First, what do I mean by “s-type”? For those that don’t know I refer to anyone that identifies as a slave, submissive, bottom, pet, property, or babygirl/boy (etc) as an s-type. It’s just an easier way to refer to this group without listing every specific identifier.
What does it mean to identify as an s-type? Why would someone desire, or even crave, to yield their control or power to another human being? This isn’t an easy question to answer, as there are many answers out there depending on who you ask. Some reasons may include a desire to surrender control, power, or decision making, wanting someone else to provide structure or discipline, feeling a sense of safety and caretaking, and being of service to someone else.
The paths that get an individual to this place – this want for surrender – will also vary from person to person. Not all paths or reasons are healthy. Many are quite healthy. There are complex layers that turn us toward certain partners in life, vanilla or kinky. It may be that one didn’t receive the care and discipline he/she required as a child and therefore finds it in a D/s dynamic. It could be simply that the rest of their life demands authority (high powered job, parenting, etc) and the ability to release that control with a trusted partner is like going to a spa after a long hard day. These are only two possible examples of why someone may be drawn toward submission. Not everyone understands this draw however.
“It’s 2015 – you don’t need to bow down to a man!”
“Seriously man – are you that pussy whipped?”
“Slave? How can you let him/her call you that? You’re a grown adult!”
“You mean to tell me you do whatever he/she tells you to do?! Hell no!”
“It sounds like you are just being used and taken advantage of.”
As an s-type we hear so many things from friends and loved ones who just don’t understand or who view our situation from a skewed perspective. Female s-types get lip from the “feminists” about how many years were spent fighting for equality, only for us to throw it all away by stripping our power willingly. However, we need to keep in mind that true feminists would argue that we should have equal freedoms to CHOOSE our behaviors and our lifestyle. Therefore, choosing to consensually yield power, control, etc is, in fact, a huge leap from the days that it was NOT our choice. Everything in our life comes down to the decisions we make. Even in circumstances where we hold no power or control, we still choose how to respond. The movie ‘Life is Beautiful’ comes to mind. (If you haven’t seen it you should!) The point is, we all have the right to decide how we live our life. If we choose to turn over power to someone we trust and respect then that choice should be honored. Male s-types usually catch flack for different reasons. They hear messages like submission isn’t manly. They get called pussies or wimps. Which is kind of hilarious when you think about the fact that many of them could take a much heavier beat down than their “domly” friends. (Although they enjoy it, so maybe not a fair comparison. lol) Again, how is it less manly to CHOOSE how they live their life? To consent to behaviors, dynamics and protocols that make them happy and enrich their life and their relationships?
To every male or female s-type that finds comfort and satisfaction in their submission, how is it any different than the person who finds this in a bottle of beer, a favorite sport, or the traditional vanilla relationship dynamic? Human beings seek safety, comfort, love, affection, and happiness. It isn’t for anyone to judge how you do that so long as nobody is getting hurt (in a bad way!). So take pride in your s-type identity! Slave, submissive, pet, boy/girl, property, bottom, little. Embrace who you are because it’s OK to be an s-type!
Jennifer Masri is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in Alternative Lifestyles for individual and relationship issues. She also teaches the BDSM 101 class series at Sanctuary LAX in Los Angeles every Monday evening.