Posts Tagged ‘trust’

‘Turkey Vulture’ from “Pitcher of Moon”

August 26, 2013

Frank, turkey Vulture

 

This poem is dedicated to my friend, Nick Nicholson.  “Pitcher Of Moon” has not be published yet, but perhaps later this fall.  I am hopeful for the 37 poems of blessings and gratitude in there.

Lady Nyo

 

TURKEY VULTURE

 

I once knew a woman

Living in a scrubby trailer park

Down near the scrub pines of Florida.

 

She was poor as a church mouse,

half –crazed by life.

She fed all strays

-was the pariah of the neighborhood.

 

Every evening a flock of vultures,

Like fixed-wing aircraft,

Would skim the pines,

And land in a muddle of feathers,

Awkward birds out of their element

Land and with a group waddle

Come to the cat food offered in pans.

 

They were patient guests

And waited for the strays to finish.

 

There was decorum

Among them,

These fierce looking birds

Perhaps they knew

The charity offered

Had humbled their nature:

Or perhaps they had reformed;

I don’t know

But they had a leader named “Frank”

Who held back until the others were done.

 

Frank would never face you;

He sat sideways

Though I believe he peeked.

Perhaps he was ashamed

A lord of the sky

Brought down to this station,

To fill his crop with kibble

From a dented metal pan.

 

Come sit with me.

Extend a feather,

I promise not to stare.

Your warty red neck,

Your hang-dog countenance

Does not disturb me.

 

Come sit beside me,

Let our talons dig into the sand

Let the ocean cleanse our feathers

I will call you friend, brother

For the gift of trust

You have brought on your wings.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted 2012-13 

 

 

 

 

Rose B. Thorny’s Interview on D/S.

September 25, 2008

Rose is a personal friend from ERWA. (Erotica Readers and Writers Assoc.) I asked her to write on these questions of Domination and submission, and she did. She gathered in my meek questions and produced something that is timely and good. She presents a prologue here as a further word of caution and application. Rose is nothing if not thorough.

I consider Rose to be an original and independent thinker and I value greatly her views. That is why I asked her to write on these questions because she hits all the salient points and gives a good counterbalance to it all.

And I am all about balance lately having seen the necessity of it when it wasn’t there. Hopping around on one foot is not attractive.

Rose:

It is entirely possible for submissives to be perfectly normal people,
*without* any kind of childhood trauma, or abuse, or even
what might be considered untoward demands on the child to
perform to a certain standard. It is entirely possible that
some, or many, submissives are simply wired that way from
birth.

So it is not a good idea to draw a conclusion, from *my*
writing, as it possibly could be construed, that every
submissive is looking for the type of dom or the type of
lifestyle that I have sought. Nor is it fair to conclude
that only submissives *with* mild, moderate, or severe abuse
in their backgrounds necessarily seek out a D/S “lifestyle”
or BDSM activities. In other words, a perfectly normal
person, raised in a perfectly normal household, may simply
be a submissive person, who *enjoys* being dominated *and*
happens to enjoy pain to whatever degrees is acceptable and
tolerable. And one thing that has not been emphasized at
all is that a lifestyle that is based somewhat rigidly on
the D/S paradigm may not necessarily involve any pain or
punishment (BDSM or S&M), whatsoever.

Whether or not the employment of D/S and/or BDSM is a coping
method, conditioned response, or simply the result of
hardwiring, is impossible to ascertain *without* individual
attention and interviews. Each individual is, rightfully,
unique. Therefore, I am just a little worried that some
people with *no* abuse in their background, or at the very
least, no memory of abuse in their background, or what they
themselves might consider abuse, *might* think that I’m
saying *only* submissives with our kind of background, or
similar or equivalent backgrounds, are those who enjoy and
crave living the D/S and/or BDSM.dynamic.

Reflections on Submission
Rose B. Thorny
Copyright 2008

Prologue:

First of all, I think the states of “submissiveness” and “slavery” must be addressed separately.

In my opinion, submissiveness involves degrees, with vast latitude, and slavery does not. You are either a slave, or you are not. There is no latitude in slavery. (And that is not to be confused with being a “love slave,” or a sexual submissive.)

If you have any will of your own, any autonomy, any say in the relationship, any negotiating power, you are *not* a slave.

As I said, being submissive involves a huge variance in degrees. Even an alpha female displays submissive behaviour in the presence of the alpha male. It is in her best interest to do so. In fact, it is totally self-interest to submit to the male *of your choice.* The alpha male, on the other hand, still has to woo and prove his worth for the alpha female to buy into whatever he’s selling.

