Wednesday 4 December 2013

submission and masochism

I have just had a new comment from Pet to an earlier post on submission, pain and masochism here. In it she discusses the distinction between submission and masochism.

I will respond directly to her comment soon on Uncle Agony but I wondered in more general terms whether submission was a kind of masochism?

Yes - I know that there is a clear distinction between the desire to submit and the kind of imperative that drives masochists to seek pain. However, might there be a kind of masochism inherent in the desire to submit?


nilla said...

This might be a little bit like splitting hairs to me-- I don't automatically think that someone who submits *isn't* into some form of masochism. I know for me the two are so intrinsically intertwined that I couldn't separate them. Submission *leads* to pain, most times...(and thank goodness for it!)

PS that being said, I'm sure there is some sub out there who submits but isn't defining as a masochist. :) This is not meant as criticism--just thoughts from my side of the slash.

Anonymous said...

It would depend on if the person one is submitting to wants to cause pain to the one submitting. I can't imagine that everyone who likes telling someone what to do would automatically also want to hurt them. They're technically two separate things. But who knows, maybe it escalates into some kind of power trip test, kind of like when we were kids, and boys would dare each other to do scary or icky things to prove their loyalty.

Pygar said...

Thank you nilla and Tiklish.

It is interesting nilla that for you submission and masochism are intrinsically linked. I guess it will be the same in many if not most D/s relationships where play will often have a pain element.

I think though there are those who get off just on being controlled - and yes that can often involve pain but does not necessarily do so. There are others where the fetish aspect can be to do with clothes or bondage.

I think Tiklish that is the point that you are making. That not everyone who is in to controlling or being controlled will need that to be done through pain. I wonder if for some the pain aspect is as you describe it - almost a test of obedience to show how submissive one really is rather than acceptance or enjoyment of pain being an end in itself.

Thank you both for your different perspectives.

P xx

Pygar said...

Last night, soon after writing my last comment, I was laying naked in bed with Inès. Her nipple was between my fingers as I toyed with it gently.

"Do you think submission and masochism are intrinsically linked?" I asked.

She thought for a moment and said, "If you are truly submissive then you have to be prepared to accept some suffering."

I squeezed her nipple between my finger and thumb just a little more tightly...

P xx

oatmeal girl said...

Ah, the old university essay question: Compare and contrast...

I think the key lies in the focus. The purpose. WHY do you obey? WHY do you give yourself to the pain? Is it for the the pleasure you get from the pain? Do you even have a NEED for pain? I think that then you would be a masochist.

But what if your main desire, even your NEED, is to please? You will do what your Dom, your Owner, your Master requires because you NEED the approval, the praise, the reassurance, the "good girl" (or, of course, "good boy") that makes everything worthwhile. What you are told to do could b anything from removing your Dom's shoes to providing lunch to buying an implement that will be used to humiliate you to listening to a song to offering your body to more pain than you think you can bear. It doesn't matter. Knowing that you have pleased is all that matters. Then you are a submissive.

Obviously, it can be much less deep than what I described. The submission can be a pleasurable thing during a scene or it can be the core of your being. (Yes, I admit I'm in the latter category.) No judgment there... It's the obedience as focus, pleasing the other person, that characterizes submission. And certainly you can be both. I do know of an extremely masochistic slave who entered a relationship with an extreme sadist and discovered a need to submit that even surpassed the need for pain.


Pygar said...

What a fantastic response Oatmeal Girl. Thank you.

I think you sum up the response of a submissive very clearly. Her desire is to serve and to please, to give herself up into someone else's control - and if that involves pain then so be it.

I do like too your example of a masochistic slave who discovered a need to submit even greater than her desire for pain.

Thanks again

P xx

Unknown said...

I'd have to disagree. While masochism typically requires some form of submission, submission does not require masochism.

Between my M and I there is both a light and a dark side to our D/s dynamic. The dark side includes pain and humiliation which absolutely feed His Dominant needs for control and sadism and my submissive needs to obey, please, and suffer. However, the light light side of our D/s relationship is more Daddy/girl and there is no suffering. The submission is absolutely and just as deeply still there, but there is masochism within that side of. It is joyful, playful, shy, vulnerable, and extremely tender.

My submission is not painful. It is a emotional, mental, and physical release to be my most primal self. Our sadomasochistic activities are simply a partner at times to our D/s dynamic. After all...not ever Dom is an Sadist.

Pygar said...

Thank you Kat for your really interesting perspective.

On one level I agree with you totally - that submission is distinct from masochism. However in your description of your needs when you talk about the "dark side" of your dynamic you talk of pain, humiliation and suffering feeding your need to obey, please and suffer. So you agree there is a s/m aspect to your dynamic. Yes there is a playful, joyous and tender side to your relationship which you see as being at the heart of your submission. However I wonder if your dynamic would be as powerful without the masochistic, "dark" side. Would your submission be as fulfilling without it?

P xx

Unknown said...

Personally, no it wouldn't I truly need both sides to feel whole. My masochism is a fundamental need within me. However, I have seen many self-identified littles that do not have that craving for pain and suffering.

I very much believe that submission and masochist are tied very closely. However, the question you had posed was if submission was a kind of masochism. That's the part I disagree with. I think masochism is a type of submission, but submitting to my Owner isn't painful. If I submit and then he takes a lovely crop to me then the S&M activity is painful.

I guess I see my submission as that first general overarching act of giving myself over to him. The acts that follow can be fun, painful, humiliating, playful, service oriented, etc.

Pygar said...

Thanks for getting back to me Domina Kat. Fascinating discussion.

P xx