We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. –Max De Pre
When I first learned what a submissive was—and particularly service-oriented submissives—thought, ‘My whole life makes sense now! I’m going to be the best submissive ever! This is who I’ve always been! This is going to be a piece of cake. So easy. All I have to do is show up.’
Boy, was I in for a surprise.
Natural vs Learned
Then I learned about natural vs learned submissives. I didn’t think one was superior to the other, but I thought learned submissives had a much harder road to go, since us natural submissives just were the way we were.
Now I look at Natural vs Learned as being right-handed vs being left-handed. Anyone can learn to write with either hand. To play Virginia Woolf in The Hours, Nicole Kidman learned to write with her left hand, as well as learned Woolf’s handwriting, while using pen and ink, for example. Practise and determination is all that’s required.
If Kidman had already been left-handed, that task, while still formidable, would have been significantly less so.
Being naturally submissive (when that’s what you want to be) is like being right-handed. The world is already working in your favour. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be a world-class guitarist the first time you pick up a guitar, but you won’t have to either learn to play right-handed or buy a specially-made left-handed guitar. You’re working from an invisible advantage from the start.
Antoniou on Naturals
There’s a quote from Laura Antoniou’s The Marketplace, which goes:
‘Even the most gifted of naturals, those individuals whose wrists are naked without restraints and whose souls are bleak without guidance, need to be trained.’
The more I read after I first got out there, the more I realised I had a whole lot of work to do. At first I thought I shouldn’t do any work on myself, because my first Domme would want to ‘fix’ me to be just how she wanted. And if I was perfect then she wouldn’t have anything to fix.
Now I side-eye my previous self.
A submissive or slave’s position is to make life run more smoothly for their D-type (though I suppose there could be some who enjoy looking after a wreck of a person).
I realised I needed to make myself into a person who was worthy of being owned. It didn’t mean I wasn’t allowed to have bad days or be human—it meant being honest about my failings and improve myself to suit the sort of D-type I wanted to serve.
The sort of D-type I wanted was the type who would want to help me be my best so I’d need to prove that I was committed to being my best and improving myself before we met so I’d have something to offer in the first place.
What was I going to say, ‘I waited for you to arrive before working on myself, but now I’m going to develop discipline out of nowhere’?
Sure, self. That’s right.
The sort of Dominant I wanted wasn’t an idiot, so she wasn’t going to buy that, either. I realised I needed to start tidying up the place myself. I was going to have to start being my own D-type until someone else could blessedly take over.
It’s not as though I was going to attain perfection prior to meeting a Dominant and would wind up saying, ‘Sorry, you just missed having someone to improve.’
What I Need to Be
What I need to be is useful to my Dominant.
I can be that by learning what I need and want (and how to differentiate between the two).
By taking care of my body, with adequate sleep, exercise and nutrition.
By constantly learning about kink, my submission and the wider world.
By communicating (the good and the bad) even when it’s hard & unpoetic.
By recognising that I’m already good enough but that training is eternal.
By being kind to myself when I fail to live up to my own high standards.