Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Submission as a Gift

I got such a great series of ideas in the comments on my last post, I now think that I have inspiration enough to pull me through for a while.
*Kicks at the quiet muse. So there!

Anyways...A heartfelt thanks to tori for this one:
"Is submission a gift? If yes, why? If no, why?" I have to say...I love this one.

This is one of those rare concepts which I miraculously never struggled with, or changed my mind about. I believe, unequivocally, that submission is not a gift. And if it is, it shouldn't be.
I know, I know--that last sentence didn't make sense, but if you have lots of coffee and make it to the end of this post without kicking your computer, I might clarify the issue. Maybe.

Alpha, by the way, disagrees with me on this particular subject, but that's okay--somehow we manage to reconcile such grave differences. Probably because I'm right, and he's in charge. But I digress.

On to the question at hand!

Submission is not a gift.

To see submission as a gift would be...Selfish of me. And not in the, "It's good to know what you want" kind of way.
Submission fills a need within me. It is part of who I am, an expression of myself, and an integral part of our relationship. Submitting to him completes me, without it I am...A shell of who I could be. Perhaps...

So then, how could submission be a gift...? For me, to see submission as a gift, would be contrary to the concept of D/s on my side of the slash. As a slave, it strikes me as extremely egotistical to adopt the view that submission is a gift.
Maybe if it was not something we lived...Perhaps then I could see it as a gift. Even then though...I dunno.

To say that my life with him was a gift to him would be ludicrous, to tell him that my unwilling descent into whatever twisted thing he wants in the moment is a gift, would be an outright lie.
To say that submission is a gift, would be like saying, "I married you. You're welcome!"

Seriously...When we love someone, while me may see love itself as a gift, a blessing if you will, we do not see our love as a gift to that person. And submission, while distinctly different from love, is quite comparable in that the depth and scope of the experience can be quite consuming and intense to everyone involved.
It is an experience. A state of being wherein we exist and connect with another person.

Gifts are given willingly--I am not always willing.
A gift is something given out of the kindness of your heart. It exists within the idea of coming from the goodness of your heart purely in order to benefit another person.
A gift lives on the surface of things. There is no soul inherent within a gift, no matter how lovely it is.
The notion of a gift also implies something that is without any payment given in return.
That is not the submission I know.
There is much that I get in return for my submission. From the feelings inside myself, to the validation from him. Experiences which, incidentally, often combine so as to be indistinguishable in my mind.
Submission is raw
an expression of self that one cannot keep to themselves
sometimes submission is angry, unwilling, resentful
sometimes it's beautiful, glorious, fulfilling, and transcendent.
Submission is an expression of who one is as a human being, and how we interact with the balance of power within our relationships.

Personally, I feel that it would be ridiculous for me, as a slave, to adopt the view that my submission is a gift to him. To view it like that challenges my belief in the foundation of power exchange.
Ego is an expression of self. It is a firmly held view and expression of self as one defines themselves to be. And sometimes that gets in the way of submission because it is about our ideas of ourselves. Ego does not crawl, does not beg, does not allow the perspectives of another human being to define who and what it is. Submission requires setting ego far enough aside that someone else can walk inside your mind.

Since you made it this far, I feel like I should do what I promised in the beginning and explain why I feel that submission should not be a gift. The reason I think that I, as a slave, shouldn't view submission as a gift, is that I find it to be quite egotistical to see oneself as a gift. Having a good sense of self-esteem is not the same as being self-inflated.

For me to say that submission is a gift, would be an oversimplification of the human process and imply a level of self centered behavior that just does not mesh well with my ideas of submission.

I think that it's fair to take a moment and address the mention of Alpha's disagreement with my somewhat heated feelings about this particular subject.
He doesn't take issue with my views, and I don't have a problem with his belief that submission is a gift. Indeed, perhaps he is a better Dominant for that belief. I don't know.
I suppose that, ultimately, my disagreement lies within the concept of me thinking of myself as a gift. That, I think, creates barriers to truly exploring the depths of submission to their full potential.


  1. So I haven't really ever given this question thought but... I think you're right. I don't feel like a gift -more like a chore really- what he gives me is a gift because I am SO undeserving.

    And maybe Alpha is right too though. Maybe it is not a gift but it should be viewed as such by the Dom... because while I might be a toy my submission is not... but that doesn't really make sense so just go about your day.

    1. After thinking more about it, I did see it as a gift at first, then when I started to take a good look at myself it all changed.

