Tom’s got another meaty one. (Perverts. Post. He’s got a meaty post.)
I’m going to start by highlighting the bit I especially loved.
[B]eing locked up does not make me feel less manly, less assertive, less randy, or less anything. It makes me feel … more.
Way. In my experience, denial is like turning the saturation way up on a TV. When it’s really humming, it makes all my senses crackle. It’s a beautiful thing. Regular readers will know that I don’t always feel this way and sometimes being denied does result in me feeling less, but I think that’s more a result of Belle and I still getting a hang of all the buttons and switches (overlaid with the normal ebbs and flows of the human psyche) than it is the fault of the denial.
And who in fuck’s name would want to feel less? Can that even be a thing? Getting off on feeling less? Anyway…
Tom goes on to say:
Personally, I’ve been reading so much about what people consider to be “submission” and “submissiveness” that I have decided to disassociate myself from the term altogether; virtually nothing of what I’ve been reading seems to apply to me, so instead of trying to defend my own submissiveness, or more correctly, those certain feelings that I get that I used to associate with submissiveness, I’m just going to move on to some other scale and call it something else. Or maybe I won’t call it anything; I’ll just feel them and describe what I can.
This really speaks to me, too. I mean, that’s kind of what this was all about, right?
The way my brain figures out new things is by looking at similar things to understand how they’re supposed to work. I suppose everyone does this to some extent, but I do it a lot. Pretty much to a fault. Sometimes, this is a really good strategy (like when learning language or how a logical system operates), but in the case of human sexuality, this is a really lame way to go about it. Coming to all this submissiveness stuff late in life, I did my usual thing and looked for analogs of what I thought I was. Tom was one of those as were a number of other bloggers (along, even, with some porn which, of course, is a Really Bad Idea™). Bottom line is I kept comparing myself to a bunch of “ideals” and coming up short. There are a few I feel I’m more like than others, but none of them fit. Obviously, this is because human sexuality is infinitely variable. It’s not an operating system or a machine (even though I used that metaphor above). It’s a messy tangle of crossed wires and gooey dark corners that’s always bubbling and morphing and slithering along in unexpected directions.
Long way around to say the obvious: labeling a human’s sexual quirks can be damaging. If Tom wants to shed his submissive cloak, more power to him. I think there are more ways for otherwise “submissive” men to be different than there are for them to be the same. Case in point is our views on service, but I’ll get to that later. First…
It’s amusing to see that the selling points for male chastity devices tend to focus on either making your man more “romantic”, or on making him do more household chores. … But is this actually true, or is it a stereotype that plays on the idea that sex is something that men want, and women parcel out according to whim?
I have tried to run away from this stereotype and in doing so have beat myself up (only figuratively, alas) for not Doing It Right, but the thing is, yeah, being locked up and denied does tend to make me a better mate to Belle. I’m much more attentive to her, much more in tune with what she needs, and much more willing to sacrifice what I want in order to give her what she wants.
But for us, the device is only a catalyst. What it represents is a level of commitment on Belle’s part to our relationship that, frankly, I didn’t feel for years (and she didn’t feel it back from me, either). Now, because she locks up the cock, because she denies me orgasm, because she takes advantage of my desire to serve her, I am fully engaged with her and our relationship like I haven’t been for about a decade. Likewise, she sees a commitment from me though my dealing with the device, giving her the cock to control, and trying my hardest to be of service to her. Did the device do that? Or did I? I think it was both of us.
Too many people think chastity devices are like magical talismans that are good for whatever ails you. Like any tool, it’s how you use it that counts. Just because there’s a thing involved, people incorrectly assign the improvements in their relationship to the device when in fact they should be taking the credit themselves. Successfully integrating chastity is hard work that, when done correctly, bears a lot of fruit. But it’s the fact that they’re doing the work that makes it work, not whatever thing they’ve chosen to play with.
Never not once has any woodworker said, “Gee, that hammer really made a great bookcase!”
The last bit of Tom’s post I want to flog is the part about service. Or, more specifically, how the concept of being a service sub just isn’t lighting any fires over at the Allen Ranch. I tried to find that one salient blurb that fully captured his sentiment, but really, it’s the entire last four paragraphs of his post. If you haven’t already, go read it.
He does a pretty good job of knocking the whole service concept about the head and face, and I think that we probably have a fair bit of common ground around this, but I also think he’s missing some of the point.
I know (or, at least, I read) that some people actually get a sexual charge from performing service. I do not. He talks about how he doesn’t “drip with sexual excitement” when he brings Mrs. Edge a cup of coffee, and while I get Belle coffee all the time, it’s never caused me to drip anything (other than the occasional bit I’ve spilled). It isn’t the act of doing what she says that gets me off. In fact, it’s often a bit of a downer. I’d rather be updating my portfolio or playing on the PS3 or whatever. But, in a way I admit to not being fully able to put into coherent words yet, I love being her tool. I think of myself as her live-in manservant. Whatever she tells me to do, I will do, whether I want to or not, because that’s my position. I live to serve her. Even when I don’t want to, I want her to make me.
People have left comments here before about this and how it’s not really service and that all I’m doing is being a responsible partner in the marriage, yadda yadda. First of all, I think they’re underestimating the amount of work I do for her. I do 98% of all the laundry in our house of four people. I cook most of the meals. I make the beds, etc., etc. As Belle has said, she doesn’t really need to do much of anything around the house anymore. She will do things, but only because she wants to, not because she has to. Also, they miss what can’t be seen on the outside. It’s my intention to serve her. When I do it, I may not be enjoying the actual work, but I get a warmnfuzzy feeling inside. When she tells me I’m doing a good job, I similarly feel a warm flush. This isn’t necessarily sexual (though the context of when she says it makes a difference).
Here’s an example. As I said in my previous post (which, by the way, I’m really not that happy with – they can’t all be winners), Belle offered to let me out of the device so I could enjoy the cock being played with, but only if I got all the laundry done on Saturday. That was a lot of laundry. It took hours. But, when we were in bed and she had unlocked me and she was petting the cock and telling me what a good job I had done and how I had earned the time out…Jesus! I was over-the-moon kind of happy. Maybe one of the most satisfying few moments of our entire D/s adventure thus far. I felt totally beholden to her. I felt so happy that she appreciated my work. I felt totally and completely under her control. It was awesome.
Unlike Tom writing in general about service and not getting in the slightest turned on by it, my writing the previous paragraph has left me with a seriously full tube. So he doesn’t work that way. Whatever. Does that mean he’s not a “real” submissive? Fuck if I know. Honestly, who cares? I feel kind of the same way about the sissified guys out there who want to be put in panties and frilly little dresses as he does about service. Does that mean I’m not submissive? Or they’re not? Or they are, but too much?
As long as, at the end of the day, we’re all healthy and happy, then we’re Doing It Right. Call it whatever you want.
P.S. I apologize for the lame post title, but after all that, I couldn’t come up with anything pithy. It happens to all guys sooner or later…or so I’m told.