I've noticed a lot of questions in FetLife recently (and almost always) about how to maintain the mindset in a 24/7 relationship. I've not responded to these there because I've created this article as my reply. The advice that the people have received may or may not help them. My thoughts on the subject are different. It may not be what you think so read it through and create your own opinions. Knee-jerk reactions aside you may come to see what I see.
The submissive or slave mindset often sought after by novice submissives or those changing the form of their dynamic to 24/7 relationships, doesn't exist. It is a myth. Don't get me wrong you can feel more submissive of slave-y in moments of focus but the reality of it is that being submissive or slave is a personality trait that you either have or bring out to the surface over time. It's not a behavior or mental change that constantly requires babysitting and nurturing to make it work.
I've explained it in an article on the blog about how to see your submissive life as part of your vanilla life. For example, if you are a parent, you don't stop being a parent while going about your day even though you may not be currently with your child. You go to work and do your job, you are still a parent. You have dinner with friends, you are still a parent. It's just not the active role at the time. You can be submissive and a parent too. This active/passive role of submission is one that can go into 24/7 relationships easier than those that use submission as an activity in their lives.
Allow me to clarify this. There are many ways to submit. I've emphasized that throughout my writing on Submissive Guide. Not everyone can do 24/7 D/s (M/s). For many people, submission is a behavior or an action that has to come out to the surface at the right time for play, submission or service to happen. The part-time submissives, the novices that are still discovering the depths of their submission, the submissives that let "real life" break their concentration (more on this later) all have valid ways to submit, but as they currently are, can not be 24/7. It's not in them at the time. It can change and develop though! You all can be 24/7 D/s if you wish it. It's work and lots of it.
What does it mean then, when people say you must have the right mindset to be a 24/7 submissive?
In simple terms, it means you have to be a submissive not be submissive. It's a subtle difference, do you see it? In other words, you would say, "I am Dom's submissive" vs "I am submissive to Dom". You can learn to make the shift if that's something you want.
Why do submissives struggle with 24/7?
It's not easy, at all. It's work, it's different from what you are used to and change takes time. But the most common response that comes up when someone says they are struggling with 24/7 is that "life gets in the way". Somehow, their submissive life isn't a part of the rest of their life. That's the problem. Just as my example above about being a parent, you can be submissive at the same time as being a co-worker, boss, friend, and parent. It doesn't make visible changes to the people around you - but it does require you to make submission a part of your daily life.
Change Your Perceptions
Being submissive is not just what you do behind bedroom (dungeon) doors. Most lifestyle Dominants also expect behaviors outside the bedroom that show, at least to them, that you are their submissive and complying with the rules. So, do yourself a favor and think like they do. Everything you do in your relationship is submissive in nature. From paying the bills, taking the kids to soccer practice and cleaning the toilet. These things are normally not on the hot and sexy submissive duties list, but they still can remind you that you do these things in submission to your Dominant.
Use what You Know
Even as a novice to 24/7 Dynamics you will likely have some relationship and living as an adult experience to go by. Do you remember how you felt when you moved out of your parents home to be on your own for the first time? You felt uncertain about things like how to do simple household maintenance, or balancing a schedule and managing your finances. You made mistakes along the way but I'm sure you learned how to do these things. Being a 24/7 submissive is the same way. You practice, you make mistakes and you learn from them. Submission becomes a part of you - not some outside role that you adopt when the moment is just right. And that's the key. You won't have to wear a "mindset" after a while because it's just you. It's who you are. It is your everyday.
- Are you a 24/7 submissive? How hard was it to adapt to that role?
- Do you agree with lunaKM? Is the 24/7 mindset a myth?
- What advice would you add to this article?