This morning, reading through Tumblr, I read a post by someone who was talking about their Dominant ‘punishing’ them by withholding contact. This really upsets me, and I was compelled to rant a little about it.
In my humble opinion, contact should never, ever be used as a bargaining chip. Submission is a journey during which emotions are turbulent and often close to the surface. It is an alchemical process, and the submissive will undergo major change and breakthroughs throughout that journey. being able to express that inner transformation is absolutely vital - both for the submissive to feel valued, and for the dominant to understand what they are working with.
As a submissive, I must know I have a channel to express what I am feeling - whatever I am feeling - and that I will be heard, and that I will have support when I need it. To remove that channel is to leave me suspended, struggling to process something I may have no way of managing alone. And that is remarkably irresponsible of a dominant.
Removing contact and a channel of communication is a sure way to break trust and damage the dynamic. Because from the first time contact is withdrawn, it tells the submissive that they may be alone in this journey, and that encourages them not to speak when they need to speak for fear of losing the thing they value above all else: contact with their dominant.
I see this form of punishment used most often in long distance relationships. I imagine that’s because there’s very little you can do to ‘punish’ when whips and chains are not an option. But distance relationships are where contact is even more important, because communication is your only way of connecting. So why would you want to damage that? Personally, this is the reason I avoid exclusive online D/s relationships. They can be great in the short term, but for long term development and growth they are seriously restrictive.
I don’t believe there’s a right way or wrong way to do D/s. but I do think there are good and bad ways of approaching it. For me, it’s a journey. I do not believe that I, as the submissive, am any less worthy or valuable than my Dom. Equality is not a traditional aspect of D/s, I know, but increasingly over the years this is where I have come to. Within the dynamic my Dom’s Will reigns supreme - he gets what he wants, by force if necessary. But my experiences, my reactions, my feelings are all part of what he wants. He wants *me*, and my submission and his dominance just happen to be the tools we use to strip back the layers until he can get at me. Expression and communication are therefore at the heart of what we do. To express, you need contact. And you need to trust that contact is not going to be suddenly withdrawn because you have done something ‘wrong’.
As a submissive you are not here purely to serve. You are here, on this earth, to grow. Submission, done well, can be a wonderful avenue of growth for you. It will allow you to learn, to overcome challenges and become stronger. It’ll also allow you to get off, which is just downright fun. The role of your dominant is to help you to grow. To guide you, teach you, pick you up when you fall and, you know, have fun with you. They should listen to you, seek to understand you, and then help you understand. Punishment should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. You’re on a journey together. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong, just wrong. And they have nothing to teach you.
Though as a submissive you may take the role of the ‘bottom’, that does not mean that your needs come last. in order to serve well, you must be whole. To be whole, you must be nourished.