Sunday, January 20, 2013

Discovering, Embracing, Revealing the Self

I simply stumbled into my first D/s romance. At that time in my life, I knew I loved kink—bondage erotica was far more compelling than pretty girls undressed—but I had no clue how to seek a kinky partner. I began dating a gal I met dancing, and several dates in I tried pinching her nipple, sharply, and suddenly we both knew who we were. In that moment, my sadistic or "top" self sprang into the real world for the first time. Her sub self surfaced to meet him. A hidden door into a different world blew open, and we tumbled through it.

During our romance, she was conflicted about our S&M play. One event in particular rattled her badly. In retrospect it wasn't serious, a bare-handed breast spanking in which I went hard too quickly. A good top ramps up pain in sensitive areas gradually. But the pain wasn't what alarmed her, it was the dime-sized purple bruises on her chest that resulted. Looking in the mirror afterwards, she said she saw a battered woman. Most subs I've spoken with subsequently don't mind such bruising; they even relish it. I, too, love to see evidence of my handiwork on my lover.

After that relationship ended, I fell into internal conflict. My vanilla persona, which was taught from an early age at home and school of the evils of domestic violence and the virtues of egalitarian partnership, could not accept my dark side! Or specifically, could not imagine that a smart, secure woman would want to be as submissive as I knew that my top-self would demand. Meanwhile my top continued to surface in any sexual context, hoping some unsuspecting vanilla girl, who had liked an apparently vanilla guy, would turn out to be kinked! I now assure anyone who asks that attempting to "turn" vanilla girls towards kink is a recipe for disappointment and possibly disaster. (Introducing kink to gals with a latent kinky streak is another matter entirely.)

I often wonder whether other educated men have this same conundrum, and choose to dismiss dominant or sadistic instincts as unhealthy due to their upbringing. Men as a whole aren't as aware of their internal lives and needs as women are.

My own internal strife stretched out for years. During that period, I repeatedly fantasized about asking my first sub to return to me as my slave. It wasn't until I discovered a BDSM dating site (where one could browse profiles without first joining) and found seemingly smart, attractive women identifying themselves as submissive, that I finally gathered the wherewithal to reach out to other kinky singles. There began a long process of interpreting my seemingly dark fantasies as a roadmap to fulfilling romance.

When I finally had the opportunity to practice D/s with a gal whom I knew from the get-go was submissive, I discovered another facet of my romantic persona, the dom. Alongside the playful, collaborative vanilla gentleman, and the ferocious top with its taste for cruelty, my dom aspect is fatherly; he's protective but demanding, directive and particular, possessive and nurturing. This then became my predominant style with a submissive partner. Ironically, I believe I learned much of this pattern from the way my mother was with my sister and myself as young children.

I'm often asked where the top side stems from; is it due to childhood events? I really couldn't say. I had dark fantasies that I recall as far back as adolescence, but I can only describe the experience and satisfaction of embodying the top, not where he was born. I have no trauma or abuse in my past.

Unearthing three distinct, and strikingly different, patterns of relating to a lover taught me that embracing all aspects of the self is essential, yet not always natural. And I've met other kinky people who've reported challenges in accepting their own radically different aspects. Probably the most effective method I found to integrate my trio of romantic personae was describing them to others, revealing them. Also I needed a new metaphor by which to understand personality. The myth that an individual makes choices—based on the situation at hand and his skills and preferences and his spirit/karma—didn't make sense any more.

So here is a new metaphor. Your personality is a globe. Its geography is formed by your ways of thinking/feeling, your modes of interaction, all your implicit and explicit behaviors. Each region of your globe is always there; many are inter-connected. Some places lead to others; you can't necessarily travel to a certain spot on the globe from any other locale. There are places on your globe that are comfortable, or beautiful, or dangerous. And there are places that you've not yet seen! And places you will never go. Your globe has no center—or not one you can visit; merely zones where your attention lingers, mostly due to habit. Your terrain has well-worn trails, which you seldom venture away from; you carve new ones by investing the necessary effort. But new paths won't always take you where you meant to go! Exploring your globe, embracing as your own what you find upon it, revealing your discoveries to others who are exploring theirs—that is a path to fulfillment.

Labels:

28 Comments:

At February 13, 2013 5:56 PM, Anonymous Jessica Cope said...

Well written and insightful.

 
At February 14, 2013 1:03 AM, Blogger Will said...

Thank you, Jessica! And happy Valentine's Day :-)

 
At February 14, 2013 6:03 AM, Anonymous Jessica Cope said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you too, Will :) I found your blog on tumblr and I love it. I've only found one other BDSM blog that's even comparable. It's nice to see someone take it seriously enough to not turn the whole blog into a porn site. I'm new to this lifestyle. Maybe so new that I can't really claim to be in it quite yet but I'm definitely curious and I appreciate your point of view. Thanks for sharing.

