May 022013
 

When I saw J for the first time, my attraction was immediate. He was tall, athletic, and clean cut, with killer blue eyes and an air of self-confidence. He dressed well, and his crisp button down shirt hinted at a fantastic build underneath.

Later on that day, when he unbuttoned his shirt cuffs and rolled up his sleeves, the ink on his forearms suggested perhaps he wasn’t quite as clean cut as he first appeared. The entire day, I couldn’t keep myself from thinking about what he might look like out of his business casual attire — How cut is he underneath that shirt? How much ink is he hiding? Would he be interested in letting me find out? (Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure of learning the answer to my questions until some time later.)

When I wasn’t mentally undressing him, I observed that he was friendly and polite, but not necessarily warm or outgoing. His demeanor was calm, self-assured, and quiet, but assertive. I imagined he was probably a little cocky — there’s no way his good looks and self-confidence came without a considerable ego.

After we began dating, I quickly learned his confidence was justified — he’s educated, well-read, thoughtful, and opinionated. His ego was healthy, but not unmanageable, and I find that sort of confidence very attractive.

And clearly, the attraction was mutual. The way he looked at me with those icy blue eyes made me feel weak and wanted in a way I had never experienced before. While neither his words nor his behaviors were aggressive, there was something about his cold stare that felt predatory. It felt like he was hunting, and I had no choice but be his prey.

It was equally exciting as it was unnerving… and it was so fucking hot.

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J revealed he was submissive not long after we started dating, and I didn’t think anything of it. I had always been the sexual aggressor in my past relationships, so I thought J’s sexual preferences and turn-ons would fit well with mine.

But when J told me more and more about his past experiences in BDSM and in the scene, I came to realize his submissiveness was bigger and more complex than what I first imagined. To compensate for my ignorance, I turned to the internet for more information on what ‘submissive male’ really meant.

I did not like what I found: Weak. Indecisive. Inadequate. Timid. Broken. Ashamed. Humble. Some submissive men even seemed to revel in their weakness, identifying as worms not worthy of their partners.

None of what I read or saw made much sense in light of what I already knew of J — he was proud, confident, and strong.

My heart sank as I considered the possibility that my perception was so wildly incorrect. I must have been mistaken about him.

If submissive men are weak, and J is a submissive, it must mean J is weak.[1]

While I was confused about J, I was absolutely sure about myself and what I want and don’t want in a potential partner. I abhor weakness, I hate indecision and inability, and I have no desire to be with a groveling, lowly “worm.”[2]

If I don’t want weakness, and J is weak, it must mean I don’t want J.

And at some point, I told him just that: I’m not interested in a weak man.

He was hurt and angry (rightfully and understandably so), but he hid his emotions from me. In the moment, he realized he was too angry to respond in any constructive way. He also realized my ignorance wasn’t all my fault — he assumed I read something somewhere that created the association: submissive = weak. Instead of being angry with me, instead of rambling off an impassioned string of explanations to combat my ignorance, in his calm, cool, measured way, J maintained composure and took some time to think about his response.

Of course, I had no idea he was hurt or angry. I didn’t even realize it was still on his mind until I received his email a few days later. Rereading his words (more than two years later) still makes my stomach flip and my heart lurch with want for him.

It deserves it’s own post, so look for it in a day or two. :)

(to be continued…)


[1] Of course, my logical syllogism was founded on a false major premise: all submissive men are weak.
The correct premise is: some submissive men are weak.

[2] If being a “weak man” or lowly worm turns you on, good on you. It’s just not my kink.

 

  15 Responses to “my ignorance: submission = weakness”

  1. I love reading about your first impressions, both with the man and his desires.

    • Thanks, Cammies (M or A, I never know!)

      It’s been really interesting looking back on some of our early conversations and correspondence. We’ve come a long way!

  2. It took me a while to figure out that I’m submissive, because the common depiction of submissive men is nothing like who I am or what I want to be. It wasn’t until I started reading things by real people (such as you and Ferns) really involved in F/m that I decided it was worth giving it a try. It has been so worth the wait.

