I just read a synapse-stretching post by Matisse. In it, she answers a reader’s letter. Usually I very much dislike it when she does this, because her general attitude is a riff on one or more of the following: *sigh*-*you dimwit*-*I don’t know and I don’t care*-*how can you not know*-*how can you not know that I don’t care*-*sigh*. But since my own overwhelming response to the internet lately has been profound irritation, and since in this case, her bafflement seems quite justified, I repost her comment here.

Her reader asked her to explain his kink to him. Trouble is, his kink seemed to be to get nothing from friendships with women to whom he was attracted but who were not at all interested in him. I can identify. For years I went through long patches of platonic “relationships” in which I imagined myself in love and went to great lengths for the other person, and my other half mostly ignored me and my needs. It takes a lot of hard work and far more talking than I would ever have expected to do in any relationship, but Robbie meets my needs. MINE.

And I do try to meet his . . . though there is always more to do, I know.

Here’s Matisse:

You’re only 25, so nip this in the bud now and learn how to have real relationships, because whether you’re vanilla or kinky or somewhere in between, being attracted to unavailability is a recipe for frustration and unhappiness.

There are many different motivations to be a submissive, and I’m not one to say “Your motives are valid – but you over there, yours are not.” But I think a spell of good talk therapy would teach you a lot about yourself that you need to know, and then you can make a better decision about whether you really want to be controlled by another person.

There are many different motivations for being submissive. Exorcising and reveling in “bad” feelings that we shouldn’t enjoy–degradation, humiliation, pain–these all are routes to an emotional and erotic thrill that comes from (almost) being harmed. They can be cathartic, allowing those strong feelings, and the reactions to them, to take place in a safe and loving place.

But too often I read things written by women who sound like emotional masochists. As if they feel lucky that the Doms they are with grace them with their presence, their sexuality, the right to share them with other women, the right to be *nothing* to them. Literally nothing. I want to scream and hit the screen when I read this. That kind of weakness, that kind of submission, does not impress me, and I want to deny that I am submissive at all. Of course, that’s not the right reaction either. I read a wonderful thing Bitchy Jones wrote the other day about truly owning your own desires. (Well, actually it was about cock, but part of it was about desire, too.):

. . . understanding and acting on your desires can never be weak. And saying that it does doesn’t actually have anything to do with real feminism. Or any kind of equality. Having desire and acting on it is strength. Knowing your desires is to know yourself, is strength, fulfilling your desires is to acknowledge your strength.

It may well be–and must be, given the way the world works–that there are equal numbers of male submissives who lack this confidence. And I dare say that there are Doms out there (I know one or two) who have their own insecurities, their own soft spots and vulnerable places, the missing scales in their dragon-armor.

I’m not thinking of anyone or specifically when I say this. I’ve been glad to watch over the past two years and see internet and real life acquaintances grow, see Robbie and I get more comfortable and confident with each other and our own desires. But I am glad to read people say repetitively and outright what Robbie used to tell me often at the start of our relationship: “Unrequited love’s a bore.” Amen to that, baby.

Moderately assertive pics from le Chagrin and Darker Sights and Sounds, respectively.