When an individual enters a relationship, it's quite easy to lose yourself. You start using 'we' instead. "We" liked the movie, "We didn't like the restaurant" and of course, there's all those love songs about two becoming one (I am so sorry if the Spice Girls song 2 Becomes 1 is now stuck in your head). These things tend to be intensified in D/s relationships. It's extremely easy to lose your individuality in your submission and not realizing that it's happened. You may be saying to yourself that nothing bad can come of losing yourself in your submission, but that's so not the truth and why it's important to stay true to who you are.
I was reading “The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen” by Taylor Marsh when I came across a passage that not only caught my eye and stuck with me but made me think about how some s-types tend to be. Marsh is talking about how women have a tendency to lose themselves when they get involved in relationships. As an example, she used the opening from an episode of Sex in the City.
In Season 3, Episode 3: Attack of the Five Foot Ten Woman, Marsh mentions, Charlotte is reading from the New York Times wedding announcements and that every caption starts with “Until recently, the bride…” which implies that once a woman is engaged and eventually married, that everything she was interested in suddenly vanishes. Miranda, another character, starts mocking this and then Samantha chimes in, “Until recently, the bride had a life of her own”.
The reason why I highlighted this passage is that there are times, especially when submissives, referred as s-types throughout this article, are new to the lifestyle or enter a relationship, they tend to forget that there is more to them than just being an s-type. It’s not something that is done on purpose or something that happens overnight. It’s one of those things that happens slowly without the individual realizing what’s going on and then one morning you wake up and wonder what the heck happened.
This isn’t one of those things unique to power exchange relationships. This can and does happen in vanilla relationships, but in my opinion, and in my own personal experience, I feel that the experience of losing yourself in your relationship happens on a much deeper level in power exchange relationships versus your typical vanilla relationship.
It’s really easy to get caught up in a relationship. Two things that I find that contribute to getting lost in a relationship are New Relationship Energy (NRE) and sub frenzy. NRE can be a very powerful drug and one you don’t realize you’re on until it wears off. Pretty much the same can be said for sub frenzy. You’re completely and totally excited to be in an amazing relationship, being able to submit to the perfect dominant, and you want to be the best, the most devoted s-type you can and start thinking that there’s no way you could even breathe without your partner in your life. I would love to say there’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling this way, but there is.
Don't Lose Yourself in the Relationship
Losing yourself in a relationship isn’t something that happens just in new relationships. It happens as well in more established relationships. Sometimes I think there’s this underlying unspoken stereotype that if s-types don’t eat or breathe the exact things their dominant does, then it makes them a bad s-type and I feel that’s a belief that people need to walk away from.
No matter how much you and your dominant are alike, you both have differences in movies, food, hobbies, and everything else. Some s-types feel that if they’re not in love with everything their dominant is, then they’re a bad slave. That’s not true. You have to remember that your dominant wants to be in a relationship with you because of who you are, not because you’re a carbon copy of them. You may think you’re doing yourself a favor changing yourself for you dominant, but you’re really not. In the long run, you will be miserable and they will pick up on this and the relationship will start to unravel and nobody wants that to happen. A lot of s-types think they have to give up who they are as an individual to be a good s-type and that’s so not the case. Something that you need to remember (and thanks to my wonderful friends, I have been reminded several times myself), is that having your head shoved firmly up your owner’s butt isn’t healthy. Also, your owner wants you because of the person they met and fell in love with. Your quirks, your interests, your hobbies, all these things make up who you are and if you give them up and try to become someone completely different, someone you think your partner may like better, in the end, that could cause the relationship to end. You may start to feel resentful for the loss of your independence. I know that may sound a bit of an oxymoron for an s-type, but despite being an s-type, you are still your own person and that’s something that will never change, no matter what type of relationship you are in.
One thing that can possibly lead to losing yourself in your relationship is your own insecurities. We all know what a bitch insecurities can be when we’re on your own, but sometimes, those insecurities tend to get worse when getting involved in a relationship, but something important to remember, and I know full heartedly that this is something easier said than done, but you need to remember that your partner accepts you for who you are, insecurities included.
Set Up Boundaries
Another thing that needs to be done, is setting up boundaries. I know this sounds kind of counterproductive in a power exchange relationship, but something important to remember is first and foremost, you are a human being and being an s-type will not change that in the least. You may think it does, and I have personally thought myself that because I am a slave, that I am immune to being human, but it doesn’t really work like that. You need to make sure that you have the time and freedom you need to be yourself, to express yourself, and to make sure your needs are getting met. Because let’s be honest, your dominant can’t meet all your needs, no matter how much you may want that to be the case, it doesn’t happen. Having boundaries in place doesn’t make you a bad s-type. In my opinion, it makes you a better s-type because you have the time and opportunity to recharge your batteries and come back fresh and focused. If you ever have a partner telling you that a ‘real s-type’ doesn’t need boundaries, then I highly suggest re-thinking the relationship.
Learn to Say No When Needed
Something that goes along with setting boundaries, is being able to say no. I know this is another thing that seems to go against the dynamic in power exchange relationships, but just because you’re a s-type doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to say no. You are not a superhero or an individual with limitless amounts of energy. There are times where you just can’t take on everything your dominant expects and you need to say so. I’ve done it before, and I know it’s not easy saying no to your dominant, I’ve been there done that, but I know for my personal well being, saying no isn’t a bad thing. And like I mentioned above, if your partner wants to give you shit for saying no, time to rethink the relationship.
I know some of the things that I have said in this article may sound like the complete opposite of what happens in power exchange relationships. Having alone time, setting boundaries and saying no when you you need to sounds like it goes against everything you want in a relationship, but it’s really harmful to yourself to allow yourself to be completely consumed by your relationship and losing who you are as a person.
Having Alone Time
I am an introvert, thus meaning I need alone time or I tend to kinda lose my shit. After working all day and making small talk with my coworkers and other people I come in contact with, I need some down time. And that down time includes time without Daddy. I know how horrible that sounds and yes, sometimes I feel bad for needing alone time, but I know it’s for my own good. I need time to recharge and to do my own thing. Yes, I can very much do my own thing around Daddy, but there’s a difference. I can’t quite explain how it’s different, but for me it just is. Being able to have alone time really helps me relax and refocus my energies and find myself feeling not so bogged down anymore. For me, making sure that I have my alone time is part of making sure that my needs get met at as well.
No matter what kind of relationship you are in or what kind of dynamic you have going on within that relationship, it is extremely important that you have your own sense of self and not get completely wrapped up in being a part of a couple. There is so much more to you than just being a s-type and being involved in a relationship.