    2. But, maybe where we are not gifts, parts of our submission are...

    3. This is the last comment, I swear!

      But maybe not because it is all his anyway, whatever he wants of it, so can it be gift if it is already His?

    4. Misty,
      Lol, as long as I don't have to respond to them each individually...

      Seriously though, I am glad to see it inspired such thought! Though, part of me almost feels obliged to apologize...

      I do think that it is different if they see it as a gift, though my coffee cup is still to full for me to be able to clearly articulate exactly Why I think that.

      Looking at the comments, I there seems to be a trend in seeing it as a gift in the beginning, but that view changing over time. I wonder if that's because it takes us a while so realize the depth and complexity of ttwd, and we just feel differently about submission as we evolve...

      If I have any thoughts regarding the question in your last comment (which I think is worth musing about), I'll be back!

  2. After reading your explanation it makes a lot of sense.
    The reason why submission is viewed as a gift by many is because of the power and control we as slave renounce and give to another, the total surrender of all authority over our body and mind to our Owner.
    I have read other views about this same subject, one of them reminded me of your post when it said "the term "submission is a gift" is overused and throws in an element of power into the hands of the submissive"

    Loved your post!
    thanks for sharing lil!!


    1. AtiyaLuv,
      Hmmm, yes, I can see why people often view it that way. Though, I'm not still not sure that I agree with the logic behind those beliefs.

      Now you have me musing about the whole line of thought that the sub has the power. I think I feel another post coming on. Thank you!

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I had thought about this topic as a post of my own little while back but just didn't feel I could do it the justice you have.

    i admit to waffling on this topic.i think I viewed it as a gift in the beginning because I wasn't sure this was a lifestyle I needed or even wanted. I thought i was doing it for him and...oh how easy he had it.

    My views have grown since then and I can recognize the amount of effort it takes for both the Dom and sub. It is a give and take to meet the needs of both.

    I like your marriage analogy. Hadn't really thought of it that way before.

    1. little girl,
      Thank you! I like analogies, and sometimes mine become debatable, so it's nice to know when they work for a reader.

      It does take effort from both, and I think that is often overlooked in the beginning...

  4. I totally agree with you. My submission is not a gift. It is all that you explained so much better than I have ever been able to.

    I wanted to submit, for me, because it is good for me. It would be egotistical to then go back and call it a gift. It is like buying a book you really want to read as a gift for someone else, just because you know they will loan it to you.

    1. Thank you, ksst.
      Ooh, ooh, what an awesome analogy! I really like that--I think it sums things up perfectly.

  5. Wow lil! Just wow! I hear that alot .. submission is a gift. When I put myself in that statement .. well I just don't see it. But I do see it, as one side of the coin ... to me, Dominance is just as much of a gift as submission would be. *shrug* From the little experience I have had and tons of reading & "researching" (mostly blogs & tumblr), I have done. I see D/s, DD/lg, M/s .. or whatever the dynamic, as a partnership .. sure it's not 50/50 but none of would be here if it was 50/50. But still it IS a partnership .. one role is just as important as the other.
    Without the one, what is the other???

    1. geekie kittie,
      They are mutually beneficial, I agree. Did you see ksst's book analogy? I thought it summed things up quite well.

      I think that the debate about what is one without the other is much like which came first, the chicken or the egg. And those who have made up their minds feel very strongly about it!

  6. I can see both sides of this debate. In a way, submitting is a gift but I think subs want to be taken if they are to feel truly submissive. They want their Dom to take charge and take what he wants. They don't want the Dom to feel he is accepting a gift.


    1. FD,
      I can only speak for myself, of course, but I feel that it is simply too egotistical of a view of submission--a level of self importance that is a barrier to true surrender, if you will.
      As I said, I don't mind him seeing it as a gift, indeed, perhaps doing so makes him a better Dominant.
      And to be taken...Well yes, it is lovely, to be sure. But...I think that should not always Have to be taken. If that makes any sense...

      I have only had 1/2 a cup of coffee, so my brain isn't really working like it should...

  7. Wow Lil, I'd say your muse has returned! This is such a great post, thank you for sharing. I have always thought of submission as a gift. As you mentioned, not 'me', but my submission. I know Rick does too.

    This makes total sense to me though and you have given me much food for thought. Thank you.


    1. Roz,
      It's awesome to have the muse back! Maybe I shouldn't kick her...

      Glad to have provided food for thought!

