I wrote this post earlier about how some people call lovely, attentive, considerate behaviour from a man ‘submissive’ instead of thinking of it simply as the behaviour of a fabulous man in love.
I coined the term ‘vanilla submissive’ to refer to vanilla men I have been with whose behaviour is pretty much exactly what I expect from my submissive. Only, they weren’t my submissive.
The comments on my previous post were lively and quite wonderful, and raised the very valid question of “well, what is the difference between ‘vanilla submissive’ and ‘D/s submissive'” and I thought my view on that would be too long (and much too important!) for a comment, and you will see from this rambling why I made a post about it (even though I could probably have summarised it into a paragraph, I am practising for NaNo, which is all about the volume, you know!).
To me, the difference between a vanilla submissive and a D/s submissive is not in the behaviours, which might be pretty much the same, but in the explicit agreement to the way the power dynamic will work and the motivation for it. The agreement part is pretty clear, but it is motivation that makes it work. D/s submissives who are compatible with me (big qualifier there!) have all of the motivations of vanilla submissives (love, sweetness, wanting to make me happy etc) *plus* they see acts of dominance from me as not only acceptable, but desirable as a way of expressing love.
See, I could have ended the post right there, but there’s more, you see…
A vanilla submissive does things ‘when he feels like it’. A non-vanilla submissive does things ‘when he feels like it, but even if he doesn’t because that’s what we agreed, so he will do it anyway and be happy that I used my authority to push him to do it’.
Let me explain why I draw the line so easily.
I call what I have an obedience kink, but it’s more than a kink. It’s a necessity for me to be happy. A vanilla submissive will do what I want *most times*, but there is no explicit agreement that he will, so he can say ‘no’ any time, he can argue any time, he can refuse any time, he can just ‘not do’ things because he doesn’t feel like it. And that’s 100% fair enough. From my side, I have to accept it, or fight about it: I really have no right to say a word about it because that just makes me a demanding unreasonable bitch because my man won’t do what I want, especially when he is so lovely and does it most of the time.
What I need as my counterpart is a man who enjoys me exercising my authority in the relationship, who sees it as an expression of love, and to whom submitting to that is an expression of love. This versus someone who feels as if he is endlessly giving with little return because he will end up being unhappy with the unfairness of it all.
In my experience, eventually the vanilla submissive will resent ‘giving’ *all the time* and he will start to feel as if it’s unfair (which it is), then I will start feeling guilty about not compromising more (I have a huge capacity for guilt) and off we go downhill at a rapid rate.
So what makes a D/s submissive is that we have agreed how the relationship will work, and that dynamic is, in and of itself, a big part of what makes each of us happy. I want him to be bouncing with joy when I assert my authority, I want to feel as if ‘who I am’ in being that way is not only accepted but that he adores it, and I want him to feel as if my telling him to get me a drink is a whisper of love in his ear.