|"Being a sub is confusing because we |
want what we don't like, love what we
hate, crave what we fear."
It's the Paradox of Consent!
The paradox collapses as soon as you read around the way the brain works. We're really a mess of different sub systems running in parallel. They don't sum to a single position.
This is obvious when you look at non-kinky activities that make us scream, cry or complain - roller coaster rides, bungee jumping, Horror movies, and gruelling sports like long distance running - Why do people even do this stuff?
So there is no paradox, just a committee. However, this leaves us the problem of how to organise our urges so as to live our life in a fulfilled way.
Here's how I see it...
Our three Kink Selves
|Submissive Self does the experiencing.|
These are not "inner selves", but rather places we stand from time to time, or hats we wear.
Submissive Self does the experiencing. He wants to submit.
He likes the dynamic. It makes him comfortable and opens the door to all sorts of nice feelings and sensations ranging from intense physical arousal and pleasure through to deep inner peace.
He experiences the hazards of submission - discipline and being on the "wrong" end of sadism - as proof of his submission, but to be avoided even if they do make life more exciting.
|Masochistic Self does the gloating.|
He sees Submission as both a form of suffering and an excuse for suffering - for him, the hazards are the main point.
Masochist often conspires to make things worse and generate new hazards. This can lead to topping from the bottom.
The important thing about Masochist, is that he's only around when Submissive is not. You usually finding getting hot and hard about some "terrible fate" in his past or future.
Vanilla Self does the managing. He seeks satisfaction for his other selves as long as there are no real world consequences.
He vetoes the crazier ideas from the other two selves, and is the one standing ready with the safe word.
An experienced or brave Vanilla Self is content to sit back and only intervene if absolutely necessary. A more fragile one may suddenly pull the plug if surprised or shocked.
Vanilla also deals with the practicalities making it possible to enable both selves to fulfil themselves.
All three selves have their own turn ons and fetishes and these don't always overlap.
(Oddly, this all roughly corresponds to the ego states proposed by Transactional Analysis In TA terms, these selves are probably Masochist (C), Vanilla (A), and Submissive (P).)
How our Kink Selves work together
Submissive and Masochist Selves often dance an exquisite waltz. For example, when Xena leaves me kneeling in the corner:
At first, I know Submissive peace. Then I get bored, frustrated and even cross. At which point Masochist kicks in, and I get horribly turned on by my situation. Being turned on makes me happy, so I sink back into my Submissive Self.
Though Vanilla often reins in Masochist, they also conspire to make Submissive suffer.
Sometimes, Masochist turns on Vanilla instead.There are whole kinks based around this, some relying on creating powerful illusions However, outside this self-aware practises, there is a real risk of self destructive behaviour and relationship choices.
Vanilla Self generally works to protect and reassure Submissive; "Don't worry, you can keep submitting, nothing really bad will happen." And, in truth, Submissive often offers a refuge for Vanilla.
What our Three Kink Selves mean for Dominants
|You can use our three |
selves to... get what
First and foremost, you need to keep Vanilla happy and quiescent.
This means both respecting our limits, so we feel safe, but also doing your best not to "break character" and awaken our Vanilla selves during intense sessions. If suddenly confronted with our other selves, Vanilla can become embarrassed and take over.
Later, you can praise us in vanilla terms - how brave we were, how magnificently kinky, and be careful about when you address our Submissive Self.
Next, you can make an ally of Masochist. Sure, he can make us a bit pushy, but he's also eager to hand you the keys to the kingdom. Whipping works on me. Corner time works on him. He gets off on cross-dressing, I get off on not getting off. This is all leverage Masochist wants you to use.
You can reward us and turn us on by making Masochist contemplate his mind blowing situation, either with quieter moments - like when Xena makes me kneel - or by gloating; "Look at you, pathetic slave. You can't even come, and now I'm going to whip you."
Finally, what our Three Kink Selves mean for Subs
|We subs have a right to happiness, same |
as everybody else.
Our Vanilla Self is an authentic part of us too, and if we empower it to do so, it will negotiate "placements" for our other selves that will make us happy. This is similar to doctors picking their speciality, and priests picking a parish. Having a calling doesn't mean you don't have preferences or that these become irrelevant.
However, for me, it;s the balance between Submissive and Masochist that defines what kind of subs we are.
Somebody who is mostly Masochist is really a "bottom", seeking particular masochistic experiences. To them, submission is a masochistic act, great fun but not sustainable. This can cause confusion and crossed wires. I also suspect that some bottoms evolve into submissives, but don't always realise they've done it.
Somebody who is at least half Submissive is a real sub, more into the D/s dynamic than any particular action. However, being strongly submissive can be a bit embarrassing; it's easier on the ego to pitch oneself as an adventurous bottom, heroic connoisseur of pain! This also causes confusion.
The important thing, though, is to accept all three selves - Submissive, Masochist and Vanilla - as they are and to get them to work in harmony. We subs have a right to happiness, same as everybody else.
Don't resign yourself to just getting off on other people's adventures! When we started out, my wife was vanilla. Use my manuals to help you walk the same Femdom path! There's one for him, and one for her.