I think in a lot of ways, I was much more domlydomdomdomlydominant when I was young, and vanilla. In the days before I’d even heard of BDSM.
You know why?
I never gave it a moment’s thought.
I didn’t negotiate.
I didn’t discuss.
I just did my thing and the men who were interested in me either got with the program or they were left behind. I never thought in terms of ‘dominance’ or ‘power’ or ‘authority’ or anything like that. It was irrelevant. I was just me. It was so simple.
Men loved it. Seriously.
I don’t at all doubt other women when they say that they struggled with it, that men found them unappealing because they were bossy, or wanted things their own way, because they didn’t ‘fit’. But I never experienced that.
I got a lot of positive reinforcement for behaving in a way where I simply wouldn’t accept less than I wanted.
It *should* have worked for finding the perfect relationship because I was forthright and bold and knew what I wanted, and yet I was constantly disappointed and dissatisfied. I couldn’t find a man who ‘fit’ with me.
It took me quite a while to figure out why.
In hindsight, I see that I attracted men who did what I wanted less out of choice, and more out of fear. Mostly fear of my censure, of my disapproval, but ultimately, the fear that I would leave them. Which I would have if I didn’t get what I wanted. But I couldn’t *see* what was happening when I was in it. I just knew that it wasn’t working out the way I wanted.
I was kind of a bitch in relationships. Not just opinionated and assertive, but capable of being cruel and callous. If I knew that my boyfriend was afraid or insecure, it didn’t make me kind or generous. It was like blood in the water for me, and I would go in to tear chunks out of him.
My instinct was to push at them harder and harder to see if (or when) they would stand up to me and draw a boundary.
Mostly they didn’t. Or couldn’t.
By the time I was done with them, I was bored and frustrated, and there would be nothing left of them. Their entire personality subsumed by mine. No opinions, no discussions, no preferences, a blank slate waiting for me to tell them who they were.
I was self aware enough to see how I was behaving, and I *knew* it wasn’t good. At all.
I worked on figuring out why those relationships sucked so bad when I seemed to be getting what I wanted. Why wasn’t I happy? I thought I must need stronger-willed men: men who would be my *equal* in terms of power in the relationship, men who would not let me walk all over them, men who would stand toe-to-toe with me.
This exploration culminated in the worst relationship I have ever had (I dubbed it ‘the relationship from hell’). In that relationship, I discovered a capacity for rage that I would never have thought I was capable of (and which I haven’t seen since). I chose a man who would not give an inch. And of course I would not give an inch. The results were hideously ugly and destructive for both of us. When I left him, his plaintive “…but I love you…” was followed closely by “… fuck you then, you fucking bitch…” Sounds about right.
I’ve mellowed. A lot. There are a lot of reasons why that’s true in general, but as it relates to my relationships, I know that it’s in no small part because I discovered that there was a whole swathe of men who embodied what I wanted.
When I discovered ‘BDSM’ as a subculture, I found submissive men. I saw (to my delight!) that there were men who were strong willed and opinionated and confident and who had all of those wonderful qualities that I wanted, and who *chose* to submit NOT because they were fearful, but because it made them happy.
I’m not the same person that I was back then. Not even close. And my relationships are very different; healthy, positive, happy.
But you know what? I’m grateful for who I was in those formative years. I look back and I’m impressed with her, even as I’m sorry for the men who crossed her path and got run over by the freight train that she was. That bitch didn’t give a shit, she did what she wanted, she was fearless. For that, and a lot of other reasons, I am grateful to her. And if I’m honest, sometimes I even miss her.