December 23, 2012

Deconstructing Obedience


Photo by Marc Esadrian

Obedience, to me, is a living breathing thinking creature that, like any animal, interacts with its environment in complex ways. Deconstruction suggests tearing off the wings off a bird in order to learn how it flies. And that’s not a very “constructive” approach, is it?  I don’t want to deconstruct living obedience in that sense but I do want to examine more closely what it is. I think that by understanding obedience better, I can better serve a man someday.

What inspired me to write this? Well, to be honest, certain discussions I read on the web really bother me. I cannot name who or where because when consulting management about writing this article, I was told to avoid “naming names,” but I can characterize them a bit. Maybe some of you have read similar threads and will know exactly what I am talking about.

In such threads, someone asks questions like these: What does it mean to serve a man? What does it feel like to you? How does it make you happy? How does it make you sad? Some women answer these questions with answers that seem superficially profound in their simplicity. But to me, such answers are more often profoundly meaningless. Take this response, for instance:

Being a man’s servant means to obey.
What makes me happy is to obey.
What makes me sad is to obey.
What makes me (anything) is to obey.

While everyone else seemed utterly awed by the elegant Zenness of this oversimplified proclamation, I was personally groaning in pain. I was so tempted to write back:  Oh. Well. If that’s all there is to being a humble servant of one’s husband or master, then I might as well just kill myself and get it over with! To think all this time I believed  that there was something more to obedience than “just obey!” So silly of me to think there might be something a little more complex, like thinking, involved! 

I know, I’m being a little sarcastic. Maybe more than a bit! Responses like this just strike me as incredibly vapid, and I couldn’t believe that all those otherwise intelligent readers actually fell for it. Something in such writings must be incredibly tempting to inspire all of the blind head-nodding that went on in the thread. I now think I know what that something is. It’s the kind of idea, that, like any good slogan, inspires “feel good” emotions and entirely shuts off thought and the need to take action as well:

I just obey. Yep, indeedy I do! Now I can go back to sleep. Snore! I know that even in my sleep I am obedient because I just obey!  

People like slogans precisely because these hypnotic phrases sound so right. Slogans do indeed allow people to “sleep” or coast unthinkingly on automatic through life while feeling at the same time that they are doing something great and wonderful.  I don’t have to figure out anything, work at anything, overcome anything, or learn anything. I just…obey. And anybody can do that because everybody knows what obeying means, right? Well, not exactly.

You see, unless someone is living in a very predictable rut where everything always remains exactly the same and she habitually obeys the same set of orders over and over again with no variation, it seldom works out  that “just obeying” is just, well, obeying.  The thoughts and feelings a person has around the act affect it in ways that make it more than just the action of a simple machine. For a thinking, feeling woman, each act of obedience is different than the next. “Just obeying” may be fraught with doubt (can I even begin to do something like this?), confusion (did he really mean I should do it that way?), motivation (this seems tough, but I can do this, I can find a way!), and fantasy (Of course the great and wonderful me can do this. I can do anything I set my mind to. No Problemo!).

Unfortunately, by encouraging athletic-style “don’t think, let your body do it” advice toward something that often requires thought in order to be done best, it presents what should be (and is) a living, breathing process as something very flat and shallow, and subsequently, not very helpful for those attempting to get at the core of things where obedience is concerned.

Machines don’t think or feel so they don’t add any of this mental or emotional background color to the act. When you push the candy machine’s button, the candy drops down into the slot, provided you’ve added the right amount of money. But people aren’t vending machines, despite what Little Miss Just Obey suggests! People are far more complicated, and every act they do, whether they are aware of it or not, is laden with meanings, unconscious assumptions, attitudes, responses, associations, and all sorts of other mental and emotional overtones that change a simple melody into a complex (although sometimes cacophonous) symphony. It is that symphony that interests me. So without further ado, I’ll dive into it.

For me, obedience breaks down into three major components that, while separate, are also intimately related: the act of obedience itself, the mindset behind the act, and the consequences of the act. I’ve already discussed the idea of looking at just the act of obedience in isolation, so I’m going to move on to the next two elements.

