Monday, 28 May 2007

"How a Girl Learns To Say No..."

More linkifyin', this on the potential positive effects of D/s dynamics:
When I first met Julie, she had low self-respect and poor self-image. She was, at that stage, still in an abusive relationship. She was the classic 'victim'.

Then she met me. I made it my business, as her Master, to make her into someone that she loved for herself. A person who valued herself, and thereby who acquired value, someone who was valuable, because she valued herself.

Now, time for a simple comparison. When I first met her, her need to please overrode every other impulse, and she set her own value as being lower than that of anyone else, and more specifically, lower than that of any man who showed an interest in her (yes, I include myself in that - but wait for the conclusion, please!)

Yesterday, she told me about her latest attempt to find herself a man of her own age to give her the BDSM loving that she needs.

....Many women, I think, will be familiar with the routine. She approached him, on a site devoted to alternative sexuality. His response was to ask her to perform for him on webcam. She told him this was not available, and he was, shall we say, a trifle rude in his response to that. Pause for a moment, dear reader, and contemplate what she might have done before her relationship with me...

Now that you've imagined that, let us look at what I taught her, what she learned by being my slave:

Her response was calm, collected, and polite. It was also to the effect of, "No, thank you. I deserve better." She stood on her own two feet to say that, she didn't need me or anyone else. She's a highly sexual being, and she certainly has a strong desire for a partner, but she is no longer the shrinking, insecure woman she was, who would let any jerk order her around.

I don't like to take credit for it, because she is the one who has done all this, she is the one who has moved from where she was to where she is. Nevertheless, she is kind enough to say that she appreciates that I gave her the ability to make that journey.
Personally, I've seen the same thing. If a submissive person (actually anyone, really) wants to believe in herself but has trouble, a person that she respects and trusts reinforcing "Yes, you do deserve better than that jerk/deserve to do that thing you've always wanted/have it in you to accomplish that difficult task" can work wonders to help her get there.

"I believe in you" is a good thing to say to those you love. You should all go do it. So should I.


Dw3t-Hthr said...

This is one of the dynamics I have with my liege -- not the "getting myself able to say I deserve better" version of it, but the "getting able to trust myself".

He does his best to counter the effects of the depression on my ability to get things done. One of the things he says to me fairly frequently is "You're not as crazy as you think you are", and mostly, to be honest, I humor him, but there's this space for developing competence and, more, developing some faith that I am capable, someone he isn't crazy to depend on.

It's an interesting exercise, where each of us strengthens the other in a way that leads to smoothing out of our respective neuroses. (We both have "I am a failure" complexes, for similar reasons, and the power relationship forces us to not soak in that mindstate. He also has Issues with delegating, shall we say.)

Alex said...

Hmmm. While that's a very cool dynamic, I'm not sure it's one we could reproduce in my relationship; I tend to be one of those people that comes back to compliments/encouragement with something to the effect of ... hmmm... 'if you looked closer it would all fall apaaaaart!'

"I believe in you" is nice, but it doesn't help me do the same, yanno? I just don't find it... inspiring.

...Maybe I need some aversion therapy. ;)

Trinity said...

So you don't realize when those around you believe in you, then? *confused look*

Anonymous said...


As the author of the quoted piece, in the dynamic I had/have with Julie, there's no room for her to say "if you looked closer it would fall apart" because she has been subject to the closest scrutiny from me - I know her too well, there's nowhere for anything to hide that could make it fall apart!

I guess if you let someone see all your worst aspects and they still say you're wonderful, it's a lot harder to dismiss their point of view (especially if that person is someone whose authority you respect).

And also, she's seen all my worst bits as well and still thinks I'm wonderful. Which is a much-needed confidence boost for me, too.

Trinity said...

"I guess if you let someone see all your worst aspects and they still say you're wonderful, it's a lot harder to dismiss their point of view (especially if that person is someone whose authority you respect)."

Yes. I have the very similar dynamic with a very close online buddy of mine who's a submissive guy. It's really helped to nurture him that I care for and accept all facets of him -- especially, in his case, sexual interests that he worried that people would not accept. He might have that "Oh, shucks" feeling sometimes, but we know each other will enough that he knows the I mean it.

And I know that he means it too -- he's done the same thing for me. I recently spent a very long stretch of time feeling ashamed about my more sadistic fantasies, having read a few too many "Feminist" critiques of them. And being unable to hide from how much he trusted me, and how much he clearly wanted to know exactly what I was thinking, however weird or twisted, has really nurtured me as well.

Anonymous said...

I like this piece. :] My ex and I had a similar relationship dynamic, and though we eventually broke up, it helped me through some rough times.

Alex said...

Trinity: I realize it, but I guess I rationalize it away as being misplaced. (Which, looking at it, is not very trusting of me.)

Snowdrop: *nod* I'm glad it worked for you and Julie! I think that it's either not a place I've gotten to in my own BDSM, or just not the effect that it's had on me.

It is, however, something I might try to explicitly work on with my dominant, learning to value myself for internal reasons rather than external ones.