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Self-Taught Submission

A Key to Success

Based on a Discussion hosted by jade on IRC's DalNet channel, #D/s _Lighthouse


I was submissive long before I met the man who is now my Master and I spent a lot of time preparing for the day I would meet my One. I was very fortunate to meet people in the lifestyle who were kind enough to take me under their wings for a time and teach me many of the formal manners required in their world. It was a wonderful time for learning about the D/s lifestyle and discovering the meaning of the feelings I'd experienced most of my life.

Once I was on my own I did not have much contact with anyone it the lifestyle, due to reasons of my own. However, this did not stop me from continuing in a self-discovery of my submissive nature. I knew what I wanted in a dominant and was determined not to settle for less than I'd set my heart on, but to achieve this I also realized that I had to have something to offer. I had been very fortunate to have a wonderful role model when I first began to explore the world of submission, and her grace, intelligence and talents were something I admired greatly. I had been encouraged by her to pursue things that would be valued by my Master, once I found Him.


But where should I start? There was now no one to teach me or guide me, and for awhile it seemed as though I had no direction in my search. Eventually, I did a survey of myself and listed my strengths, weaknesses and talents. When this list was done, I began to look for things on that list that I could work on to improve. Did I have some basic knowledge in something that I could strengthen? Was there a way to improve a skill I already had? Could I develop a natural gift that I'd neglected? Was there something that I felt uncomfortable about because I didn't have enough information? Those are the questions I asked myself many times.

Once I'd finished this list I felt challenged. I had direction and some goals and I was eager to tackle them. Although no two of us have the same talents and skills, we all have our own unique gifts and we can learn to develop them even though we may not have a dominant to guide us. Thankfully, we live in a time when information is readily available from dozens of sources: Adult education classes at the local high school, evening classes at the local community college, the library, videos and cassettes, and the Internet. (Yes, Virginia, the Internet can be used for something constructive.) There are any number of ways to do it and all it takes is determination and patience.

Here are but a few of the things you might think about in your quest to be the best submissive you can be. Waiting for that special person who will one day complete you is not easy. Use this time to get ready for the day He/She walks through that door.

Good Manners

One of the things that a submissive can begin to teach herself, while she is still unclaimed or unmentored, is manners. Etiquette and social graces are something that are valued in every walk of life. This lifestyle is no different. When doing a web search for reference material I found that almost every area of man's world has a set of etiquette rules. From sports to social clubs, business to ball room dancing, and opera to the Olympics. Even the Internet has its own "Netiquette" guidelines. Over and over I found the same words....Etiquette and proper manners are a key to success. People have used manners as a yardstick to measure the acceptability of other people for centuries. In business it can mean the difference between success and failure. In sports, studies have proven that proper etiquette can make the difference between winning and losing. It's no different for a submissive in the competitive world of finding the right One to share their gift of submission. So many fall into the trap of becoming SAMmys (smart-assed masochists) or bratty subs. Sisters and brothers, it doesn't work. Only on IRC and scening play parties are such things permitted. In real life it's not acceptable and won't get you any points.

Learning proper manners is not really all that difficult and I know you're wondering how you can apply them to the lifestyle. Take time to learn the general rules of etiquette first. Know how to act in any given situation; how to make formal introductions, which fork to use for the salad, who to serve first at a formal dinner, etc. and then expand them. The D/s lifestyle, in a formal or relaxed setting, has it's own unique rules and expectations but it is also observes the common rules of courtesy and social graces. Observe how the successful submissives conduct themselves and then practice what you've learned. Use these skills in everything you do, from work to socializing and public activities to play time. Train yourself to respond and react in the proper manner in any situation you might find yourself. Being able to put to use what you've learned is a BIG part of what you'll be expected to do when you have a master/mistress.

Physical Grace

Another area where you can make progress in self-teaching is physical grace. There are few things more pleasing than a submissive who knows how to move her/his body with poise and grace. Body language speaks volumes and once you have a master/mistress your every gesture will speak of them. Plodding into a room and plopping down awkwardly will not get you any anywhere, except maybe to a bull riding contest.

