Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recap: MBS Sunday Brunch for Jan 17

This week, we considered these four propositions related to submission:
  1. It's always been a fascinating paradox that I get what I most desire when I surrender my control.

  2. Submission is not an all or nothing proposition. There are many ways to submit and many degrees of submission for each.

  3. It requires considerable courage and faith to submit. Once established, these qualities are often quite beneficial in other aspects of life.

  4. Everyone who willingly receives a spanking is submitting at some level.

Here are your responses.

Sara: Great questions, Bonnie! I answered over on my blog.

Jean Marie: Oh, my, these questions are deliciously thought-provoking!
  1. I am headstrong. I hate to be spanked hard. I need to be spanked hard often. I love the feeling afterward! That's my paradox, so question one's phrasing spoke right to me.

  2. I say yes to question two. Different strokes for different folks, but that being said, I've often come home from a hard day's work to find my boyfriend ordering me over his knee. Before I went ass over tea kettle/bottoms up, I would have sworn that I hadn't an ounce of energy left in me. After he's through, I'm left renewed, relaxed, and revitalized. Sometimes, that turns into a marathon session of discipline/love-making, and in the morning, I feel like I got a full nine hours of sleep. So sometimes it IS all or nothing.

  3. The word "trust" should be added to question three's wording, and I agree wholeheartedly.

  4. I don't see how anyone could disagree with number four. If you are willing receiving it, you're submitting. I willingly submit to playful foreplay spankings. Part of me willingly submits when I bend over for painful punishment spankings. It is just shades along the spectrum.

Little One:
  1. I am not sure that I understand the paradox and not sure I would even want to try. All I know is that when I surrender life runs smoothly and when I try to run it (life), it all gets a bit bumpy

  2. That is something I am still learning. Quite truthfully, I thank goodness for the internet because it has broadened my world more than I could have imagined. I never realized that there were folks who only like spanking and not (what I considered the whole package) D/s.

  3. This is definitely a lesson I am STILL learning, but submission is a quiet strength that can and will bring peace and joy in every day life, both BDSM and vanilla.

  4. I keep thinking (over this bit) "duhhhh." Obviously! BUT then is it obvious to those who only receive a spanking once in a while? I am thinking they may not see it that way, and might even get a wee bit angry to see submit and spank in the same sentence. But yeah, I believe there is a form of submission even in an occasional spanking.

  1. If “surrender my control” means to give up desiring what it seems I can not have and being happy with what I do have, then yes. The desire for what I think I want (kinks) can seem to almost torment me at times and make me very disgusted, dissatisfied and empty, even given all I do have. When I can stop and look at all that is right and realize you can’t have it all, I feel pretty good.

  2. This I agree with wholly. There are many things I would like to submit to and a lot I would want nothing to do with. I want to submit with limits. Perhaps that is not submitting, but topping from the bottom. I suppose a lover who was intimately in tune with my desires and kinks would have my pleasure in mind along with hers. In this case, I would submit totally. There would be no script, just totally improvisation. Trust me, I don’t have to worry at this point with my wife.

  3. For me, I think this statement is reversed. I think one's courage to submit and faith that the person to whom they submit will respect the relationship and them, come from qualities that are beneficial in other aspects of life, specifically the relationship between the dom and the sub. These qualities include trust, honesty, love and commitment. I would not want to submit to someone outside of those bounds. One could choose to pay for a session of submission with a professional mistress, or find a community of like-minded people without their spouse, but not me. I would much rather share this intimate part of myself and literally give myself to my wife, the one I love and one who loves me in return. It could be all sex play or go as far as domestic discipline. But it would be the two of us.

    I feel closest to my wife when I am confessing some desire, some kinky and taboo desire. I am laying myself bare, seeking her approval, and requesting her willingness to play along and be part of something that is special and unique about me. I am not sure whether she appreciates the level of trust it takes to share like that.

  4. This too, I agree with. You submit, but when it gets to stinging, you might wonder why the hell you did it. But it feels so good to give up control, to be dominated, and to have someone else decide when “enough is enough” or when it is not and you need more.

Sunflower: These are very thought-provoking questions this week, Bonnie! My take is a bit different. I am a spanko who is still very much in the discovery stages. I haven't yet received a "real" spanking, though happily, my boyfriend and I are talking about it. It looks like we're going to be getting there fairly shortly!
  1. I haven't found this one to be true. As someone still taking baby steps (and leading my partner in those steps), I still have a lot of control, out of necessity. I hope I will find this to be true in my relationship in the future.

  2. I definitely agree! A safeword, for one thing, is a degree.

  3. Yes, yes, yes! Even with the few small steps I've taken, I can see how it's affecting other parts of my life beneficially.

  4. I would agree with this one. To willingly get your ass smacked is a submissive move. Depending on the relationship, that might be the extent of it. But it is, in and of itself, an act of submission.

(PS I've commented before as anonymous, but I've now chosen to use the moniker "Sunflower" on my blog commenting – a small step out of the woodwork!)

Welcome, Sunflower! I'm glad you're here.

Hermione: I agree with all four statements.
  1. This was the hardest of the four points to answer. For me, I think it has a lot to do with my husband's tendency to do the opposite of what I want. As long as I try to be in control and call the shots, he resists. When I let him take charge, things usually resolve to my satisfaction. Once the struggle for control is eliminated, he is more receptive to my point of view.

