Submissive resistance and “the stag party”

acedc11cbeb3a2a0b4e3bca15378bec4I’ve found myself telling this story to people on several occasions because it seems to illustrate something that is, to me fundamental to my understanding of the nature of submission.  But, before the story, a bit of a ramble about submissive wilfulness and resistance.

I have let myself down badly in the past by not understanding wilfulness and resistance and finding ways through it: In fact this issue destroyed, a few years ago, what was, otherwise, a promising relationship with all the lifestyle M/s content we desired. I have a pretty rigid view on how to deal with resistance to submission and I know I may have put on an unhelpful set of blinkers.

First, my s and I will share a clear set of goals (moveable through agreement) and a basic set of attitudes towards D/s issues: If we didn’t, why would we have even bothered to start anything?

Secondly, I expect to lead her on our journey and to need to deal with her feelings of fear, nervousness, excitement, perhaps disgust – maybe anger (but hopefully not) by picking a careful route through the brambles and observing and understanding her sufficiently to know which doors to unlock first, so that it becomes easier and easier to reach those things that are at the core of our needs – and which are, at first, out of reach.

I’ll listen so that I may understand her, I’ll watch her behaviour to do the same – and all so I can get the relationship to where I want it to be, confident that she really wants it to go there too (I should know this because we communicate and I observe, or try to).

I’ll use observation, discussion, experience, reward, punishment and more observation to bring her to the point where she gifts me that part of her that I want – and which takes us a step further on our journey together.

But, from that point on, in any area where she has given me the gift of control (having experienced the consequences of that control and having given her informed consent) I cannot tolerate wilfulness: Once she has given me the right to control an aspect of her life – then she has no right to resist my use of it. To resist, just occasionally, demands  punishment and then discussion and explanation to make sure it does not happen again and if there are issues I’ve not understood or resolved then these must be settled.

To resist control, in an area which has been willingly given, more than once in a very long while undermines the dynamic and damages the relationship deeply. To understand that and still resist, destroys the relationship.

Such resistance seems to me to be a basic function either of not understanding each other at the outset of the journey, or a symptom of change that has rendered the partners’ D/s motives incompatible. In either case, I’d not waste much time trying to resurrect things once a trend of willful disobedience has emerged.

Informed consent should be followed by informed obedience, in my view.

Now, the story of the stag party.

In my mid late twenties, many of my former school friends found girls and got married. We’d been scattered to the four winds by our careers and the stag nights that brought us back together invariably became occasions for much re-buddying and reminiscence. And teasing.

There was this one night. We’d met and had a few beers. We’d gone bowling (and had a few beers). To the dogs (and – oh, you get the picture).

English: Stag party Red deer stags on the hill...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I seem to remember that after the curry, during the lock-in (and before the naked best man and groom race down a cobbled street one frozen February morning – which had calamitous consequences, but that’s another story) someone turned the topic to sex after marriage – and, specifically, masturbation.

One by one every married chap there confessed that he resorted to a hand-shandy far more often after wedlock than he’d needed to in the months and years before (except of course when ovulation was due).

Well, as Frankie Howerd might have said, “I was ammaaaazzzeeeed”.

Cos that wasn’t my experience of life. Yes, her indoors was not necessarily always up for a night of rampant rumpy-pumpy. But she was very considerate of my needs and, mostly, the slightest hint of an erection would be enough to bring solicitous enquiries about his welfare and whether he might need relief. She knew I adored her for this. But up until that night, I did not really realise how much she deserved to be adored for  this focus on me – which happened because it made me feel wanted and made her feel needed.

For me, dominance and submission are opposite sides of a single coin: meeting your partner’s needs.

This only works if the people are opposites too.

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Possession, possessiveness and protectiveness.

My girl is my possession. But sometimes she can’t quite understand my possessiveness.

Why, she says, should I be possessive when I know, as night follows day, that she is mine? She has a point. But it won’t stop me.

Doms foolish enough to approach her ( not many these days – in fact none for a while) get a dusty answer. Get stuck with a single dom at a munch ( even the nicest of chaps) and she gets told to circulate.

It’s not, I tell myself, a lack of trust in her or a lack of maturity in me.

No, it’s that she’s mine, mine, mine and she’s worth having. And I like the world to know she’s mine. And, most of all, I like her to know she’s mine and guarded. Protected. I am her rutting stag.

I am protective too. Even when I hurt her, I take pains not to harm her and, after, I cherish her and again feel she is mine.

She has a protective/possessive streak too. I am her man right or wrong. In public at least. On our own, I do get given advice. Quite often actually.

And the protectiveness we feel extends beyond ourselves. It’s, maybe, a weakness. We both move to protect friends, even when they don’t need protecting. It’s not such a great weakness I guess. Possessiveness, outside our own relationship, would be.

I’ve been around long enough in the D/s community to see that what goes around, comes around, I think, more often than in the life experienced before.