Mindset

It seems to me that why you obey and how you feel or what you think of as you obey are all very important elements. Some might argue that they do not matter, that “just obeying” is all that counts and in one sense they are right. When given an order from her man, a good woman obeys quickly, gracefully, and, if needed, with the appropriate degree of competence or skill. She does not argue back, balk, over-question, stall for time, ignore the command, present alternatives, or hesitate. I suspect that this is what the “Just Obey” crowd is trying to get at with their oversimplified Nike-like ad slogan. Unfortunately, by encouraging athletic-style “don’t think, let your body do it” advice toward something that often requires thought in order to be done best, it presents what should be (and is) a living, breathing process as something very flat and shallow, and subsequently, not very helpful for those attempting to get at the core of things where obedience is concerned.

In my experience, a mindset toward obedience is composed of a number of elements. Among the most important are:

Motivation, or why I obey. The reasons I obey and the attitudes that I bring toward the act of obedience.

Method, or how I obey. How I carry out the specific order. This can involve know-how and it can involve attitude.

Mood, or the feelings that arise when I obey. The feelings I have when first given the order and the emotional responses felt during its execution.

Why are these mental and emotional elements important? Because, invisible as they may be except to me, they have an impact. They color and shape my act of obedience. They change it, not just for me, but also for the one giving me the command.

A woman can obey for positive or for negative reasons. A positive reason to obey might be because she wants to please her man, make him happy in general or happy with her specifically. Another positive reason might be because she respects him and is honoring her word to obey him in all things, great and small.  A negative reason to obey would be because she knows she can manipulate a man by doing so: make him think or feel or do what she wants with her obedience. Another negative reason could be because she is too terrified to do anything else. (This is not always bad, but if fear of a man is the only reason why she is obeying, it doesn’t strike me as a very strong basis for continued, lasting obedience.) A third negative reason to obey could be because a woman has turned her “perfect obedience” into an act of egotism. She obeys so she can feel superior in her mind and heart to those less obedient, not because she cares about how the man she serves is affected by her obedience.

The motivation behind one’s obedience affects the experience of obedience and what it personally feels like. Over time that can affect the consequences of obedient acts, but that’s jumping ahead a bit. I think it’s pretty clear that the motivations brought to an act of obedience change the experience of the act, at least for the person doing the obeying. And, over time, those experiences can become habitual. If a woman feels inordinately proud and superior each time she obeys a simple command, it becomes easier to feel that way the next time she obeys a command. As time passes, she becomes prouder and prouder, more entrenched in her own superiority over all those other women she sees who “can’t do it nearly as well as she does.”  But she also becomes, at the same time, less and less attuned to the needs of the man she serves. She barely thinks of him and his happiness when she obeys—it’s all about her, ironically. It’s all about her growth, her superiority, her skills at obeying and being better than the others. She becomes an inward braggart.

On the other hand, if a woman obeys because her man’s happiness is everything to her and because it fills her with joy to see him satisfied and happy then the next time she obeys, she hopes to feel more of that joy. So she tries especially hard to satisfy him. Her focus on him and her exclusion of other factors (fear, doubts, pride, and blind, unthinking habit) makes her love him and want to serve him even better. It makes her pay attention to him and his needs rather than simply perform a mindless act. And that mindful attention likewise grows and grows.

Method is important, too.  A woman can sweep the kitchen floor in a sloppy, fast, careless manner because she’s anxious to get back to her computer game or to her kinky social network where she can boast to others about how obedient she is and post the latest shots of her naked bod, all to garner attention…or she can sweep the floor correctly, slowly, skillfully, thinking about what she is doing, finding better ways to do it, careful to get the crumbs in the corners, able to set aside her other thoughts about what she’d rather be doing in order to focus totally on what she is actually doing. She’ll notice spots on the floor and stop to clean them with a mop or a sponge, instead of ignoring them because she’s been ordered to sweep only, not wash, and she’s in such a great hurry. She can be there in the moment, feeling her obedience, realizing that she cannot disobey anything her man tells her to do.

She can feel her obedience instead of being lost in a fantasy about something else. This helps her to realize that she feels good or bad based on how she performs even the simplest acts.  Or she can be thinking instead about doing her nails or the TV show that’s coming on soon or how she’s going to handle herself at work the next day or what to get her son for his birthday, in other words, thinking about anything except the boring crumbs on the boring floor. Guess which floor will ultimately look better? And guess which mind will ultimately feel better and be better suited to obey the next time?

