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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Respect of a submissive

After a recent party, I found myself hitting some inner conflict with the structure of my relationship internally and how it is generally judged externally by others in the community. Please let me state first and foremost, that no unkind words have been spoken that I have heard, and that I am not directing my words here at a particular person, or any group of people. I am simply trying to clarify my standpoint and the boundaries of my relationship so that I can avoid uncomfortable situations for me in the future.
                I am by no means the most experienced person with in our community, not even close. The things I state here are personal opinions, my viewpoints, expressed as I feel the need to express them. They are not guidelines for all relationships. EVERY relationship is different. Every Dominant is different, every submissive is different. We all have different desires and needs and expectations from life and from our relationships. It is up to every individual to express those desires, needs, and expectations to lovers and partners. I am not trying to speak for every submissive, or to give any instruction on how the lifestyle ‘should’ be lived.
                It is general policy, or standard behavior, I think, to treat all submissives the same until more is known about each of us as individuals. For example, it is considered polite behavior, or standard protocol, to approach a Dominant for permission before engaging in a private, or more intimate, conversation with His/ Her submissive. Some even choose to communicate with a submissive only through her Dominant or only in her Dominant’s presence. I am not in particular disagreement with these standards. I understand why those standards have been put into place. I have, however, seen some negative effects that these standards can lead to, as a submissive.
                I am sure there are those that will disagree with me, or simply right me off as bratty, smart-assed, whiny, oversensitive, or whatever… (I will not deny being a SAM or a brat) But I would be interested to know if there is at least one other submissive that has experienced what I am about to say… I have noticed that a few Dominants (by no means all Dominants) have a tendency to talk over a submissive, or to ignore their presence all together. I was brought up to have respect in general for other people, unless they act in such a way to lose that granted respect. I was taught (and I try to show others) that it is disrespectful to interrupt a person as they are speaking. I find it respectful to acknowledge what was said by way of eye contact, vocal feedback, or in some other (at least fairly obvious) way. I believe that submissive’s deserve this same respect. Unless they have received prior direction from their Dominant (or you are possibly in a high protocol situation), I see no reason why the input from a submissive into a conversation isn’t just as valuable as the input from a Dominant.
                I have found myself in this situation a few times since the change in my relationship. Yes, I am submissive. Yes, Sinewave and I are currently partners. But our relationship is not the same as the previous ones that I have been in, in many many ways. The ones that apply here? I am very much welcome to stand on my own two feet with in our community. I do not need permission to socially interact with others. I am able to volunteer myself for activities, speak with other submissives and other Dominants, and attend parties on my own. I am responsible for my own actions. (wow, that’s a little scary) Please, if you happen to have a problem with something that I have said or done, do not hesitate to come to me and discuss what has caused offense.
                On the topic of playing with others, it is for my general protection and safety that my partner is consulted prior to a scene. He may see things about a person that I have not been able to see in my negotiations with them. And I would not want to do anything with someone else that would offend him or leave him feeling involved in my life. That being said, it is my choice to scene with someone else if it is desired. Negotiations are still my responsibility.
                It should also be noted here that just because someone is a submissive does not mean they are everyone’s submissive, whether they are single or not. It does not matter how long a Dominant has been in the lifestyle. Submission should be freely given, not demanded or expected. I have noticed this occurring more and more often. If you are a Dominant, I would ask that you give me the same respect and courtesy that you would give anyone else. Ask me to do something, and I would generally be happy to honor your request (with a smile on my face, happy to please). Demand something be done and you will likely encounter an unpleasant face the first time. If it continues to occur, I will attempt a polite conversation letting you know that you have crossed a boundary. It’s about simple respect to me.
                I know that there is a consistent stream of people new to the lifestyle and the community, and that sometimes people enter into it with certain preset ideas of how things should be. I know that I did, and it was (a points at least) a hard concept for me to understand that every relationship within this lifestyle functions differently, and has different expectations and guidelines. I hope that this little piece of writing helps to clarify the differences in mine.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to comment below or to email me in private.

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