I came across a very interesting discussion tonight on Fetlife. The original post asked the group to consider the desire to submit versus the desire to be dominated, to comment on whether individuals considered them to be connected or separate.
I found the discussion to be very thought provoking. The variety of comments certainly made it clear that submissives are not a homogeneous group. Some respondents indicated a desire/need to be dominated, not just mentally but also physically. Others spoke about submission being most important to them. It got me thinking about my own circumstances.
I can't say that I've ever want to be physically overpowered. The notion of being forced would provoke anything but submission. Acquiescence and submission are not the same thing for me at all. One would be the result of exhaustion the other of conscious choice.
I do enjoy bondage and like being physically dominated when I'm bound, but since I submitted to the bondage, I don't equate it with being overpowered. Physical play that involves the exertion of some strength can be downright fun, especially combined with bondage. But all this happens within the context of negotiated limits, so in essence I would have had to submit, at least in principle, at the outset. To be honest, I think that it would make me question my trust in my partner if J had to physically overpower me in order to dominate me. But domination is about more than just the physical aspects of a relationship.
Just today, J and I were bantering back and forth in conversation with a friend who was in the back seat of our car. At one point, our friend playfully remarked that it didn't seem like the dominant partner was still in charge. J and I enjoy bantering: we spar verbally, debate, wreak havoc on each other with humour and this has not changed as we explore D/s. What was not known was the decision for me to join the outing was made by J, with my best interests at heart: J objected to my plan to spend my afternoon buried away in my home office catching on up work. J insisted I take the day off and work tomorrow instead. Six months ago, I would have argued and stayed home, driven by guilt and a sometimes unhealthy work ethic. Today, I deferred to J's wish, confident that it was a better decision for both of us. We enjoyed the drive, spending time with each other and with our friend.
J's influence on my daily choices and routines is growing. In this respect, J's dominance is increasing, but I do not find it overpowering. It actually feels quite nurturing to have another person telling me it is time to get ready for bed, to focus on a particular task or take time to look after myself. Six months ago, I did not respond the same way as I do now. Before I would have considered such remarks as sweet, but not necessary, and if they were persistent, would have likely considered it to be nagging. Now, I still consider them to be sweet, they are a demonstration of J's care for me and as such part of the role as my Dominant. I pay attention to them and respond accordingly. As my Dominant and my spouse, J is naturally concerned about my well-being.
Accepting the change in the dynamic between us, and our respective roles, has changed how we communicate and respond on many levels. My submission is triggered by my awareness of J's desires and wants, and my desire to fulfill these. I am dominated through J's exercising the right to command my submission by communicating what is desired/required. J's dominance is gentle and firm, loving and strong. My submission is responsive and steadfast, loving and strong. And our relationship is thriving as a result.