Sweeping the floor sounds like such a little thing, such a trivial thing, but if it’s an order given to you by the one you worship and obey, isn’t it highly important to perform it right? And if a woman doesn’t regard this as highly important, how can she possibly regard the one giving her the order as highly important?

Mood, I think, is something that might arise from motivation or method. It also, in turn, influences them. It’s an interactive thing. We all have experienced how mood affects performance. If you are anxious about something you’re much more likely to perform some nervous act that harms the outcome or even be too paralyzed to act at all. Ordinarily, a woman won’t feel overly anxious about what she does unless it is something new and unfamiliar, something she lacks confidence in doing, or unless she is brand new to submitting. But she will certainly feel other emotions in response to receiving an order or while obeying it.  She may feel irritation, for instance—irritation at being interrupted while in the middle of doing something else (even something else for him) that she considers to be more important or more interesting. She may feel resentment because she is sick or in pain and here he is ordering her to do all this stuff despite how terrible she feels. She may feel eager, bored, curious, angry, expectant of a reward, discouraged, sleepy, happy, grumpy, drunkenly elated (I had to break up the seven dwarves metaphor!) or nothing much at all in response to the command. She may be shutting her feelings down because she believes that servants just mindlessly obey, they do not feel anything when they are obeying. Not if they’re doing it right, anyway.

 

Photo by Marc Esadrian

Most women, by the time they realize they want to serve a man, come with a slew of habits and attitudes already formed. A skillful, controlling male will utilize the good habits/traits and burn or weed out the bad ones.

Why are feelings important when a woman is obeying? Because they color the experience, they make it pleasant or unpleasant, and these experiences, in turn affect how she feels the next time the order comes up. I might remember, for example, how I felt the last time I was ordered to cut my spending and that memory might slightly influence how I feel the next time I am told to cut my spending. I also think that the mood you are in when you do something influences how you do it and how well you do it. If I am distracted and stressed, my focus on the physical act is likely to be spottier than if I am relaxed, open, and just living in the moment. If I associate obeying an order with boredom, I’m going to tend to feel more and more bored each time I do it. Eventually, this may become a part of what I think of as my “root personality”: I am a person who is bored when performing menial tasks.  This sort of stubborn attitude can, over the long run, get in the way of obedience. Nobody likes to feel bored and it’s natural to try to escape boredom, when possible.

Consequences

The most immediate consequence of obedience for a woman is the response of her man. If she obeys well, with alacrity and skill, he will be pleased, or at very least content. She will not be scolded or punished. There will be no dreaded “little talk” later. If she obeys poorly, puts off the command, performs it in a half-hearted or incomplete manner, he may be displeased or disappointed with her. Depending upon the relationship, she might be punished for this, she might lose privileges, or experience other signs of his displeasure. One form of psychological punishment that is very hard for some women to bear is when the dominant man stops issuing the order entirely because he feels she is too incompetent, incapable, or unwilling. This can provoke tremendous guilt in a servant with a conscience. Strangely enough, it can also breed resentment against him:

How dare he feel I am not competent or capable simply because I screwed up this once! How dare he take this responsibility away from me? 

But there are other consequences, too. One that I’ve already touched upon is the tendency for single acts, feelings, and thoughts to become habitual. If it feels good or if it feeds a hunger in someone, even if that hunger is not ultimately a good thing, they are likely to repeat it. Habits, over time, can become quite strong and even morph into rock-hard personality traits. Something that began as a single simple response to a single act can, with constant repetition, become hardened into an unchanging aspect of one’s personality. If that aspect is a good one that benefits the man a woman serves, that is good–great in fact! But if the response is a bad one that hinders, hurts, thwarts, or channels her obedience into something less savory, it can be a terrible or tragic thing if it becomes hardened into a habit.

Most women, by the time they realize they want to serve a man, come with a slew of habits and attitudes already formed. A skillful, controlling male will utilize the good habits/traits and burn or weed out the bad ones. How willing he is to do this second thing, this weeding of her mental garden, depends a lot on how negative and entrenched the habitual behavior is. Some females are beyond hope or help in this regard and it is tragic that they feel they must obey when these very hard, crystallized portions of their personalities prevent that obedience. A woman who is not in that situation, who is actively and happily serving a man, can look at her less-fortunate sisters, the females her man shudders over and says he’d never want them serving him, as examples of what she could become if she is not mindful about the formation of habits, particularly bad habits.

