Oct 262012
self-centered: absorbed, consumed, or engrossed in self; centered in one’s self
selfish: seeking one’s own advantage or pleasure; prioritizing self over others

There’s a difference, and I’m coming to understand that being self-centeredness isn’t nearly as fulfilling as being selfish.

My particular brand of self-centeredness is self-conscious and pretentious–it’s all about how others perceive me. It’s about wanting others to think highly of me. In some regards, it’s more about pleasing others than it is about pleasing myself.

In practice, my self-centeredness plays out fairly well for my partners. I want to be perceived well, so I behave in ways that make partners think highly of me. Even though the products of my self-centeredness are difficult to distinguish from altruism, in the end, I’m more motivated by the want to be perceived well than by the want to make someone happy or the want to make myself happy.

In bed, self-centeredness means I’m always acting, but never being. My primary concern isn’t enjoying myself, but trying to look like I’m enjoying myself. I’m too busy worrying about what I sound like that I forget to listen. I’m too busy acting that I fail to feel.

But I’m learning.

I’m learning there’s more honesty and more fulfillment in being selfish. It’s more honest to admit what I want, and it’s more honest for me to take it. It’s more fulfilling to please myself than to please someone else (or to please no one). Being selfish feels good.

Sure, I’m still too self-centered, but I’m learning, and I’m working on it. I aspire to be more selfish.


  4 Responses to “selfish vs. self-centered”

  1. This is such a great distinction! I’ve never come up with the terms like this, but I think you are spot on.

    I see it all the time in practice: I’m thinking specifically of new Dommes who’s primary objective is never centred around what *they* want, but around ‘what will blow his mind…’ Nothing wrong with the latter, at all, but it’s normally coming from a very different place.

    Letting go of the self centredness (I think of it as mostly about self consciousness, watching and judging yourself and assuming your partner is also) is hard for many, I think, for a myriad of reasons.

    For me, it takes *trust* that he will be okay with me truly being selfish (and honestly, men LOVE it, it’s just so hard to *believe* that they do), and comes back to our previous chat about orgasms being easier when you are all “fuck you!” vs “what is he thinking/feeling etc”.



    • @Ferns: Occasionally, something useful comes out of my penchant for overthinking. I believe this is one of those times (at least for me).

      “new Dommes who’s primary objective is never centred around what *they* want, but around ‘what will blow his mind…’”

      Those dueling wants are difficult to negotiate. While I’m learning to admit and better articulate what I want, I still genuinely want to blow his mind just for the sake of seeing him fall to pieces (he’s so fucking beautiful that way). I like the feeling of “mastery”(?) that accompanies it. I realize all my wants are a twisted mess of (often) conflicted stuff, but hey… I want what I want. :)

      “For me, it takes *trust* that he will be okay with me truly being selfish”

      Agreed. On that front, we’re a total work in progress. I’m still figuring out what I want and he still has the tendency to push. We’re working on it. :)

      “orgasms being easier”

      Oh… and they are easier! I had two earlier this evening. :) I’m not all-of-the-sudden orgasmic, but it’s a heck of a lot better than it was before. I’m learning. He’s learning. Oh, and learning is fun. :)

      Hope you’re having a fantastic visit with your friend!

  2. You need to be a little selfish sometimes in order to survive. It’s like the Journey song: “Be good to yourself / Nobody else will”. If you’re lucky, that isn’t always true, but the truth is that you’re the only person who can make absolutely sure that you’re getting your needs met.

    • @submissivedude: Journey?!?! :D

      I guess I’m learning that yes, I’m the only person who can make sure I’m happy. But, perhaps my happiness is dependent on other people (in a way… see? I’m already noncommittal!).

      Sometimes my self-reliance and independence gets in the way of the happy. I’m working on it. :)

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