Sep 092013
 

submissive-aggressive-image

Yeah, I’m still on this topic… so?

Here’s the very recent backstory: I realized I accidentally trained J to demonstrate no aggressiveness. If he wants something, he asks for it, but he won’t touch me or kiss me without an invitation. I mentioned that I wanted a little more aggressiveness from him, and he interpreted it as my wanting a little ‘struggle.’ That’s not what I want. I didn’t get what I want, not because he’s unwilling to give it to me, but because my explanation was completely unclear. So, here we go again… what do I want?

I don’t want a struggle — a struggle implies that two parties want different things. I want J to want me, and I want him to demonstrate it sometimes. I want him to be more aggressive.

But what is aggressiveness? More importantly, what is aggressiveness in the context of our D/s dynamic?

In my mind, aggressiveness is different than aggression. (It’s possible that whatever distinction between the two is only in my mind.)

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there’s very little (if any) semantic difference between ‘aggressiveness’ and ‘aggression.’ By definition alone, the two terms are interchangeable. The difference (for me) rests in the connotations of the two terms, in the different contexts in which they might be deployed, and in the possible exigencies for each.

According to the OED:

aggressive, adj. and n.:
1: Of or relating to aggression; involving attack; offensive.
4: (a) Energetic, enterprising; self-assertive, pushful.
5: (a) That catches one’s attention forcibly or threateningly.
aggression, n.:
1:  An unprovoked attack; the first attack in a dispute or conflict; an assault, an inroad.
3: Feeling or energy displayed in asserting oneself, or in showing drive or initiative [. . .]

While the two terms can be used interchangably, the various definitions suggest a big difference in potential meanings. Attack, offensive, threat, and assault all have negative conntatations, but engergetic, self-assertive, and initiative all have positive, desirable connotations (as I’ve so helpfully color-coded). Aggressiveness has a more neutral or positive connotation and aggression has a negative connotation.

According to the Grammarist:

Aggression and aggressiveness are closely related—both can mean hostile or destructive behavior or actions—but in practical usage, especially in North America, they have differentiated. Aggression is more extreme, usually involving maliciousness or even hostility that can take the form of violent action. Aggressiveness is rarely malicious or violent. Instead, the word connotes assertiveness and drive—a more figurative aggression. It is more of an attitude, and it may even be viewed as a positive character attribute in the workplace or on a sports field, for instance. Aggression involves behaviors that would not be considered acceptable in these settings.”

I want to pick and choose what I like from those definitions… so I’m going to.

I do not want aggression—I don’t want attack, assault, offense, or any action that makes me feel threatened.

I want aggressiveness—I want energy, assertiveness, drive, and initiative.

I want to be wanted. I want my partner to energetically and assertively desire me. I want him to demonstrate desire without provocation and outside of command. I want him to want me, not just for the way I make him feel, but for whatever appeal I exude when I’m passive, silent, and still. I want him to want me, not just because I want him to demonstrate desire, but because he desires me — I want his desire to be the impetus for action.

He should want to touch me — not just because it makes me feel good, but because he is dying to touch me, because he can’t exist another second without feeling the curve of my breast, or the smooth slope of my collarbone, or the softness of my hands. He should want to kiss me — not just because I want kissed, but because he needs the taste of my lips as much as he needs air to breathe.submissive-aggressive-blue-thumb-2

Is that any clearer? No?

Well then, here’s what I don’t want:

  • I don’t want ambivalence (uncertainty, unknowing).
  • I don’t want apathy (lack of interest or lack of enthusiasm)
  • I don’t want indifference (neutrality, disinterest)
  • I don’t want passivity (requiring provocation to act)

I want to be wanted, and aggressiveness lets me know I’m wanted. So… um, do that, okay? :)

 

  15 Responses to “aggressiveness vs. aggression (demonstrating desire)”

  1. “Is that any clearer? No?”

    Um, yes. Much Clearer. In fact so clear that I couldn’t even finish the preceding paragraph without stopping to play out a little scene in my head. Oh to be wanted like that. Yum. I may have to bookmark this to use in explaining myself.

    • so clear that I couldn’t even finish the preceding paragraph without stopping to play out a little scene in my head. Oh to be wanted like that.

      Fuck… that’s kinda hot. :)

  2. Hmmm…totally clear until we get to what he actually does to effectively demonstrate to you, the object of his love, energy, assertiveness, drive, and initiative. An ask or request is not an energetic, driven, can’t stop the words coming out of my mouth plea. But neither may ambivalence or apathy necessarily be overcome if he feels the curve on his own without knowing somehow that you’re up for it since you might not be in the mood.

    I like to think there is energetic, driven, assertive, aggressive, submission. I like to think that when the moon is just so and the wind blows just right I’m a world class groveler for the attention of a domme. But what to actually do when a domme wants an aggressive expression of desire for her.

