When I last wrote about trust and how both people need to develop such a deep level of it before the relationship can flourish, I found myself thinking about the idea of the reciprocal gifts of dominance and submission.
I believe that a woman's submission is a gift and that a man should feel blessed to receive that gift, whenever the woman is ready to give it. I don't think it's an instant all-at-once kind of thing, I think it happens gradually over time - but I do think it's hers to give, rather than his to expect and take.
A truly dominant man will never demand submission, he'll only feel blessed when it is gifted to him. A man can call himself dominant, but only a submissive woman can truly deem a man dominant.
And it's a lovely thought, I love the idea of a man seeing my submission as a gift to him. A gift, of course, is something to be valued, it's something given voluntarily. A man who sees my submission as a gift sees it as something to be valued and treasured, something that has been earned and is not just a blind right. By extension, he sees me as someone to be valued and treasured.
I further love the idea that when a woman sees her own submission as a gift, she is valuing herself and her submission - in viewing her submission as a gift, she's saying that she is too important to simply obey every man who crosses her path. She'll only gift her submission to someone who has earned it, to a man who has shown that he is wise, responsible, caring...to a man worthy of leading her.
Too often, I hear men who fancy themselves dominant saying things like "I'm taking applications for submissives," they talk of training a submissive or they ask a woman how she intends to "prove herself worthy" of his dominance.
And all of those attitudes make my blood boil. It's arrogant, unromantic, lacking dominance and, frankly, a bit embarrassingly silly. A truly submissive woman is only submissive to a man worthy of her...dating and relationships aren't job interviews - you don't send in an application! And submission can't be "trained" - it can't be taught or manufactured, it can only be nurtured and treasured.
But as much as it angers me to see men with these attitudes, it saddens me that there are women who go along with it. There are women who just don't value themselves enough to treat their submission as a gift, they think they have to prove themselves "worthy" of giving themselves.
And submission comes in many forms, all unique and in due time - a man cannot "train" a woman to give her gift. He can only take whatever form of submission she chooses to give him...and then he can guide and lead her to be even more than she ever knew she could. She will, as part of her natural desire to please him, learn about him as time goes on and she will no doubt submit in ways that please him, just because she enjoys pleasing him. But a need to please isn't enough - a woman needs to feel loved, valued, protected, guided...and it's when she feels those things that she gifts her submission.
But, just as a woman gifts her submission - gifts her freedom - to a man, a man does gift his dominance and leadership to a woman - he must value himself enough to save his dominance for a woman who is truly worth it. He is giving her the gift of guidance, he's taking the burden of responsibility off her shoulders and giving her the gift of letting go. He is giving the gift of protector.
Being given the gift of dominance feels wonderful. For the woman, when a man dominates in a caring and loving way, it makes the woman feel submissive, wanted, treasured, protected. His dominance feels like a gift.
So, when a man and a woman have that affect on each other, when they have that chemistry where his dominance brings out her submission and her submission brings out his dominance, they give each other amazing gifts. It's a wonderful level of trust and both people know that the other person values them above all else.
In many ways, it seems logical than one has to start before the other - how can two people simultaneously drive each other to give reciprocal gifts? Who starts first?
I think this is where that old-fashioned courting that I hold so dear comes into play. When a man courts a woman, he is leading in small ways...and when she follows, she's submitting. So, I think the man starts the journey and when a woman follows him, she is gifting her submission in small ways. He leads her and in doing so, asks for her submission...and when she follows, she's giving that submission.
Whilst I do think there can be a moment where she formally gifts him her full submission (and by taking her submission, he is gifting his dominance) I think the gifts begin at the very beginning, working gradually toward the total trust needed to truly gift each other total dominance and total submission...and it's that gradual gifting that makes it so special, ongoing and lasting - neither person ever forgets the value of the gift they've been given and both people treasure those gifts.
Any gift worth having is worth waiting for...and what greater gift is there to a dominant man than the submission of a woman? What greater gift is there for a submissive woman than the gift of a dominant, guiding hand?
I personally don't think anything is greater.