    • It took me a while to figure out that I’m submissive, because the common depiction of submissive men is nothing like who I am or what I want to be.

      I know! It’s that awful? I almost broke things off with J because I didn’t think a submissive man was anything I ever wanted, nor did I think a dominant woman was anything I wanted to be. I nearly missed out on a lot of happiness, but I’m so glad I didn’t. To his credit, J was very patient in waiting for me to figure things out in my own time.

      It wasn’t until I started reading things by real people (such as you and Ferns) really involved in F/m that I decided it was worth giving it a try. It has been so worth the wait.

      Thank you for saying this, Neo. It means a lot to me — I’m glad it was worth the wait (for both of us!)

  3. i see where you’re headed and i anxiously await the next entry!

    but i agree with you… in that when i first started exploring BDSM, i thought submission always equaled weakness, too (especially in females), but i know now that that is not always the case.

    i identify as submissive, but not as weak. i have my doctorate, my patients trust and respect my educated opinion… but my submission comes in that i enjoy – i am aroused by giving up control and by fulfilling the sexual needs of my current partner. the more connected i feel to that person, the more i allow her dominace to bleed out of the bedroom and into other aspects of my life.

    i don’t do it because i feel weak and need someone strong in my life … i allow it because it is freeing and genuinely makes me happy.

    sorry for my own little blog post there, but i really like this post!!!

    • sorry for my own little blog post there, but i really like this post!!!

      Don’t apologize! I love your response!

      I think it’s sort of interesting that there seem to be a lot more men embracing the “weak, humiliated sub” identity than women. (Of course, that’s in my very limited perception.) Wonder why that is?

      i don’t do it because i feel weak and need someone strong in my life … i allow it because it is freeing and genuinely makes me happy.

      Yes! That is a feminist statement if I ever heard one. And I agree on all points — I don’t have a partner (or a boyfriend, or friends, etc.) because I need them, I have them because they make me happy. :)

  4. So do you like tattoos?

    Great qualities to which I like to think I also possess for the most part. I am warm and somewhat outgoing though. I try to be polite and despite my constant rambling online I am actually very shy and quiet in person. (SHOCKER RIGHT?!) I am educated and consider myself intelligent but I also realize there is so much out there for me to learn. I love to learn! And a good ego to some extent is very attractive, I have one at times.

    “I did not like what I found: Weak. Indecisive. Inadequate. Timid. Broken. Ashamed. Humble. Some submissive men even seemed to revel in their weakness, identifying as worms not worthy of their partners.”

    Yes, this sort of thing cuts right through me, frustrates and angers me to be seen like that just because I am submissive. I have even seen submissive informational websites basically inferring that we are weak and indecisive. ARGGHH But I know that dominants see the same thing in reverse that dominants are not supposed to feal emotions, not be sad or insecure, be all bad ass and not caring about the submissive at all. Society and their damn negative portrayals.

    While sometimes I may feel weak I am not weak I am strong. And I have been down a few times but hell will freeze over before anything or anyone will ever break me, or break my spirit. I very much can make a decision but I prefer in my love and passion to give her the control and final say so. Inadequate I do feel but that is not my submission that is my trying to understand myself as a newbie and also just improvements I am making on me. I can be humble at times, I think everyone can and should be at times. I am shy but not timid and my shyness has nothing to do with being submissive its just another part of my personality. Ashamed sometimes but only because exploring and learning my submissive and I struggle against what has been ingrained in me over years.

    Most importantly “worm”. When I was with Darksoul I loved her so much I let go of my agency completely, for her. I used refer to myself as once being a worm in a different sense as in having no agency at that time, even though I really wasn’t it was more of grasping on to trying to fix what we used to have because yes i loved her that damn much. I will never let go of my agency again for anyone. I am not a worm! I had someone call me this and hurt me a lot. I believe calling a submissive a worm is like calling a dominant an over controlling freak..neither is true and both are very hurtful!

