August 10, 2010

Submission As A Gift

This is a subject that I want to explore with you in detail since I believe it is the basis for much confusion. Over the last few years, I see this concept thrown out with regularity. This got me thinking about what is behind the sentiment. Why do people offer this and how does it apply to the overall idea of BDSM?

Power Exchange

An exchange of power is at the core of all BDSM relationships.  I feel this is one of the major things that differentiates this way of life from the vanilla world.  Simply stated, submissive types seek to give the power over to another while Dominant ones look to accept it.  Each is fulfilling a part of the relationship.

Here is the kicker: both parties need the other one.  It is impossible for a submissive to have a relationship without a dominant and vice versa.  There requires both sides for a power exchange to occur.  Without it, someone is off alone.

Another aspect of this is that those who truly are design for this life are simply following an inner desire.  If one is submissive, the act of turning the power over to another is in accordance to the natural core with that person.  The same is true for someone who is dominant.  He or she accepts one's submission in response to the desire to control.  


So what is behind the "submission as a gift" mindset.  I believe this is an example of where one's ego enters the picture.  It takes a great deal to let go of oneself and submit to another.  Realistically, this is a mindset that goes against what society promotes.  Adopting this way of life goes contrary to what the general norm states.  Therefore, the conditioning leads the ego to resist it.

Believing that your submission is a gift is a way to hold onto some power and worth.  Many feel that leading the life as a slave is a "doormat" choice.  This is incorrect.  I see so many who state something like "I am submissive and not a doormat".  Here is a statement that doesnt need to be said in my opinion.  A submissive person is not a doormat; nor weak; nor nothing.  Yet, because of the online garbage and trollers, I sense many are seeking a way to hold onto their importance; something they deem is lacking.

An Analogy

I like to compare the mindset out different aspects of this life to the traditional world to see the merits of what we are referring to.  Many fail to realize that a great deal of the thinking and actions which apply to "normal" relationships still hold merit here.   Common sense is just as applicable to this way of life as it is all others.  Yet many seem to think we operate at a different level.

Let us look at the gift idea.  In the traditional world, the entity of marriage is the common for of long term relationships.  To get to the point, one person's, typically the male, asks the other person to marry him.  If it is something that the woman is keen on, she will accept (if not she might laugh hysterically in his face).  He asks, she accepts.  Both parties do their part to complete the circle.

Now, here is the question: is her acceptance of his offer for marriage a gift?  If so, is his asking a gift to her?  How many people ever referred to this idea or concept as a gift?  Personally, I never heard it so.  Why?  Because I believe that a woman is not losing her identity by getting married, at least according to the societal mindset.  She is still the person before she agreed to his offer. (a case could be made that wasnt always the situation but things changed in the last 40 years).  There is no need to make herself feel better about getting engaged.

As we see, this isnt always the situation with the submission process.  Many hold onto the idea of "a gift" to give themselves a sense of worth.  And this creates a problem since I feel that a healthy self-esteem is required for success in a BDSM relationship.  People who have to state things to talk themselves out of being worthless are showing what they truly believe about themselves.  This results in self-fulfilling prophecy since the esteem causes her worst fears to come true.  Think you are worthless and that will materialize.

In closing, submission is not a gift any more than an acceptance of marriage is a gift.  It simply is part of the process for complete a BDSM relationship.  There are two people involved, each fulfilling a particular role.  Neither is more important than the other.  Just two different sides of the equation seeking each other out.  Remember this the next time you see a sub/slave spouting about how valuable her gift of submission is. 

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Anonymous said...

It's puzzling to me how many places I've read about using the term "gift" of submission and how it's generally viewed negatively by the D/s world. Because my Dom, and husband, frequently calls my submission a "gift" to him. Usually when he's telling me how much he loves me, how I'm this gift that dropped into his life, something he never thought he'd have, something he didn't think existed.

But I've never said I'm "gifting" myself to him because I don't feel my submission is a gift; it was inevitable for me.

So it's with mixed feelings I read these discussions on the term. On Fetlife, it's downright poohed-poohed upon and trashed upon and it always makes me feel a little sad because I'm always deeply touched when he says this to me, usually stroking me and holding me with his my eyes and telling me how much my devotion and submission means to him and I'm so humbled when he uses that term. Maybe "a gift" from the universe, maybe that's what he means. Dunno.

I know I feel the opposite of ego-driven, it actually makes me blush and feel shy when he says it and it's very hard to keep looking into his eyes. But he makes me do it.

All I know is, if anyone is going to challenge him on using the term, it ain't gonna be me, that's for sure!

I do not need another lecture on trying to top him or not doing what I'm told. SRSLY! lol ~~Amber

Hypnodelica on August 11, 2010 at 11:49 PM said...

I read your post with interest, i agree with you that a submissive talking up their 'gift' could be construed as an ego-driven act...

In my own opinion there are other ways to look at it too, for example...

Should the submission a Dom receives from their sub be expected and automatic regardless of the way they are treated?...

If a subs only reason for existing is to give submission and obedience without thought - might that not devalue it's worth?

Putting aside comparisons to vanilla marriage for a second, and looking at a gift as merely something precious that is given by one person to another - perhaps the only way submission could be viewed as anything other than a gift is if the Dominant doesnt truly appreciate or value it....

Of course when you view it from that perspective - the submissive should gratefully receive the 'gift' of Domination from their Master/Mistress too...

Your post got me thinking that perhaps you feel your own contribution to a D/s relationship might be undervalued by people who call submission a gift...

Anyway - food for thought, great post... ;-)

Granamyr on August 12, 2010 at 10:54 PM said...

My submission is a gift because I do have power, and I do have worth. Not because I need to give myself a "sense of worth".

To me it's the same as saying, "I offer you the gift of my virginity." People say that not because they're trying to hold onto some idea of being "pure" but because they're acknowledging that it is something very intimate and dear to them.

A subs submission is no different. Why do I get the sense that you feel threatened by a sub who owns her worth? And the way you talk about subs/slaves, using words like, "spouting about..." says a lot about you as a Master. I hope you think on that. Peace.


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