  8. Submission as a gift is something I see much written about or expressed.
    From what I have read I note that Doms are more likely to see submission as a gift (though not exclusively so) and subs see their submission as a necessity.
    There is the adage that giving is more important than the gift itself. Since a submissive gives their whole being then that could be seen as quite a gift in some people's eyes. It is true in marriage I don't see my status as wife as a gift to my husband, it is what I want to be.
    not sure if that makes any sense.... will shut up now.

    1. DelFonte,
      I will admit that it made more sense when I read it yesterday with a couple of cups of coffee in my veins, but I think that I follow your meaning.

      It is an interesting topic, and definitely seems to get people thinking!

  9. Couldnt agree more, cant add nothing because all what you said is how i feel about it.

    years ago, before i met the bossman and was looking, i was speaking to a dominant and one of the very first questions he asked was "do you see submission as a gift?" now i never did, but anyways he passed by those subs that said yes...i asked why and he replied that he sees it as topping from the bottom before the relationship has even started...

    and that stuck with me, it gave me a lot to think about and took a while, but i got it, i got what he meant.

    in fact sometimes im more inclined to think its a curse lol


    1. tori,
      interesting concept that, see it as a for of topping from the bottom. I hadn't thought of it like that, though I can see the logic behind it.

      LOL, yes, some days "Curse" seems like a far more apt description.

      Thanks again for the inspiration!!!

  10. oh this was fascinating - and the comments even more so!

    I agree, I don't think submission is a gift. Submission and Dominance feed each other as you say, ebb and flow and growth and all that and it's a two way thing. Now, the fact that you have a loving partner who is the yin to your yang or vice versa or whatever, I can see that you might perceive that as being a gift, or a blessing or whatever - that they are bestowing blessings upon you. Because I find submission - and, being a switch, dominance too but to a lesser extent - as being a necessity, as DelFonte says, and the fact that I can express and feel them with him is a huge gift which wouldn't be possible without him, in a way, giving it.

    I do however, see our relationship as me giving myself to him as gift. Is it a good gift? No, it's pretty lousy in many ways, I'm in no way illusory or egotistical about THAT! But I can't help it, it's just the way I am... Do I do it gracefully? Not always, because I'm afraid to be vulnerable to rejection.

    There's a verse of In the Bleak Midwinter that sort of says what I'm trying to say -

    'What can I give him, poor as I am
    If I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb.
    If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
    What I have I give him, give my heart'

    'an ill favoured thing, sir, but mine own' As Touchstone says in As You Like It

    1. mc kitten,
      this one has gotten some interesting responses, hasn't it?

      Sorry, but I laughed at the whole "Lousy gift" bit. Couldn't help it, but I do see what you mean.

      That fear of rejection is a tricky and insidious beast, isn't it? The moment that I think I have finally killed it, it rears it's ugly little head again. Quite similar to cockroaches really--seems to have an ability to survive anything!

      Now I'm talking about bugs...I had better go finish my coffee. Quietly.

    2. no worries lil, I was giggling at myself a bit as I wrote it!

      Picture a kitten, pretty rubbish at everything, actually managing to get outside and, after an epic battle, slays a mighty beast and lugs it back in to drop it proudly on it's master's foot (where it turns out to be a sludgy leaf or something like that)

      then you have it. lousy gift!

  11. Submission in itself is not a gift. BUT submission is offered to someone specific, the master who fulfills you. No one else. The master takes on the responsibility of your life. By doing so, the master accepts the offer, the recognition and the charge. Many things are given, shared and unwrapped. They are gifts of who we truly are to those who recognize us. They are gifts of circumstances that deeply connect beings. inkedpeonies

    1. Inkedpeonies,
      that is a very interesting approach.

      I loved this:
      "They are gifts of circumstances that deeply connect beings."

  12. One more addition: Would I ever say "I give you my love as a gift". No. Instead I say to him "I love you because of who you are and who I am. We fit together. My heart can't do anything else."

    The same goes for submission. I submit to him because of who I am and who he is. Yes, it was a decision, but it was a decision made with knowledge of both of us. It was also something we kind of fell into, after making the initial decision, kind of like falling in love. Things just kind of rolled along.

  13. Oh Lil, your muse sure has returned! I'm so glad for you. (Kicks at lil's muse, "why are you so much trouble?") Very interesting post that is making me think.

    Well, now that I have stopped laughing at the "Probably because I'm right, and he's in charge." LMAO!!! I love your turn of phrase.


Play nice.