  2. That's true. There are many types of relationship dynamics possible, ranging from total submission and absolute obedience to token obedience if and when it suits, and everything in between. It depends on what works for an individual couple. The type of submission may also vary from day to day depending upon the circumstances.

  3. I have definitely seen the benefit of submission in all parts of our relationship. Once I freely and consistently adopted a submissive attitude, I began to receive the respect, trust and admiration that I had always hoped for.

  4. The act of baring one's bottom and undergoing a spanking is by its nature a submissive act. The fact that the spanking is exciting and that the receiver craves it, enjoys it and is turned on by it does not lessen this fact. Submission is simply part of the parcel.

Anon: I want to key in on the levels of submission, and a technique that clearly communicates the present level of desire/need. It does so without the mood-kill of having to verbally articulate extent in order to get both partners on the same wave length. When she needs or wants a spanking my woman wears panties coded by color to how hard and long it is to be (i.e. light pink, light swats. Red, harder. Dark red, even more severe. Deep crimson, a real marathon). When I feel the need to spank her, or observe she deserves it, I hand her a pair of panties. Again, they are colored to the mood and type of session deemed necessary and/or desirable. This sets the stage without the embarrassment or discomfort of having to go into expositions about length and severity. As always, both partners must agree. This builds trust, promotes communication and avoids abuse. Boundaries are a shifting sands scenario. Trust is King. It is obtained, developed and retained by comfortable communication. Without trust, there can be no intimacy of any type.

Jslittlelady: This was a very interesting topic and it really made me think about things. I agree especially with numbers 1, 3, and 4.
  1. I wrote a whole post on number one. Here's my paradox that hit me like a brick. Surrendering power and control through submission is empowering and brings me to a place where I am so much more in control of my surroundings.

  2. Number two is true for me to a point when compared with everyone else. But I can't say this about myself. I'm either all submissive or not submissive at all. I can't be submissive by physically obeying, but not obeying in my heart.

  3. I think point three is a huge absolute. It says all it needs to say, all by itself.

  4. I think the answer to question #4 is related to point number two, I can bend over for a spanking, but until my heart and attitude are submissive, I usually can't stop fighting. When I do stop, then I've finally been truly submissive. It may not be that way for everyone. It's just that way for me in my experiences.

Prefectdt: Here are my answers:
  1. Yes, I agree. The paradox is most acute because for me to submit, the Top has to have my wholehearted consent. By giving up control to her, I am getting what I want. But the situation can only happen because I have total control over the "yes or no" as to whether the play happens in the first place.

  2. Oh yes, just looking at the people who have commented here, we see subs, bottoms, and slaves. The varieties of submissiveness are boundless and can alter as play partners change or for those in an exclusive partnership, evolve as their play and relationship progress.

  3. This one is where the male and female subs and bottoms differ. There are very few women who could stop me from walking away from a play scene if it where going badly. Therefore, I am able to take a few more risks when choosing a play partner. For a woman, their partner may be physically more able, so they have to have a greater level of faith in a partner before they play. They might therefore develop a greater sense of courage and faith than a male sub or bottom would.

  4. Yes we all are.

Mija: This is an interesting topic. Okay, let's try this then.
  1. Yes, but I've been jaded enough not to be surprised by this. I am always pleased to remember how much my partner is into this as well. It's good to know it's not just all about me.
  2. I do agree that submission can be a matter of degree. For me, though, it is all or nothing. I don't have headspace for semi-submission. That said, I'm not submissive all that often with anyone other than P.

  3. I'm not sure. I think trust is important, but it as well as courage has to go both ways. I don't really see the issue of "faith" coming into it at all for me.

  4. I disagree strongly. There are plenty of people who are sensation players, including those who are tops or masters, who like the sensation of receiving a spanking. I've watched bottoms / submissives and slaves give a spanking to their other half at that person's direction. The spanking in these cases is a personal service, IMO. The person receiving the spanking in those circumstances is no more "submitting" than I "submit" to the woman who gives me a pedicure every other week.

    In a pinch, I've spanked friends and they've spanked me because one or the other of us has wanted a spanking. There hasn't been submission there, at least not so I noticed, at all. It's been all about the physical act. I don't believe someone can submit unless there's someone on the top side to submit to. Otherwise, as a kid, I submitted to myself when I solo spanked.

    I think the word "submission" has to mean something more than just receiving a physical sensation. It's an act of surrendering the self to another. Just for myself, I've bottomed to a number of people, but submitted only to a very few.

Bonnie: I'm pleased that everyone enjoyed responding to these thoughts. The first was a line I wrote in an e-mail to a friend. It thought it nicely illustrated the point I was trying to make. The second item was inspired by one of Keagen's recent essays on submission. I continue to be impressed by her unique insight.

The third point targets a phenomenon I have observed in myself for many years. I was curious to see the extent to which others had similar experiences. I thought the fourth topic might provide for some spirited discussion. For many of us who routinely blend spanking with submission, it seems an obvious conclusion almost to the point of being unavoidable. And yet, as Mija reminds us, there are other equally valid viewpoints.

I have to conclude that there are nearly as many successful formulas as there are successful couples. When it comes to submission, we must each strive to develop or discover our own perfect mix.

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