“Only submissive to someone special…”

There are a large number of newbie submissive men who seem to think they are the odd one out if they don’t just submit to everyone.

Usually those observations have this hideously aggravating flavour of special snowflakedness. They display a stereotypical view that has obviously come from a lack of experience or exposure to real life D/sers, and that has much to do with online silliness and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT (you KNOW I want to blame porn, but this isn’t even about the sexytimes part).

Their view is usually stated something like this:

‘Oh, I’m not like all those OTHER submissive men who are [weak/passive/shy/socially awkward/doormats] and who are submissive to everyone, I only want to submit to a special woman who I really like. I’m obviously a speshul snowflake.

I try to be kind, truly I do. I understand that there is a bunch of misinformation out there that cannot be avoided. I know that it takes time and experience to learn what BDSM is about, what D/s means, how it looks, and that in the majority of cases it doesn’t at all reflect the superficial layers that assault the senses anytime you see any easily accessible information that claims to be representative of D/s.

But mostly I just want to give them a good hard shake and say, “No. Seriously. You aren’t some special snowflake outlier. Stop perpetuating this horrible stereotype with your self proclaimed ‘othering’!!”

Here’s an analogy:

I’m a heterosexual woman. I am attracted to men, and I want to have relationships and sex with them.

NOBODY thinks this means that I want to indiscriminately have teh sex and relationship with every man I meet in every situation just because I’m a heterosexual woman! NOBODY THINKS THAT. And if anyone did, we’d rightly look at them as if they were socially deficient and didn’t understand a single thing about how human interactions work.

I only want to have a sexual relationship with an amazing attractive interesting man who I find fascinating, I want him to be submissive to me, I want him to be fucking funny and awesome and have a way with words and be thoughtful and sweet and to look at the world with gentle eyes that makes me soften. That’s the man I want to have a relationship and the mad sex with.

Most submissive men are EXACTLY THAT WAY in how they express their submission: It’s part of how they relate to a particular individual who they respect, trust, care for, even if their relationship isn’t ‘conventional’. I’ve never actually met a single submissive man for whom submission means that they will submit to random women, people they don’t know, the checkout operator at the supermarket, that stranger in the gas station, those people at work, that lady driving past, the neighbour next door, ANYONE. It’s patently stupid.

And out in their everyday lives, some PEOPLE (vanilla, submissive, dominant, switch etc) are shy and socially awkward and passive and anxious and followers and have great manners and are kind and considerate and do things for others and a whole bunch of things that are nothing to do with D/s-type submission. NOTHING. If someone wants to identify those personality traits as (additional) reasons to consider themselves submissive, that’s their right, but in and of themselves, those characteristics are not indicators of D/s-type submission.

THIS pervasive fallacy is why people (including me) tediously go on to newbies about going to munches and meeting people in real life. Not (necessarily) because it’s such awesome fun (though it might be), but because some newbies need to get rid of that shit in their heads, and actually meeting real people who are involved in D/s relationships is the quickest and easiest way to do that.

I can’t stop anyone from believing this kind of thing by shouting about it, but every now and then I have to SHOUT ABOUT IT.

/rant

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62 Comments

  1. *hands Ferns the torch and pitchfork* but THEY are special Ferns it’s YOU that just doesn’t understand their specialositity (it’s a WORD!) that cos you aren’t a real domma you don’t even wear leather pants for Gods sake!

    It’s insane isn’t it ? But I know exactly what you mean and why I likewise point to munches etc as a way to learn not just meet fellow kinksters but to learn how people interact and behave and to find out they are just like them
    Coug

    1. Heh *waves threatening accoutrements threateningly*.

      Though you’re right. It’s obviously all just about me not being a real domma (or dommay or dommie… :P).

      Ferns

  2. I’m with you, sisters! And they’re all tooooo shy to go to a munch. I laugh every time I read that. The munch I currently attend most frequently looks like the most conventional of social groups out to enjoy a meal together — because it is!

    1. Right?

      I’m the introvertiest introvert who ever introverted, but when I first started out, I STILL got out there and met people, talked to folks, saw how people interacted and played, listened to stories about their work, their hobbies, their pets, got lots of input etc etc.

