Submission Goes Mainstream

I read this lovely article in The Elephant Journal about a submissive woman who’s talking publicly about her lifestyle.  You can and should read the whole article here.  But this part in particular was nice to read.

She is a submissive. Her life, day in and day out, is lived with the mindset of being in service to her Sir, who happens to be her long-time partner and a man for whom she has the utmost in love and respect.

A mother, wife, yoga lover, CPA by profession, living an upper middle class lifestyle; this beautiful, intelligent, woman’s days are full of the usual joys and concerns that we all can relate to, but with the added intention to follow her Master’s will.

I was intrigued and thrilled to meet someone who has so fully explored her soul’s needs and has made adjustments to live accordingly.

Authenticity like this is rarer than you’d think.

It is easier to bow to the demands of society and other people’s opinions than to live according to what truly moves us.

It has been my honor to interview a woman who has taught me much about releasing expectations of oneself that do not match our soul’s purpose.

She has courage and wisdom to spare and wishes to open a door for other women to face their deepest held needs.

While this is not a subject that all will agree upon, it is our prerogative as women to live our lives as freely and of our own choice as possible. And as another friend said to me recently, if that means chained to our kitchen sink because that is what we desire, then so be it.

The article is based on a interview with the submissive woman, so part of it is direct quotes and part of it is the author’s reflections.  I like the way the author honors the choice, and the insight the submissive woman offers.  But then this part gives me lots to ponder.  She says:

“However, I never thought of living this way 24/7 until last fall when my Husband, now Dom, and I discussed trying this lifestyle as a way to help me deal with chronic anxiety.

I tend to over-think everything. I can get stuck in a worst-case scenario or processing loop over most any decision. So, simplifying my life by devoting myself to Him, as His submissive, allows to me make all decisions based on what pleases Him. Anxiety solved and I’ve never felt happier or more fulfilled. Again, this only works because I judge Him as wise, just, fair and trustworthy.”

Suddenly, there are

 

red flags all over the place.

Ok, not that extreme.  And i quickly remind myself that it’s not any of my business, not my call to make, not my place to judge.

On the other hand, she’s telling her story in a public venue – i get to have an opinion too.  And of course I do – have an opinion.

I think that BDSM has a healing component.  I think it can be helpful for people who experience anxiety or depression or who have PTSD.  I don’t think it’s healthy, or a good use of BDSM, for it to be THE solution to anxiety.

But it’s open for discussion.  What do you think?

 

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/06/warning-photos-contain-nudity-sexuality-my-life-as-a-submissive/

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19 thoughts on “Submission Goes Mainstream

    1. Right? Thank you!! I mean, what she’s saying is that she no longer has to think about worrisome things or make decisions. And I’m pretty sure it can’t work like that for real.

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      1. Yeah, stepford I am not. A lot of the time, I think being Owned comes with a whole lot of decisions and if you have anxiety–oh, the anxiety about those decisions can be a lot to handle and then a lot for your D-one to manage too coz they knew you did but put you there in the first place by command…they have to deal with the aftermaths. Thanks for the food for thought 🙂

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      2. Sure – thanks for your comments!! I think that the relationship between a sub and the Dom is fertile ground for all kinds of growth, and there is a lot to think about and consider!! ❤

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  1. Everything in life has a trade off. If she made hers, then so be it. Personally, that didn’t set off red flags for me, because it didn’t contain enough information for me to see a pattern that puts the slave in a more vulnerable state in some manner. i think it sounded like an oversimplification, which it would have to be to be an article, even a tome, on all of the subtleties that make up any relationship-especially an M/s one.

    i have experienced a total lack of anxiety over very specific things when they are controlled externally. i don’t think it is an accident that those things are OCD-like inside of me (binges of eating, binges of smoking). There is never an absence of anxiety all together, as she implied. If anything most of the women i have known who functioned 24/7 as slaves are very type-A (or would be, if given any choice in the matter). i find controlling the shit out of myself to always be pleasing to come with bouts of anxiety that SR cannot do anything about, except for waiting for me to circle back around to the knowledge that being in an anxious state is something not pleasing to her and do what i need to do for that (rest, meditate, color, sit in the kitchen in my spot). Note that none of these things are dependent upon her whatsoever-like most of what i do and don’t do.

    It may also be worth noting that the closer you move to a total power exchange, the more everything is filtered through “Would this please my Owner?”

    How a slave feels about that is bound to vary. Hell, i got anxious today because i’m only allowed one kind of conditioner that has one smell she allows and could NOT find it anywhere. Then i got anxious again because i realized that i forgot to text her when i got on the bus, and when i got to the pharmacy. If i didn’t feel anxious over those things, it would not be good.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Jade, I knew you would have a valuable perspective on this. I’m glad it was an oversimplification, it concerns me that the article presents it that way to the mainstream world. I’m not judging her decision at all. My concern was more around the idea of presenting BDSM as the cure for anxiety because then the Dom makes all the decisions. Which is – as you point out – not exactly how it works.