So, it is my opinion that in any discussion of D/S (and please note the use of the upper case letters, and not the upper case/lower case affectation), submission and slavery are two separate states state of being. If I were to liken them to a filing cabinet:

Submission is a drawer with myriad files in it, which can be added to, depending on the number of individuals there are. It’s actually a very flexible drawer. It expands to accommodate every new D/S relationship. Submission is degrees, options, variations, mix and match, different strokes, whatever works for you, as a unique submissive, in the unique relationship you have with the unique dominant. Always remember that dominance and submission, to varying, wide degrees, are present in every individual and group relationship on the planet. The dynamic exists with little, or no, conscious thought, because it is the nature of some creatures to be dominant and the nature of others to be submissive, and it is not gender specific. The dynamic exists and we acknowledge it every day, in many ways. Deferring to the boss, regardless of the boss’s gender, indicates submissiveness. Whether we are female or male, giving an instruction to a subordinate, male or female, and expecting it to be obeyed is dominant behaviour, even if the subordinate *doesn’t* obey.

In personal relationships, the D/S dynamic exists and, frequently, is simply an unconscious division of labour and compromise to aid in making life’s path smoother for the concerned parties. Depending on the degree of submissiveness, the submissive may or may not actually resent the degree to which s/he feels the submissiveness is *expected.* “Why am I always the one, who has to clean up the bathroom?” The difference between slavery and submissiveness is that in such a scenario, the submissive person is free to question the status quo, or at least, should be free to question it, without fear of reprisal of any kind. D/S is *not* tyranny.

In a D/S relationship, where the parameters are more defined, the choice is made to give up a certain amount of autonomy (and the degrees vary).

There is a conscious decision, a choice, to say, “Okay, in this, you are the boss.” The number of “in this” instances can be great or small.

Slavery is a drawer with only one file folder in it. The file folder has the heading, “The dominant is the boss of everything.” Slavery is handing over the reins to another person, who then says, “From hereon in, everything is my choice, my decision. There is nothing more or less. I own you. This is what you are…the end.” Once you make the choice to be a slave, the only way you become *not* a slave is to exercise the choice to no longer *be* a slave and as soon as you *do* exercise choice, you no longer *are* a slave.

So, I think, before any discussion can take place, the terms submissive and slave have to be clearly distinguished.

The distinction *must* be understood.

In my opinion, *that* is the distinction. The submissive has myriad choices, depending on the degrees that have been consciously, or unconsciously, negotiated. The slave has no choice, except to choose to no longer be a slave.

So, for purposes of this discussion, I consider myself to be submissive. By no stretch of the imagination, do I consider myself a “slave.”

Lady Nyo: how long did you feel this way before you searched out some relief?

Rose:Well, first of all this is an odd question. I didn’t *feel* submissive. I *am* submissive, so I have always felt the desire to please and to have a certain amount of control exercised upon me by another person. However, in that feeling of submissiveness was also a strong core of “I am my own person.” As for *seeking it out,* I am fairly certain I didn’t actually know what I was looking for. I know what I *didn’t* want and that was tyranny. I did not want someone who would not consider me an equal and deserving of respect. So I never actually actively sought out someone like that, but I was attracted to those who *did* treat me how I felt I should be treated, and put off by those bully types who were merely tyrants masquerading as friends or boyfriends.

My only exposure to an actual, albeit extreme, description of D/S was, initially, “The Story of O.” It was simultaneously arousing and frightening. The idea of the submission and control felt good. The idea of being so totally absorbed as to lose my *self* (or the remants of my *self*) was anathema.

I was in my fifties before I realized that “O” was not necessarily the gold standard of D/S.

Lady Nyo: Were you scared to even admit to this politically incorrect issue?

Rose: Yes. But I must qualify that. (As if you thought I wouldn’t. LOL.)

It wasn’t the “political incorrectness” of the issue that made me afraid. Part of what I feared was the perceived “perversion” aspect; the way that D/S and BDSM was portrayed as being somehow indicative of “weakness,” and “sleazy” and “cheap,” respectively.

I was also frightened by the “insanity” aspect; that D/S and BDSM were states of being and activities, in which only those, without two synapses to rub together, would engage. I was afraid that to admit to being “submissive” was tantamount to admitting I was too stupid to run my own life, and that getting pleasure out of what is ordinarily described as “pain,” (physical and/or psychological, i.e. spanking, whipping. restraint and/or humiliation such as pet girl behaviour) was just plain nuts.