      Not because I liked socialising (I don’t, I hate it), but because I didn’t have a clue about how any of it worked and I knew that I didn’t have a clue and I wanted to learn what was what.

      Logic.

      Ferns

  3. That was awesome. It made me laugh so hard because I’ve frequently been “HUH?!” when I read those kinds of things on profiles.

    On the other hand, consider the picture some of these poor guys must have in their head about D/s. All women are just running around on the verge of screaming “KNEEL TO ME!” while poor submissives everywhere wander the streets, collar in hand looking like sad, lost puppies desperately hoping to run into a random person to submit to.

    1. Ha! “HUH?!” is exactly right.

      Though occasionally I get to “Oh, FFS!!”, hence the ranty fist waving.

      “On the other hand, consider the picture some of these poor guys must have in their head about D/s.”

      Right? But the pervasive depictions of these stereotypes on the internet (including the Dommes who run around screaming (typing!) “KNEEL TO ME!”) reinforce these ideas so hard, and it’s just SO FRUSTRATING that people are naive enough to somehow think that they reflect reality.

      Arrggh!! *rant rave etc*

      Ferns

      1. Unfortunately, I have met dominant women — yes, in person — who think that any man who identifies as submissive should obey them, call them “Mistress,” etc.

        It’s not just coming from our side!

        1. Sure, they might exist (though unless they’re pro-Dommes, of course they don’t go to work and behave like that, so context), but just like the stereotypical submissive men in real life, THEY’RE the outliers! THEM! Not everyone else!

          Ferns

        2. As you say, they may be / probably are outliers in a global sense, but there were so few dominant women in the nearby community at the time, they were not outliers locally.

          It was pretty damned discouraging.

        3. Yeah, I think that’s really odd. Not only is it odd behaviour, nobody in any community I’ve ever had contact with would put up with that shit for more than 5 minutes. They’d be telling those people to pull their heads in.

          I guess you had all the special snowflakes…!

          Ferns

  4. This post reminds me of something. On the last munch I went to, (we’re talking over a year ago) I met a sub who claimed to be an “alpha male”, (I still don’t know what he meant. Maybe he beat the shit out of guys in his spare time, or was just an asshole to people he worked with.) and I remember that he explained that he wanted a Domme who was strong enough to “break” him, and there was, no way he would submit to someone who was “weaker” than him.

    I had two thoughts at that time. First of all, if he personified what a ‘REAL” submissive was, there was no way I could compete with that. I was totally out of my element… Hell, he was young, good looking, and all super special, and stuff. I was just me. However, my second thought was: “You wanna be broken? What if I shot you in the leg?… Would you be suck my dick while I called for an ambulance?”

    Just an idol thought from someone who is not a special snowflake.

  5. “NOBODY thinks this means that I want to indiscriminately have teh sex and relationship with every man I meet in every situation just because I’m a heterosexual woman!”

    Oh I dunno, I’ve met plenty of men who seem to think that’s how it works.

    “What do you mean you won’t have sex with me? I’m a man aren’t I?”

    1. *laugh* Touché!

      When I first wrote this post, I didn’t have ‘relationship’ in that analogy, but I quickly (and sadly) realised exactly what you just stated: That there are indeed some men who will assume that any interest in sex means an interest in sex WITH THEM.

      Which is a key reason why many women are so very reluctant to be up-front about ANY interest in sex. If I put “I love oral!” (it’s true, I do) in my profile on a vanilla OR kink dating site, I shudder to think what my inbox would look like.

      But even those dudes, surely, don’t apply that to *relationships*

      Ferns

  6. We’ve all seen this kind of thing. And I agree, it’s ridiculous to put an “I only submit to teh speshul wumman” in a profile or personal ad, etc.

    I’ve had a lot of experience in an online environment – Second Life – and I can certainly agree that there are many inexperienced Dommes (not all of whom are necessarily female, I might add) who seem to think that a sub should kneel and obey her every utterance as a matter of course. But in that case, it’s simple enough to explain why she’s under a misapprehension and needs to think again.

    I’ve met some wonderful ladies online, and in several cases friendship led to a deeper relationship. In none of those cases did I have to state the obvious, and neither did she believe that I was compelled to obey her as a matter of course. It’s good to know that there are two sides to every coin!

