I hope you have been enjoying Rika’s Lair, my monthly column dedicated to thoughts and experiences regarding power dynamics in Service-Oriented D/s relationships. Look up “Ms. Rika” in the search box for links to all of my articles in KinkWeekly!
This week, I’m going on a little rant. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working with a number of couples who have been sharing a very similar issue. The submissive, in these cases men (though this is certainly not limited to gender), have entered into their dynamics expecting their partners to enforce their submission. What I mean by “enforcing submission” is quite literal: They want the dominant to make them submit – to watch them for any infractions, punish them, and to wield threats of pain or frustration as a means to gain compliance. One wants spankings, one wants to be kept in chastity forever (“to motivate his submission”), another wants to give up all of his possessions and worth and become indentured, and yet another wants to be blackmailed. To compound the issue, in all cases, the dominants don’t really prefer these requests, however, rather than challenging these expectations, are asking for help in how to fulfill them!
The theme is a common one.
I want to point out that it’s possible that a dominant wants the challenge and enjoys the “conquering” nature of overpowering their submissive. However, they also might not – and in the case of these couples, the dominants are not in favor of the scenarios, but are trying to go along with them, either to please their partner – or because their partner is impossible without it.
Aside from the obvious “topping from the bottom” and manipulation in the approaches, I’m bothered by the NOTION of a dominant being asked to enforce submission. Here are a few reasons:
- First of all, it makes it seem that the submissive feels that submission is shameful or unnatural and therefore needs to be forced, as if, they would never allow it to happen otherwise. They seem ashamed to admit that they enjoy submission; ashamed to agree to serve their partner, and so, need to be manipulated into it, “against their will”
- The attitude of “Force Me”, puts the onus and responsibility of assuring good service on the dominant. I’ve talked a lot about this in my books and other articles. This puts the submissive in the driver’s seat; in position to judge whether the dominant is convincing enough to warrant their submission. This puts the dominant in the position of having to “prove their worth” to the submissive.
- “You do the work…and I’ll follow, because I have to” is a lazy position. It’s forcing a role of enforcer, or ‘warden’ onto the dominant partner. For a dominant who doesn’t want this type of role, they don’t get anything out of this except more work. It is a very non-submissive attitude.
How I see it… As far as I’m concerned, I’m not MAKING a man want to submit – I’m LETTING him submit. He’s a submissive – He wants to submit! This notion that a man who claims to be submissive, needs to be tricked, manipulated, reduced, forced, coerced, etc. into submission is simply hogwash.
My advice to submissives: If you want to submit, submit. If you don’t, don’t…but I would consider it bottoming, not submission. If you choose to submit, seek out what your dominant considers to be
submission – what they feel will make them most happy with you as a submissive – and adapt to provide whatever that is with all of your heart and soul. Make your dominant the center of your definition of submission – their preferences…their definition. Serve the person…not some role being played.
When you are serving a dominant the way a dominant wants to be served, which may, or may not be your traditional definition of submissive behavior, you’re not just a bottom in a scene, because the motivation for your actions are to please your dominant – the way they want to be pleased (and consequently, the way they will be most pleased).
Most natural submissives I’ve met, find this to be far more fulfilling than being with a dominant who is not pleasing themself, but rather trying to become some fantasy.
Dominants, here’s another way to look at this: If someone came to you and said, “I’d like the job of painting your house” and you decided to give them that work, it’s likely that you’re going to pick the color, agree on a schedule, and be the final arbiter on “completeness”…but I’m certain the implication isn’t that you’re going to force them to work each day – through threat or coercion, tell them exactly how to paint the house, make them clean their equipment, and force them to complete the job! The mark of good workers is that they do those things themselves…it’s their responsibility; they know it and accept it.
A good, dominant-focused submissive is a good worker; one who takes ownership of their submission and responsibility for their behavior. They are self-motivated to do the job, do it right, and be proud of the result they can achieve. They adapt to your preferences and deliver without having to be forced (unless that’s what you prefer). Don’t settle for less.
Ms. Rika is a lifestyle dominant, educator, and author; living in the suburbs of NYC with her husband/slave. She has written several popular books on her approach to adding Dominant-Centric, Service-Oriented D/s to relationships. You can find her books (in both print and eBook formats) at Lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/msrika), or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iStore, Books-A- Million, Kobo.com, or anywhere books are sold. Search for “Ms. Rika”. Write to me at Ms_Rika@hotmail.com
It’s so true! The funny thing is, I always used to think the pitfall was going to be avoiding dominants that wanted no-limits and constant bondage,and that it would be hard to find a sane one. It’s amazing the kind of things I thought without knowing any real dominants, and even after I met a few. There wasn’t much good content years ago.
I totally agree.
It is lazy. They are living out a kinky fantasy on someone else’s hard work. It also pushes their partner into being a service Dom. A more adequate punishment might be to remove their dominance if they don’t submit.
HI Minnie! I agree about the consequences of their actions, although it’s not punishment to me. For me, it’s more a factor of not being interested in playing that type of manipulation game. I’d rather not have a dynamic, than to have one that’s really about me being manipulated. So removing us from the dynamic is not punishment of my sub, it’s avoidance of me being punished by having to deal with it.