Each day in September, I will be posting a question about submission, along with two responses- the first written five years ago and the second from today. I welcome all who wish to join in this exercise to post your own answers in the comments, adjusting the question if necessary to suit your own roles and sensibilities.
What do you feel are the roots of your submission? Do you think it has something to do with childhood? Is it a relationship management tool as in the practice of domestic discipline? Is it a sexual thrill or something else?
I also feel that my submission comes from within me, rather than from any particular experience. While my submission is tied to my sexuality, I think there’s more to it that that. Part of it is very cerebral for me. I know that I don’t have the best perspective on myself. It’s difficult for me to be objective about myself, and I want to be able to surrender to someone who can guide me. I’ve seen this urge manifest itself in non-sexual mentoring relationships which I found to be very meaningful.
If that’s all there was, I should be able to set it aside to pursue a different kind of intimate relationship. But I can’t- there’s something more visceral than that. I don’t know where it comes from, but I can’t just turn it off if I want to.
Does it come from learning to live with the rumors when growing up? To let people think I am who they think I am, to pretend to be that girl, making a game of it, hiding me in plain sight?
Does it come from being a woman in a man’s world, from learning that you get more from surrender than conflict? From learning subtle ways of influence, from picking your battles.
Does it come from having strong role models? My parents, my teachers. I did whatever I could to please them. Their opinion mattered so much.
Does it come from a deep insecurity, a need for approval from someone else?
Does it come from some sort of exhibitionism, the need to expose my soul for judgement by someone I love?
Does it come from the Catholic guilt, the need to confess, be judged, and receive absolution?
It just is. <stamps foot and has a spank-worthy tantrum>
Seriously, though- why does there have to be a root? In any event, I can’t find mine. If it exists, most likely it’s buried somewhere under the massive pile of stuff that has taken up residence in my sitting room.