Second, on my proverbial examination table, which I’m now turning into a comfy psychiatrists couch (because it’s much more about strong internal emotions and feelings), is the “bad times” themselves. What constitutes a bad or difficult time in the D/s or M/s lifestyle, why does it happen, and how deep does it run? I can only tell things from my perspective so this may not hold true for all submissives but the following is my thought process.
The difficult times for me come in two separate areas – when I’m struggling with my submission, and when Master has disappointed me. Sometimes they go hand in hand, other times they are independent of each other. Meaning sometimes I’m struggling with my submission when Master is not being the Dominant I need Him to be, other times I’m struggling because I’m having an off day, either because of external factors or because I’m dealing with hormones (you know, the once every 28 days or so kind).
When I’m struggling in my submission it’s hard, for both me and Master. These are the times when I mess up without really meaning to, and sometimes without even understanding how I messed up. These are the times of bad behavior and insolence that I will most definitely regret and beat myself up over later. I’m tired so I reply to a question with more sarcasm or snappiness then I should. Work is crazy hectic so I forget to make that phone call Master asked me to make, or to prep the coffee maker. It’s that time of the month so I’m quicker to take offense to things, get overly sensitive, think too many negative thoughts inside my head, etc, which all leads to a tougher time achieving that submissive, and respectful, state of mind. During these times if Master is quick to correct my disrespectful tone or manner it doesn’t last long. If He sees me struggling because of a rough day and is understanding but encourages me to do better, helps me find solutions, helps out more with the things that need to get done or makes adjustments in order to make my day not so crazy, then we’re good. If He notices that I’m a little more sensitive (and recognizes that it’s at the right timing interval to indicate hormones) and in turn becomes a little more loving, gentle, romantic, and supportive, then those few days pass by with minimal disruption. Sometimes it turns out really nice and He ends up being like my knight in shining armor, saving me from myself – those are the times I love. There’s nothing that solidifies submissive feelings faster like knowing your Sir/Master can keep it together when you’re losing it (gives you a huge reason to look up to them and trust in their judgment even more sometimes than your own). If, however, He is more reactive instead of proactive, takes my behavior as a personal slight or an offense, or ‘gives up’ being my Master for a time (meaning no corrections, leadership, or adjustments to my routine or His mannerisms) because I’m not behaving the way I should, then it hurts us both, all hell breaks loose, and it’s a struggle to get back to where we were. In either case, the times I struggle are a hard burden for me internally too – leaving me ashamed, sorry, and usually full of remorse.
As to the other part, when I’m talking about Master disappointing me it runs a lot deeper than that simple statement. I can handle the little times where things don’t go just the way I’d like them to. I can even handle the times where Master makes some mistakes because I love Him and understand that just like me having my off days He sometimes has them too. People are not perfect, and learning how to live in this lifestyle is not a seamless endeavor. I’m not talking about those times, those times, although difficult, are part of the process of being in a relationship with someone. What I mean by disappointing me is when He has agreed to take on a particular task as my Master, makes plans for me/us, or promises and does not follow through. Or when He has agreed to be a leader, someone I can be proud of and look up to, but then fails to uphold Himself to those standards, get’s lazy, selfish, or acts in a way not becoming of someone in authority.
I had to think about this long and hard and discovered that it goes a lot deeper than mere disappointment. Disappointment is the “feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest”. That would be a description of the little things, mentioned above, that I can actually handle. The difficult times in our lifestyle are more emotional than that, stronger, scarier. So if it’s not really disappointment that gets me so sad, upset, angry, pissed, hurt, desolate, or afraid, then what is it? Let’s try a different definition. Trust is defined as “the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confident expectations of something; hope; or the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc”. Bingo – we have a winner! The difficult times for me don’t stem from disappointment, they stem from a breach in trust!
Trust is probably the single most important thing in any relationship; you can trust someone without loving them, but you can’t love someone without trusting them. Trust is even more important in a power exchange type of relationship. As a submissive you have to trust your Dominant to consider your best interests as well as their own since they have final say. You have to trust that they will provide what you need even while they take what they want. If you’re into bondage and S&M you have to trust that your Dominant wont truly hurt you or cause irreparable damage to your mind or body during play, especially since you may be in a helpless and vulnerable position. In a true power exchange TRUST IS EVERYTHING, so it makes sense that the most difficult times you will have in this relationship is when one or the other of you, or both, feel as if that trust has been broken.
I’ve talked about trust before, but in some of the next few posts I’m going to elaborate on this quite a bit, with lots of examples and within the context of “bad times”, because I want to make sure I present the really big picture, with lots and lots of details. I want to show just how much the trust issue touches on even the smallest parts of a D/s or M/s lifestyle and how getting that one concept can make it sooooo much better.