We've all seen them on other people's blogs. You may have even done them as a way to prompt yourself with something to write. They are fun. They are memes. Memes are the quizzes, questions, and games that seem to spread like a virus all over the blogging scene from time to time. This year I have seen a number of "30 Days" style memes where every day for 30 days you answer a specific question. Like this one for example:
30 Days of Submission
1) Does your submission – either what you practice or what you strive for – have a label? Do you view your submission as Taken in Hand, domestic discipline, top/bottom, dominant/submissive, master/slave, owner/pet, or some other description or combination? If you do not use a label, why?
2) Describe who you might submit to and how. Are you exclusively submissive in marriage or just in the bedroom? Are you submissive only in the context of a scene or in a role or throughout your daily life? Are you submissive to play partners or only in the context of a relationship?
3) How do you know you are submissive or have the potential to be submissive? How do you feel when you express your submission?
4) Do you switch into a dominant role at any time? If you are in a domestic discipline relationship, are there things that you maintain control over? Are you a “switch” in BDSM terms? If not, have you ever thought about it or given thought to why it’s not for you?
5) Have you been or are you in a dominant/submissive dynamic relationship or is this new to you? Have you been in more than one D/s relationship? How were they the same? How were they different? What is unique about your relationships in your mind?
6) What do you feel are the roots of your submission? Do you think it has something to do with childhood? Is it a relationship management tool as in the practice of domestic discipline? Is it a sexual thrill or something else?
7) Do you accept and/or expect discipline or punishments as a part of your submission? How do you feel about it?
8.) Is spanking or corporal punishment a part of your submission? Why or why not?
9) Do you accept and/or expect structure, rules and limits as a part of your submission? How do you feel about them?
10) Does any element of BDSM occur as a part of your submissive relationships? How do you feel about BDSM? Is it core to your submission, peripheral or non-existent (other than the submission part)?
11) Do you include service as a part of your expectations of your submission? How do you define service? What does it mean to you? If not, what is it about the concept of service that is not for you?
12) Do you include financial submission within the definition of your own submission and if yes, how does it manifest itself? If no, is there a particular reason why? Are you familiar with the concepts of financial submission? Do you have an opinion about financial submission in general?
13) Is sexual availability, being available to your partner any time he or she wants, part of your submission? Why or why not? Are there limits to this?
14) Does religion have any bearing on your decision to submit? If not, are you familiar with religious based submission and do you view it as similar to other types of submission or dissimilar?
15) Has your submission evolved over time? If so, how has it evolved for you and if not (or if you are just starting out) how might you see or imagine it evolving in the future?
16) Have you found your submission has changed with different partners/relationships? If you’re involved with partners of both sexes, does your submission relate or change based on gender or does it depend on the person?
17) What does trust mean to you in the context of submission?
18) Very often the stereotype of submission is that the submissive person loses the ability to have an opinion. While that clearly isn’t true except in the absolute rarest of occasions, how does communication factor into your submission and how do you communicate your desires and needs?
19) How socially connected is your submission? Do you look for others to talk to about your submission for support or networking? Do you go to events or connect through another sort of social grouping either in person or online?
20) Has your submission increased or decreased over time? Have you ever had to renegotiate your submission due to a change in your feelings or circumstance?
21) Is there a physical position that makes you feel most submissive?
22) Can you feel submissive without a dominant partner? If so, how does your submission express itself? If not, how do you handle your submission or submissive feelings?
23) Is there anything about submission (yours or what you see in others) that you question, dislike or repels you? Was there a time you questioned or were resistant to your own submissive feelings?
24) What are the emotions that most directly let you access submission? What feelings do they inspire?
25) Are there items, objects or rituals that represent or help you express submission? If not, have you ever thought of adding or being gifted one? Is there a special significance to these objects or rituals?
26) What are the qualities you seek in a dominant partner and why? Are some qualities deal-breakers as in “must” haves or “must not” have?
27) Do you have submissive desires or fantasies that you have yet to be able to explore? Do some of your desires confuse or frighten you? Do they excite you?
28) Has your submission ever let you down? Have you ever been criticized for your submission? Have you ever regretted being or feeling submissive in a moment or in a relationship? Have you ever looked back and realized you made a mistake and how did you handle your submission going forward from that.
29) Is pain or humiliation (spankings for example) a part of your submission? What is your relationship to it? Do you embrace it as a part of your submission, tolerate it as necessary or have some other type of relationship with it?
30) Is your need to submit being met? If not, or if your situation changed, do you think that you could continue in your life and still be happy/content if you were never able to express your submission in the way that feels best to you again? What makes submission special to you?
It's quite fun to come up with the answers to these questions and leave it at that, sure. But what if I were to tell you that you could learn a lot more about yourself by asking one simple question after you answer these? Sure it means more work, but the thoughts and understanding that you could gain from playing a game or meme to the fullest could have some personal benefit. And who wouldn't want to expand and grow in submission?
Become a 3-year-old
So you've answered the question as best as you think you can but have you exhausted the topic? In the first method to get more out of the meme, you become the 3-year-old and ask, "Why?" When you've answered that first why ask it again. And again. Really think about how you'd answer. Not knowing is okay too. But don't give up too easily. The task is to try to answer the question for your 3-year-old self. It will keep badgering you with why's until you satisfy them.
Become Your Past Self
You know your past can impact your present and future. Look at the questions as a progression. How did your past self-answer these questions and what are the new answers? How can you explain the changes? Did you think you'd be where you are now? What do you think that means?
Become a Fortune Teller
In many memes, you focus on the here and now. But what if you were to project what might happen in the future? How do you see yourself evolving in the months and years to come? Project your future realistically. If you became your past self then maybe you can see where you might be in the future.
As you can see from these exercises you can learn and explore a lot further than the base question. I'm not saying you have to do this because answering memes are fun in themselves, but if you've wondered how you can take a few steps in the right direction or want to explore something all it takes is an inquisitive mind and a desire to learn something about yourself.
Thoughts to Ponder
- What other ways can you make the most out of memes?
- Do you think memes are reserved only for blog owners? Where else can you use memes?
- Are you going to the meme included in this essay?