Absolute submission vs safe, sane & sensible BDSM

Submission and Sense

We can’t even blame 50 Shades for the idea of ‘absolute’ submission, because it’s been around for at least 30 years. And, while Anastasia Steele might be a vacant fumbletrumpet who appears to have reached adulthood without even knowing what an email is, she does dump Creepy Christian more than once and even answers back from time to time.

submission and sense BDSM fetish friday article zak jane keir

The ‘ultimate’ submissives I have encountered, admittedly more online than in the flesh, insist loudly and indiscriminately that they want to hand over themselves, their lives, and any power of choice they might have to any dominant who wants them: my mental image remains that of some sad bloke in the corner of a fetish club, wearing a collar and lead and vainly waving the end of the lead at anyone who passed within fifteen feet of him.

Are safewords always necessary?

I was reminded of that scene when I read a post from someone claiming not to want to use a safeword ever because that would mean the submissive ‘had held on to some power and I want to give all my power away.’

Guess what? NO. No, thank you. I don’t want your ‘power’ on those terms. What you mean is you are a lazy, selfish dimwit who wants to stop having to think for yourself.

Or you’re just hugely irresponsible and self-destructive, because loudly insisting that you have no limits and no safeword is a fairly good way to attract genuinely dangerous predators. Having any kind of sexual encounter involves a certain duty of care to yourself and whoever else you’re doing it with.

Even if you only want to offer your absolute submission during a scene or a play session, the person you are engaging with needs to know about your physical health, comfort and safety. If the rope is too tight or your hand is slipping out of the bondage cuffs or you think you’re having an asthma attack, you need to communicate rather than just assuming your dominant knows everything.

Separating submission fantasy from reality

submission and sense BDSM fetish friday article zak jane keirUltimate, total submission is a powerful fantasy for some people: I get that. The trouble with trying to make a fantasy your 24/7 life is that real life gets in the way. Unless s/he is an absolute psycho, a dominant partner doesn’t actually want to be ‘in charge’ all the time and there to fulfil every detail of your desires. S/he is sometimes going to want to take off the heels or the leather or the latex and slob out in front of the telly with a pizza. S/he will occasionally need comforting and support over things like job stresses or family issues. We all have to interact with the non-BDSM world part of the time, and even the subbiest of subs needs to be able to act like a functional adult in a partner’s company when out in public.

It’s perhaps unfair to say that that someone offering complete and absolute submission is a possible indicator of a potential playmate being either a fuckup or actively toxic, but it ought to be a little bit of a red flag because of the potential risk to the dominant if the relationship goes wrong and the self-styled ‘worthless worm’ decides to claim s/he was mistreated against his/her will.

There’s also the sometimes-forgotten fact that dominants themselves have limits, for a variety of reasons, and if your concept of total submission involves elements of very intense or seriously risky play, then it’s not unkind or unreasonable for Master or Mistress to refuse to do certain things because s/he doesn’t have the relevant skills (I don’t do rope suspension because I’m too lazy and butterfingered to be sure about getting the knots right) or finds certain practices a total turn-off (some people are very keen on what we’d probably best call ‘toilet stuff’, others are simply grossed out by it.)

Fundamentally, a sane and healthy dominant wants a sub s/he can respect and like, not a helpless wet mess, or someone forever trying to top from the bottom by way of pushing things further than the dominant would like. And to have any kind of healthy, rewarding, enjoyable playtime, you need to be able to like and respect yourself.

– Zak Jane Keir

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zak jane keir

About the writer: Zak Jane Keir describes herself as a maker of stuff, writer of rude words, drinker of much cider, feminist, deviant, atheist, book junkie and morris dancer.

Please click to read Zak’s blog, follow Zak on Twitter and buy her erotic books on Amazon. You can also find out more about Zak in her Erotic Author Spotlight feature here at Cara Sutra.

 

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