This started as an Edit To Add on my original “D/s Emotional Vulnerability” post, but quickly got long and I decided it needed to be a separate post.
Xiao Yingtai has taken the effort to work her comments on that post into a new blogpost: Submissive Strength: Contradiction or Koan?
Interestingly, while using most of the same text, Yingtai adds a new passage, and I think it’s a key piece of the puzzle that was missing when I wrote my post. She talks about, “making them feel loved.” It’s the element I was groping towards when I wrote about needing, “greater confidence that I am viewed consistently positively by my partner. In effect, in order to be less dependent I have a greater dependence.” But the flipside of that is that I, also, have to give my partner the same confidence in my unconditional positive regard (I love that phrase, from person-centred counselling) and love. That’s true regardless of kink, ‘nilla, Dom, sub or neither; but I think the added loads that D/s can place make the need more accute.
And this is the flipside of Yingtai’s question of, “He’s ignoring me right now, but that’s okay.” This presents a challenge from both sides (because a Dom, particularly a relative novice, can feel just as hurt and/or confused if hir Submissive seems focussed on something else than “serving me!”) but as a Dom faced with a Sub struggling with this question, there is a duty to assure the Sub of the consistent positive view, so they can believe it’s there even absent direct engagement. To create the environment in which that equilibrium can be found.
No one controls my emotions directly: not me, and definitely not anyone else. But the influences on them can be altered, and made less perilous or chaotic.
Love is the lubricant that makes it possible for Dom and Sub to slide into one another.