There are those, who shall remain unnamed, who speak of not accepting your “submissive nature” as the result of “social and cultural programming,” and while *some* of that *may* be true, in *some* instances, I maintain (and this is only an opinion based on research and observation) that it is not necessarily a fear of going against the socio-cultural status quo that keeps many female submissives from admitting their natural tendencies, as it is a fear of loss of *self* and *identity.* It is a fear that their individuality will be absorbed by someone, who they *instinctively* know, through experience, will suck their souls out of them and rip their developing egos and self-esteem to shreds, given half a chance to do so. That submissive’s very nature lends itself to being afraid of anyone who seeks to control them to a degree with which they are *not* comfortable.

What do I mean by that? Well, simply that to a submissive person, the tyranny of a group of social peers is no less threatening than the tyranny of a single individual who seeks to wrest or coerce control from the submissive through reward and punishment. “Do as I/we say, or you’ll be shunned. You won’t be one of us. We won’t like you. We’ll reject you as a member of our group.”

Submissiveness may be a natural-occurring state, but it is also one that is exploited by bullies and control freaks to the bullies’ and control freaks’ advantage. It is much more extreme in humans than in animals. In nature, in any other animal group, sadists do not exist. Dominance is exercised only to the degree that other dominants leave the territory. Rarely do dominants fight to the death on purpose. Fatal injuries may result from the confrontation, but the intent of the confrontation is not to kill with malice; it is to drive away the competition. The submissives get to stay and pretty much live out their lives with impunity.

In humans, dominance is all too often taken to the extreme, with pleasure in sadistic behaviour being derived, to the detriment of all and sundry, who are unable, or unwilling, to absent themselves from the sphere of the bullying dominant.

The submissive person does not *want* to be a doormat. A submissive personality is often one of peacemaker and diplomat, the one who doesn’t like to make waves, but who also, *inside,* knows s/he is not a doormat and doesn’t want to take shit from anyone.

Those who say it is totally a socio-cultural issue thing, however, ignore the fact that the submissive’s supposed fear of going against a socio-cultural doctrine is a well-founded fear of psychological coercion born, not of what society imposes, or has imposed on them, but of individual experience within a much narrower framework: the familial connection, which I’ll address later.

I will also admit that, in my case, the political incorrectness aspect of D/S applied only to the “feminist” standard set by vocal extremists of feminism.

I parted company with many of those extremists, on numerous issues, but was afraid that dissent on those issues would make me appear to be a traitor to the cause of equality in so many other areas, in which I felt, and still feel, that equality of opportunity and treatment was most definitely a worthy cause. In other words, so many of the vociferous and extreme feminists were just as tyrannical as their *male dominance* counterparts: *Our way, or the highway.* No compromise, no middle ground, and little, or no, acceptance of degrees of behaviour. They mouthed the mantra of equal rights, yet shouted down the right of the individual to stray, even slightly, from the feminist dogma.

Please note that this also becomes an issue when dogma is applied to any cause, including the D/S one. *Anything* that becomes institutionalized and dogmatic erodes the right of the individual to exercise freedom of thought and behaviour.

Any proponent of a labeled lifestyle, who brooks no argument or reasonable discussion concerning what is involved in that lifestyle, is interested only in his or her own view of the labeled lifestyle. Theirs is arrogant self-interest and a *need,* not just a desire, to control. As far as they are concerned, *theirs* is the “right” definition, and in fact, they insist on “defining,” to the extreme, what they consider to *be* that lifestyle, while at the same time, pronouncing that “submissive” and “dominant” behaviour are nature, and not choice. A “lifestyle” is a choice. So they further define what they wish and co-opt a particular way of living and call it D/S. Now they are able to call a dominant and submissive relationship a “lifestyle,” and by not entertaining or accepting any other interpretations of a naturally occurring balance of personalities they are able to justify that only *their* definition of D/S is the acceptable one.

So in talking about a “D/S” (or in their case, “D/s”) lifestyle, they are talking about a particular set of doctrines and supporting dogma of a particularly exclusive group. They become “fundamentalist” D/Sers, and they are as threatening to the individual as any other extremist.

By doing this, they have simply reformed the socio-cultural landscape to suit their own needs. If you do not do ‘x’ or behave in ‘x’ fashion, then you are not a “true” submissive. For the submissive personality, this is, once again, the fear, based on either long past, or near past, experience, that there is something *wrong* with them, that somehow they are coming up short of a definition imposed by someone else, who is interested only in controlling the submissive and not interested in the submissive herself, as a person, as an individual, and as an equal being.

