The things that test us aren't always outside forces. Sure, our friends, family, and partners will test us from time to time - whether they mean to or not. In my experience, though, the things that test us the most come from within...

Whenever I introduce myself to the kink community, I refer to myself as both a babygirl and a submissive, as if the two parts of myself are mutually exclusive. I was never completely sure why I did that until recently.

My Nature vs. My Personality

Here's the deal. When I try to explain being a babygirl to someone who's new to the concept, it has little to do with BDSM or submission. Sure, I call my Dominant “Daddy” and he is a Daddy Dom by every definition I've found. But I'm not a little – I don't regress in age. I don't identify with a specific age. I don't have specific activities that help me feel little or allow me to express my inner little.

For me, being a babygirl is about being vulnerable. It's my giggly, playful side. It's my tear-filled side. Like most submissives I know (big or little), I wear a pretty tough suit of armor in the vanilla world. I'm sarcastic by nature and a Type A control freak in my professional life. To allow the babygirl side to see the light of day, I have to crack that shell open.

On the other hand, as a submissive, I serve the one person I trust more than anyone. Sure, I'm kinky and love most of what I've tried in the BDSM spectrum, but being submissive is my nature within a committed relationship. It is something that feels as natural as breathing and even when it's tough, is a source of joy and fulfillment.

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When Conflict Happens

Until recently, being a babygirl didn't conflict with being a submissive. In good times, I was a giggly submissive. In stressful times, a pouty, teary one. I never felt a pull between the two parts of who I am.

But the day came, fueled by PMS and hormones, and it shocked the hell out of me. For a moment, I had to decide what mattered more – my babygirl nature or my desire to submit and serve.

I didn't understand it at first. Since discovering BDSM, and especially D/s, I'd never actually questioned my submission. In the beginning, I questioned my sanity a little – any woman who's raised with the idea that feminism means not needing or even wanting a man probably does. Submission felt so right, a missing puzzle piece completing the picture of who I am, that to question it – three years later – was shocking.

It took me a while, but I figured it out.

_The babygirl side wants to be taken care of – pampered, nurtured, coddled. _

My submissive side wants to (and needs to) serve and take care of my Dominant.

See the conflict? I've been in a relationship with Southern Sir since 2013 and had never had to face these feelings.

For the first time, I didn't want to make his coffee, kneel before him, turn down the bed, or submit to what he said. I wanted to sit in his lap, cry on his shoulder, and be told he would take care of everything. I was able to have what I wanted, but I still needed to honor my commitment to our relationship – even though I didn't feel like it in the moment.

A Test of Submission

Have you ever heard the saying that the true test of submission is how you react the first time you're told no to something you want? That's one test, and I haven't met a submissive yet who hasn't faced it. The other test, one that isn't talked about much, is what you do when you don't want to submit at all.

I can admit that the few times I've heard someone say they didn't “feel like” submitting to their Dominant, I was confused. I work hard at not being a Judgy McJudgerson, but the concept was so foreign to me, judgment about their commitment to D/s would creep in before I stopped myself. (No worries, I gave myself a harsh talking to and threatened myself with corner time if I kept it up.)

Now, I get it.

I don't like that feeling. I don't like the pull between two separate parts of my personality. But it reaffirmed something I'd forgotten (for myself).

Submission is a choice. Being a babygirl might be part of my personality. Being a submissive might be something that comes naturally to me. But submitting to the desires of our Dominant is always a choice.

What we do with that choice is up to us.

As for me? I got over my hormonal drama, did my tasks like a good girl, and then was rewarded with extra cuddle time. And I passed a hard test as a submissive.

Tell me...have you ever felt that way? Do you ever have to deal with the push and pull of your submissive nature and other parts of your personality? How do you handle it? Talk to me in the comments below!