 
At February 14, 2013 11:18 AM, Blogger Will said...

It's great to hear that I'm among the best tumblr blogs for thinking kinksters!

Yes, there really isn't enough getting-started material focused on psychology and relationships, vs. the practice of specific kinks. It's exciting to me to feel like I'm filling an empty niche...

 
At March 07, 2013 7:37 PM, Anonymous crownedchild said...

I recently discovered your blog through tumblr as well. I love it! Very insightful, and being somewhat new to kink, you've already addressed a lot of the issues that my vanilla self ties to keep under wraps. I'm looking forward to further entries.

 
At March 07, 2013 7:57 PM, Blogger Will said...

Crownedchild, thanks so much, and I'm so glad it's helpful!

I'll be working on a new article this weekend :-)

 
At April 21, 2013 3:07 AM, Blogger ❥ɬıŋɛɛ❥ said...

I like your metaphor. I also find all your blogs to be well written and thought provoking. Thank you for your sane advise.

 
At October 19, 2013 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A really excellent blog :-) i agree with what others have said that its very hard to find well written bdsm articles that are so thoughtful, honest and eloquent and encompass physical and emotional facets of lifestyle.
Thankyou!
rivkeh

 
At November 14, 2013 8:53 AM, Anonymous Jen said...

I cannot begin to articulate how much I am enjoying your blog. It is giving me insight and perhaps, some explanation for many of the issues I have experienced in a "vanilla" relationship. I have spent the last 20 years with a person that I share a dependence with, but is wholly incompatible with me sexually. I believe we may both be subs, wanting more, not being able to find satisfaction with our current situation, and yet, not wanting to hurt the other. oy.

 
At January 12, 2014 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sincerely thought provoking and exquistly tasteful! This speaks to all, not just the kinky. Thank you for the enlightenment!

 
At January 17, 2014 5:15 AM, Anonymous cristin39sss said...

You are wonderful!Thank you!

 
At May 05, 2014 12:07 AM, Blogger Aeva_kitten541 said...

I think I might be a sub but I worry about trying to find a proper partner because I'm afraid to lose control. I don't know how to trust someone that deeply as in a D/s relationship. Plus I'm not sure how I feel about pain, but I want someone who can handle my strong personality. How do I know if I am a sub or just have strange tastes?

 
At May 06, 2014 11:10 AM, Blogger Will said...

Not knowing how to trust is a common issue, but one that you can work thru with practice and patience, and a caring partner. Lots of submissive folks have strong personalities -- just don't use that trait as an excuse to keep your partner at bay! You may not know whether you're romantically submissive until you meet a dom that you click with and can try D/s dynamics. In the meantime, keep doing research (see BDSM Relationship Variations) and try to find some other subs to correspond or chat with. Fetlife can be a good source for that.

 
At May 13, 2014 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a fantastic entry! It answered a lot of my questions! What an awesome analogy about the globe thing. I too have, at times, had guilt and doubts about being a sub because of the way it links in with certain emotional tendencies which exist within me. Then again it does make sense to be a masochist when you think about being a submissive. We all have issues lol. I think everyone whos into D/s has had doubts/guilt every so often because its very taboo and like you said there is no guide book you have to create your own journey. It takes time and practise and hopefully with the right partner. Both have to be in it 100% and whole-heartedly.
again~ Thanks a lot for this post it has really cleared my head!

Also BDSM like you mentioned has a lot of grey areas which can require an excessive amount of communication! Its not easy thats why both should be honest and clear about what they are looking for. Great blog keep posting xXx

 
At October 06, 2014 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, I am more interested than ever to explore my " other side".

 
At November 15, 2014 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been reading your stuff for about 2 hours now (I stumbled across it) and I feel I know more about the BDSM lifestyle. I think I want to be a sub, I'm starting University soon and I don't think I want to start looking for one of those relationships until I'm through with that, but I'm so confused about how to broach the subject, to anybody. The fact that I'm writing this now is practically a miracle, I feel like there is no one who can help me find what I want (does that make sense?) what I'm asking is, do you have any advice on how to start? who to talk to or where to go? anything would be appreciated. Thankyou

 
At November 22, 2014 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

New to your blog! Very insightful and well written articles. All of them. I just have to say that your closing paragraph about one's personality is one of.the most beautifully written statements I've had the pleasure to read! I've read it four times in 15 minutes! Fantastic!

 
At November 30, 2014 6:48 PM, Blogger Will said...

Dear sub starting university, you've made a good start by searching and reading, keep at it! The discussion groups on Fetlife are often educational. Also that site can be a source of friendships; befriending a few fellow subs (either local to you or pen-pals) can be immensely helpful.

 
At December 09, 2014 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found out I am a Dom and have no real experience as a Dom. Wife found out she is a sub and is acting on it. She doesn't think she could sub to me. Any advice?

 
At December 11, 2014 3:43 PM, Blogger Will said...