      I think (fwiw) that the article could have easily as said that the relationship gave her solid ground, or the sense of safety, or whatever, to stand on to be able to manage her anxiety, or to work through it, or whatever. I mostly resent the idea that being submissive means you don’t have to feel hard feelings anymore.

      So I appreciate you sharing your own anxiety – which is going to be different from someone not in a power exchange relationship!! Thanks for your insight!!

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      1. I am always worried about how we are presenting and presented to the outside world, too. It just so happens that this particular oversimplification isn’t something easy to remedy and doesn’t make us seem pathological.

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  2. I know her and as jadescastle said the article is an oversimplification. She’s a very intelligent woman and does a lot of work on personal growth through yoga and reading. Her and her D have a tight bond.
    Submission for me has done wonders for my self confidence. Having the rule in my head that I will accept and not question how he sees me helps me not be so hard in myself. I

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    1. Hi, Toraprincess, and thank you so much for your comment! I totally agree that a BDSM relationship creates a safe space to build on. I’m glad the woman in the article recognizes that too. I probably should have known that it was an oversimplification. The mental health therapist in me was concerned. It is definitely the relationship that helps us grow.

      Thanks again for your comments!!

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  3. You know the funny thing? We struggle/live D/s and yet I don’t ever think of it as BDSM. I suppose it is, I just never really think of it that way- but that is another discussion now isn’t it. I didn’t see any red flags myself either (though I didn’t read the entire article I have to confess). I think basically what I am about to say has been mentioned in a different form above but let me take a stab at it anyway.

    Before starting D/s I didn’t actually realize I had anxiety. Then the more vulnerable I allowed myself to feel the more I gave a voice to it. Like much of anything else I felt before D/s I had found away to push it aside, behind anger or whatever was easier to deal with. At first this ‘new found’ anxiety was a bit worrisome. DID D/S CAUSE my anxiety? No. it allowed me to recognize it for what it was, and actually be okay with some forms of it. Then as we progressed I realized the closer I got to my core (my authentic self) in submission, the less I felt anxiety wise. I was able to ‘talk myself’ down or give myself perspective on the situation. The logical mind often won out over the emotional.

    Not sure how anxiety works in others but mine seems to build (on average…some days it still hits me in the back of the head) over a short period of time. So I think I understand this woman when she says focusing on her husband/Dom removes some of her anxiety. If I fixate on his needs, it can often give me a pin hole view of my surroundings and basically allows my brain to dismiss whatever else is not per tenant to the task at hand. I am unsure if that would be effective ALL the time, but I know it has been a lot of the time. I suppose some may say I am pushing it aside again, but it doesn’t feel like that to me. I have often heard anxiety is made up of the ‘what ifs’ scenarios in the brain. Focusing on my contribution to his needs doesn’t give me the time to live in ‘what ifs’.

    willie

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    1. That makes a lot of sense, Willie, and those nuances of how it works are so valuable. I think what you describe is the same thing that happens for me when I am better able to focus on what I”m doing because I have a D/s relationship. It just lets some things slip away.

      Thank you for commenting on this.

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  4. I think BDSM can be healing, even for PTSD, depression and other ailments. But its a very narrow set of circumstances. The person you’re placing your life into has to be trustworthy, and you have to know that they’ve got your best interests at heart. Even with that, people make mistakes and I can see it causing harm just as much as it helps. I don’t know if I could relate my lifestyle to helping me psychologically. Perhaps. But I am lucky not to have a lot of baggage.

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting! I think you’re right – there are a lot of ways that the situation can go wrong. It’s nice that you don’t have a lot of emotional baggage (that always surprises me – I kind of assume that everyone does!)

      Thanks again for commenting!

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  5. Late to the party, as usual. I agree with a lot of the comments about it being perhaps an oversimplification. i can see how the red flags shot up cos while I didn’t read the whole article i can imagine that someone who isn’t familiar with being in a D/s r/p, or knowing anyone who was in one, might suddenly think – hey that’s me, i’ll go find myself a dom. I know now *I’m* oversimplifying it, and hopefully (shudder) no one is going to just run out and find themselves a dom to deal with anxiety/ptsd whatever..

    But a lot of it has to do (again, as the others have said) with the person to whom you are handing over your heart and soul. If i wasn’t completely certain that he 1) can be trusted to think of my best interest; 2) knows how to work around my anxiety/worries/frustrations/paranoia/idiosyncrasis (tall order, I know) and 3) is able to do or say the right thing at the right time depending on the circumstances, then there’s NO WAY being in a D/s r/p with said person would alleviate my stress and worries. In fact it would probably ADD to it.

    So I totally agree with you when you say ~~

    “… the article could have easily as said that the relationship gave her solid ground, or the sense of safety, ….. that being submissive means you don’t have to feel hard feelings anymore.”

    Cos I think it comes with a whole set of different feelings to work through and sort out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Fondles – actually the party doesn’t really start til you get here. 🙂

      Yeah, I agree, the quality of the relationship is really important. And there’s no doubt that it creates a whole different set of feelings to deal with!! Thanks so much for commenting!

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