It is important, in acknowledging your submissive nature, that you look very closely at *all* the aspects of your nature and not just the submissive traits. Most people are not just all one thing, or all something else. There are many aspects to your character. We’re all a smorgasbord or characteristics and skills and talents. You may be extremely artistic when wielding a paint brush, but not the slightest bit handy at, or interested in, knitting. You may love listening to music, but are all thumbs playing a musical instrument. You may be a marathon class runner, but are totally not built to execute an arabesque on the ballet stage. It is a matter of degrees and balance. You cannot be all things to all people, nor even to yourself.

If you are a teacher, you may be able to walk into a classroom and almost magically take control of the kids; you may have that special knack. But get called on the carpet, by a cop, for speeding, and you turn into a gelatinous blob.

You may *choose* to try to be everything pleasing to one individual, and that individual may well be pleased by all your efforts, but if he or she is *not,* it isn’t the end of the world. You are human, and you have the right to make mistakes. You may be submissive to the degree that you *want* to please, but not to the degree that you’ll do *anything* to please.

When it comes to submission, you may love the feeling of being sexually used in the bedroom, but if anyone…and I mean *anyone* messes up the spice rack in your kitchen, you turn into the ultimate dom. “This is *my* kitchen and *my* spice rack. Keep your paws out off it and don’t mess up my space.”

I believe that within the majority of individuals there is a mix of dominant and submissive traits that work together to make us a whole person, to give each of us a sense of self, of who and what we are. We are given all the raw materials, at birth, to define who that “self” is.

It is an unfortunate truth that some, or many, end up in the unenviable position of having that “self” warped and shaped to meet the twisted needs of a primary or secondary caregiver.

This is where the fear can be sown.

The fact that you are reading this commentary means that you are exploring the idea of submission and dominance. You are recognizing those characteristics in yourself that are causing you to ask the question, “What am I?”

This means that you are addressing issues of “self.” Anytime there is exploration, there is also fear of discovery. “What am I going to find, if I look further into this box?”

If you are, in fact, seeking such answers, it perhaps indicates that you are, actually, seeking your “self,” which means that somewhere along the line, very possibly, you believe that your “self” was lost.

Is your fear of submission simply a fear of going against the status quo of the society in which you currently live, and the peer group of which you are a segment, or is it a much deeper fear of losing yourself, or much more important, of losing yourself *AGAIN?*

If it is the latter, then you are *so* justified in being afraid. In fact, be afraid, be very afraid. Fear is an important emotion in self-preservation and survival; not just physical survival, but emotional and psychological…and spiritual… survival. Trust your fear, because fear is based on instinct and experience. Instinct is what keeps us alive and experience is a tool for learning to stay that way.

Lady Nyo: Did you trust yourself or him easily?

Rose: Once again, a loaded question.

Trusting *him* is totally predicated on whether or not you trust yourself.

Because of my particular background, I did not trust myself. I could not trust my own judgment, because mind games and psychological (and other) abuse, from an early age, eroded and warped whatever powers of judgment I possessed, or would have developed, early on. I either trusted, totally, or not at all, and was completely screwed up as to *who* to trust and when and to what degree. My powers of judgment were severely warped.

Because of that, I was ripe to be taken advantage of. I believe that in humans, there is not just a desire, but a need, to trust. We are basically social animals and trust is necessary, in a social group, for that group to function smoothly and to the best advantage of all in the group. Without trust, balance is totally skewed.

Unfortunately, when trust is betrayed at an early age, the *need* to trust still remains and, therefore, in the pursuit of fulfilling that need, it is all to easy to place your trust in anyone and everyone, who behaves in a manner towards you that would *lead* you to trust them (kind words, charm, praise, supposedly “listening” to your woes), without your being able to tell the difference between who is truly worthy of your trust and who is not. In other words, your *need* to trust impairs both your ability to judge and the instinct you ordinarily would have honed had your trust not been betrayed.

It’s no different than being in the middle of the desert and craving water. Your need for water, to survive, is so great that when you finally see a glass of water, you gulp it down not even thinking that whoever put that water there might have tainted it with something harmful, or even deadly, just because that person felt like it.

Further, it is unfortunately true, that there are people out there, who are only too willing, in pursuit of their own need to control, to totally take advantage of those, who so desperately crave trust and love, that they will ignore, or even be unable to recognize, their own instinct *not* to trust just anyone.

