Submissive Controversy

30 Jan

Lots of conversation here in Blogland about what it means and doesn’t mean to be submissive – all interesting discussions.  The original piece that generated the responses was apparently written in response to another blog post, and therefore not even in context, so i’m not making any comment on that.

And really, i have probably already talked the idea to death in different blog posts.  Thoughts drift through my mind.

i think of my old lover, Mike Mudd, saying, “You know how to get a woman to mind you?  You just tell her to do things she already wants to do!” and laughing as he said it.  

“Come here to me, i’m going to make you have 5 orgasms.”  With that for a starting point, you don’t have to be submissive to say, “Yes, Sir!” with enthusiasm.

But there is such conflict generated by the idea that if you struggle to submit and obey, it means you’re not “truly” submissive.   Since submission has as many flavors as ice cream, that’s probably not a sustainable argument.

A while back, i wrote about something i’d read  that talked about sub-categories of submissives ~ ones who obeyed quickly and readily and others who needed to be overcome before they could submit.   {i’m describing that really roughly, sorry.}

This morning i tried googling to find it again, but couldn’t.  i found different ways to categorize types of submissive, but they tended to classify us based on extent of participation in the lifestyle.  Other authors had as many as 9 categories of submissives, and i didn’t read those.  Too complex for me today.

But it occurred to me that the conversation has had the required elements for the drama triangle, and i am impressed with our community that it has not generated fiercer, more unkind drama.  Whenever someone lays down strong opinions as if they were self-evident truths, it will sting someone.

When we feel stung, it hurts, and it may put us in “victim mode.” The first person, the one who’s hurt us, is cast as the perpetrator, the bad guy.   In a community, this split invites others to take sides as rescuers.   

That creates the drama triangle, and in many situations, people end up putting all their energy into defending one point of view over another.   Often, we practically lose sight of the original argument as we begin to disagree on who’s right and who’s wrong.  As people hurt each other’s feelings, the drama intensifies, and gets more painful, and pulls others into it and… 

it can be a real mess.

What i love about the blogging community is that we seldom let it descend into the depths of that trap.   Calmer voices speak up, not in blame of anyone, but expressing their own perspective.  Not trying to impose it on others, but clearly stating where they stand.

That is what saves us from the drama triangle – the ability to say where we are NOT in reference to anyone else, but in our own voice.   What someone else says can be a starting place, it can generate lots of ideas.  And we may initially react to that, from the heart, with passion.

It’s helpful to be able to do that ~ initially.  But once the dust settles a bit, it is just as important to be able to step back and think about it, not in reaction to others, but from our own space.  Important to be able to find our own wisdom.

i’m leery of extremes ~ always and never, everyone and no one ~ those are almost always inaccurate.   Not just the words, but the concepts.  Real life is generally more nuanced than that.   

My submission is not just like anyone else’s, and it is a whole lot like everyone else’s.   We have so much in common, it is the differences that we can treasure and celebrate.

27 Responses to “Submissive Controversy”

  1. foxy January 30, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Our difference is what make us unique not only as submissives but also as individuals.

    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Thanks for adding that, foxy, you’re right on target. In the same way, as people we are much more alike – have much more in common – than different.

      • foxy January 30, 2013 at 11:11 am #


  2. vanillamom January 30, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    nicely stated. I love that you point out that submission comes in so many “flavors” or degrees…for some of it is easy to fall to our knees, and for others it isn’t. And its all okay…we’re all submissives, and no one of us is “better” than the other, irregardless of which end of the spectrum we kneel upon.



    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Absolutely, ‘nilla! Exactly.


  3. ytysreloaded January 30, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I think what helps in our community is higher levels of respect and acceptance. Of course it isn’t flawless, as well you know. But it is more readily available here in comparison to other places.

    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Dear andi,

      i so totally agree!

  4. jade January 30, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    i think there is a lot of power in individual voices expressing individual ways of doing things. We can learn more without an attack or feeling like we have to justify our existence. i like that you used the drama triangle to explain what can happen.

    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Hey, Jade,

      Yes, i think the blogging community is really built on acceptance of the idea that we all have our own vision of what should be. And i can seldom pass up an opportunity to talk about drama triangle1

  5. Sir J January 30, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    I am not fond of this drama however since I dragged Pet into this I feel I need to defend her. So let me state flat out I do not believe that struggling makes one un submissive and neither does Pet. That is NOT what she was saying.

    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      Hi, Sir J,

      Thanks for commenting, and yes, it makes perfect sense that you felt a need to defend Pet. i totally respect the way you did it – i thought i could almost feel you choosing your words carefully so as not to attack in response. i think that contributed to the de-escatation of drama.

      And i think the controversy became about easy submission vs struggle, but i don’t think that was what Pet intended to say either. Of course i don’t know her and won’t speak for her, but it seems to me that she was reacting to something someone else said, and reacting strongly. i thought she was saying that some people use that “No one can manage me” as some kind of badge of honor, and that it’s not what submission is about. i don’t know if that’s exactly what she meant, but that’s my best guess, for whatever that’s worth.

      i guess i don’t think anyone did anything wrong ~ and i’m possibly mentally comparing it to other venues where discussions seem to quickly become about “that’s stupid, how can you think that?” i love that we don’t generally do that ~ and appreciate your comment.

