A common, if not often abused phrase in the circle of dominance-submission is the ever dreaded “doormat” word. Yup. You’ve heard it before. It’s often used as a personal swipe about the nature of a girl’s servile and self-deprecating character, an accusation that her level of selflessness has passed the threshold from healthy to pathologically pathetic, an incrimination often passing from the mouths (or keyboards) of those who somehow wear the term “slave” with perceived immunity.
There are numerous lifestyle articles in print and on-line warning us of the dangers inherent in being too submissive to our men. Heaven forbid, right? They launch into a laundry list of scary abuse-watch questions seemingly lifted from a local rape and abuse shelter’s outreach brochure or the modern-day Malleus Maleficarum for mental misfits, the undeniably unhelpful Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM). The questions also go on to serve a rhetorical purpose, of course: to convey to you, dear reader, that if you’re involved in relationships where any of the more extreme shades of domination can be found, you may very well be a doormat, too…and you should avoid that at all costs! All the while, how contrary to the spirit of consensual slavery these warnings are seldom ever seems to be considered by authors and self-made authorities hand waving against the ever dreaded bugaboo that is the lowly doormat. Naturally, this leaves us to ask what the difference between a doormat and a consensual slave really is. Is there any difference at all? Is there something about this phrase that stands wholly aside from the level of servitude and devotion required in slavery to another person in the first place? Let’s first examine the meaning of the word itself, first.