There are many ways to increase your physical grace and benefit your body in other ways as well. Flexibility and stamina are going to be needed in many of the typical BDSM activities that we all enjoy, so getting in shape is a bonus. Some of the ways you can accomplish this are: Belly Dancing, Aerobics, Ball Room Dancing, (actually most forms of dance work nicely), and workouts at the local gym. I personally found belly dancing the perfect thing for me. It gave me added grace and flexibility and has been something that my Master has enjoyed a lot. (And yes, there is male belly dancing.) You can often find classes given at your local YMCA/YWCA or community college. There's some helpful information about belly dancing at http://cie-2.uoregon.edu/bdance/ (note: link no longer available)

Working on the positions that are often required of a submissive is a great way to help your physical being as well as your spiritual one. I found doing the positions, practicing them daily, a wonderful way to encourage those submissive feelings that were stirring inside me. The chapter Dominant/submissive Interactions in S/M 101, by Jay Wiseman, deals with many of the positions and manners some dominants use during training and it would be beneficial for you to study them and practice them. Every master/mistress will require something different and will teach you what's pleasing to them, but you can already have a jump-start on it. Learning how to move gracefully from one position, such as from prone to kneel-up, takes practice and it will be appreciated once you are in a D/s relationship.

Here are a few other things that you might want to consider. A very nice skill to develop is the art of massage. It's very much appreciated by most dominants; it builds self confidence, improves grace and teaches many things about physiology. Learning how the human body is constructed and operates is a big benefit to anyone in our lifestyle. Sign Language is another. You not only learn a marketable skill, but how to move your hands and arms more gracefully. Again, many times classes like these are offered at the local community college, YMCA/YWCA or Library.

Communication Skills

When I presented this material for a discussion on an IRC channel I had suggested that creative writing classes were something you might want to consider as a means of self-improvement. One of the participants brought up the fact that any writing class would be beneficial in helping the submissive to learn to more effectively communicate their feelings and emotions. I felt that was worthy of being stressed here. One of the biggest struggles submissive often face is learning to open this part of themselves to their new master/mistress and without good communication skills a D/s relationship cannot survive. Taking a writing class teaches you to reach inside yourself and draw out experiences and thoughts that you might have lost touch with. It builds skills needed to express yourself clearly and articulately. Many dominants require a submissive to keep a journal during their training period and it would be a great help to be comfortable with using the written word. Keep in mind that many submissives are very creative and often learn to write some beautiful literary works.

Talents and Arts

There are so many ways that you can develop or learn to use skills that will be appreciated by your future master/mistress. It can be fun as well as work. Here are a few ideas.

  • Gourmet cooking classes are excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed taking a couple of these myself. Master and I love to cook together and try new foods, so what I've learned has proved very useful.
  • A foreign language class is not only fun but it aids in communication skills and gives you another marketable skill for your resume.
  • Crafts, such as jewelry making or leather work can be a wonderful, creative outlet for you and give you another notch in your belt. Crafters at D/s and BDSM fairs are in great demand. This could open some doors for a profit-making business.
  • Music - if you have any interest or natural gift - is another option. If you once took piano, guitar or flute lessons, pick up where you left off. Use that gift to create and express those beautiful things inside you.
  • Drawing or painting - if you're gifted - are two more ways to expand your worth and perhaps even give you an oportunity to share part of yourself with the world in a visual way. There is a great demand for D/s art in our lifestyle.

Learning anything does more than teach you about that particular subject. It keeps you trainable, teaches you persistance and patience, it builds confidence, it encourages growth and keeps you focused on a goal. Every one of these are things that you'll need to continue your journey into submission. Waiting for the One doesn't have to mean sitting on your butt and sighing constantly. Do something! What have you got to lose? Nothing. There's only something to gain and the least you'll end up with are some things you can use to better your life, either in or out of the D/s realm.

A Submissive Without A Dominant?

Someone once asked me how it was possible to be a submissive in this lifestyle without a dominant. It's simple. I was a woman before I had a man in my life. I was still a functioning member of society. A submissive is the same. You are submissive because of your nature, not because you have a master/mistress. Don't let anyone tell you differently. You can make progress on your own. You can develop traits and skills you'll need until you have someone to belong to. Learn about it...try it out...explore new things....expand your own horizons. Don't sit idly by and wait for a Master or Mistress to do it all for you. They'll have enough work to do helping you become what they want and need. They surely don't need to begin with potty training. Embrace your submission and wear it proudly. Stretch your arms and reach for the stars because the only thing holding you back is YOU.

Copyright©1997 Castle Realm
All rights are reserved by the author.

Suggested reading material can be found in S/M 101 by Jay Wiseman, Greenery Press. This book is available HERE and well worth the price.

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