There is a long, ignominious history of quibbling over terminology on the Internet. In the 90’s there was a year long debate on what to call a female dominant. The consensus ended up with “domme”. I never particularly cared for either “dom” or “domme” but quibbling over the labels entertained some folks for a long time.
My vocal opposition to all this online debate embarrasses me a bit because I have a quibble of my own. In recent months various bloggers in the enforced chastity and FLR communities have been referring to the male partners as “submissives”. Aside from the fact that submissive is an adjective and not a noun, I think it incorrectly characterizes us.
First, the term “sub” and “submissive” are products of the Internet. Before online chat rooms and forums became popular, real life leather organizations referred to “tops” and “bottoms” to define the roles people assumed in a given scene. In the theater of the online mind, these terms were too wishy washy. I won’t delve further in this rant. It’s one of my favorites.
Anyway, in the internet lexicon a “submissive” or “sub” defines a particular type of person who subsumes free will to a “dom”. I suppose that it’s possible to hang that label on guys who allow their keyholders to lock up their penises and control if and when they get orgasms. Many of us also accept control and discipline in other areas of our lives. Submissive? Yes, it applies.
But the more I think about that word and its questionable derivation, I think another word more correctly describes my behavior. That word is “docile”. Merriam Webster defines docile as:
“Easily taught, led, or controlled”
This seems more precise to me. After all, submission is something that can be attained by brutality and mental coercion.You are made to submit. Docile refers to collaboration with the leader. It doesn’t say that there is no need for correction, but that there is no struggle over who is in charge.
The real world meaning of submission has more to do with the sort of overt interplay between members of a society over who is in charge. Submission doesn’t imply agreement, it implies yielding to power.
I’m not submissive by nature. I am learning to be more docile under the firm hand of my lioness. I don’t have to be tied down (though I like it when I am) to accept painful correction. I have been taught to docilely accept edging and then make no attempt to have an orgasm no matter how frustrated I am. That is docile behavior.
I willingly wear a collar. I am naked whenever we are alone. I defer to Mrs.Lion’s choices and do anything she wishes. That is docile. I am fully able to overpower her, use my emergency key to get out of my cage, and get myself off. But I don’t. I won’t.
It’s hard for me to accept the fact that I am docile. I love the fantasy in which I am “forced” to wear the chastity device and punished to bend me to the will of my strict owner. This is a fairly typical male fantasy scenario. I can be a strong lion who just happens to fall into a situation where attempts are made to break me. That’s hot.
The reality is nothing like that. I docilely accept punishment, edging, being put in a diaper and anything else Mrs. Lion wishes to do. The fact that I willingly accept things I don’t like demonstrates that I am, indeed, docile. It would be much easier to accept the “submissive” label since that implies coercion. But it is inaccurate. I may show some resistance, but never enough to stop the proceedings.
Let’s face it, enforced chastity and FLR are consensual power exchanges. I agree to accept Mrs. Lion’s control in any areas she chooses. I agree to help her in any way she wants to control me. Like the word or not, I am a docile lion.