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When devotion is the only option (2021)

You can listen to this musing here, or read it below.

This weekly musing is a short follow up on my popular text What do you surrender. That in short describes a four-step model of what a submissive surrender to a dominate, and how it affects the trust required for the power dynamic to function. The steps are the physical body, pain and pleasure, ego and shame, and finally devotion. The text points out that another kind of trust, maybe a deeper one, is needed to act like a dog than to follow in a dance. You can read the text for more details. But it also suggests that devotion is the pinnacle of surrender because then one moves their attention from oneself to another altogether – like worshiping a god.

Going through the model’s steps is an excellent way to know if one is worthy of devotion. That is my experience. But the first steps (physical body, pain and pleasure, ego and shame) are all about how the submissive interpenetrate themselves. So some new submissive I met finds this very challenging. Maybe because their minds and bodies are disconnected, they lack the physical feedback from their nervous system. Or they already have a submissive personality and therefore are keen to put others’ needs before themselves. So they end up directly in devotion, by default, without knowing if the dominate is worthy or not.

Here is some warning signs of that one is defaulting to devotion. 

  1. Losing oneself entirely in the other, and not really until afterwards knowing if the experience was desirable or not. 
  2. A lack of physical reactions, like deep breathing and muscle relaxation as a result of manageable pain. Or the lack of arousal from pleasure.
  3. No fantasies, or sexual curiosity about how who one is, or what else one could be. But instead a curiosity about others, most likely a dominate partner.

I’m not saying that devotion is wrong; I instead think it is the highlight of conscious power play. But I believe that it becomes much deeper once a submissive can feel and surrender their body, pain, pleasure, and ego.