Back in September of last year, I bought Belle Uniquely Rika. Over the course of the past week, Belle’s read most of it. She seemed to resonate with much of it and asked me to read it, too. I’m about half way through now and, I have to say, it’s blown my mind.
Before I go further, I’ll say this is not the post where I actually discuss Rika’s approach. I have questions (as do others), but I’m not done with the book yet so I think trying to get into it now would be premature.
As I sat there in my sudsy warm bathwater (who doesn’t read in the bath? and who knew “bathwater” was one word?) and I read the Rika Way® (which, even though I’m not actually discussing it, does seem to make more than a little sense to me) I was suddenly struck by something very profound. Something I’ve danced around and paid lip-service, but have not really owned up to. Something that has, oddly enough, left me somewhat shaken.
I am submissive.
Seriously, I know. Isn’t that ridiculous? Like, it says that right up there in the blog description. “Submissively inclined.” I’ve known this. But no. It’s different now. I’m not submissively inclined. I am submissive, period. I really can’t describe how finally and fully realizing this seemed like a massive chasm suddenly opened up underneath me. I actually felt a bit of weightlessness in my chest. Both terrifying and exciting.
I have, in the back of my mind, always clung to this idea that I might be a switch. Not that it mattered much since Belle’s unlikely to ever let me top her and she’ll never let me top anyone else, but I clung to it. Like a blanket. Like a thing that made me feel better but was actually totally worthless. Now I know, thanks to Rika and what she wrote and how it finally knocked the final pieces into place, that I’m not ever going to be a switch. I am, in fact, always going to be on the bottom. And that freaks me the fuck out.
First of all, I admit to carrying around a prejudice against submissive males. Submissives in general kinda creep me out. It makes no sense, I know, but that’s what it is. It’s like I’m the white supremacist who just discovered the black grandmother he never knew about or the uber-masculine father of 12 who suddenly figured out he was gay. This is all horrible and all nasty and sad and not anything I’m happy about, but I see now that I’ve never fully embraced my submissive nature because I don’t especially like the archetype as it exists in our culture. In fact, there is no archetype. No role model. Nothing positive to look towards. Just layer after layer of stereotype and ridicule and cultural indifference. And now I know I’m one of them.
Second, I’m very self-centered. Always thinking about myself and how I can get what I want from a situation. Always thinking about my needs and my POV and how I know what’s right and everyone else just hasn’t figured it out yet. You can’t be a self-centered submissive, right? That’s not actually possible, right? Who’s ever heard of that?
Finally, based on the first two points, I’m very afraid of failure. Of not being able to live up to the ideal I’m even now creating in my head of what a good submissive partner needs to be. Not someone playing at submissiveness, but an actual submissive. How can I embrace something that gives me the creeps? How can I square my selfishness against my desire to serve Belle?
I admit I’m freaking out. Overreacting. Not making an abundance of sense. As Belle said several times yesterday, we’re already living 80% of what Rika describes. But that other 20% is a big 20%. What I feel opening inside me is maybe the biggest emotional and relationship challenge I’ve faced. It scares me. The thing I’ve been approaching from the periphery, while always looking in another direction, for over a year now scares me like never before. Understand, I do not doubt. I know what I am because of the wave of warm euphoria that washes over me when I think about it and how Rika’s words ring so true and (frankly) the way it chubs out the contents of the tube (every male’s divining rod). It feels true.
But now what? How do I move forward? And honestly, how much more of a prat could I actually be?