Sunday, May 18, 2008

The paradox of the strong and submissive man

Let me just start by saying that as a man who has over the past couple of months I think truly begun to emerge as a submissive man, it has been a real pleasure for me to learn that so many other men share this nature. I have found many wonderfully written and truly inspiring blogs written by other submissive men. Yet occasionally, I still find those from the “dark side” where I cringe while reading things like “The male is naturally the dominant partner, while the female is naturally submissive.” I often find myself wondering what my many wonderful dominant female friends would say to that idea. Actually, I think I probably already know the answer. It is not that I believe my perspective is the only right way to live and love. It's just the way I’d prefer to live and love. I know that there are dominant men and there are submissive females, who feel their respective natures just as intensely and want to express them just as much as I and of course there is nothing wrong with that. I just think it is important to understand and be honest about one's own nature and then to find a partner, who complements you in their own nature, needs and desires. For me of course, that would be a confident, assertive and dominant woman.

For me there is a paradox at play, a contradiction in truest sense of the word, in being a submissive man. I consider myself to be strong and firmly “masculine” with respect to my gender identification. While I myself am accepting of those men who view themselves as dominant and wish to fill that role in their relationships with submissive females, I ask only that they try to understand and respect my submissive male world view. Too often I read that submissive men are not behaving properly, that they are confused or living in denial by rejecting the notion that to be male means one is naturally dominant and should only seek relationships with submissive females so that he can assume the dominant role. I feel it is my inalienable right to choose to live and behave as a masculine male in other aspects of my life but choose to submit relationally. In so doing I am only being honest with myself and attempting to understand who I am as a person. This in no way means I am unmanly, weak, spineless, or abnormal. Yet perhaps it is the paradox that keeps some people from being able to understand and accept the fact that a man can be at the same time, both submissive and strong.

The nature of this paradox is this; it is my real nature to be a strong, independent and, at times, even commanding force in much of my life, while also possessing a genuine and expressive submissive side that I wish to share with a trusted dominant female partner. It is not that the strong, independent, commanding side of me is some kind of an act, or that I am just “acting masculine” for the outside world. It is simply who I am as a person and my submissive side does nothing to change that.

Both sides of me are equally me and each side I think makes positive contributions to the total person I am. The strong, independent side helps me to grow and gives me the courage to explore. But my submissive side, the part of me that will always be playful, loving and childlike to some degree needs the reassurance of having a stronger, dominant force there to nurture and guide me, helping to give the masculine, independent side of me strength.

Human nature being what it is I do not believe we were designed to be able to meet all of our own needs. However independent any of us may be, we are truly social animals, and it is important to understand and consider that. When two complimentary personalities join together in a relationship, the relationship helps make both stronger.

Now how does this play out for me? I certainly do have a vulnerable side and this I believe is the part of me that longs to be taken care of by a dominant female. It also I think explains my need to submit, to let go with someone I deeply trust and admire. By submitting relationally I can be even more fully the man that I am the rest of the time.

Though something of a cliché these days, I define that part of me that wishes to be vulnerable as my “inner child”. Just as is the case with actual children, no child responds positively to abuse, but I do I believe responds much more favorably to a hands-on, dominant parenting style than to a less involved, less dominating style. Although as a child I never really enjoyed being spanked by my parents, I responded very well to knowing that there was always a very firm hand to guide and discipline me whenever I stumbled and failed to live up to expectations. For me I believe that the spankings I endured were given out of love and concern for my well being and while I was firmly disciplined I was never abused. Those times of correction and discipline were always followed up with much parental love and affirmation. I was always made to understand that it wasn’t me who was being disapproved of, but only my behavior which provoked the correction. The discipline I experienced as a child, helped to provide boundaries for me, without which I would have felt lost and neglected. In many respects, the same sort of boundaries is what I desire and would benefit from in a relationship with a dominant woman.


Anonymous said...

It's the contradiction that I find so electric; a man I'd *never* think would submit and presto! there he goes to his knees. (Start the blood flowing. . .)

Enoch Soames said...

I've never felt any contradiction.

I'm a very independent person. I don't connect that with my gender performance. It is just that in much of my life I need freedom of expression and don't want to conform to silly rules more than I have to.

Even in my vanilla relationships I've always been very tender and attentive. Very much taking pleasure in pleasing. And in a D/s relationship I shift modes without much effort unless external pressures like tiredness make it difficult.

Good blog.