Sunday, August 07, 2011

sub or slave

  • A submissive renews the choice to submit every time a demand is levied upon her.
  • A slave makes a one-time choice to submit, up front, and thereafter it is incumbent upon her to obey.

I am fond of this definition because it describes not only my personal experience of submission and slavery, but with some minimal qualification also applies to every submissive or slave relationship i have known of.

At the heart of submission is the choice to submit and the option to say "No". The submissive decides how much authority she will cede to another, how much control she will bow to, and what aspects of her life she will surrender to the dominant's command. Submissive power exchange is about choice: about the option to decide how one feels about a demand and what one is going to do about it. At any point that the sub is not comfortable with this arrangement, it is within her rights to say "No, I'm not going to do that", and this becomes a signal to the couple that they need to renegotiate something. It does not completely derail the power dynamic between them.

  • A submissive chooses to submit and has the option to say 'no' in at least one aspect of hir life.
A submissive who is controlled in large tracts of her life – her sexuality, work, dress, social habits, etc - may fall into a space of obedience where orders in those arenas are never mulled over or reassessed (in the sense of "renewing the choice to submit every time a demand is levied upon her"). I contend that this is not counter to the definition I offer above but a special subset thereof: even for such a closely-controlled submissive, there remains some area of her life or aspect of her person where she retains autonomy, or where it is her option to decide if she wishes to submit in the moment.
    • In short: a submissive chooses to submit and has the option in some area or another to say "no" to a dominant command.
    • A slave commits to obey. A 'no' becomes a dealbreaker in a way it can never be for a submissive.