Today I was thinking about how people looking at BDSM from the outside often have trouble distinguishing why this is different from abuse or may be horrified at women or men subjugating themselves to another like we do. Actually, it is just not those outside the lifestyle; people opening up this part of themselves for the first time are often battling their desires with cultural norms and trying to define the difference for themselves.
I, too, have struggled with this concept. More so when I first claimed my submissiveness, although the feeling has cropped up at points over the years as I continue to peel the layers of self-knowledge.
As I was driving today, I realized it could not be more crystal clear that this thing we do (TTWD) is not even close to abuse or being treated less than another.
This weekend, Master and I had a deep, emotional conversation – one in which He was holding up the mirror to some of my behaviors and helping me sort out complicated feelings I was having. He was blunt and honest with me in a way I think most people avoid (even when they’re close). At the end of it, He asked me if He was too tough – trying to gauge my reaction and not wanting to push me over some edge. I assured Him he was not too tough, although I’m sure that was difficult to discern through my tears.
As I reflected on that conversation today, I realized there was no way I could be “less than” in this relationship. If anything, being in this relationship demands that I express myself fully. I can’t be “less than” with Him. Well, I could but our relationship would hit some ceiling that would eventually prove dissatisfactory for one or both of us.
This is not a one-way street. I think that being your full self is expected of Him, too – and any Dominant/Master and submissive/slave. Yes, the power structure puts the decision-making into one person’s hands but that in no way suggests that the other is “less” because of it. If anything, the only way this kind of power structure works is if both people open themselves up and be all that they are meant to be.
There was a time when I equated being vulnerable with being hurt. When I’d make myself vulnerable, I’d almost immediately panic and start anticipating or seeing hurt around me. I’m now starting to equate vulnerability with safety, comfort and love. There may be pain as the old beliefs break up and fall apart, but there is no fear because I know who has my back (and my front and my top and my bottom 🙂 …the person who owns all of me).