Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Interview with a submissive

The bdsm lifestyle is something that intrigues many of us. Sometimes we may write hot and heavy bdsm-themed stories without truly understanding what the lifestyle entails. We're curious observers, not actual participants. I recently gathered some information on what it is to actually live the life--not just play in the bedroom. The following is a Q&A session with a practicing submissive, explaining what the BDSM life means to her.

If a couple is in a bdsm relationship, does it switch on and off? Do you have your 'day' persona and your 'night' persona or is it a 24/7 lifestyle?
That's a pretty good question. The Dom you spoke with is right in that it depends on the couple. For Sir's and my specific relationship, it's 24/7 in that my rules are in effect whether or not W/we're together, and each of U/us thinks of the other, generally, in the role W/we've chosen. It it definitely not just in the bedroom. Still, if i don't feel good, He goes easy on me, pets me, takes care of me. If i have my period, or a cold, or i'm very sore and weepy and not doing well, He'll try to make me laugh, and get me food and hold me.

How does the couple carry on a regular life and a role-playing life at the same time? Or is it playing?
Well, in my deepest heart of hearts i'm a submissive. It is not playing, in that sense of the word... it's just a part of me. The same way i am a writer, even if i'm not writing, though that's probably not the best example. *blushes* It's just always there, a part of my brain.
Since i can only see Him once a week, a lot of it is mental, being told what to do over the phone, or even just talking. Generally, i call Him before work or at lunch, when i wake up. W/we talk a LOT. Every day, if W/we can help it. Actually, a lot of it is mental when W/we're together. i tend to slip into sub-space the minute i get into the car when He picks me up.

Still, it depends on the person. Some people just play in clubs, or in a dungeon, or once a week, and then leave it after that. Some people don't. Finally becoming chibi-hentai, submissive, and realizing it, has made me a stronger person in other situations, rather than letting people walk all over me and not realizing why i'm letting them.

Do you have dialogue about how you want things done or do you defer to your Dom without question on everything? I understand that he would be the ultimate decision-maker, but how much room for discussion do you have?
Again, different couples have different ways of dealing with this situation and how dialogues come up. On some decisions, after discussing something, i might defer to His judgment, feeling that He has more experience, or He's just right. On others, He lets me have my way because i might know more about a situation.
i live at home, and take care of my parents, so i don't say anything on the running of the household.
There's always room for discussion. One of the most important parts of D/s is communication... honest communication.

What happens when you’re in an argument and you’re confident you’re right about something and really want to be heard?
Argument... that implies anger, temper or ire, to me. i don't like having discussions or debates when i'm angry, because then feelings can be hurt, or something can be said that isn't meant. If either of U/us does get angry about something, W/we wait to talk about it, until W/we're calm and level-headed. Submission doesn't mean i checked my brain and opinions at the door, LOL. And i try to be respectful when i'm voicing my opinions.

And another wonderful way to deal when both of U/us are right: Compromise. i'll do something, and employ some of His suggestions, but He needs to please accept if it doesn't work, or i don't like it or i need time to get it done or something. As long as i give it my all.

For me it’s pretty easy to understand the Dom’s role. Who wouldn’t want to be in charge and control things, and let’s face it, it’s kind of a basic part of a man’s nature.
Maybe, though not all men are Doms. Some make fantastic submissives, and some women make superb Dommes. But even so, it's not just in charge and in control. It's responsibilities too. To be honest. To know the sub(s) limits, to know Their own limits, to be aware. A good Dom, that is. And to realize that They won't get everything right off the bat, if They're either new, or with a new sub. LOL, i adore fictional BDSM books, but the whole, "get everything right on a telepathic level" thing is so ridiculous. No one gets it all right that way. It takes mistakes and learned limits and learning about the other person's body AND mind that makes it fantastic.

Carrying that desire from sex life into the rest of life is what’s intriguing to me.
i take care of disabled parents and my responsibilities are endless. To be able, with one special person who i know i can trust implicitly, to give up all the control, the worrying about what to do if this goes wrong or this person needs something, and just be. i won't do anything wrong, because i'm given explicit instructions, and can ask the person in charge what else to do if i don't know. How can i ask what to do next in my normal, everyday life, when i'm the one in charge?
i cry when i'm with Him. He overwhelms me with pleasure and some pain(though i must say i'm not much of a painslut and He knows that). But I can't cry at home. i have to be the strong one. With Him... with Sir, i can be weak and needy and let go of all of it. He says He is honored when i let go in front of Him and just cry. i have a lot of crying to do.
i don't like crying and letting it out. It hurts and it's scary, and i want to run and hide. Sir holds me, as tight as i need, but He doesn't let me hide from Him. That's one thing i am not allowed to do, cover my eyes to hide. Either with my hands or my hair(which is thigh length now) or turning away.
One night, He saw me after sobbing hysterically, and said that i looked beautiful. *chuckles* my face was wet with tears and snot, and splotchy here and there, and He sits there telling me i'm beautiful.
i cry when i'm overwhelmed or when i'm experiencing sub-drop. sub-drop is comparable to how a person can really fly on adrenaline then after, when it's not needed, the crash comes. sub-drop tends to start emotionally, then move on to mentally and physically. Some subs have different ways of dealing with it. Eating, drinking, talking, crying. Eating helps me to ground myself, and sometimes brings it on quicker.
He nurtures me. He treats me like the special woman i am. He treats all of my emotions, rational or not(and i say if they aren't rational, LOL), with support and validation. He punishes me when i need it. He lets me talk things out. He does so much for me, and i'm thankful for it.