Another very important consequence of obedience is that if a woman obeys in the right fashion (usefully, helpfully, constructively) she can more easily spot it when she’s being disobedient, even in an attitude like boredom. Her sensitivity toward obedience becomes more finely tuned, more accurate, more detailed, and more wonderfully diverse, like diving into a fractal. The simple act of obedience through mindfulness becomes more and more enriched through complexity, not less so. In other words, she is learning. More each day. And her obedience and attitudes during obedience improve as a result. This starts an upward spiral, a momentum, that becomes difficult to derail or sabotage with negativity. Eventually, the serving woman may become so exquisitely conscious of what she is doing as she obeys that she can be said to be “just doing it” or “just obeying.” But she has earned, through her consciousness and critical attention to detail, the right to say she “just obeys,” because within those two simple words there is now in her mind a near-infinite universe of meaning.  Most women who want to obey a man try to run before they can even crawl: they take the easy way out and never closely examine why they obey, how they obey, or what they feel when they obey. Instead, they adopt easy slogans, such as “I just obey.” They may obey, after a fashion, but that obedience is empty and meaningless compared to what it could be.


November 14, 2012

One No More


“If love was a choice, who would ever choose such exquisite pain?”
—Lady Tuptim

The curtain opens on a classic scene from a movie. It might be The King and I or something similar. The scene occurs in a lush, luxurious harem where a Western woman is speaking with the Asian first wife of the king. The first wife lives in this harem with dozens of other girls, many of whom are much younger and more beautiful than she. The first wife and mother of the heir to the throne is trying to to explain to the strangely independent Western visitor what her life is like. She wraps her story in a metaphor:

Once upon a time there was a mighty oak tree and nearby grew a tiny sapling. The tiny sapling loved the large oak tree and basked in its attention. It grew taller and stronger, contemplating the mighty oak and taking comfort in its benevolent attention. But, as time passed, many more saplings sprouted between the first little tree and the mighty oak. They, too, grew tall and strong and eventually the first sapling could no longer see her beloved oak. There were too many other trees between her and him. Likewise, the oak no longer saw her, as he was focused on the newer saplings closer to him. The little tree grew increasingly sad and lonely.

This is obviously a Western romantic-love interpretation of what was once a common Eastern and mid-Eastern living situation: a large harem of wives and concubines. Unrealistic as it was, this scene pulled on every monogamous heartstring in the theater because the first wife’s obvious suffering was what we would expect to feel in similar circumstances. Likewise, the thought of being a part of a smaller, modern-day harem often fills a submissive woman’s heart full of dread and sorrow. She will not ever be his one and only, nor even necessarily his favorite girl—other women will get his attention how, when, and where he wishes. There will be times when he will not be available to her, no matter how strongly she feels she needs him. She may wonder how he can possibly care for her and another woman (or more) equally. While this is the lot of many a genuine and devoted female servant—to live a life totally dedicated and faithful to the man she worships but never to experience total fidelity or monogamy back, to always be one of several female interests—the fears described above usually dissolve under the rule of a wise male who has chosen his humbled females wisely, too.

What does being one of several actually feel like for the humbled female? I believe I can answer this question, as I am one of several. To keep the narrative consistent, I will describe this experience in the third person, but feel free to think of the depictions below as my own experiences or very closely related to them.

First and foremost, being one of several means the humbled female must accept the idea that she will not be the only woman in the life of the man she loves. This is a huge hurdle for most women raised in this day and age as we are still brought up with the traditional idea that the man we fall in love with is “ours,” that he “belongs” to us in some fashion and that even if he is our master, we own him every bit as much as he owns us. The typical female ego needs to believe that a man she is involved with is indebted to her, couldn’t bear to live without her, in fact. When she encounters a truly independent man who doesn’t respond to her personal erotic control, she will sometimes be shocked, but more times than not simply disbelieving. “I’ll cure him in time,” she thinks to herself. “He’ll realize sooner or later that he can’t live without me.” This is her ego speaking: this is self-love founded on the soft ground of insecurity but many deluded women call this ultimate selfishness and self-regard, “True Love.” They are, in a sense, right. They have “True Love” all right. But only for themselves.