  6. mouse January 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Honestly aisha — echoing what others have already said…have more to say — might have to come back…


    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      Dear mouse,

      i’m always so glad to see you pop in these days, i have to say that first!

      i hope you do come back with more to say!



      • mouse January 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

        Ok — taking a deep breath. Think part of the problem is that the post in question (that began all the hub bub) was a written response to a comment or post — it seems it was taken out of context. The problem is that the readers (and from what mouse might infer perhaps Sir J) didn’t know about that — so the words were simply taken at face value. That being said, pet also admitted these were her thoughts at the time, and still are regardless of context.

        You are completely right when debates spawn sides are drawn and responses made. It’s a good way to open discussions — which is why mouse kept her own post limited to how she used to think verses what she believes now.

        And mouse does agree with everything you said in Sir J’s reply here. Although mouse’s take on the post was a bit different….

        It any event much of this had to led mouse to consider returning to blogging….mainly because she misses having her voice 😉


      • aisha January 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

        Hi, mouse,

        Thanks for coming back! i think you’re right about the context, which makes some difference. But ultimately, Pet’s free to believe and say whatever she thinks is true. She can even present it as the one true way, and that doesn’t actually hurt anything. But sometimes, it feels personal and then it can sting, and it gets a reaction.

        And honestly, if this is what it takes to bring you back to the blog world, i’m glad it happened. {With my regrets to anyone who felt hurt in the process.} Mouse, your voice is an important one in Blog World, i think, and i miss it



  7. Sir Charles January 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    I thought you would like this article, aisha….in light of the religious discussions and submission, as well as you being a therapist:

    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Hi, Sir Charles,

      Thank you so much for sharing this – that is absolutely fascinating!! I could do all kinds of speculating, which would be really inappropriate since I’ve never seen him and we really have just a hint of information. But how interesting.

      Thank you again!

  8. Wordwytch January 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    aisha, you are spot on. We do come in all flavors, shades, dimensions and styles. 🙂 Yet, in our own ways, we are also subs.

    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Hey, Wordwytch, And sometimes it’s uncovering the ways we flow together and separately that is so fascinating!

      • Wordwytch January 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

        Exactly!!! And sometimes it makes us go “Oh? I didn’t think…” or “Oh Yeah!!!! Bingo!” All of which is great.

      • aisha January 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm #


  9. Turiya January 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    I’ve been accused of being a player and not really being submissive because of my difficulties with submission. It’s hard when I read “absolutes” like that because of how they made me question myself for so many years. I’m realizing now that they were wrong and I have valid reasons for struggling with submission the way I do, but I suppose it still really upsets me when people make blanket statements like this when they can’t possibly know what is in another person’s mind.

    I love your blog, btw. Very thought provoking.



    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words, Turiya, and for sharing your thoughts. i think you make an excellent point – sometimes things that sound absolute are distressing if it’s something we worry about or are sensitive about.

      But you are so, so right – just because we’re afraid something might be right, doesn’t make it true. It’s still just one person’s opinion. i’m so glad you’ve discovered that.

  10. mamacrow January 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    i’ve been reading blogs for a few years now, and i think this is a debate/discussion/argument that comes around every now and then…

    To be honest, it all beautifully illustrates why I love the TTWD ‘label’ so much, because there you go, it says it all, no more worrying that I don’t fit ‘properly’ or we don’t fit ‘properly’ because we only do with spatulas, or not a full moon after a month with an R in it, or whatever!

    • aisha January 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      Good point mama crow, it does seems to go around periodically.

      And “only do it with spatulas, or not a full moon after a month with an R in it” ~ ROFL!!

  11. Burford January 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    I never saw this as a cut and dried/black and white issue – it is about cooperation and the titles we give are just handles to refer to roles in a play – submissive – Dominant – or my personal preference Master and Slave. Submissives are not the only people to go into headspace during play – good Dominants do too – its what makes what we do real for both of us – or at least real enough that we both get our needs met. Submissives are simply people who get their joy in one way while Dominants get theirs in another way – and the wonder of it all is that we found each other in such a perfect fit. One without the other is nothing; yet, together, we can do everything. At our best together, we create events of such great beauty that years after that event, one looks at the other and says….”remember the time we …..”
    What separates good Dominants from true sadists is that Dominants do not go the serial torture killer route gouging out eyes, severing limbs and killing people – Dominants among us are just thrilled to be able to take the one we love to the edge – and then bring him/her back not just safely but with considerably more happiness and pleasure than we started the project with. Another good title for a loving dominant would be “care giver” – its just more cumbersome to use and is not in line with the evil people we like to envision ourselves to be.

    • aisha January 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

      Well. That comment really goes to the heart of the matter. Thank you

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