So, first, I needed to learn to trust myself. And oddly, it was *he,* who helped me learn to do that.

In the beginning, a good and true dom is no different than a good and true friend. In the beginning, the two are synonymous. It is my opinion that any good and true relationship *must* include trust. Trust *must * be earned. It is not a given and not automatic. Trust can only come with familiarity and sharing. The dom engenders trust by exhibiting the qualities inherent in *being* trustworthy. To trust someone simply because he says, “Trust me,” and tells you what a great dom he is, is to set yourself up for being betrayed, and this may run to pattern, so it is something the newly self-discovered submissive needs to acknowledge. The submissive, who chooses to lay her vulnerability on the line, needs to trust herself enough to say, “No, there is something in this person that doesn’t *feel* right to me,” or “Yes, this person will not harm me…ever.”

The newly self-discovered submissive must truly understand what it means to be able to *set* personal boundaries and have those boundaries respected, and to trust herself to defend those boundaries, before she allows herself to waive any rules *she* has set that govern the flow of traffic across those boundaries.

In other words, the submissive must be fully cognizant of having the *right* to build her fences, and exercise her own autonomy, and only then, trusting herself to build a gate to allow passage to those she deems worthy of sharing her space; in other words, those whom she trusts, those who have *earned* her trust.

Lady Nyo: Did you crave his control?

Rose: Yes. To me, craving control is simply the yearning for feeling protected and loved. However, it does not mean craving abuse. There is a huge difference.

In my case, the craving was for control with caring and consideration, knowing that the control is for *my* good, and not just on the whim of a domineering person.

It isn’t just about *craving* control, but about needing to set boundaries and understanding boundaries…both my own, and other people’s.

Control and self-control are all about discipline and understanding personal worth; one’s own and the worth of others, as well. Control is about striving for excellence, not perfection. And not just to please someone else, but to develop a respect for your own worth.

It feels wonderful to please someone else, but that kind of pleasure must constantly be reaffirmed. It is in being pleased with oneself, in achieving anything, that one learns what control actually means.

Those who espouse that a “true submissive” can only be truly fulfilled by “serving,” are playing on the part of a damaged psyche that believes care of and attention to one’s “self” is “selfish.” They are cashing in on a particular submissive’s lifelong habit of acquiescing in order to gain favour, or garner praise. By convincing a submissive that a life of service is her true calling, a narcissistic dominant can have the best of all worlds. And a damaged, naturally submissive person will be only too willing to go along with it. “As long as I please him, he’ll be happy, and therefore, I’ll be happy.” Win-win all the way around.

Except, what happens when the damaged psyche starts wondering what could have been? What happens when she realizes that the control (the trust and love) she craved, was merely another version of the control that stifled all her individuality, her artistic creativity, and her independence that once were options? What happens when control of self is given over to someone else *before* control of self was ever actually exercised?

It is unwise to give over control of yourself to someone else, before you even discover who your *self* is.

Be wary of moving from one co-dependent relationship right into another.

There are self-professed doms out there, whose only interest is in absorbing the souls of others.

Lady Nyo: Did you fight him?

Rose: No. Didn’t have to, because he didn’t make any demands that I felt were unreasonable and he had no interest in sucking my recovered soul from me. His interest was and is in helping me be all I was meant to be, from the start, and that isn’t necessarily all just what *he* wishes, but rather, whatever I am capable of that makes me a unique person in my own right.

Lady Nyo: Did you ever care about the asymmetrical relationship?

Rose: There is no asymmetry.

As I’ve stated previously, in my opinion, and in my experience, it is all about degrees and balance.

Where I differ from so many, whose writings I have read, who have shared their thoughts and beliefs as to what D/S is, I believe that degrees and balance are within oneself. My submissive and dominant traits complement *his* dominant and submissive traits. (Yes!!! You read that right…doms have submissive traits, just like any other normal human being, and by extension, subs also possess dominant traits, just like any other normal human being.)

So the relationship is *not* asymmetrical. Yin yang is within each individual, but also between individuals. Each relationship is unique and complex.

Human beings, who are not multi-dimensional, who feel they must be *either* one thing *or* something else, in my opinion, are damaged individuals. If you attempt to build a relationship with a person like that, you will not find the balance within yourself, which is what I believe most people seek, even if they do not realize that is what they’re seeking.

Lady Nyo:
Did you seek a particular philosophy? Like Gorean for example?

