The term “compatibility” pops up a lot in discussions about dominance and submission. “Difficulty finding a compatible partner with whom to establish a power dynamic” is the focus of many of the questions and letters I receive. It’s natural to highlight common tastes as requirements for your relationship search.
Finding a partner for a lasting relationship (assuming it doesn’t happen to fall into your lap) is hard. For those who are actively “looking” for a relationship, it may seem that there are no “compatible” partners out there: Someone who matches your needs and who also finds you equally compatible, is available, and not otherwise burdened with any of those lovely quirks that destroy relationships. For those in the kink world, adding your preferences in power dynamics to your criteria, creates a daunting gauntlet that will challenge any potential partner!
I see an analogy between the task of finding a suitable, compatible partner for power dynamics and the task faced by someone who needs blood. Compatibility, in the latter, is a matter of life and death. Still, in both situations, it feels there is a time constraint as well as a constraint on availability in your location.
Following the analogy, I have begun to compare what people want from their relationships to the “A”s, “B”s, and “O”s of blood-typing. Since the intent of submission, to me, is about acting FOR the dominant – the “dominant-centric” view equates the “donor” to the submissive role.
There are submissives who only want one style of dominance. They have a predefined definition of submission and are only fulfilled when that definition is fulfilled. To find compatibility, they seek dominants who follow a particular style of dominance. These are the “Typed” submissives: They provide “A” or “B” antigens. They are only compatible with dominants of the same “Type”. They are best matched with dominants who share the same kinks, interests, approaches, and practices.
Some dominants are happy playing with subs of any type. They don’t have any particular needs for specific forms of dominance – and can be served by playing to the specific likes of the submissive. The pleasure of the submissive gets them off. These are the “Type AB” dominants – the “Universal Recipients”. They can be served by any type. Often these are people who never considered themselves dominant, but have taken it up with a specific partner and enjoy being able to provide the style of dominance that their partner enjoys.
The unicorn in the room, is the “Type O” submissive. This is the submissive who enjoys the act of focusing on, and serving, the needs and preferences of the dominant before them. They are flexible and adaptable. They don’t carry any particular “Type”. They are not set on any specific style of dominance, no specific form of play. They can serve any dominant, because they are fulfilled by the act of submission itself. They are “Universal Donors”, and while they may have preferences, they are overwhelmed by the need to serve in a way from which the recipient benefits. They measure their effectiveness as a submissive by how well they can serve the needs of their dominant.
As with Blood donors, the “Type O” submissive is a bit harder to find, but is extremely valuable.
There are those who believe that we’re born with our power dynamic preferences preset, but this is where I believe the analogy fails. I’ve found that, unlike blood types, the style of dominance / submission we find fulfilling, is most strongly influenced by our exposure to the topic. People who have
only seen the porn stereotypes of BDSM, or who have only been with one style of partner, tend to be “Typed”. The imagery of what they believe to be possible is limited by that exposure. They adapt it as their preference, because it’s the only imagery they know, and can’t imagine that any other version exists. In fact, I’ve had “Typed” submissives (and dominants) tell me that “Type O” submissives don’t exist….CAN’T exist! I have to introduce them to my husband – and about 50 other submissives with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working, to prove them wrong.
When asked, my advice to submissives, searching for a meaningful dynamic, is to look at the “numbers game” of finding a dominant partner. They’re looking for a dominant, but the odds are against them. Those odds get even worse if they’re already “Typed” and have limited the recipient pool based on “compatibility”.
The good news is, unlike their blood type, they can CHOOSE to become a “Type O” submissive and increase the odds of finding fulfillment, serving a wider variety of potential dominants – increasing their odds of finding the right partner. They can reset their imagery and seek the pleasure of other Types. They are freer to find a partner with whom they are emotionally compatible and work together to adapt a mutually fulfilling power dynamic. Even if, after introspection, they choose to be with a “Type A” recipient, it’s a choice, not an innate property of their personality.
For those who’d like to try, you do this by opening your eyes to the preferences of your potential partner. You divorce yourself of your definition of what submission “has” to be, and replace it by what you learn of THEIR definition. They may be the recipient of your submission, so it needs to serve them in a way they wish to be served. Seek out what submission means to them. Learn that there are other ways to be a submissive than what your experience and exposure has taught you in the past. When you can learn and adapt, you be free to serve the unique dominant before you…and you’ll realize the joy of serving someone for whom your submission fits like a glove. Then the odds of finding the perfect partner will greatly improve, as you become that exceptionally desirable beast…the “Type O” submissive!
I look forward to hearing your feedback. Post a comment below, or email me at Ms_Rika@hotmail.com … or do both! I look forward to hearing from you.
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”.