Some folks do find it hard to bring D/s into a previously-vanilla relationship, but a lot of couples do it successfully. I'd suggest that you and your wife both do some kink research (BDSM blogs, porn, erotica, discussion forums) and discuss your findings. What inspires each of you? What makes you uncomfortable? Is this a bedroom pursuit, or something that could soak into your whole relationship?

As for developing your own dominance, a couple of my responses to the comments following this article touch on that: Emotional Issues in Dom/Sub Relationships. (Search the page for "Will said".)

 
At December 17, 2014 1:03 PM, Blogger XBloodAngelX10 said...

Hello this was an amazing articles and read like all the comments as well, its such amazing things i read. For me i always been a dom but i always hid it or did not except that part of me as though it was something that is very aweful. My parents always said that thinking that way was awful and should never been done because i did talk to them when i was a teenager. But over the years i tried to get away from it but each time i do, the urge got bigger and bigger like the idea of bdsm, even being a sadistic dominate gets me excited. Maybe that is why i never tried to search for sub girl because i thought they did not exist since i never had internet and how i how my parents has raised me. Thought this hidden side of me was bad, something that only i need it sealed but seeing this and reading blogs about this really help me a bit and not to be ashamed but embrace. But now that finally recognize that part of me how to go more into it like i heard there is fetlife.com. But is it a good place to talk people about it like a community?

 
At January 03, 2015 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a strong willed women who very much enjoys being submissive in the bedroom, I have discovered what my preferencees mean. Unfortunately my bf of five years has not been very accomidating to my sexual needs. I have tried often to disscus the issue and often just straight forward ask for what I would like. I know my worth as a woman and am at a point in life where settling is not eceptable. When we first got together he showed a dominant personality but as time passed he has become complacent and almost routinely unable to except me and my needs. Is there anyway to get through to him or does it sound like a list cause, I really don't know. But I thank you for your blog it has given me insight to myself and the fact that I am truly not alone in my....kinks :)

 
At January 04, 2015 7:28 PM, Blogger Will said...

You are emphatically not alone in your kinks! The socially dominant personality you witnessed in your partner at the outset does not indicate a romantically or sexually dominant or sadistic nature, although it doesn't preclude it. My best advice on this topic is found in Why Doms & Subs Should Not Date Vanilla People.

 
At January 23, 2015 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less than a week ago I acknowledged to myself fully for the first time that I want my next relationship to involve some level of submission. So I set up an online profile on a vanilla dating site that hinted. Having devoured your site in the last 48 hours, it seems only right to let you know that you have seriously both saved and helped me :-)

Your words have saved me from a very attractive player using Gravity who claimed me almost immediately (and yes, whoosh went me for three days, no meet and by text I was taking orders!). I was reconsidering (he asked for time to think about the sexual health screen I requested) so this alone was making him a no for me to proceed, but your Gravity article sealed his exit.

Your words are also helping me with another man, who also messaged me that first night, but who instead I can see, has been actively steering me around Gravity by working hard to establish vanilla connection, common interests etc. and more that's on your list of what to look for in a good Dom. I don't know where this may go, but I feel better equipped to travel my path...

Thank you Will :-)
Keep posting!

 
At February 12, 2015 11:37 PM, Blogger Olga Tsvetkova said...

Thank you, Will. Stumbled upon your blog today and was awed by the integrity of your posts. Thanks for sharing your experience of self discovery. I just started mine very recently. One month turned my conscious self upside down and I can only wonder what is happening to the in the unconscious...

 
At February 15, 2015 10:29 PM, Blogger Liza Marie said...

There is strong psychological research that say's early childhood forms are sexual desire. That this is not a bad thing and it's a small percentage that are kinky. It's nothing to be cured it's very validating when you meet your ying and yang.

It's true you'll find yourself fighting against what the majority call normal.It's true you can't completely apply vanilla relationship ideas to D/s BDMS.

 
At November 04, 2015 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say I am "interested" in the lifestyle is probably inaccurate. I do not really know if my interest is purely for the want of knowledge or because I want to know if my curiosity stems from wanting to actively experience a dom/sub relationship or any variants of BDSM. I know with some physical things vanilla does little for me albeit I haven't gone too far into the depths into kink and for the rest, my research has left me with intrigue yet unsatisfied answers. I guess I'm just wondering where I can get honest, genuine answers and information without committing to an actual relationship.

 
At April 15, 2016 7:30 AM, Anonymous muladhara said...

i have struggled for decades with my submissive identity. i, too, am an educated, accomplished woman. born in the '70s ... submission was and still is largely incongruous with feminist messaging. this is beginning to change, but a bit too late for my formative years. now i find myself in my mid 40s, divorced, sexually re-energized and integrated, finally willing to accept this element of myself ... and frankly, i feel overwhelmed and afraid and discouraged about my prospects.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home