    I love your post, thank you. I wanted to comment yesterday but right now I am just so exhausted in so many ways so I just did not have the strength last night.

    Respectfully,
    brattyboi

    • So do you like tattoos?

      Yes, but it depends on the person, the placement, and the actual tattoos. :)

      consider myself intelligent but I also realize there is so much out there for me to learn. I love to learn!

      Absolutely! This is one of those qualities I admire in people — curiosity. I enjoy the company of people who are curious about the world around them. I don’t care whether the curiosity is about people, places, art, literature, music… whatever. Curiosity is the mark of a thoughtful, intelligent person.

      While sometimes I may feel weak I am not weak I am strong. And I have been down a few times but hell will freeze over before anything or anyone will ever break me, or break my spirit.

      “Weak” is one of those tricky concepts. Everyone is weak sometimes, and everyone has weaknesses, but that is totally different than someone who considers themselves a weak person. As for personal trials and tribulations, we all get weak — when my partner is weak, I want to be there for him, and when I am weak, I want him to do the same. But, I also want someone strong enough to overcome.

      As for the other sorts of weakness (the more passing sort), I’ve said before, I don’t want a weak man, I want to make a man weak. I want him to be weak for me and for my wants and needs. That sort of weakness? It’s fucking hot. ;)

      I will never let go of my agency again for anyone. I am not a worm!

      I actually think what you describe — giving up agency — is different than what lots of people take “worm” to mean. I think of submissive “worms” as the sniveling, grovelling, doormat sort of men. And yes, men. I don’t think I can recall many (if any) examples of women embodying this identity. It seems to be limited to male submissives.

      I love your post, thank you. I wanted to comment yesterday but right now I am just so exhausted in so many ways so I just did not have the strength last night.

      Thank you, Mystic, and thanks for your thoughtful response. :) Hope you’re feeling better today!

  5. The internet is incredibly useful… but it’s also full of mistakes. I think we get very lucky when we find people who can explain the difference between assumptions and reality. Thank you for sharing.

    • I think we get very lucky when we find people who can explain the difference between assumptions and reality.

      Absolutely. I’m especially lucky to have found someone to correct my mistaken notions with such grace and patience.

  6. submissive does not have to equal weak. in one of the first books on D/s I ever read, submission was portrayed as requiring significant mental strength; only a powerful person can relinquish power…

    but many submissives ARE weak, just like many non-submissives are weak. there’s just a lot of weak people out there. so it’s a challenge for those of us who want strong, confident submissive partners to find such people. but it’s worth it…

  7. When I look at it like that, I feel a bit more comfortable about the idea of being submissive. I like the idea of it being a two-way street. I can give in to authority, if these conditions exist – trust, confidence, mutual respect, and free will. These are essential for this power dynamic to work.

    • I feel a bit more comfortable about the idea of being submissive. I like the idea of it being a two-way street. I can give in to authority, if these conditions exist – trust, confidence, mutual respect, and free will.

      Glad to hear that, Sidney! Thanks for the comment. :)

  8. i am a submissive woman. Being submissive doesn’t mean i am weak or inferior. Neither does it mean i am unable to make decisions or have reign over my life… i’ve merely chosen to relinquish control. i am an intelligent, informed woman who has chosen to surrender to the one man who place me and my welfare above all else… my Master.

    • i am a submissive woman. Being submissive doesn’t mean i am weak or inferior. Neither does it mean i am unable to make decisions or have reign over my life… i’ve merely chosen to relinquish control.

      Personally, I think that choice indicates strength.

      What’s interesting to me, too, is that the pervasiveness of the “weak submissive” myth seems to be applied (and misapplied) far more frequently to men than to women. I guess it’s because those other pervasive myths about men, masculinity, strength, etc., run so counter to misinformed beliefs about what submissiveness means.

      Thanks for the comment. :)

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