Such an attitude, obviously, is entirely at odds with the concept of belonging to a man, being his loyal female servant and even property to do with as he wishes, but many a submissive woman tries to fit these two conflicting ideas in her head together and often without much foresight. Somehow, magically, she will belong to the man of her dreams and he will, equally magically, want nobody else but her. Because a lot of men are raised with the concept of monogamy, a humbled female has some possibility of attracting or being attracted to a monogamous man, but such men often aren’t the ones the humbled female is drawn to. She is drawn to a stronger, sterner type—a man who knows his own mind and does as he wishes, a man with balls who will not compromise his basic principles to please a mere woman, no matter how special she is to him, a man who cannot be pussywhipped. She cannot be with such a man and also expect to run things her way. That is a crucial principle of obedience and humility that all humbled females learn, although if the the female is one of several from the beginning, she most likely learns it more quickly.

After overcoming their primary fears and insecurities, the women of a harem-minded man may have to give up certain ideas and expectations about what coexisting with other females under his rule will be like or should be like, even if these ideas are quite positive. The harem situation will be whatever the dominant male wants it to be, not what any of its members imagines or desires it to be. Sometimes other females may live with him and sometimes they might not. He may go to see them or bring them to his house for extended visits. He might want them all separated by distance or keep them all together under one roof. A female may become a close friend or associate of another of his females or she may not. She may be required to bear his children or he may assign that role to another of his girls.

If a dominant man truly controls his females and not the other way around, none of them, no matter what their seniority or their charms, will be able to direct the household organization, set their own status in his house, or determine whether certain girls are accepted into it or not.

She may be encouraged to be beautiful and feminine at all times, even transformed with surgery and other extensive beauty treatments into an ideal love doll or she may be required simply for menial labor. She may be a female he proudly takes out on his arm to parties or events to show off or one, perhaps equally beautiful, that he insists remain secluded and isolated in the home, scrubbing the tub while he is out on the town with one or two of his other girls. There is often a keen wisdom attached to this seeming arbitrariness. The male may recognize that his Cinderella-like tub scrubber has a natural masochistic need to be made the least of his girls, to be denied most of the stimulation and privileges that they are allowed. He may be doing her a great kindness in forcing her to stay at home and clean while they go out and have a good time. Alternatively, he may do it to teach her a finer lesson in humility.

If a dominant man truly controls his females and not the other way around, none of them, no matter what their seniority or their charms, will be able to direct the household organization, set their own status in his house, or determine whether certain girls are accepted into it or not. That’s a lot to not be in control of for the females concerned, but for a female who craves to serve and submit to a stronger will, that lack of control should greatly relieve her mind: it reassures her that his rule is real and strong. For someone who really needs to be directed by a man, being one of several, painful as it may initially seem, is a condition she can learn to adjust to. She must enter the situation, however, with as few expectations as possible. Being one of several does not necessarily mean she is going to have “sisters” or new best friends forever. It doesn’t mean she’ll have a loving replacement family or an opportunity to compete in a cutthroat fashion for “alpha” or “favorite” role. It is not a situation for her to use to play out acceptance or rejection dramas or air other old emotional baggage within. Instead, it is an opportunity to give up far more in her service to her beloved male than her monogamous counterparts ever face. It offers many wonderful opportunities for selflessness, for sacrifice, and for learning to love these things and the special satisfactions they bring.

A humbled female will likely learn in her experience of being one of several that:

1. Being alone and missing him deeply makes her, at the same time, very happy because she’s overjoyed that he’s having a good time with someone else. It’s interesting how a woman subservient to a man’s every whim can experience two very different feelings at the same time, but it is possible. Poets and mystics throughout the ages have described this experience:

Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love that in your will,
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.

—Shakespeare, Sonnet 57

This classic and sometimes over-quoted sonnet contains a profound kernel of truth at its core: it is possible for a slave to be happy, overjoyed even, when thinking about her master’s pleasure and pursuits even if they seem to deprive or hurt her, even when she’s feeling lost, alone, longing, even jealous. Her master’s joy and contentment makes her suffering moot in comparison. She still feels the suffering, of course, but on the ladder of her mental and emotional priorities, it take a far lower rung than his own happiness.

