I’d like to think that M was meant to be my Dominant, and I, his submissive. After nearly three years of growing this dynamic together, it certainly feels like this is true.
In the beginning, there’s no doubt that in my brain it was the convenient rationalization. It meant that my deep rooted desire to surrender would have a purpose, that my wants and needs would be met. It meant that I could finally completely unlock this part of me that needed to be met with Dominance on the other side, that I could trust in him to do that, to fulfill that need. I saw those qualities in him, to be sure. But I’d be lying if I said that I knew he’d be some Domly Dom that would just take over and lead. I’d be lying if I said he did. I’d also be lying if I said I just let go and was the perfect submissive. I’d be lying if I said I was today.
The reality of growing D/s as a long term, married couple is that that scenario couldn’t possibly be true for us. We could not possibly have been the sort of Dominant and submissive types I read about in books, or the ones I so often read about online. I can’t imagine it is in most cases. It most certainly does NOT look the ways I envisioned it in my head at the start of things when I had no idea how any such thing played out in real life, where M isn’t a millionaire and I’m not a struggling, fumbling, single gal who isn’t strong enough to handle herself.
What we did have was the life we’d built together for more than 20 years. We had two kids, jobs, everyday life stresses, and no dungeon. We had what we knew about one another, having fought our way through good times and bad, to enhance and build upon. We had a foundation on which to grow.
What that meant in the beginning, is that I had to do my own internal work, I had to offer him my submission. I had to make way for his Dominance, first. There is no way that I could possibly have gone into this with the expectation that he rise up to be the Dominant I had envisioned, that he should be some omniscient, all knowing man who would just inherently know what I wanted or needed because that is also what he wanted or needed. It didn’t matter that we had more than 20 years of history: M needed me to let go and begin to be his submissive in order to meet it with Dominance. He had to see that he desired and needed it too. He had to discover for himself what he needed from me and how that might look and evolve. We had to talk, and talk, and talk. We had to try, and fail, and try, and fail. We had to be patient and communicate.
There have been so many tears and stumbles. But somewhere along the way, my submission was met with Dominance. And more Dominance. And more. Until one day, my submission was expected. It was fueled and commanded and continuously deepened, creating this endless loop of power exchange.
Now, about three years later, I am most definitely HIS submissive. He is my MY Dominant. It looks nothing like what I envisioned in the beginning, nor will it ever. I still develop expectations and envision them being carried out and am stunned into reality when they are not. He still expects me to follow through with the things I offered from the start and sometimes forgets to recognize them or to hold me accountable. We stumble over how our messages are communicated and received, in both words and actions, because we speak different communication languages in some ways, and we always will.
But growing D/s is no different than growing anything else that matters to my heart: it must be grown at its own pace, organically. It cannot be prescribed, it cannot be held against some ideal. It has to be grown to meet the needs of the actual individuals, according to real-life abilities, taking into consideration the differences, according to each person’s needs, wants and desires. And not all of those will necessarily be met! I think we sometimes take that for granted! Some things we will always need to do for ourselves, because it isn’t realistic to ask them of another. Or maybe just not the one sitting next me on the couch. And that isn’t a reason to walk away, not for me, at least. It just means an adjustment in thinking and expectations. It means constant communication. It means not only thinking of me.
I can’t ever go back to being the person who can’t or won’t surrender. But I sure as hell can and will continue to grow this dynamic with M, knowing for certain it will most likely NOT be grown in the way I sometimes envision it in my head.
It will be better, because it will continue to be grown the way it should. And many times it’s staring me in the face and I’m missing it. Thank goodness he’s a patient man.
-image credit Carolyn Aitken