So in your specific relationship, what are the rules?
i can't hide.

i am not allowed to get my own doors. He opens them for me. (*chuckles* It took me awhile to get the hang of that one)

No orgasm without permission. If i need/want to, and He isn't there, i must call Him, no matter the time, and ask... or beg... or plead, LOL.

When with Him, i wear a skirt, and unless i have a butt-plug in, my period, or permission, no underwear.

Also when with Him in the car(or any other place He deems it appropriate), my bare ass is on the seat, and my legs are spread for Him.

At home(His, but it feels like home to me too now), when i get in, unless otherwise directed, i get undressed, and assume my position(on my knees, with them spread, my ankles crossed behind me, back straight, eyes forward, my hands clasped behind me).

No biting my nails. Each nail bitten is one spank.

No writing "lol" the wrong way(the way i used to was with capital L's on both sides, and a lowercase O). The wooden paddle for every time.

i must always inform Him of disobedience. As soon as possible after it happens.

i must always wear my cuff(it's black, leather, with a kitty face on it and pat prints... Bought at Hot Topic, LOL, but it's comfy and nice), unless i take it off to keep it from getting wet or lotiony, or for medical reasons, like a nurse needs to take my pulse or something.

i must keep a daily submissive journal. And have a very good reason if i miss a day. i must also write down any disobedience and the punishment, if i know the latter. Or put punishment pending, if i don't. Additions to this rule: i must put another "i am" sentence at the end of every day.

i was depressed one day, and Sir had me write a list of 25 or more things that "i am". Good things. It must be in that format. "i am pretty." or "i am smart", etc. i'm on 39 today, LOL.

What would an average day be like for you?
An average day? Well, since W/we get together once a week, depending on the time, it generally includes food. Sometimes a movie, sometimes shopping at a bookstore or the mall. Sometimes heading for His place and playing. It includes chibi getting teased, stroked, made to cum, and at the end of it all, hopefully getting her treat, which would be Sir's cum. Giving Sir a blowjob really grounds me. It's familiar territory, and i know i'm pleasing Him, and it's also my favorite activity.
There will be laughs, there will definitely be tears and there will be intimacy and friendship.

What are your expectations of the relationship and what are your partner’s?
i expect to have rules, to be listened to, to be punished when i need it, to have my limits pushed, to be honest and to be given honesty, to have my desires met, in part or in whole. i must say that Sir is really good at meeting them in whole. *grins*
i expect to be His friend. He is my best friend, as well as my Dominant. He knows He can talk to me, and i won't judge Him. He doesn't have to feel bad if He has to do something, because i'll be here when He's done. But i also know that if i need Him, i can call Him. No matter what He's doing, who He's with, i can call. i'm a former cutter. i sometimes need to cry. And if He tells me to let go, i can cry at home. He is my primary safe call for cutting.
The relationship is not romantic, boyfriend/girlfriend. Sir and i are friends, lovers, D/s partners. And i'm content with that.

Let me add that the creed in this Lifestyle is: Safe, Sane and Consensual. Trust is necessary, but it must be earned. And that last word of the creed means no flashy BDSM demos in front of people who aren't consenting. Mainly, that means anywhere public, save play parties, and even then... there are rules! So flashing the guy in the truck next to you in the middle of traffic, in reality, is out. But add a blindfold, have this sinful, deep voice telling you to touch yourself, and that all these people are looking... it has relatively the same effect. *grins* The general public cannot consent, so being led around on a leash in a mall is forcing the lifestyle on someone else. There are other ways to be circumspect but still feel the wonderful D/s vibe with a partner in a public setting.

I hope this interview is of interest to our blog readers. I gathered this and several other interviews with the idea of perhaps writing a more realistic bdsm romance novel. Don't know if I'll ever do it or not, but thought you might be interested in what I found out.


Blogger Cyndi Redding said...

Thanks for sharing all of that Bonnie Dee and pass on my thanks to your interviewee. It takes courage to share something so personal.

I tried to write a BDSM and couldn't. Absolutely couldn't do it nomatter how well it paid. LOL. I read a few when asked if I could write one and was surprised that I found it so erotic! What a surprise!

