Note: I make no bones about being a part of the leather & kink communities. This post originated over on FetLife, but seemed so useful and valuable, that I’m giving it here, too.
No, I’m not talking about me. I’m talking about relationships in general, and this particular wording has come up a few times lately. You could substitute many things for “submissive” in this context, and it’d for-sure be something someone has said, probably in your own life, at some point or another.
I understand why we say that–and I include myself here, as I have said this more than once in my own meandering five decades of life. The thing or things after “because” are always things we label as “bad”:
- physical health issues
- mental health issues
- life situations–job, living situation, etc
- non-conformant gender identity or sexuality that differs from person we’re saying this to
And maybe, particularly to you, saying it, it is bad. Struggles with neurodiversity, managing pain, living with people you don’t like very much, working a job you do not love–those are hard things, it’s true. This isn’t meant to diminish that in the least.
But they are what they are, and by denying yourself that relationship because of your situation, you’re denying yourself a lot of possible happiness. Here’s another angle:
Every time I’ve heard this sort of thing, the “because” isn’t ever a surprise to me. Ever. “Because I’m autistic.” I know. “Because I have this health issue that limits my play.” I know. “Because I still live with my parents, in my mid-20s.” I know. “Because I’m asexual.” I know. “Because I’m overweight.” I know. “Because I’m transgender.” I know.
By the time a relationship gets to the point that “because” comes up, I already know these things. And they’re not a problem, or I wouldn’t still be here, m’kay?
I get it, I really do. I wonder all the time why the people who love me do so–I’m an old fat one-legged transgender geek with some moderately-scary health issues, and a job that drives me hard and occasionally has me traveling away from home. I’ve got at least as many reasons why you wouldn’t want me in your life as you have for me not wanting you in mine. And those problems have driven off other people in your life, sure–some people just can’t handle certain things. I have my own (very short) list of un-handleable things, and once I find out someone is in that space, I let them down as gently as I can, as kindly as I can.
The most powerful force on earth, the thing that consistently can and does change lives for the better, is love. Platonic love, consensually beating the snot out of someone love, cuddling in the dark and watching movies love, love between two or three or ten or more people of any gender, riding motorcycles at breakneck speed together love, sweaty-bedsheets love, kneeling at your dominant’s feet love, cooking together love…it’s all love, and it’s all good.
Those issues that so overwhelm you may in-part determine what kind of love you need and want and can accept. And that’s okay, too. Let that person know you need help being loved. All those problems can be solved or worked around, by someone who truly cares about you.
…if you’ll give love a chance. You don’t need to understand why they love you, to be lovable…you just are, just as you are, okay?