January 13, 2012

Submissive Without Esteem?

A healthy self esteem is an attribute that is crucial for success in life. One only need to go to the self help section of any bookstore, read the titles, and you will realize how much emphasis is placed upon this single quality. From our esteem stems most of the actions we are capable of taking. Without going into the dynamics, it is our foundational core. Therefore, it is something that everyone, bdsm or not, should look at.

Fear And Its Ramifications

Fear is something that those who lack a healthy self esteem suffer from. People who allow fear to be their dictator end up being ones who view themselves poorly. Of course, this most likely is a subconscious thing since most people will claim to like themselves. But do they when you really think about it? Watching their behavior, I conclude they do not.

When we discuss fear, it is crucial to remember that it can manifest itself in many different ways. Most equate fear with being scared. While the "horror flick experience" is one form of fear, there are hundreds of others. Characteristics such as guilt, worry, anger, resentment, and arrogance all have their basis in fear. Ironically, one tends to exhibit fear in one or two ways repeatedly. Therefore, it is imperative to identify the manifestation and tend to the underlying problem.


The problem with fear is that, when experienced, it puts us instantly into a state where we are out of control. When our mind is racing with all the possible outcomes in a particular situation, and none of them are good, a person is apt to feel a sense of complete loss. Those who are driven by fear do not feel like they are in control of anything. And, they are correct because they are not even handling their own emotions.

In the BDSM world, control is something that we spend a lot of time discussing. This is only rational since the basis of all BDSM relationships is some type of power exchange. In other words, control is not divided up on an equal basis but, rather, in a slanted manner with one assuming most, if not all, of the control. This is a voluntary exercise on the part of both parties meaning that consent is present. However, is one really capable of giving up control without a healthy self esteem?

Topping From The Bottom

The ability to submit completely to another is something that requires a very healthy self esteem. Contrary to the ignorant opinions of many, being submissive does not equate to weakness. In fact, only those with a good self worth have the inner fortitude to hand power over to another without fear. Naturally, we are going under the presumption that the proper time was spent getting to know the other person and sizing up whether he or she is worthy of submission.

I see so many who find the BDSM lifestyle believing that it is the answer to all of his/her problems. While I acknowledge that this way of life is fabulous for those who are designed for it, the truth is that life is not without issues. And, for those who enter it after being miserable failures in all other areas of life, the result is the same: more failure. My belief is many of these people lack the basic self worth to succeed in a BDSM relationship, or any other for that matter.

A person with low self esteem is driven by fear. As I mentioned, one of the things a person in this situation feels the need to do is to regain some control. This is because fear strips control away instantly. Therefore, a person will assert him or herself wherever possible to stem the lack of control.

Hopefully, you can see the conflict that one of this sort has when trying to submit to another. Ultimately, when one does get into a BDSM relationship, he or she starts to top from the bottom. This is a phrase which means trying to instill control when taking on a presumed submissive position. Rarely is one forthright in the approach since the power structure is clearly defined. However, tactics such as being passive/aggressive or whining are often employed to try to get one's way. The esteem is so lacking that one cannot submit to another without reservation.

This fact is clearly visible when our submissive is dealing with people other than his/her dominant. As you can guess, our low self worth individual has the overwhelming need to control. Hence, all interaction with someone which normally would be on an equal basis becomes another power exchange. The only difference is the submissive is assuming a dominant role. Control is what he or she craves. It is the only way to suppress the fear. Of course, in this instance, the control is an illusion which means further loss of control.

In closing, only a person with a healthy self esteem is capable of succeeding in relationships. Confidence is a quality that allows one the ability to allow others to operate how they see fit as long as it is not affecting him or her. A submissive needs to be confident in him or herself before getting involved with another. Therefore, a person who lacks a healthy self esteem is not submissive. Instead, he or she is just plain scared.

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