2. Seeing someone else get all or most of the attention, sex, opportunities for service, or even beatings (whichever of these she values or desires) is bearable, even quite tolerable and that she can learn to overcome childish emotional responses of unfairness, insecurity, or jealousy over these things. She is with a strong man and secure in the knowledge that she, too, is valued for her unique contributions to his life and that he is not one of those weak-willed fellows pulled around through life by his member and thus likely to abandon her in order to chase a random lust. If she has chosen wisely, the man that the humbled female adores is made of much sterner stuff and she can relax and be deeply content with her own role and place in her Lord’s realm and not constantly covet others’ roles or the attention he gives to them.

3. She can, for the most part, control her female nature and refrain from creating drama even if she feels very bad. Of course, no female is perfect at this but some learn not only to restrain themselves from the worst of womanly behaviors but even to love being the object of apparent emotional cruelty or rejection for the same reason some others love physical cruelty: because it gives him intense pleasure to treat her that way and she loves to please him. Not all females are born for this sort of masochistic role, of course, but if a humbled female has this particular darkness in her, a strong male will likely see it and may draw it out and she will find secret joys in pleasing him in this fashion. She can feel content in her selflessness and the opportunities it provides her to grow and become a more flexible, loving, useful servant to the man she adores.

4. So many opportunities for personal growth and for becoming a better woman exist within a multi-female household, opportunities that a female will never encounter if she has her dominant male all to herself. This is a wonderful thing for those who value becoming less selfish and better able to serve and please their men. But there is one other aspect of being one of several that provides a personal benefit to the humbled female and is connected to self-interest, not selflessness. It is an observable fact that many dominant men, the men that are the most intense, strong, brilliant, charismatic, and attractive, have multiple girls. They have not committed themselves to a single female. If a submissive female wishes to belong to a truly extraordinary man or even to catch his eye, she must be willing to accept that she will not be the only female in his life.

But if she’s never been part of a harem and if she’s been raised to expect monogamy how does the humbled female get used to this new and possibly frightening situation? Each female approaches this problem in her own way and must find her own answers but to offer a bit of hope, there is a core truth that slowly emerges when a female is firmly devoted to serving a wonderful man. While such a woman must discover this truth inside herself and see her own evidence for it in her daily experiences, it doesn’t hurt to anticipate its arrival. Thinking upon this truth will help a woman in this situation in times that are difficult and stressful, such as when first coming into a household with one or more other women already in place serving the man that she also loves or when faced with his acquisition of a new girl. This core truth is that everything that comes from the dominant man that she loves, every experience she has under his rule, is a gift from him. It may hurt or it may not seem like a gift at the time, but a female should never doubt that it is a gift and that it is what she needs to help achieve her personal, cherished desire to grow into a better and more beloved servant of his: more loyal, more loving, more obedient, more competent in the areas he wishes competence from, more content with her lot in life, and more closely attuned to his desires with every passing day.

This inspiring idea may sound great, but is it really true? Is it actually something a humbled female experiences? To answer that question requires one to look closely at the way most people experience their lives. Encounters and experiences of all sorts mold and change the average person in almost random ways. Unlike the coherent, logical stories of growth we tell ourselves about our pasts, such as “I did X which caused Y to happen which in turn led me to anticipated meeting Z,” we are actually the products of far more random and accidental influences. We are flung in unexpected directions across the billiards table of life, never anticipating those twists, turns, and random accidents of fate that cause us to change course and experience profoundly different outcomes than what we had expected. It is only in retrospect, when the experiences are long past, that we take these unplanned-for events and weave them together into a coherent whole.

To put it another way, we’re not near the corner pocket of life because we managed to valiantly or cleverly roll there; we’re there because of the random movements of other pool balls that knocked us near that corner hole. For most people, their true story, if they could but admit it to themselves, might go something like this experience of a friend of mine:

I thought I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up but instead I majored in political science because I found a college professor my course schedule randomly assigned to me so inspiring. I applied to a lot of grad schools but never got accepted by my top three choices so I settled on the sixth one because it was pretty equal to all the remaining offers, would put me in a new part of the country I hadn’t seen before, and happened to be far away from my parents, an influence I was eager to escape. While getting my graduate degree I thought one night that I was working too hard and decided to go out. I went to a party thrown in a frat house and there I met my husband-to-be. He wasn’t my normal type but he charmed me that evening—perhaps because I was drunk—with a gesture and a clever joke, and that was that. Later, I told myself that I always would have picked him for a mate, as we are so very compatible, but is that really so? Would we have noticed each other that night—or any night—if we both hadn’t been a little drunk and thrown together by random accident?

