Dominant women

I have been doing some research….

Lady Sas, or Saskia, says that the Domme should simply be calm and assertive: the loud, aggressive Mistress is outdated. She should issue commands, expecting obedience. D/s is a game, and at other times Domme and sub meet as equals. The aspirant Domme might feel nervous, so Lady Sas suggests the Silence challenge. The sub kneels, naked, in a room, and the Domme merely need walk around him, slowly, feeling how she relaxes as she realises she is in control. The game should be “safe, sane and consensual”.

Lucy Fairbourne writes for the “caring mistress”. The self-assured male craves the vulnerability of complete surrender. The woman is surprised, but soon finds the pleasurable possibilities. She does not fulfil a sub’s fantasies, who demands she commands him to kneel, or ties him up, but instead she decides what to do, for her pleasure.

The mistress shouting her contempt for the slave was the clichéd image of fem-dom I had internalised, so I googled “submissive worm”. A site tells me the “worm archetype”, wanting to be dominated by everyone, still exists. A worm might be not allowed to use the furniture. I think, yuck. Is he allowed to use cutlery? “Allowed” by whom? I read of a woman who was better educated than her partner. He objected to her using words he did not understand. He enforced control, and by the time she left him she was only using words of one syllable. That is coercive control. It is criminal.

I read of FLR, the Female-Led Relationship, and TPE, Total Power Exchange, where the sub is submissive at all times, not just in well-boundaried games. The equipment could be a way of creating the boundary: when the woman is dominant, they use particular clothes and tools which are put away afterwards.

I do not see the motivation for the games for either, and particularly the thought of dominating. Yet when Miss Dark Waters sent me a picture of her handcuffs, glinting in the sun, dangling from her well-manicured fingers, it fascinated me.

I am submissive. I had a nervous, difficult Quaker meeting, thinking of this, resenting it, and especially my propensity for imprinting on strong women. I thought that ceasing to fight it, coming to know and accept it, I might live better, and I still resented and struggled. By the end, I felt acceptance. This is who I am. It fits with other qualities in me, such as humility, which I find easier to value. At the discussion zoom after a Quaker said she had rarely heard someone’s voice sound so peaceful. I typed an affirmation:

I am Submissive. Nervous. Kind. Appreciative. Vulnerable. Open. All of me is beautiful. I will love and cherish all of me. Sweet. Gentle. Thoughtful. Caring. Analytical. Feeling. These are not in conflict, but so many different beautiful facets.
I love myself.
I love myself.
I love myself.
I am perfect as I am created.
Appreciating the parts I find difficult lets me appreciate my good qualities, for they are part of one whole.

The question was, what is essential to you in spiritual community. I interpreted it as asking my essence. So I read that out, and a man asked me to read it again.

A Friend said, spiritual community requires total acceptance of the person in front of you. People project so much how they think others should be, but we need to meet people where they are. I need to accept myself first: if there are parts in me that I deny, I cannot accept them in others.

Ubuntu

I am because you are. I am still in your presence, and we see and are seen. This is our common consciousness. We meet each other’s full humanity.

I walked from spiritual drought and a busy, hurried and harried life into a sea of silence and stillness. The Light shone through the door on those gathered people and silence was like a balm to my ruffled nerves and soul. The warm embrace of acceptance, just as I was, was moving and magnetic. I made a decision to stay and search deeper. Who were these people? They shared their space, their tea, their lives and their God – that calls us to be one in the same body. They broke bread with me as never before. I stayed! I was accepted, affirmed, and that enabled me to accept that there was that of God in me, despite what I had been led to believe. ‘Umuntu ugumuntu ngabantu’ – a person is human through the humanity of others. I found my humanity and humanness through those Friends who saw that of God in me and affi rmed that.

Duduzile Mtshazo.

Being accepted by others, I can be my full self, and then accept others and enable them to be themselves. Difference is not threat, but richness and joy.

The human being is powerful. They perceive instantaneously. The free human, knowing and respecting themself, is able to see and respect others. Then we are connected, in humanity, love, creative and spiritual power.

The Zulu greeting Sawubona means “I see you” and also communicates “I value you”. The response “Shiboka” means “I exist for you”. Seeing the person, I give them my full attention. I listen without prejudice.

I see you as a person. I recognise you as a person, not as some agglomeration of roles and characteristics, a white or black person, a plumber or a doctor, but a whole human being, alive and self-aware.

What if the other person is destructive and damaging? No person is born evil. Some are doing what they feel they need to, to survive. Some are loyal to a subset of humanity rather than to the whole human race, or the biosphere, and so are acting in what they see as the interests of that subset, and harming others. Or am I reacting badly to them, because of something I reject in myself?

I affirm the person and not every one of their actions. Or I have to accept some unknowing, some discomfort with what I see until I can come to acceptance.

Mostly from Living Adventurously, the Faith and Practice of Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting.

Barack Obama summarised it, we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us. We can only grow through the growth of others. Nelson Mandela acted not in vengeance or retaliation, but in peace. What you do well affects the whole world.

Reading this made me think of Martin Buber, I-thou relationship. We relate with our whole beings to the whole being of the other. I respect the reality of the other. Alan Watts said “Life and Reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you accord them to all others”. Buber wrote, “Every it is bounded by others; it exists only through being bounded by others. But when Thou is spoken, there is no thing. Thou has no bounds.” There is only the relationship.

Ursula Le Guin says, “In most cases of people actually talking to one another, human communication cannot be reduced to information. The message not only involves, it is, a relationship between speaker and hearer. The medium in which the message is embedded is immensely complex, infinitely more than a code: it is a language, a function of a society, a culture, in which the language, the speaker, and the hearer are all embedded.”

Let there be no barrier between us!
As your words move in my mind
We become one flesh, like lovers
Though we only pass in the street.

All these ways of relating would recognise our transness, our gender, our unique way of being, not forcing us into a gendered box but allowing us to be ourselves.