I read a book by a real DOM and it was the first to make sense to me. I wrote to him and laughed when saying I thought both my dh and I are subs, and that to listen to us on a lazy Saturday would be nauseating, i.e. "What do you want to do?" "I don't know, what do you want to do?" "I don't know. I guess we could watch TV?" "Okay, what do you want to watch?" "I don't know, what do you want to watch?" LOL

He said that he and his sub sound like that too sometimes. He made a point of saying he wants her to be happy. A happy and willing sub makes his life better all around. I guess it struck me how these are normal people with an arrangement that feels right to them.


10:58 AM  
Blogger Dee said...

This was very interesting, Bonnie. I really had no idea of how such a relationship worked.

Thanks! And thanks to your interviewee, too.


11:01 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

I did write a little bit on my story as a plot occurred to me. I don't know if I have a whole long novel worth of stuff in me though and will just nibble at it between other projects.

Huh, naturally I find I'm writing from the Dom's POV. What a surprise. I'm such a bossy bitch, I don't think I could ever submit to someone's will--although the idea is sexy and intriguing.

11:26 AM  
Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

I researched the BDSM lifestyle (which apparently does not always include each of those letters) by reading website after website and by speaking with a Dominatrix and a Submissive. I found their lifestyle fascinating, but foreign. I chanted to understand their relationship deeply enough to capture a bit of it in "Cold, Hard Kash." I hope, once that book comes out in April, that I was able to express the range of emotions enough to satisfy readers of light BDSM.

Good topic! I look forward to reading and learning more.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Rae Morgan said...

Thanks, Bonnie, and thanks to your interviewee. I've researched the BDSM lifestyle also for a book (Death Benefits as Monette Michaels). I find it very interesting the misconceptions the general public has about this lifestyle choice. I suspect that the couples who actually live the life don't flaunt it.


12:00 PM  
Blogger Maura said...

Good interview, Bonnie. I was pleasantly surprised to actually see an interview/information that wasn't YAP (Yet Another Poser).


BDSM and Dom/sub relationships are extremely complex in some ways and the initial impression most people get of them tend to rarely encompass that complexity.

There are only a few people whose BDSM books I will actually read. I spent a number of years in the midst of that lifestyle and while I don't live it now (by mutual decision), I still get angry when I see it portrayed poorly.

I could go on for hours about just what I find portrayed poorly or totally incorrectly but, heck, you know who i am and you can PM me at will if you want my take on things... :)

1:50 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

Thanks, Maura,
I imagine that where people get it wrong is in thinking that because a woman chooses to be submissive, she checks her mind at the door and is an utter bobble-head with no self esteem. Am I right?
Maybe also there's an element of extreme torture and humiliation that tends to creep into BDSM novels. Seems that way from the books I've read snippets of at Fictionwise.
Yes, I'd like to hear more of what you have to say on the subject. We'll talk.

1:58 PM  
Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

I don't believe for a moment that a submissive is relinquishing any control or gray matter. The submissive is the one in charge! At least, that's my humble opinion.

It takes courage and a great sense of leadership to be a follower, if you get my meaning.

2:06 PM  
Blogger snowflake said...

Interesting interview, thanks for sharing.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

To bring this topic home to the readers, would you, have you or have you thought about trying dom/sub sex play?

I have to take a break from computer right now, but will be chatting at The Romance STudio tonight at 9:00. PLEASE, stop by and chat. I need some conversation going to keep me awake at that late hour--9:00!

5:27 PM  
Blogger snowflake said...

No. While I think light bondage is exciting, the whole BDSM lifestyle isn't for me.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Mahaira said...

Oh, well,
Ah, hmmmmm,
Thanks for all the info. My head is just swimming with all those answers. I just know that BDSM life style is not my cup of tea. I don't have anything against those who live that way but a whole lifestyle is out of the question.


11:20 PM  
Blogger Maura said...

We can definitely talk, Bonnie.

Yes, that is one of the misconceptions - that the sub in any D/s relationship (be they male or female) is somehow the lesser party. Less intelligent or less strong are examples. That's very much not true.

Another popular misconception is that BDSM especially is just an excuse for abuse. Plenty of people have fantasies of domination or taking/being taken by force but those are just that - fantasies.

Successful and healthy BDSM and D/s relationships involve a huge degree of trust and communication. And they are certainly NOT for everyone. There are all different levels of them, all different variations of rules, etc.

In the case of true relationships (not talking scenes at a club or such) - two key things to always remember - they are based on an willing exchange of power between two people and they are based on love.

(has my psych minor shown yet? LOL)

2:16 AM  
Anonymous annalisa said...

No, I don't think the BDSM lifestyle would be for me.

2:20 AM  
Blogger Lisa T said...

The interview was very enlightening. I enjoy reading books with a BDSM theme and after reading the interview find that it helps explain some aspects in the books I've read. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Christy Robin said...

What a cool topic. Getting into the minds...


10:33 AM  

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