    I’d say tell him all this and then give him some examples of how you might like to be approached. In nuts and bolts terms…so to speak.

    Me, I always like to start with her feet. What girl doesn’t like her feet attended to in an aggressive, energetic, driven way? Then I’ll charmingly beg my way up the rest of her body…

    • You reiterate the dilemma perfectly, advo. :)

      I’d say tell him all this and then give him some examples of how you might like to be approached. In nuts and bolts terms…so to speak.

      I have, to a point. I can’t anticipate my own moods, so the applicability of any action to all situations isn’t useful to him. We made some headway this weekend, I think. He expressed a desire to see me naked, which I adored and totally melted for. (OMG, he lusts for me! Or, at least he’s willing to pretend because he read these blog posts… But still!)

      Me, I always like to start with her feet. What girl doesn’t like her feet attended to in an aggressive, energetic, driven way? Then I’ll charmingly beg my way up the rest of her body…

      Sure, yes, I guess. But I’m not looking for adoration, really. I’m looking for pure carnal lust. :) J isn’t the carnal-lust-over-feet sort of man. With that said, I’ll take what I can get. :)

  3. I think this is perfectly clear.

    But you still have the problem of rebuffing him if he gets the timing wrong or misreads your mood.

    I DO think that if he is neuro-typical (oh look, I learnt a new word!), that shit hurts. Being rejected hurts. And it IS rejection.

    And after a while, he will stop trying (as you’ve seen).

    I can relate to that problem. I have a rule that he is not allowed to rebuff me (I’m not sure I’ve ever stated it, it’s just understood (wow, magic!)) and if he did that would REALLY hurt my feelings. But I AM allowed to say ‘no’ to him and I expect him to be okay with it (god, so unfair!). But I LOVE his attention and desire and adoration and I love him expressing it. Love it. So I rarely am not receptive to it (and I guess I’ve had men who can see that I’m ‘closed’ and who think ‘yeah, not now…’).

    I’m not sure how you address it if you genuinely want to say ‘no’ a lot since he’s obviously not so great at reading your moods. The only thing that comes to mind is to say ‘no’ and then reassure him that you appreciate it (ugh, clunky, right? Like ‘thanks for this hideous sweater, I appreciate the thought…’).

    Yeah, I got nothin’.

    Ferns

    • I have a rule that he is not allowed to rebuff me (I’m not sure I’ve ever stated it, it’s just understood (wow, magic!)) and if he did that would REALLY hurt my feelings. But I AM allowed to say ‘no’ to him and I expect him to be okay with it (god, so unfair!). But I LOVE his attention and desire and adoration and I love him expressing it. Love it.

      We have no rule, but he wouldn’t think of rebuffing me. He adores being wanted, and I have more want for him than either of us knows what to do with. :) As for his expressing want, he’s going to have to try more often because I want it. I want his want. I want him to express desire. I miss it.

      I’m not sure how you address it if you genuinely want to say ‘no’ a lot since he’s obviously not so great at reading your moods. The only thing that comes to mind is to say ‘no’ and then reassure him that you appreciate it (ugh, clunky, right? Like ‘thanks for this hideous sweater, I appreciate the thought’).

      Oh, but it’s not a hideous sweater! It’s a beautiful, wonderful sweater… it’s just that sometimes, I’m not cold. :)

      • “He adores being wanted, and I have more want for him than either of us knows what to do with. :)”

        Right, but see that?! THAT. All smiley faced and happy and confident?

        Now picture if he was to start rebuffing you.

        Ouch right? Not just ouch but ‘OUCH MOTHERFUCKING OUCH!!!11’

        Yeah, that’s my point. You become the hideous sweater.

        (I concede that the hideous sweater analogy really doesn’t stretch this far (geddit?! Hurr hurr), but I’m using it anyway).

        Ferns

        • Yeah, you lost me on the sweater metaphor. :)

          I’m a hideous sweater? I hope not.

          And for the record, I don’t think J has ever rebuffed me… if he has, perhaps I missed it. :)

          • I feel ya! Our issues fell more along the lines of actual aggression and resistance. I enjoy it and love the power struggle… but NOT ALL THE TIME. It took us some time to find the right balance and ways to communicate when I like it and don’t like it. Over time he’s got better at reading my mood to figure it out, but it still back fires once in a blue moon.

            But Ferns is right… it’s the fear of rejection that will hold him back. I usually try to keep any rebuffs more playful in nature instead of more strict to help lessen the blow… and then I do expect him to learn to process my rebuffs… not as rejection, but more like communication. Though.. there’s some understanding you have to put forth in understanding that change isn’t going to happen overnight.

  4. In my mind, aggressive is confident and confidence is motherfucking sexy. Aggression… well, that’s just some bullshit right there. Who needs some dude attacking you??

