Joey W. Hill writes about BDSM. One of my favorite quotes from her is: “If my Master is lost, I’ll find him. I’ll lead him back to himself, because to serve doesn’t always mean to follow.”
The reason I am quoting her now is because recently in several profiles I’ve seen the following quote from Anais Nin “I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot.” Some see this quote as the ultimate meaning of being a submissive.
I would argue that to believe that one can have a successful D/s relationship as a submissive while giving up all responsibility for taking the lead at times is not only flawed but it’s self-destructive to both Domme and sub.
This is what I’ve encountered in SL more than just a few times. When these subs express this to me, then I tell them that what they really want is to be a slave and not have any choice, but they correct me. In fact what they want is for the Domme to do all the work for them.
Contrary to popular myth, a Domme is not some infallible and omnipotent being. A Domme is human and subject to human stresses, pressures, emotions, and needs. Sometimes that seeming rock of a Domme succumbs to the pressures of life, work, relationships, family, or loss, and suddenly does not seem so Domme. A Domme can lose her way every bit as much as can a submissive. Many Dommes, when confronted with overwhelming pressures or loss, will slip into their cave of self-imposed exile and retreat from the world.
They often do not express themselves and the weight that they bear. That is part of what makes them seem so Domme. Yet to the intimate D/s submissive partner, this self-imposed isolation by a Domme can feel like rejection. When the Domme withdraws, the submissive can themselves feel lost.
With that in mind, reading the Joey Hill quote again. “If my Mistress is lost, I’ll find him. I’ll lead him back to herself, because to serve does not always mean to follow.” I would argue that when a Mistress is not feeling so terribly Dominant, when a Domme is not feeling so terribly in control of their world, it is indeed the hour of glory for a submissive to truly shine in her devotion.
Under these circumstances, leading a Mistress back to themselves is not an exercise in brattiness or challenging them to be Domme, or to take action of some sort. No. This is the moment when a submissive can lead her Domme back to hersefl by being the most devoted and submissive self. It is leadership through service. Not badgering or shaming the Domme about poor performance, that only makes matters worse.
The submissive leads her Domme back to her dominance by giving them what they seem to have momentarily lost in life; control. Through loving devotion and service, the submissive gives her Domme what she has lost, and in so doing slowly breathes life back into her own Mistress. This is not leadership in the overt traditional sense of command and control, or even leadership by example. This is leadership through service and devotion.
Ultimately, by leadership through service a submissive leads her Mistress back to being her most authentic self.