It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader by all the book reviews that I’ve done for the site. A few months ago, I picked up a copy of Dark Secret Love by Alison Tyler. If you’ve not heard of it, think of it as a modern-day Story of O. Even though this is a piece of fiction, sometimes it’s easy to forget that it is a piece of fiction because it comes across more as a memoir. While I was reading, there was a quote that caught my attention and really stuck with me. It takes place during a conversation with Samantha, the protagonist, and Jack, the older man gets what Samantha needs.

“Stop beating yourself up about what you like”, he said, and his hands came down and gripped my wrists and then lifted them, holding them over my head, stretching me. “It’s the way you are, the way you’re wired. You need to accept that. If you’re going to let me take care of you, give you what you want, you have to get over the rest. Can you do that?”

The reason this stuck out to me so much is that it instantly reminded me of how I felt when I started out discovering and learning about my submission. Despite that I knew being a slave, being owned, is what I wanted, and what I knew I needed, I still had this huge internal struggle over it. I kept telling myself I shouldn’t be like this. I shouldn’t want those things. I shouldn’t want to kneel at the feet of a master, I shouldn’t want to be spanked until I’m black and blue, I shouldn’t want to be dragged around by my hair. That there was something so wrong and so dirty about wanting these things.

Even though I knew I wasn’t the only person out there wanting these things, it still felt wrong. It wasn’t ‘normal’. I had some major hangups about the messages I was getting from society and how what I really wanted differed so much from what I had been taught that I was supposed to want from my relationships and the role I was to play in those relationships. I was so scared because I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know how many countless journal pages I used writing about this, wondering if I could ever come to terms with what it is I wanted to do.

I also found myself struggling with this was when I was around vanilla people, especially my girlfriends. We would all get together for dinner and there was always discussions about the significant others. When I say discussions, I mean bitch sessions about anything and everything that their partners were doing wrong and how things should be handled. Not only that, but some of the dramatics they would pull to get what they wanted and how they would go about giving tips and tricks how to snag the guy they wanted, well...needless to say, their Cosmo like suggestions weren’t exactly of much help to me nor could I say I agreed with them. When I would be in a relationship, I couldn’t really talk to them about it because they didn’t understand the dynamic and some of the rules I had, they considered to be extreme and borderline abusive. That’s when the pamphlets about domestic abuse and information on how to get help would magically appear in my car or purse. I know they meant well with their actions, but it still hurt and would make me again question why I needed to be in a power exchange relationship and even thinking I would be better off in a vanilla relationship.

So, I gave a vanilla relationship a try. It was weird. I wasn’t very happy, especially since I was more dominant than the boyfriend and that was really, really uncharted territory for me. I felt myself starting to feel like I was suffocating in a way. I stuck it out because it was something to do and somebody to be with and plus everyone seemed happy that I was in a ‘normal’ relationship. But then I realized something. I could spend the rest of my life in this ‘normal’ relationship and make everyone else happy or, I could end it and get involved in the lifestyle again and find a partner that would make ME happy.

That’s exactly what I did and I don’t regret it. There’s nothing wrong with what I like. I’m in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in. I’m happy and in love. I don’t have to hide or keep secrets. But, I do still struggle with this. I probably will until the day I die. When I find myself getting into this train of thought, I stop myself and ask myself a question: Why am I beating myself up for being happy?

Another thing that helps me when I get feeling this way is having the support of a community. While Daddy and I haven’t gotten involved with the local community yet, I still have an amazing bunch of people online who are there for me when I need a shoulder to lean on. They help remind me that there are others who want the same thing. This is another reason having community helps-it can put things into perspective.

Next time you find yourself questioning what you’re doing, wondering why you’re wired the way you are, remember you’re not alone and there’s nothing wrong with questioning, but just make sure you don’t spend all your time questioning and not living.