Chasing Me Chasing You

An uncollared submissive struggling through depression, motherhood, and the constant craving of her next orgasm.

Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of Human Domination

Hello everyone. I am Saer Woland, Rye’s dominant and owner.* I am part of that power which forever wills evil and forever works good. It is a pleasure to meet you.

When Rye asked me to do a guest post I was excited by the idea but befuddled as to a topic. Should I try to clarify things she has said about me in the past? Give my history as it pertains to BDSM? Discuss the nature of violence and power?

Seriously, I plotted out posts on all three of those topics…

In the end, I decided that it was important for me to weigh in on the question of labels, why we use them, and what they are good for.

~ ~ ~

Before we begin, however, I just want to make a note about who I am and the title I have chosen for this post. I am, first and foremost, a fundamental nihilist. I do not accept that anything – anywhere – has inherent meaning. Words, actions, objects…these are just fluctuations in the fabric of our universe. It is my opinion that, by recognizing our emotional, instinctual, and learned responses to different stimuli, we disempower those responses and allow ourselves the opportunity to decide how we will feel about different things. For me, this is freeing. I do not feel compelled to have the response to something that I am “supposed” to. I can feel what I want. Honestly, it’s essential to enjoying BDSM in my opinion.

 

Now, one of the potential issues with this is the recognition of the fact that words can have different meanings to different people. Remember that words are just symbols, made of up smaller symbols. If I write “Bed,” you will think of a place where one sleeps, but you will not think of my bed, and you will not think of the innumerable emotions and ideas which my brain attaches to my bed. You WILL think of things that I cannot imagine and which I have no way of understanding, let alone attaching to the thing which I am referencing when I write the word “bed.” This idea – that words cannot communicate meaning – was called différence (“dee – FAY – raance”; not pronounced like “difference”) by Jacques Derrida in a paper called “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” in 1966 and forms the basis for many different schools of literary interpretation to this day. If you’re really into safe and sane self-harm, you can read the full essay HERE.

 

[tl;dr] Nothing means anything which means anything could mean something, but you can’t know what it means to someone else because it’s impossible for them to tell you because communication is restricted to symbols that are imperfect representations of unfathomably complicated ideas.

 

If you don’t understand, you’ve proven my point.

~ ~ ~

A couple of days ago, Rye posted something on the nature of being a “true submissive” as defined in a book on female domination of willing men. In the book, the author describes a method of domination that will allow for the quality of a woman’s life to be substantially improved by the maintenance of a male submissive. The intent of that writing is to provide for a methodology by which a woman can measure the value of a D/s relationship in terms of what she is getting out of the exchange, rather than what the couple is experiencing together. In other words, a “true” submissive is one who foregoes any of their own satisfaction in order to provide maximum benefit to their master.

 

When Rye first read this, she was astounded by the idea. I know because she told me. She had gotten into BDSM after heavily reading texts that reinforced the idea that it is the submissive who has all of the power by setting the limits for the relationship and opening themselves to a dominant to use as desired. This new idea was unsettling for her, but also compelling for reasons that I will address below.

 

To me, I see these two schools of thought this way: In the former example (which I will call “deferential submission”), the dominant can be either active or passive and there is no substantial difference for the sub. The job is always the same, regardless of whether the dominant wants to play or wants to ignore: just make life easier. In the later example (which I will call “playground submission”**), the submissive sets boundaries and opens themselves up, and if the dominant is not fundamentally active, then those boundaries are hard to keep open. The submissive opens themself to certain activities, leaving others “out of bounds.” If a dominant does not come in and actively fill that space, it is very hard to keep the walls where they are. They constrict or falter or collapse in altogether. I have heard this called “submitting into a vacuum.”

 

Before we get any further, I just want to say that it is my opinion that these are both extremes and that most people do – and probably should – fall somewhere in between. Not living on the edge makes it more fun when you get to visit.

 

I think the difference between deferential submissives and playground submissives is not in what makes them happy, but in their motivation. A truly deferential submissive wants to experience a kind of living non-existence. I have read (almost-certainly fictional) accounts of a woman who lives in a cage in a windowless room that she does not leave. She has no hair, not even on her head. She is not allowed to talk. She spends all of her time in heavy chastity bondage. She is given “loaf” to eat and her intestines are cleaned out with a colonic every evening. She pees with a catheter three times a day at regular intervals. She is only ever fucked in the ass and then is required to clean her master with her mouth. The dominant in these recollections is present enough to shave her head and put a hose in her ass, but otherwise ignores her and does not talk to her. Obviously this was not written by the person experiencing this (when would they write?!?) but I do believe it was written by someone who was excited by the idea of experiencing that type of thing.

 

By comparison, a playground submissive wants to experience the things that she is giving up power over. If a submissive says that rope bondage is okay but chain bondage is out of bounds, you can bet that the submissive is really telling you that they want to be tied up with rope. If they don’t get to experience that, what are they getting? It’s a let-down.

 

What you have to understand about me is that I consider myself an “active dominant,” but I am not being very active right now. I am working the hardest job I have ever had and I have two screaming children shattering my brain with wails and demands. Rye knows this, and I know that she does not hold it against me. Lately I’ve just been spread a bit too thin all around and have not been able to give enough to anyone. Including her.

 

So, when Rye read about deferential submission for the first time, I believe she interpreted it this way: “If your dominant is passive, this is how you are supposed to behave to make them happy.” She knew I wasn’t happy, knew that she wasn’t getting what she wanted, and thought that the only way to make me happy was to give up everything she wanted, give up on being a playground submissive, and go full deferential.

