Thursday, December 6, 2012
Slave or Submissive?
I will kneel before Katie and pledge both my love and obedience to her when she and I marry. In anticipation of this significant life changing event I have been thinking about Miss Kathy's husband who sometimes comments on posts. He always signs it 'slave john'. It's that word - slave. I don't know about that word. It sounds so ominous but still I wondered, "If I make a promise to obey, to follow, to submit to her as the head of our home and promise to let her lead, then do I then become a slave as opposed to a sub?" I mean, this is different than making a commitment that is not tied to marriage. This is my marriage vow. This is the promise of promises. This promise will include both an expression of my love as well as an expression of my decision to submit to her authority. I will make a promise to obey her, and then listen to her promises which I assume will be, in part, an acceptance of my decision to let her lead as well as statements informing me of her promise to lead, to take control of our relationship in all of is aspects and to love me as her submissive husband.
If I do all of that, if she does all that, then haven't I entered into a binding contract that has no 'out' in it? Isn't that a decision to become a slave? I really don't know but it sure makes me wonder. I happened upon this quote the other day too. I couldn't believe it as I have been thinking about slavery and submission when I saw this. "A slave is someone who makes an agreement to do what they are told without question or argument. You don't need to be a submissive to accomplish this, you just need to be able to make and uphold the agreement of being a slave. A slave has no choice while a submissive does." Contrasted with that statement was this one. "A submissive is someone who by their nature yields to someone of stronger will. Being submissive is more of a personality trait, whereas being a slave is a choice. Not all submissives make good slaves. Some submissives are not willing or able to make the agreements needed to be a true slave, or they are not willing to uphold those agreements once made."
So I wonder, are these statements accurate? I am making a choice - a very conscious one. I am agreeing to follow her, even if my own choice in a particular situation would have been different. I do believe she will always want to hear my perspective so does that mean I am not her slave? Joseph in the Old Testament was sold into slavery yet held a high position in the home of his Master. He had freedoms within the boundaries that his Master insisted upon. Yet he was a slave. I too will have many freedoms, but also expectations and obligations that are non-negotiable. Does that make me a slave?
I'm struggling with the semantics of these two terms. Katie tells me she does 'own me'. That makes me think 'slave'. But I believe it is my personality to yield to women and defer to them and that sounds like a submissive trait. Katie also changes the rules at times. She's not rigid with me about when I do certain chores like vacuuming, or getting items on her to-do list done. Does that freedom tend to make one think that she views me as her submissive rather than a slave? I know for certain that she .doesn't like thinking of me as a slave. It removes one's freedom to choose and I know she loves the fact that I am choosing to put her first. I love consciously making the choice to give up power and defer to her. I enjoy doing things for her just because I know she loves it – even when those ‘things’ are expectations she has of me. Isn't that desire to serve a submissive trait rather than a slave trait? But then there is slave john. I know he loves Kathy. I am pretty sure that Kathy gives him freedoms like going golfing with friends and enjoying a good football game and that they have an open honest relationship. That sounds like Katie and me. But John is a slave. I'm not getting this or is it that John has used the wrong terminology of him self when he refers to himself as a slave? (Follow up note: Just the other day I read this phrase in Kathy's blog: "In the house there are rules by which John lives by. The rules have the affect of maintaining a mistress slave type relationship in our family home." Kathy views her relationship as a Mistress slave one even though she dearly loves her husband.) Maybe John isn't misusing the term slave after all.
Maybe this is all semantics and doesn’t matter a bit but I am confused. After writing all that and thinking some more, I'd probably call myself a slave but I don't want to think of me as that. But the fact that I have these obligations; the fact that I have no power; the fact that I am committing to obey and serve - well it sure makes me think of the word 'slave' moreso than 'submissive'. I know I have submissive qualities but am I more than that? I'd love some insight and perspective. What do you think of all this? Can you describe the differences clearly and succinctly? I'd love to hear your thoughts.