At 26, I’ve considered myself submissive for just over 8 years now. I’ve been very lucky with my current relationship within the scene, but that wasn’t always the case.
At 18, I was reading and writing fanfiction that had a BDSM element, although I didn’t know it at the time. I knew I found the idea of being tied up or hit exciting, but with no actual experience and a recent history that made the idea simultaneously violently traumatic, I had no idea why.
During a conversation with a friend, some of this came up, and he asked if I wanted to explore the ideas I was having. I trusted him (spoiler: HUGE mistake) so I said yes. He taught me the basic ideas and constructs of being a submissive, and I knew that it fit me. I was so happy to understand my thoughts and feelings that I didn’t look too closely at what else he was doing.
Emotional abuse is probably an understatement He made me entirely dependent on his knowledge, cutting me off from researching the community in more depth, cutting me off from the community itself (I wasn’t to go to munches; they’re cliquey and dangerous for new subs) …basically isolating me so no one could see what he was doing.
Then the physical stuff started, combined with the emotional. I wasn’t a real sub if I didn’t do X, or let him do Y, Z and maybe K. I was a glorified booty call – cum – prostitute…without the pay. I couldn’t say no. Bad things happened if I said no.
Imagine being left on a snow-covered hill 10+ miles out of town, with no transport of your own and only a barely-long-enough t-shirt to cover you because you said you didn’t want to suck him off after anal. Yup. Bad things happened if I said no.
Eventually I got out of that ‘relationship’, and moved on. I researched. I joined FetLife. I met a guy who I tried an LDR dynamic with. That one abandoned me when his wife (that I didn’t know about) found out. No warning…just her Facebook messaging me to apologise for her sorry excuse of a husband and his lies – at least she was nice about it.
Then I met the Domme from the States who I kinda adored. That lasted a while, but when I made more friends on FL and they started asking me why I agreed to things like ‘you can’t talk to my other subs because you’re from the UK not the States’ I realised I’d let myself get so caught up in the feeling of being wanted that I hadn’t noticed the shitty attitude behind it…again.
At 24, I met my now Dominant. I was terrified. What if the same things happened again? Turns out, they haven’t…because he’s not a self-entitled dick who believes himself the centre of the universe.
So…why did these things happen to me?
Partly because I wasn’t smart enough to educate myself properly. I fully admit that. But for the most part, it was because the people I chose to be with weren’t looking for someone who knew what they were doing and/or wanted. They were looking for someone they could manipulate and change to their satisfaction…and if that wasn’t possible, then I deserved to be punished.
That’s not true. I know that now. I was naïve, but that’s not an excuse for their behaviour.
So, now for perhaps the most important thing of all. What advice would I offer someone fresh to the lifestyle if they were sat in front of me?
Be yourself. Learn, engage, but don’t ever take things at face value. Vet people, talk about play and limits and expectations WAY before the idea to make it reality is even thought of.
Make friends for the sake of making friends, not as potential partners. Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously as an expert on anything. And most importantly, NEVER allow your ability to say no without consequence to be taken away from you.