 

When she presented the idea to me as “I just want to make your life easier and nothing else,” I’ll admit I thought, “FUCK YEAH!!” without really taking a minute to question the motivation behind her statement. Because of that, I allowed her continue with the idea far longer than I should have.

 

But we kept talking. I told her about my troubles. She told me about her unmet desires. We both said “that sucks,” and we agreed to keep going.

 

We are not going to move toward either fringe. We are just going to do what works for us. As soon as we figure out what that is.

 

Right now is a pretty good time in our lives, all things considered, but there is not a lot of time for the things that are desirable. Instead, we focus on what is important. We are planting the field of our lives, tending to that which is tender to ensure that it grows up healthy. In time – in our own time – we will reap what we have sown.

 

And when we lay the table for our harvest feast, it will be glorious.

I’m going to have the sirloin and sloppy blowjob.

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

*Pronounced “Sáir βɑ́lənd” or “S-air VWooland” See this link if you don’t understand how to say “V” and “W” at the same time.

** I don’t mean to make it sound childish, I just really couldn’t think of a better word. Live with it.

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7 Responses to “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of Human Domination”

  • ancilla ksst

    I really love hearing from the other half. You have a whole different perspective on things, and I really love how you and Rye communicate to make the relationship work for both of you. That is what it is all about, and yeah, sometimes responsibilities get in the way of fun for everyone.

    I have honestly never met anyone who was happy being completely ignored. Even that fictitious sub who imagined living in a windowless room was getting plenty of interaction of the type she fantasized about. Enemas, ass sex, oral sex, confinement, deprivation… all very common fantasies. She is imagining having no responsibilities, she is free to experience her fantasy life at all times. I can see how that would be seductive. And totally impractical for most people.

    • Rye

      I (this is Rye now) think that it’s the totally impractical that it is hard to remember sometimes. People get into this lifestyle and think that to be doing it correctly you have to pick one of those extremes, but few (if anyone) actually lives like that.

  • Midas

    As said earlier, the [true] label applies entirely. For every way two people choose to set their dynamic. Being either extreme or somewhere in between, is [true] for them.

    This blog shows how certain aspects of this lifestyle could be integrated, without any pressure that it should be integrated like that for everyone. There is no must. There is no definition of what this thing we do, must be practised like, for it to be real … it is real in any shape or form.

    That is why i like reading your (both) posts. Thanx for sharing !

  • Simina

    I read the description of bald cage lady and gagged a little. And then I’m like muscle atrophy, and she gets shaved and flushed, but does she bathe? She’s probably going to have a vitamin deficiency due to lack of sunlight. Also, I can imagine her getting sick from the regular consumption of fecal bacteria. Why do people find that stuff hot???

    I do think my job is to make his, life easier, but I’m not altruistic enough for full martyrdom. I have to be getting something in return to be satisfied. I have done the relationship where my needs weren’t given any thought and I was constantly admonished for expressing them. My lack of self esteem was all that kept me in that relationship. If you could call it a relationship.

    Also, everyone needs to learn IPA do I can figure out how to pronounce things. The ess set up there threw me off. However, knowing its, pronounced the German way is immensely helpful.

  • DtBHC

    Firstly, welcome and I hope that you find the time to contribute from time to time. I found your comments to be thought provoking.

    I often find it useful to hear views from both partners in a relationship as it provides a juxtapositional view that helps to provide a better understanding of the dynamic and the rationale behind events and situations. These opportunities are rare and add to the collective,experience that many who frequent these blogs looking for answers or advice.

    I do have to take issue with you in relation to the definition of ‘true submission’ from the text. There is another fundamental component to the approach advocated and that is, at the heart of the dynamic is a fundamental mutually caring relationship from which the intent of the dominant partner operates. With that mutual obligation in place the scenario that you ascribe to this deferential submission wouldn’t occur. I do accept that a deferential orientation leads to a fundamentally unfair outcome, but one that satisfies both partners. The concept of a ‘living non-existence’ is interesting but seems too extreme and probably overstates the degree of submission. Yes it could occur in theory, but in practice the result I find is a more emotionally mature relationship, characterised by service to the dominant partner, but a strong loving and communicative relationship with very limited conflict. For me it creates a safe and comforting environment in which to live and grow and provides for long term happiness of both partners.

    Once again, thanks for sharing. DtBHC.

    • Rye

      (This is Saer Woland)

      Interesting response, but I want to push back on some of your assertions with some clarifications of my own.

      First, I did not mean to imply that a submissive’s service can only be plotted along this one axis. Instead, I have only chosen these two points out of the field of different classifying characteristics because they were pertinent to my interpretation of Rye’s response to part of a book I have not read. I feel confident in saying that there are dynamics where the participants fully occupy all points on this line simultaneously. There are almost certainly other times when the participants are occupying none of the line at all. For these people, this false dichotomy is meaningless. Maybe you are one of those people?

      Second, the description I have provided is one that considers only the relationship between a submissive’s motivations and the actions they pursue in order to address their motivations. If you consider almost any other parameters, my example doesn’t work.

      Finally, I want to reiterate that the two end points on the example I have given are designed to be true extremes, points approaching infinity. If you think you are standing at the extreme end, I guarantee that there is further you can go in any direction.

      If the dichotomy doesn’t work for you, fuck it. It might not even work for me in a week. Philosophies are like farts; it feels good to get one out of your system and into the air, but everyone around you is going to be annoyed. Fortunately, if you wait long enough, it will dissipate into the background and your friends will forgive you.

  • DtBHC

    Agree completely, our realities are fluent and can easily change. I was considering suggesting that these conversations are often best had sitting around a fire with a glass of good scotch or bourbon in hand where ideas can ebb and flow,. This medium is not really suited to this kind of discourse. DtBHC.

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