Rose: I seek my own philosophy and study the philosophies of others to gather data. I do not adhere to any one particular philosophy, except my own. If something doesn’t *feel* right to me, then I leave it aside, because I *have* learned to trust my instincts.

There is nothing wrong with studying the philosophy of others, but *adopting* the philosophy of any particular individual or group would require that I trust *their* judgment over my own, and that would lead me right back to the beginning of my life, where I am ripe for betrayal by those who seek only to control me for their own ends, and to the destruction of my self-esteem. That I will not do. “Never again,” is a good motto.

Lady Nyo: Did you have a hard time revealing your thoughts?

Rose: Mostly, no. I found writing many of my thoughts was easier than talking, because I’m a writer. But I was actually happy to share my thoughts, either in writing, or verbally, because there was so much inside me that was dying to come out. Once I knew this person was trustworthy, it was just another means of showing him *how much* I did trust him. In fact, I was craving to trust, probably way more than I was craving anything else. But there were things that were tough, because I’d never talked about them, in person, to anyone. It is difficult to talk about some things the first time.

Lady Nyo: Was he gentle with you in the beginning?

Rose: Always. And strange as it may seem, he still always is gentle, even when administering the corporal disciplines. Gentle, but firm is what it’s all about. And never *more* firm than he knows I can take, and wish to take.

There is no malicious intent, no cruelty. He is not a narcissistic dom, so it is not “all about him,” just as my submission is not “all about me.”

Gentleness is about understanding need. Dominance and submission are about meeting needs. So gentleness and dominance/submission are two elements of a single dynamic.

Gentleness does not preclude firmness and discipline.

Lady Nyo: Did you want to submit to him fast? Or was it a long process?

Rose: Well, here we are back to the idea of degrees. Submission, in my opinion, is not a single act. It isn’t a matter of not submitting and then one evening, at dinner, say, telling him, “Okay, I submit. I’m yours. Do whatever you want.” I needed to trust him first, so the trust developed relatively slowly, as it should in any relationship.

Did I *want* to? Yes. I’d fantasized all my life about it, so, yeah, after that many decades, I was in a bit of hurry. However, with age and experience, comes wisdom. They always say not to dive into unfamiliar waters and there’s a good reason for that. An unseen rock could kill you. There was a lot of conversation and discussion over a relatively long period of time.

“Fast” is a relative term, and so is “long process.” Basically, I believe that any relationship proceeds at its own pace. The only thing that prompts a relationship to be pursued, at what feels to be an unnaturally hasty pace, is desperation. And if you are feeling “desperate,” then that is a really excellent reason *NOT* to rush things, or rush into things.

What we do, in the desperation to feel all the sensations we crave, is lose self-control before we’ve actually learned to exercise it, and by doing that, leave ourselves open to possible, and very likely, abuse by nefarious characters.

It is a paradox that one of the reasons we seek “control” is to learn self-control and self-discipline in some, or many, areas. The nefarious types are able to exploit our need for control (self-discipline, trust, and love) by first “hooking” us with the heady and arousing idea and affectations and trappings of dominance and submission, and then toying with us, and playing exactly the kinds of mind games that got us into our seriously confused state in the first place.

When I speak of confusion, I am talking about that questioning state:

What definition of submissive describes me best? Am I submissive, or just spineless? How can I be a submissive, if I like ordering other people around at work? How can I be a submissive if I *don’t* want to give over 100% control to someone else? How can I be submissive if I like having my own space and feel territorial about it? What the fuck am I?

Some talk about “deprogramming.”
(Deprogramming from the socio-cultural indoctrination we’ve supposedly experienced all our lives.) When they speak of “deprogramming,” the assumption is that the people they’re talking about were “programmed” in the first place. What is programming except brainwashing? And brainwashing *isn’t* all about “The Manchurian Candidate” and the Cold War. It isn’t about being made to do things, once you’ve developed the ability of cognitive reasoning, that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. It’s about being trained from day one, to be someone else’s ego supply, so that you don’t know anything else *but* that.

It is not about the socio-cultural mores imposed from outside the family unit, but the controls imposed, through mental, emotional, physical, and sometimes sexual, abuse, within the family unit. The “you won’t be loved unless you submit” school of submissive training. It is all about control. And for those who are thinking only “controlling narcissistic fathers,” think again. Sometimes the easy-going, loving father is the *only* balance to the controlling coercions of the pathologically narcissistic “queen bee” mother.

