Subtle Differences

A few years ago, I thought of my kink very, very differently than I do now. Back then, I thought of myself primarily as a “submissive,” and assumed that everything I was into could simply be classified under that one term.

Now, everything I do is in shades of gray. Sometimes, my desires are purely masochistic: I crave pain, regardless of whether or not it’s part of a scene, regardless of whether or not I’m bound or on my knees, whether or not I’m submitting. Sometimes, those desires come more from a sense of a challenge and self-testing, rather than strictly erotic desire; that is, sometimes I crave pain even when I know it’s going to be “bad” pain, while at other times I want only the “good,” high-inducing pain.

Sometimes, I like forced submission: struggling and being subdued, saying “no” and not having it respected, being seduced and persuaded, or just simply being forced down. I like the feeling of struggling against ropes, in particular, and feeling the confining tension of them, the sensation that I couldn’t resist even if I wanted to. When I get this way, I often feel like it’s a way of releasing tension and giving up responsibility, for a moment—I can be angry, I can curse and rage, and it’s met by his calm firmness, keeping me safe.

Sometimes, I drop into an intensely submissive headspace in which I simply want to give my body over to be played with and used; at these times, pain is not pleasurable, but is a means of remembering that my pain does not matter, that it is something I must endure in order to be of service. It’s both endurance-testing and a way of practicing patience, self-control, and humility. At times like these, the last thing I want is to feel resistance between me and my partner; I want to give up control, not have it taken from me.

…and then there are even smaller differences that I can tease out between different styles of submission. Generally, I’m not interested in service submission, or submission done in order to please. Instead, my kink tends to fall on the side of ownership — I do this not necessarily because I want to please him and be of use, but because I am his possession. (And then: am I a human slave, one who actively performs tasks for my master? Or am I a pet — something to be kept for amusement — or a toy, something to be used?)

It’s mind-boggling, when you stop to think about it, how complex this stuff can be…

6 comments so far

  1. meta on

    I completely understand the differing desires. I also find it interesting that you question what to lable yourself in some of these situations. I’ve been thinking about that myself recently, and my post on it soon.

  2. sinclair on

    beautifully articulated, the different ways to submit. it’s so hard to get inside of these complex spaces and give them language and concepts – I love the way you write about them here, so thoughtful. this one especially struck a chord.

  3. Meer on

    That your mind struggles to tie down overwhelming moments with labels is the prettiest thing.

  4. subversive_sub on

    Not quite sure what you mean, Meer. I certainly have had the experience of trying to “tie down” an overwhelming moment by giving it a name, but that’s not the case here…it isn’t that I’m trying to make sense of this overwhelming thing called sex, but that I’m trying to find new ways to articulate the differences between individual desires as well as between the meanings different acts have for me. I don’t see that as “tying down” or controlling these desires, but rather making sense of them so that I can explore and enjoy them more fully.

  5. Meer on

    S’more of a compliment, really. An analytic mind doesn’t really rest, and you seem to be quite the carnal cartographer.

    You’d probably like Daston and Galison’s “Objectivity.” There’s nothing overtly kinky about it, but mapping is pretty fascinating stuff.

  6. subversive_sub on

    Wow, that book looks like a really fascinating read…thanks for the recommendation!

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