    Doug

    1. I’m really glad you had such good experiences with SecondLife. I did too for the most part.

      Having said that, I think there is a special case for solely online environments like SecondLife where a lot of people actually ARE there specifically for fantasy role playing, and many will exaggerate their role for that purpose and NEVER relate as normal people. And that’s okay if that’s what they’re there for.

      The Domme stereotype is self perpetuating for a lot of women, especially online, because playing to the stereotype gets a lot of positive attention, and that’s a kind of power.

      It just doesn’t work for long in the real world. People who behave like that will get the O.o look and you can’t build any sort of actual relationship on a house of stereotype-cards.

      Ferns

        1. I did. I am ashamed.

          For the record, Coug has the most perfect arse© and this must be stated anytime there is any mention of SL or its affiliates.

          This is in the T&C.

          Ferns

  7. I’ve actually met a couple of boys who will “sort of” submit to anyone. The true doormats. But even for them, there’s a difference. They submit to and serve their Domme. In the vanilla world, it’s like they yield to other people. But (and I hate that I’m getting into semantics here, but in this case, the two different words sort of imply different things) there is a difference between “yielding” and “submitting.” I’ve known boys that would “yield” to the bank teller, the cashier, the random woman on the street, the bartender, any Dominant he comes into contact with, etc, etc, etc.

    I think that “special snowflake syndrome” has a lot to do with the ongoing societal nonsense about submissive men not being “real men” because “real men” are dominant and assertive and the head of the house and they break trees with their bare hands and whatever else it is that supposedly constitutes a man. So the ones who don’t know much about D/s yet still have that mindset, and are quick to want to differentiate themselves from what they think a “normal” submissive man is. Usually, once they realize that submissive men are just as much “men” as vanilla or Dominant men, that attitude sort of goes away.

    1. There ARE some submissive men who will just do what anyone says, but they are the outliers (like the dominant women that Naga says he’s met).

      And you are right, the ‘special snowflakes’ want to differentiate themselves from ‘all the other rubbish submissives who aren’t real men’ (that horrible and destructive stereotype), which is part of why it’s so infuriating: Every time they do it, they are *reinforcing* the stereotype. It drives me mad *more fist waving!!*.

      Ferns

    1. Thanks *smile*.

      I think we all tell ourselves stories to try and figure out where we fit in the world and to reassure ourselves that it’s okay, but I do think that some of them are really destructive.

      Ferns

  8. We only went to a couple munches this summer, and after the first one my wife had to write a post about manners to be shared with the kinksters in the Milwaukee area. You would think it’s common sense, but it’s not. I don’t know what people are thinking when they pop out to their first munches.

    1. Eek! That’s a shame, and I’m sorry you struck that. I’m always so surprised when grown adults seem to have the social skills of a toddler who’s hopped up on too much red cordial.

      Ferns

  9. This post has been here a while but I thought I’d comment on it because it’s something I talk a lot about with newbies.
    For many, no not all but many subs they meet Dommes who are poly and they monogamous. That’s part of it. Another part is as often mentioned here a total lack of experience and for so many their nature is to fear the unknown. When they haven’t experienced something their imagination runs wild with what *might* happen. For those I have a little true story I tell them that helps.
    I was at a hotel ballroom we rented for a Ds party. There were Dommes in leather and latex and some in jeans and t shirts and so were the guys. This was my first time with this group and I will never forget the one thing I came away from that party with that made the best impression of all.
    There was a Domme there, Lady Jade. Gorgeous oriental Woman in beautiful leathers. We got to talking and she gave me something to take away from that party that I still think of often even though that was many years ago.
    She made the best apple pie I have EVER eaten and she let me take a couple of pieces home.
    The key to understanding people is a philosophy I always keep in mind. No one is just one thing. subs often see Dommes as 1 dimensional icons that live for one thing only, to dominate and abuse subs.
    In defense of the subs I have to add 1 more little tale. I met a Domme one night and She immediately wanted to “Play”. I told Her before I would ever do anything that personal with someone I would have to get to know them. She called me a snob slave. I laughed a good while about that one.

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