We are a small, sexually focused, community. Relationships can mean more than only couples. People play together who have little else in common. People play together who are good friends and who see this as nothing more than friendship. people don’t play together but, severally, they are lovers.

Possessiveness, in these circumstances, is a poison that could quickly make it difficult to stay friends with anyone you liked. Taking sides in relationship break- ups would do it too. But unwise possessiveness means it is impossible to keep up an equable chumminess with someone who was your playmate and has moved on or found others to play with.

So. I won’t ever deny my protectiveness. But I’ll do all I can to curb my possessiveness. Except in the case of my girl, of course. She’s mine, mine, mine.

Collars, and other symbols of BDSM ownership.

standing stoneNot surprisingly, the BDSM Ownership and symbols survey showed that:

  • Collars are the top symbol of ownership and;
  • few dominants had any symbols of ownership

More surprisingly, perhaps, some dominant respondents said they DID wear symbols of ownership

Across all respondents, the top ten symbols of ownership were:

A typical slave collar with ring for possible ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • No 1 – No symbol of ownership 46%
  • No 2 – Collar 41%
  • No 3 – Bracelet/bangle 18%
  • No 4 – Tattoo 10%
  • No 5 – Necklace 9%
  • No 6 – Wedding ring 8%
  • No 7 – Piercing 7%
  • No 8 – Ring (not wedding) 6%
  • No 9= – Anklet 2%
  • No 9= – Branding 2%

I’ve published that list before on Informed Consent. The charts below are new. They show what respondents said they wore as symbols of ownership. It was possible to choose more than one item, so percentages don’t add up to 100!

Dominants and symbols of ownership

The chart below shows what dominant respondents said they wore (not what their partners wore) as symbols of ownership, it looks at dominants of all BDSM components.

Overall. 73% of all dominants said they wore no symbols of ownership. All S/m dominants said they wore no symbols of ownership (to be fair, that was just two individuals). 66% of D/s dominants said they wore nothing (23 respondents). 86% of M/s Dominants wear no symbol of ownership (19 people).

Chart 1

The most common symbol of ownership worn by dominant respondents was  a bracelet or bangle (17% said they wore this), followed by a wedding ring (12%).

Submissives – what do they wear?

74 submissives answered this question. As a symbol of  ownership, the collar came top. 68% of all the submissives that answered this question said they wore a collar.  80% of S/m submissive respondents wear a collar to show ownership (4 people).  60% (31 respondents) of D/s submissives said they wear a collar and  88% (15 answerers) of M/s submissives also said they wear a collar to signify ownership.

26% of submissives wear no symbols of ownership.

24% of all respondents say they wear a bracelet/bangle – the second most common symbol of ownership. 25% of D/s respondents and 30% of M/s respondents wear this (no M/s respondents).

The third most common symbol of ownership worn by submissives is the tattoo, worn by 22% overall and 21% of D/s submissive respondents and  29% of M/s submissives who answered.  Necklaces were fourth, but not far behind, being worn by 20% of submissive respondents.

Amongst submissive respondents rings (not wedding), at 11% were more common as ownership symbols than wedding rings (7%).

BDSM Ownership and Symbols Survey – are you owned?

This, my first article on this blog, relates to a survey I did of “Informed Consent” users looking at the symbols, like collars, that they use to display their relationship status and to get an idea of how they regard theses symbols.

Just over 200 people replied – an idea of who they were can be found here.

This blog looks at answers to the question:

Your views on “ownership” – just one selection please, whichever you think most represents your views

Across the entire sample (broken down by principle BDSM orientation) answers were as follows:

Your views on “ownership” – just one selection please, whichever you think most represents your views
Answer Options Sadist Masochist Dominant Submissive Master Slave Response Percent
I consider myself owned or possessed by my partner 1 26 20 27%
I own or possess my partner 0 9 17 15%
I am in a BDSM relationship but do not consider myself or  my partner to be owned. 2 7 1 6%
I believe BDSM ownership is possible 5 18 5 16%
I don’t think BDSM ownership is possible 19 6 0 14%
I believe that there are specific times and occasions when a person in a BDSM dynamic can be owned by their partner 4 27 0 18%
I believe a person can be owned by a person not their partner for a specific time or activity 4 4 0 5%
Answered question       175
Skipped question       29

This data also appears in the column chart below. What stood out for me was the large proportion of people who characterise themselves as either Dominant/submissive (D/s) or Master/slave (M/s) who are in a relationship they characterise as ownership or possession, or who think this is possible. compared to the high proportion of Sadists/masochists (S/m) who don’t think BDSM ownership is possible.

All respondents

Respondents could only choose one answer option.

Umbrella Hard Limit

 

Umbrella

Anything for your pleasure: Nothing for my hurt or shame alone,

Knowing I am your treasure: Don’t maim my body, heart or mind,

Use before unconsenting others I will not condone,

Make me yours for your sake, but never be unkind.

 

We have a book, with a number of rules and rituals, most set a few years back. But this is what we use to test the ways I use her.

 

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