old age of 33, here I am. I am a submissive with a wonderful Dominant. I am a Top, beginning explorations of dominating others. I am a stepmother, a computer geek, a great cook, and a housecleaner for four. In addition, I run a BDSM website, write fiction and non-fiction, and spend a great deal of time sending and answering email.
My submission is not a gift to anyone but myself.
When you bloom and blossom in the on-line community, (as opposed to those who discover BDSM before they got a computer) the way I did, you begin with very certain beliefs. You start out thinking that when you submit to a Dominant, youíre giving him some great gift, and for that you should be cherished, loved and held above any other life form on the planet. You want him or her to use you to satiate his or her desires, but you want them to do so in such a manner that elevates your status. You want to be owned by someone who appreciates this gift of submission you offer them.
Iíve been arguing this theory in the online community for years. It does me no good. People are going to see it as they wish to see it. The plan, simple fact of the matter is this: If a submissive is allowing the Dominant to do things to/for/with her, she obviously wants to do them as well, correct? Maybe not in such a literal way, but in an emotional way.
I know that when I take a hand spanking from Mark, I am most certainly NOT enjoying the pain from it. I hate hand spankings. They hurt. I canít eroticize that one little iota. However, I continue to take them, and after the pain is over, Iím happy that I did. Why?
Did I give him a gift of submission? Did I take it out of pure selflessness?
No. I did it because he likes it, and because giving your partner something he likes, even when you donít, is part of any healthy relationship. I do get something out of it, though. I get the pleasure of pleasing him. I get the happiness I feel when I look at him when itís over, and I see the pride and love in his eyes for me. I get to make him happy.
If itís a gift for either of us, itís for both of us.
Mark doesnít always like romantic movies. But heíll watch them sometimes, with and for me. Is that a gift? No. Because usually when itís over, he turns on something with Steven Segall in it, and we watch that together.
Thatís an exchange.
Not a gift.
Okay, maybe a gift exchange.
I think all this talk about Ďthe gift of submissioní irks me the way that it does, is that it goes against what I feel submission is. It makes it appear as if the Dominant owes you something. As if youíre doing something without any thought to your own needs, wishes, and desires.
Thatís not true. You wouldnít be a submissive if you didnít want to be one. Youíre doing what feels good and natural to you. Youíre not making any sacrifices that you didnít sign on to make. And youíre not doing anything different than our mothers and fathers before us did. Youíre giving something to get something in return.
Relationships that last are giving relationships. This is true in vanilla as well as the kink community. Your mother liked tearjerker movies, your father liked westerns. Iím imagining that if they survived the curve and have stayed married all these years, itís because they did a lot of compromising and giving to each other.
BDSM is no different.
The Dominant gives his dominance. The submissive gives her submission. The two feed off of each other, making the other and their own stronger and more meaningful over time. Two pieces of the same puzzle, drawn together by some invisible force that allows each half to be in their natural state, and allows the other half the opportunity to be in theirs.
Thatís all there is to it.
I worry about submissives that hold their Ďgiftí in their lap, saving it for a perfect Dominant. I worry about them because as long as they keep thinking of their chosen lifestyle as a gift, theyíre going to continue to sit there with it Ė alone. I donít know about anyone else, but the last thing I want kneeling in front of me is a submissive who thinks that he or she is doing me some great favor by being there for me to dominate. I donít need favors. I need a strong, proud submissive. Someone who looks to me as I look to them for making an intimate connection into this lifestyle we have chosen to call our own.
Now, donít get me wrong. Iím not saying that submission should not be cherished. What Iím trying to get across is that it should be just as cherished as Dominance. I mean, come on. What good does your submission do you if you keep it all to yourself, and donít share it with a Dominant? And the reverse is true as well. Itís reciprocation Ė nothing more, nothing less.
Iím not about to put myself up on a pedestal and proclaim that I am a submissive, and should be treated with the utmost respect and love because I submit. Iím not going to elevate myself to a level that makes me seem better or more holy. Why? Because Iím not. Iím doing exactly what I want to be doing, and with whom I want to be doing it with.
And I can give as well as I get. And if youíre not doing something that Ďdoesí it for you in the long run, youíre doing the wrong damn thing.
I give that gift to myself.
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