Are you a strong and independent person who identifies with the “right side of the slash” (as in /submissive or /slave)?  Are you confused by your submissive drive given that you don’t consider yourself to be a submissive person?

When I wrote about empowerment through submission, several people contacted me to learn more about how to balance independence and submission.  This is something I really struggled with in the beginning, so I thought it deserved an article of its own.

I know exactly how you feel.  I once told someone that I don’t have a submissive bone in my body, and shortly afterwards I discovered the truth—I am, in fact, a natural submissive; submission (in all aspects of my life) is a part of me.  Once I accepted the truth, I realized that submission and independence are not mutually exclusive.  If you met me in real life, you probably wouldn’t guess that I’m submissive.

Confused yet?  Welcome to my world!

At the time I made this realization (through the help of the man who eventually became my mentor and my Dom), I was working a very stressful job in the world of the NCAA and college athletics, which is obviously a male dominated world already.  As such, I was used to asserting myself to make sure I was being heard.  I was often the only female in the travel party during team trips.  I had a slew of students whose lives I “managed.”  By “managed” I mean that there were students that I woke up in the morning with a phone call, met for breakfast to ensure they were awake, and walked to class to make sure they arrived.  Yeah.  Managed.  I could tell you how they spent each hour of the day, and I had carte blanche to tell them what they needed to do, and when.  I had Coach’s blessing in all of this.  Sometimes, if the situation warranted it, I could even bench a player.

In short, in my professional life I felt much more like a Domme than a submissive.

However, when my great revelation came about (again, thanks to my beloved former Dom), I realized that while I controlled other people’s lives for a living, there was no desire for me to do this in my personal life.  Could I be a Domme?  Absolutely.  Would I want to be a Domme?  Definitely not.  This was the first step.   The fact is that I craved the ability to give control of certain areas to someone else.

Next, as Sir and I created our list of areas that he could control, it became clear that I had a solid grasp on many areas of my life, though I tended to ignore my own needs in favor of those around me.  So our D/s relationship focused on fun things like orgasm control and what to wear, along with attaining fitness goals and budgeting time for myself and figuring out a work-life balance.  Sir wanted me to continue living my daily life as usual because he lived 2000 miles away and needed me to continue to take charge of things.  It was always nice being able to ask for his input, but it was also nice knowing that I was making him happy by proving that I was self-sufficient, and that he didn’t have to worry about the everyday minutiae.

These days, as a single submissive, I am learning that the downfall to independence in D/s is that it makes it very challenging to attend kinky events in a submissive headspace.  In fact, this is one area that I haven’t been able to work out yet.  I actually cancelled my membership to the local kinky club because I can’t bring myself to attend events as a submissive. (More on this in a future article)  In my fiercely independent mind, going into a room full of Dominants as a single submissive is too challenging for me.  I want to be in control of the situation until I feel comfortable enough to let my submissive side-show.  It might sound incredibly contradictory, but I can’t help it.  (If anyone has any advice on this subject, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section)

The biggest key for submissives who consider themselves independent is that we must be open and honest not only with our Dominants, but with ourselves as well.  If you are seeking someone to dominate your life in a 24/7 total power exchange relationship, you might relinquish your independence .  In my case, Sir wasn’t interested in running my life, but he was very willing to help me figure out the work-life balance piece.  That meant he had the ability to say “stop” and I had no choice but to listen.  This is what I wanted, and it was part of what we agreed to.  While a huge part of submission is being challenged-either by pushing limits, stepping outside of comfort zones, or trying to improve one’s life-submissives must be honest enough to not set themselves up to fail.  If you’re reading this and you’re new to the world of D/s and M/s, and you’re independent but don’t want to follow the rules set forth by your Dominant or Master, then maybe D/s isn’t right for you.  You must have a conversation to establish the rules of your relationship, and while you should definitely review and revise them once or twice a year, once they are set, they are set.  As submissives, our satisfaction and pleasure comes from pleasing our Doms and Masters, not arguing or fighting over the rules with them.  That’s why we set rules and conditions and limits in advance.  (Unless being bratty is part of your relationship dynamic)

So to sum it up, you can most certainly be independent and submissive.  Just be sure that you’re honest about what you want in your submission.  Know the areas that you can’t or won’t be able to cede control over, and then be sure that you’re open and honest with your partner.  Communication is key.  If you’re not sure how to approach the subject, think of it this way: If your Dom doesn’t have to worry about whether you woke up on time or handled your car payment, then he can focus on the things that you both enjoy.  I’d wager that it will be pleasing to him that he can count on you to do things on your own.  If you need to remain in control in the workplace, perhaps your Dom can remind you of your submission by requesting that you attend a big meeting without your panties.  Those kinds of requests can have a huge impact and are great reminders of your submission while you’re in your independent headspace.

Do you consider yourself to be and independent submissive?  How do you balance being independent and submissive?  Share your thoughts with us!