I’ve talked about ownership and being owned a few times over the years over on Kink & Poly, what it meant to W and what it meant to me, within the context of our relationship. I think I distilled it down to its essence pretty well in “Owning My Sexuality as an Owned Slut,” as my sexuality was where W owned me the most. This is what I said there (originally in response to a thread on Fetlife that asked how you “prove” your sluthood – a stupid question, but one that actually made me think about what not means to call oneself a “slut” if you are owned.)
I consider my sexuality to be “owned” by my BDSM partner. That is one of the tenets of W’s and my relationship. But, I do consider “owning my sexuality,” owning my identity as a sexual woman, with needs and desires of my own, and owning the right to express and have those needs fulfilled, a principal of being a “slut” in the best definition of the word as expressed in the anti-slut-shaming movement. If being a sexually adventurous, active and proactive woman makes me a “slut,” then I wear that title proudly.
So how does that jive with being “owned” sexually by another? Does it/can it?
I contend that it does.
I love the idea of “owning my sexuality,” and I think, when I started exploring the BDSM lifestyle, that really was at the heart of it. Taking responsibility for my own sexual pleasure, accepting who I am, what turns me on, what I need to be fulfilled sexually. In seeking out the BDSM lifestyle I truly found–and owned–my sexual self. But in doing that, an interesting thing happened…
I discovered that at the core of my sexuality is a need for submission, to feel someone else’s control, and that to feel fulfilled sexually, to be turned on, I had to turn over the “ownership” of my sex to someone else. Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But it works for me, and when I was finally able to acknowledge and accept that, I started on the road to true sexual fulfillment.
Part of giving someone else that control is allowing him to dictate how my sexuality will be expressed. I love sex, and am a highly sexual woman. And, in fact, I can be pretty slutty (in my own understanding of the definition of the word: being promiscuous-and even indiscriminate-sexually.) But I also have a lot of inner blocks to behaving that way, a lot of conflict about what it means to me as a “good” person to behave that way, and end up with a lot of guilt about being sexually promiscuous and in enjoying those encounters. Being forced by the dynamic of my relationship to do so, because he desires it, because it turns him on, allows me to abdicate that responsibility in a way; and also reinforces that I’m still an “okay person” if I behave that way, because this person that I love and trust and respect–still loves and respects me, maybe even more so, after I have done so.
So how do I “prove” I am a slut? By behaving exactly as he wants me to, when he wants me to. By doing those things that turn him on, even if those things make me uncomfortable, whether that is flirting with someone(s), exposing myself in some way, allowing him to expose me in pictures, dressing provocatively, going out on dates with strange men, giving a blowjob to someone simply because he tells me to, or fucking men that I know and that I don’t. What he expects of me is different depending upon the situation, but I endeavor to prove myself to him every time there is a situation in which he has either given me explicit instructions in how I am to behave, or when he has not, but in which I know what actions & behavior will please him.
So while it may seem counter-intuitive for me to say that I both own my sexuality and that my sexuality is owned by him, to me it makes perfect sense. I get hot and bothered and get to have lots of good sex and behave in “slutty” ways, he gets the slut-girlfriend that he has always wanted, to use and have used by others, in exactly the ways he has always wanted.
Being owned by V is a different thing though. It has been, and continues to be, a progression. In a relatively short period of time, I feel owned by him in a significantly broader way than I did by W. He owns a lot more pieces of me, of my life, than W did, or wanted to. And his ownership – how I feel as the “owned” one – comes from a deeply instinctual place. He takes Ownership. He assumes the authority necessary to be my Owner, and so I naturally turn to him for that authority. It is part of who we are, not a role that we play.
Being W’s submissive, his slut, was never a role to me either. I ceded authority to him because he simply was my Dominant. But he never felt completely comfortable in that role, except in play situations like the above, or in BDSM play. As our relationship progressed, and as he learned to accept his role in my life, he understood and accepted his authority over me, but he seldom exhibited it, except in sexual situations. Which was fine…we had a deep, meaningful relationship and I found ways to get my need for D/s fulfilled. I just didn’t realize, until I began submitting to V, how much I craved someone who wanted to control more than my sex. Someone who wanted to own me in other parts of my life, who had as much need for control as I have for being controlled.
I also didn’t realize how instinctual turning to him for his authority had become until the other day. Since W’s passing, I’ve been on SSRI’s and anxiety medications of one sort or another. Although I know how necessary they have been to my mental health, I’ve struggled with being on them. I don’t like the side effects, and I want to know that I can manage on my own, without them. Unfortunately, I have a very bad habit of taking my chemistry into my own hands and changing the dosage of my meds without consulting my doctor, or only consulting her after the fact.
I’m even worse at owning up to playing doctor on myself to V and Ad…I always tell them, but not as a consultation, more as a “okay so maybe I fucked up…” comment, which situation neither is happy with. My recent crisis was precipitated by just such a situation, in which I had decided to lower the dosage I was taking until it became clear that I had crashed pretty hard.
Sometime shortly after that, V and I had a serious discussion about it. He was displeased about me messing with my medications and causing the emotional crisis that had ensued. The bottom line was that he wanted me to give him control over my “chemistry” as he called it. He wanted me to answer to him in regards to taking my medications – not just let him know what was going on, but to give him decision-making control. We discussed it at length, as it’s a big commitment on my part – I’d never had to answer to W for anything like this, and I don’t want to agree to something I can’t live up to. I finally agreed, but as I did, it occurred to me that, although he hadn’t directly asked for control before, I had already it up to him inside myself. Earlier that week when we had been discussing it, I had agreed that I would go back to my regular dosage, promised to take it as prescribed, and to be upfront about any changes. These weren’t suggestions – he was speaking as my Dominant, and expected me to do as he asked. But we hadn’t yet established the level of control he asked for later, nor formalized it as we ultimately did. The thing is that later that day Adam and I were talking about the situation, and he suggested something slightly different than what V and I had discussed. My immediate response was, “I have to talk to V about it first.” Adam was a little surprised, I think, because I had never had to ask permissions from W before. I was even surprised myself; V hadn’t instructed me to ask him beforehand about any changes. But it felt natural and right to do so. It wasn’t something I even had to think about, it was simply an natural expression of V’s and my growing D/s dynamic.
I’m excited to follow where this leads.