Monday, June 24, 2013

Kinds of Submissives

Something I've been pondering lately due to comments on Marriage Training.

I think there are a lot of different kinds of submissives.  The ones that I've noticed most often in books is the "brat."  The submissive who is constantly pushing at their Dom, usually in an attempt for punishment or because they just can't help but act out and constantly test the control/domination of their partner.  I've also noticed that stories with bratty subs tend to refer to non-bratty subs as 'passive' or 'uninteresting.'

Yet turn that around and you get the occasional story with an eager-to-please, obedient sub whose Dom looks at the bratty subs with slight disgust for subs who are constantly trying to top from the bottom and who is pleased with his sub's desire to "truly" submit.

Honestly it kind of reminds me of the fat vs. skinny women war going on in social media.  Lately there have been a lot of e-cards, memes, etc. talking about "real women" having curves and "no one wants a stick figure."  Okay... I get some of the sentiment behind this - and I've used a phrase or two myself on occasion (although usually in reference to an ex-friend of mine who used to deride me for being "fat") - but why do we have to run down the people who are different from us in order to feel better?  Should curves be celebrated? Absolutely!  But why does that have to involve making the people who are naturally less curvy feel bad about themselves?

That's kind of how I feel when it comes to the submissive thing.  I didn't notice it before now, but there are a lot of authors who do that.  I'm not sure if I have been, but I know I'm certainly going to try not to.  There is no one right way to 'submit' or to 'dominate.'  I truly believe that.  People do so according to their personalities and they look for someone whose style of submission or domination complements theirs, but that shouldn't mean looking down on someone else because theirs is different.

For Venus I know I deliberately tried to write both.  Jessica was always a little bit more of a brat, although she doesn't really mean to be, and Hilary was always eager-to-please and not interested in misbehaving.  Eventually I'm going to have a sub or two in the Stronghold series that is very bratty.  It's fun to write the brats.  But honestly, I also get tired of the brats sometimes and enjoy the more quiet and peaceful submission of characters like Hilary and Vivian (Marriage Training).  The characters who submit because they want to, because they want the carrot rather than the stick and are motivated by praise.  Vivian in particular - she responds with arousal to pain, but she feels the punishment keenly because she hates to disappoint.

Yet I don't consider her particularly docile or door-mat or "passive."  She's going to have to run a very large and complex household after all and she's training to do so along with the erotic training that she's receiving.  Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think I modeled her after myself.  I basically run the household in my relationship - although I also have control of finances, which she won't other than the household budget and her pocket money because of the time period - and I'm very much an eager-to-please kind of person in the bedroom.  If a Dom wanted a brat, I would not be a good choice.  I much prefer to hear a consistent "good girl."

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