I’d be willing to bet good money that a lot of submissive women who crave control from a loving dom (male or female) had, or have, serious issues in their maternal relationships.

Trust has been betrayed by the primary control figure in the submissive’s life. Therefore, we continue to seek control, coupled with love and trust, just to feel safe again. That need is monumental, so we are in a great rush to experience that heady feeling of giving up control, when we think we’ve found the answer. And with the added bonus of it being a sexual turn-on. But it makes us so vulnerable because we *want* to believe, we *want* to trust. We are eager to build a relationship with someone who exhibits all the good qualities of an authority figure (discipline, trust, love, teaching, caring, pampering) without all the negative crap (mind games, power tripping, unwarranted punishment, cruelty). We’re easy picking for the exploiters.

In this way, so-called D/S relationships are no different from any other, except if BDSM is involved, we actually can leave ourselves open to physical damage, if we allow it to proceed too quickly, and without taking the time to know with whom and what we’re dealing.

Lady Nyo: Where do you think you are now in your path?

Rose: Right where I should be. Since none of us really knows the end of our path, we can only experience the moment. We may set goals for ourselves, thinking those goals will be the destination. But as we learn more about ourselves and expand our horizons, we will surely change, and with the changes is ourselves, our goals and destination may change, too, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The act of living is about growth and change. The antithesis of growth and change is stagnation.

There is no rule book. There is nothing to say that the degree of submission, or dominance, that feels right to me *today,* will be the same degree I feel next week, or next month, or next year. It doesn’t even feel the same from day to day. How can it? I am a multi-dimensional human being and as such, circumstances, physical conditions, mental and emotional stresses, spiritual crises…all these things affect me as an all around human being. That state of “submissiveness” that some talk about as being perfect serenity and acceptance, *might* be true for some submissives. I emphasize *might.* The same way being a nun *might* be a good path for some women, who want to feel closer to their god. But it must never be forgotten that, as an individual with rights, you always have the option of changing your mind.

And you have that right to change your mind and leave some, or all, of your current life behind, at any point in your life, and seek out another path, *without feeling guilty.*

That isn’t to say that you should not consider the feelings of others, that you should not exercise compassion in your relationships with other people, but you should never feel guilty about doing something for the sake of not losing the *self* you have gained, or regained.

Finding out you weren’t cut out to be something you thought you were, is *not* failure. It is experience

And no good person, no good friend, no good dom, would ever, *ever* allow you to feel as if you have failed simply because you have chosen a new and different path. Nor would the dom feel as if he/she has failed either, because they understand that people grow and change.

In fact, I believe that a good dom will do all in his power to encourage a submissive to exercise her right to change and to be able to exercise it without feeling as if she is somehow “letting him down.”

I’m right where I’m supposed to be at this moment. If I were not supposed to be here, I wouldn’t be. I would be somewhere else.

Rose B. Thorny
Copyright 2008
Not to be reproduced without permission of the author.

This ends Rose’s interview, but certainly not this discussion. I find Rose’s writing to be so good and full of important issues it makes me think deeply about my own path. I am sure, (in fact I know it) that her opinions will impact others here and they will be part of the general discussion to come.

I am chomping at the bit, because so much of what Rose writes here resonates deeply in my own experience, with the maternal issues, and with my very new exploration into the D/s issues.  Trust, change, the development of myself, that I am not ‘just’ a submissive woman, but made up of many parts, and that complexity needs to be addressed by me and anyone else who presents themselves as Dom, mentor or Master, etc.  I didn’t do my homework in the beginning, didn’t really know where to look, but this path doesn’t end with one or two guides opposite me. Those times could have made or broken me, but they really were just toes in the the water of this life. There really isn’t an end to this journey.

Rose raises so many important parts in this issue of our submission, it excites me. We are so much more than we think we are at first. That is the beauty of our submission, that if we understand it right, and are in the right hands opposite our submission, we are richer for our complexities.  And in the end, acknowledging those complexities, we are able to simplify the results into something that is profoundly whole, complete and healthy.

A beautiful Simplicity is knitted together from all the acknowledged complexities.  A paradox perhaps.

Rose and I have a lot in common, (our childhoods suffered some of the very same issues…and that is a primary bond that won’t be ignored by us) but she’s practicing her path and I am only putting my feet on the bricks. She has guided me on these issues for the last year, at different times encouraging and ragging me for my choices, and I have to say, that just about in every case, she proves right. I would love to say we are exactly the same, but she’s brighter. And a better writer. I am so thankful for her in my life and I don’t tell her enough of this.

