Friday, October 06, 2006Co-Dependency and D/s
I'm going to speak abstractly, at least part of the time, in this post. In no way does this make me an expert on D/s, rather I'm simply building from my experience and making it less personal. There you go.
Co-dependency is a buzz word that makes people who grew up in the 80s and 90s cringe. Overused, abused and misunderstood, there was a time when everyone was co-dependent.
The fact is, it is a label for a set of behaviors and feelings that I think get mixed up with submission and service, and the resulting mix can be damaging to a couple. People who act in a co-dependent manner believe they are being self-less, but act in ways that are quite selfish.
I've seen this phenomenon play out so many times. I want x, but I feel bad asking for x because I'm supposed to be submissive. But I still want x. So I'll probably do one of two things:
1. Not get x and resent it, secretly, feel guilty about resenting it, and present that to my dominant as acting really weird without explanation.
2. Demand x after some period of self denial, as though my dominant should have known all along I wanted it.
well and there's this one
3. Manipulate my dominant into doing x, using passive-aggression or other covert tactics.
That last one is my least favorite, personally, and most likely to push me away from my submissive.
None of these are particularly useful to a relationship. Every person has needs and wants, and every person deserves to get what is needed/wanted. As a dominant, I find myself deeply frustrated when I don't know what my sub needs/wants, and am put in a position to guess, or worse, to assume he wants nothing, thereby falling victim to one of the three things above.
I refuse to guess. I refuse to be manipulated, and I refuse to deal with a bratty bottom who is needing something but unwilling to say what. In the end, his withholding of this information hurts us worse than if he just *told me*.
This is a popular relationship dynamic, btw, not just D/s. But subs have the added difficulty of guilt. I'm the submissive one, it doesn't matter what I want. But that isn't true--it does matter what the submissive wants, both to the submissive him(her) self and the dominant.
So it isn't, in my house, "she comes first". It is, rather, "what can I do to make her life easier today?" That includes telling me each and everything I need to know to make good decisions for us. My sub might not always get what he wants (as if I do, lol), but he always gets what he needs, without having to play games or get hurt.
Um, unless he wants to play games and get hurt. Then I usually oblige.