    Anyway, I think you’re perfectly clear here, as well. And my understanding of D/s is the sub has to learn to fold rejection into the overall foreplay of the relationship. They need to be held at bay (kindly, in my case) and then rewarded for their patience and obedience with whatever it is we choose to give them.

    I just love how your mind works. xx Hy

    • Who needs some dude attacking you??

      Heh… bring it, dudes. I’m a NINJA! (kidding… about ‘bring it,’ not about being a ninja…)

      and then rewarded for their patience and obedience with whatever it is we choose to give them.

      Or, whatever we choose to take…. ;)

  5. @WickedMaggie:

    I usually try to keep any rebuffs more playful in nature instead of more strict to help lessen the blow… and then I do expect him to learn to process my rebuffs… not as rejection, but more like communication.

    That’s a good way to put it… communication. It’s not that I’m rejecting him it’s just whatever-it-is isn’t what I want at that particular moment. And for the record (so everyone knows I’m not a total bitch), my ‘rebuff’ of him is typically because I’d rather touch him, or use him, or wrap my lips around his cock instead. :)

    • I think you’re right on communication. The key will be letting him know the reason for the rejection. It doesn’t have to be immediate, but soon enough after the incident that he doesn’t stew.

      I know if I hear “I love it when you approach me, I just wasn’t in the mood then”, it’s going to do several things: Reassure me that I’m doing exactly what Lady Pagan wants, re-double my efforts to read her mood at such times, and make me want to try again in the future. I’ve just changed it in my mind from a rejection to a scheduling conflict.

  6. I have read that this subject has been been pre-occupying your thoughts for some time now.

    I hope in the meantime you have solved this misunderstanding.

    You believe you have ‘trained’ J to be non-aggressive? (smiling with due respect when I read this.)
    I don’t think you can ‘train’ this. The only thing you can train J is how to please you. It’s his sole motivation. I believe he represses his aggression for your sake – for your pleasure. And it is a difficult habit to break because he might be afraid that if he allows his aggression to take over, he might not be able to self-control it.

    Oh, yes! Naturally! You would say, “Hey! That’s my job! I’m in control! I can control his aggression.”

    Without a doubt, but I say, it’s natural for a sub to fear the loss of self-control.

    When J comes before you, four creatures shall appear before you. First is the enthusiastic and affectionate child. This creature passes quickly once you begin to do what you do. He gives way to that beast.

    It’s that beast which is hungry, aggressive, and will struggle against its restraints. He is filled with lust, hunger, and aggression. It’s a bit like having a caged lion under your hand. It’s not for the feint-hearted and it requires a firm hand. He struggles between all those wild fantasies of what he will do to you if he loses it and breaks out of those restraints – all those very dark things that make us inhuman and animals of lust. The darkest fear of the strong submissive is the fear of losing it, and hurting you – his beloved Mistress.

    But if you control that beast long enough and draw the lust and aggression out slowly, without remorse, fear or mercy, then you will see the third creature – the begger or the martyr. This creature loses out to his internal struggle against his feared aggression. The struggle is both hopeless and helpless against you, and the begger only wants sweet release from his tormenting lust. And only you have the power to grant or deny it.

    Deny it, and the begger may give way to the aggressive beast again. But if your boy is weary, and you decide he requires release, then the begger will give way to the fourth creature – the vanquished man full of bliss and adoring love for you.

    The Arte of the Dompteuse is to draw the beast out long and without mercy, knowing that your boy will force his beast to give way to his begger, because his fear his beast might hurt you is greater than his pride over begging. The Arte of the Dompteuse is your boy knowing you know his greatest fear of what he might do to you, and never fearing what he might become (yet never does). The Arte of the Dompteuse is your fearlessness of his aggressiveness; your control over all of these creatures, and the knowledge you can conjure every one of them as you wish. The Arte of Dompteuse is to show her boy how much she enjoys her wild beast if that is her favourite creature.

  7. You believe you have ‘trained’ J to be non-aggressive? (smiling with due respect when I read this.) I don’t think you can ‘train’ this. The only thing you can train J is how to please you.

    Not quite. :) I think what I’ve ‘trained’ (or reinforced) is the idea that his being non-aggressive is what pleases me.

    Without a doubt, but I say, it’s natural for a sub to fear the loss of self-control.

    This is interesting–I hadn’t thought that he might fear the loss of his own control. My thinking was that his fear (the only one, or at least the motivating one) is that I might be less dominant or that he might see me as less dominant (and thus, someone he wasn’t as attracted to). He likes being submissive, and he likes me dominant, and his being aggressive seems to be outside of those roles (our roles as dom and sub, not ‘general’ roles).

    Fear of loss of control is a very interesting idea that I hadn’t given any thought to. I will now. Thank you for that. :)

    As for the Arte of Dompteuse, I’m still figuring that out. :) I’m trying to decipher what it is that I want while simultaneously figuring out how to get it. Confusion ensues… often. :)

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