I am especially thankful to Rose for sharing her opinions on this subject of Submission and Dominance. She has some very important things to say here. I am learning from her in leaps and bounds.

Thank you, Rose.

Good morning! I have received a lot of responses

September 15, 2008

to the D/s questionnaire. Some have answered the questions and some have just written their history and practice. It is all good and goes into the mix of addressing these issues.

So, I will go ahead and post these responses in parts. First, with a Dom’s reply to get us going. The Dominant responding first is Phil.

Lady Nyo: What do you believe constitutes a “Good Dominant”?
Or more so, what characteristics do you think make a good Dominant?

PHIL: Do I consider myself Dominant? I enjoy it when a partner calls me Master. I take pleasure in controlling the scene to bring about the greatest pleasure in my Collaborators. But I have been told that I am not a true Dom. I am told I am a Loving Dom as though that were a ‘bad thing’.

My dominance is of a psychological nature, not control, discipline or the application of sensual pain for its own sake but as a means to an end. As an individual I am old enough and materially successful enough with the professional respect of my peers that I am secure in my own ego. I have no need to prove anything, not even to myself. This is not narcissistic arrogance, just a simple expression of self knowledge. I have no desire for a stable of slavish, humiliated subs that I control in minute detail to bolster my own fragile ego.

I have had Student partners who describe their past experiences where their partners were ‘mean to them’ not considering their feelings and being dismissive.

Lady Nyo: How do you develop trust with a new submissive? What are some of Issues with this?

Phil:It took a time to develop trust between us. Mutual respect had to be demonstrated by keeping small promises to each other.

Lady Nyo:We hear a lot that respect is earned, not demanded. How do you
think this is done? What has been helpful in your own practice?

Phil:I can only state that honesty in all ones dealings with each other and keeping
promises on both sides is in my thinking the underpinning of mutual respect.

A Dom should respect their partners as much as a sub respect their Dom. It is not acceptable to be disdainful and hide that as being Domly.

Lady Nyo:Many Doms say they cultivate submissives because they feel this is their nature to do so. But some do have the nature of predators. What can a submissive watch out for to not fall into the clutches of a predator?

Phil: The difficulty I see here is that it is in the nature of being submissive to be attracted to a decisive and strong character. The desire to please and to be of service is precisely what a predator would look for in a new target.

A Dom is nothing without a partner or partners to direct and guide. They are parts of a partnership.

I believe that the relationship between Dom and sub should be collaboration, a partnership between the parties aware of what they offer each other. The interaction between Dominant and submissive can often be indistinguishable from exploitation. Indeed it may be that very sense of position that will turn some subs on. It has to be an individual call in many cases where boundaries are drawn. However, those boundaries should be discussed and agreed going in to the relationship.

My personal views are very clear, The collaboration must be a two way street with satisfaction delivered to both participants. Where one is mostly taking and not ever giving back, either in pleasure or approval then it is most likely an exploitative situation.

In my practice I require little in the way of ceremony or ritual. I do set tasks for development and training, mainly creative writing, journaling and physical exercises related to my practices. They are designed to push boundaries to find the ‘edges’ of my partners and stretch them psychologically and physically.

Lady Nyo here. Phil raises good answers but also further questions. For one, in his statement that “The interaction between Dominant and submissive can often be indistinguishable from exploitation. Indeed it may be that very sense of position that will turn some subs on. However, those boundaries should be discussed and agreed going into the relationship.”

This raises the issue of “Humiliation Play” and this is a part of bdsm and perhaps other ‘training’. Also this issue of the collaboration must be a two way street with satisfaction delivered to both participants. Where one is mostly taking and not ever giving back, either in pleasure or approval, then it’s likely an exploitative situation.

These are two very good issues. This last one is especially good. The issue though is how does a new and undeveloped submissive understand that this is to be a two way street? Some Doms just put down orders, don’t present a program, and there is always either confusion in the minds of a sub or slavish acceptance with no understanding of the need here. One must at least know something of the development and where it is heading. That will lead to NOT second guessing. But it’s both a persistence of the sub to ask and for the Dom to present. When this doesn’t happen in an organic way, there is bound to be disappointment on both sides.

For now, I am going to leave this part alone and see if it generates any comments. There is a LOT more on this interview, and others to come…plus what I have already gathered from the submissives/slaves answers, and we will go slowly here.

Thank you, Phil! for starting off this topic. There are other questions that have been answered and some will be posted tomorrow.

Lady Nyo


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