Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nature Versus Nurture

A while back tori put forth a topic which has kind of been floating around in the recesses of my mind, and I wanted to bring it out to play.

"Can one be a born/natural submissive? is there a difference? nature versus nurture?

I do think that one can be born/natural submissive.
I do believe that there is a difference.
This may be long...

I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the controversy that seems to accompany this subject, because I'm not looking for a round of Blogland drama or trying to ruffle up anyone's feelings. These are my opinions, and I don't expect that everyone, or indeed perhaps anyone, will agree with them. 

There seems to be some misconception among some of those who subscribe to the theory of the "natural" submissive--that they are somehow better, that ttwd comes easier, that they are "more submissive than thou". This attitude irritates me to no end, because frankly, I think it's a crock of shit.
In turn, there is often a criticism of those who identify as natural submissives--as if by identifying as such, they feel that they are better, that their submission is more valuable, and that they look down on those who are not. Having been on the receiving end of this attitude, I have to admit that it makes me pretty angry.
And just to be perfectly clear about how I feel...Anybody who can say, with a straight face, that they are better than someone else because they are a "natural submissive", deserves to be smacked upside the head. Conversely, it is often those who are products of circumstance who claim to be "natural submissives", and behave as if they are somehow better because of it.

So, there's that.

I kind of tend to take issue with the term "natural submissive" because it makes it sound like someone who never ever struggles. We all struggle at different times and in varying degrees. No matter how or why we do ttwd.

Maybe I'll stick with the terms born and circumstantial...

I think that there are big differences between the born submissive and the circumstantial submissive, yet that both will often share the same struggles. And really, I'm not sure that it isn't perfectly reasonable to say that one person could be a victim of both circumstance and birth.

I believe that those who were born this way, while not necessarily displaying submissive character traits throughout their lives, will always eventually reach a point where happiness is impossible without some form of D/s. 
It's not something one can choose to walk away from because, while it is possible to deny one's true self, you can never really just make it not be. I think that if we're born this way, submission becomes a need that surpasses our ideals of desire. The need unexpressed will eventually consume the born submissive.
It's inside always reaching for its Dominant counterpart, always searching for a way out, always whispering its need. There under the surface always. No matter what we do, who we are, how we live, or who we live with--we can hold it back, but we can never truly kill it off. While we may always have a choice, we can't choose or not choose submission because it is at the core of who we are and always will be.

We will always know that it is impossible to live, to truly live, without D/s. Because without it, we merely exist.

That's not to say that the born submissive is good at submission, that she doesn't have to learn and grow, adapt to her Dominant, or ever struggle with what it truly means to be owned. Just because something is innate, does not mean that it comes easy.

In my opinion, along the way, the circumstantial submissive learns that she is drawn to the submissive experience. Yet, she can walk away from D/s. The circumstantial submissive submits, desires, craves, and walks along just like the born submissive. Yet...She can be okay without it. Submission is part of who she is, but her identity as a human being isn't inextricably entwined in it.
Perhaps she wants and craves submission so much that she comes to need it. Submission becomes a part of her and her life. But it doesn't have to be. While it can become a part of who she is, submission is...Optional.

I do believe that one can be born submissive, and that there are rather large variances between nature and nurture. Both are, and lead to, a life experience unique to the individual.


  1. I like the distinctions of type, tho' I might quibble the use of descriptors. To me, it's more an issue of kinds of wiring, rather than of the submission being innate or discovered…

    But I absolutely agree about the differences that those types of wiring make.

    I am not willingly walking away from D/s - I still want it and miss it. But regardless, I am now without it and, you're right, my life continues to chug along apace.
    It's much the same as I feel about sex - things are a lot better with it, sure, but I'm not going to go out and start coupling with men at random just to say I got me some…

    1. Jz,
      Hmmm, I find myself agreeing with your quibbling about descriptors and different kinds of wiring.
      I have to say, having just written this post and really struggled with something I couldn't pinpoint, I'm not entirely pleased to find myself agreeing so much.

      Maybe I can reconcile it all clearly in my mind with the approach that wiring is what defines whether one's experience of submission is innate or discovered.


      Now I have to go think more...Dammit! Lol. :)

  2. Nature versus nurture is an interesting area. I believe that much of that which drives us is written within us and is difficult to deflect, sometimes impossible. As set as the colour of your eyes.

    I once saw a study of the breeding behavious of robins, they are very territorial and the female selects based on the quality and size of the terrirtory the male controls. Only its not as simple as that. Most pair up and raise young, they are loyal and monogamous. Some males though will instead of establishing territory, chance a liason with a paired female, she might be faithful and reject him, or will mate surreptitiously so that her partner will still provide for her and chicks that aren't his. Yet other males will try to force themselves on paired females. Sounds familiar really, and the behaviours are inherited. We elevate ourselves far above other animals but we inherit traits just as they do.


    1. petalsMaster,
      we do tend not to stray too far from the animal world, for all of our fancy human trappings...

  3. Replies
    1. Nods at Misty*
      You can never have too much coffee.

  4. Now I have a post buried away about eye colour, D/s, nature/nurture. Never felt comfortable about publishing it... Perhaps I should. Descriptors make the debate challenging, open to misunderstanding, eye colour is much more straightforward. We all have innate traits, some expressed, others not... The reason why will keep scientists/philosophers happy for years.
    Thought provoking post!

    1. DelFonte,
      Oh how I agree that descriptors make it challenging and open to misunderstanding!

      Now I'm curious about your post...

  5. Wow, some heavy thoughts there.

    I think there is a form of D/s in every area of life and we are always one or the other or one and the other at different times and in different circumstances.

    1. sunnygirl,
      hmmm, I get where you're coming from with that. Now I think I need more coffee.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I'm pretty sure we are a long way from definitive answers for any of the nature/nurture arguments - scientifically anyhow... Humans, circumstances, life are just too complex.

    For me - i feel like it is similar to being an introvert: i've always functioned better with plenty of alone and quiet time, never craved crowds or noise or lots of external stimulation - i function - across a lot of situations - well even (mostly) - but i know what i need to really thrive and excel and be my best. I didn't know it had a name until later in life - didn't know it's features or definitions, or any of that - but i had figured out how to structure my life to try to meet those needs and i also knew what i had to do to function outside of that when needed.

    Submission for me is a lot like that - i always felt better, did better, thrived, was attracted to certain things and ways - now i know the name. That doesn't mean i don't struggle, i'm sure as hell far from perfect, and i can act out of accordance with it as needed - but a lot of things work better when i do act in accordance with this part of my personality.

    Anyway - a long way of saying i like what you've written - and i agree - there is no point to worrying about whether anyone is "a natural submissive" or not....

    1. gg,
      I like your long way!
      I think that Jz really got the right wording went she went with "wiring". This post turned tricky for me, and I was never really able to pull my meaning completely out of the fog.

  8. Had to rewrite my comment... The road to self discovery is paved differently for each one.... I went from fighter (15 years in a traditional martial art) to slave-to-be with the same deep craving for devotion and submission to a master. Somehow this profound need shapes events and encounters.

    1. Inked,
      I like your road to self discover bit. So very true.

      It does shape a lot of things. Sometimes I wonder if we even see how much until we look back....


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