Notice the pattern in the above? The pattern is that there is no pattern. There is no plan. Things just…happened. That is how most lives happen, if the people living them are but willing to admit it to themselves. Whether or not a humbled female perceives the randomness that is the actual life experience of almost everyone, once she meets and falls in love with or nonetheless comes under the control of a dominant male who decides to take her for his own, once she is knocked into the corner pocket of service to him, the billiards-like randomness of her experience is slowly eliminated through the deliberate and willful addition of new experiences that he determines she should have and the elimination of other experiences that he no longer wants her to have. In the hands of a competent and power-conscious male, her environment becomes much more controlled, much more predictable, much more attributable to a prime cause: his will. In what ways her life is controlled depends on what his plans are for her: how he has decided to use her service to him. She may or may not be told what these plans are. Fully knowing what lies ahead in every detail, however, is no longer important for her. What is essential is that she obey him, even if she feels blind or unsure. This is the path of happiness for somebody whose body, mind, and heart is owned by another. It is the path of the true servant.

The environment, the experiences, the sensory inputs, and the sources of mental stimulation for a service-oriented woman devotedly and obediently serving a strong male can be summed up in one ancient phrase: her daily bread. A dominant male provides his females with their daily bread, with those tasks, requirements, information, stimulation, and other features of experience he has decided are best for them and his projected use for them. At times, there may seem to be very little influence coming from him other than a handful of “house rules” and protocols. At other times, it may mean literal control of all of the female’s senses and experiences for extended periods of time. Even during the times and situations where she seems to have a lot of exposure to randomness or outside influences, times when she feels relatively free, a controlled humbled female can see from how those random influences now affect her that her experience is, to more or less of a degree, being filtered, modulated, and controlled by the male that she serves.

When a man controls a female’s experience to that degree, then everything, in truth, comes from him. The humbled female’s daily bread of experience is controlled and shaped by him, and, like actual bread, these experiences, with their consciously controlled additions and omissions, are nutritious gifts from him. They feed her experience and the attitudes he wishes her to bear in his service. Even the things she perceives as bad (being forced to eat a vegetable she despises, getting a severe belting for disobedience) are gifts, because they shape her body, her heart, and her mind in the ways—sometimes understood by her, sometimes not—that he wants for her.

Being one of several can be one of the most challenging experiences a woman faces due to her prior conditioning and expectations about traditional, monogamous relationships and what she feels entitled to in them.

They make her more pleasing to him. And the more pleasing she is to him, the more likely it is she will be permitted to continue to serve him and bask in his glorious company and iron-hard control. Every experience that the man she serves gives the humbled female is a gift, a most precious gift.

One such gift, obviously, is learning to accept and live with the fact that she is not the only female in his life. Once she really feels this idea in the marrow of her bones then everything becomes so much easier for a humbled female. Being one of several can be one of the most challenging experiences a woman faces due to her prior conditioning and expectations about traditional, monogamous relationships and what she feels entitled to in them. These are ideas that nearly all females absorb from their parents or others around them as they are growing up. It’s hard to counteract these old, poisonous, useless ideas, to not let them color her experiences and cast certain realities (like the fact that he has other girls) in a most negative light.

A good way for a submissive woman to counter all of that old mental and emotional chatter is with a very clear understanding of what she ultimately needs and an idea of what it is she must experience to get there. At core, she needs him, the man that she loves and wishes to obey, obviously. She needs him in her life. Well, right there, this helps put those other things in their proper perspective in relation to her highest aim. These other things, like the presence of other females, become far less important compared to her ultimate goal and some may even become useful tools that help her to become the good, loving, serving female she really wishes to be. A few strong, positive truths can help a loving woman keep on course, keep working toward realizing her true nature. When she is aware that everything that comes from the special man in her life is a gift, then she is utilizing a powerful insight, an insight that will help her to turn away from her own selfish desires and turn toward that amazing beacon of light and hope that is the male who owns her…and bask in his marvelous, masculine warmth.

Yes, being one of several can be hard, perhaps even for a woman like the first wife of the king who is used to the idea of being one of several. But even harder is living without him, no? So why not make the very best of the situation: use it, as you can use any difficult life experience: to learn, to grow, to become a more ideal servant to a very deserving man. Love may very well be “exquisite pain,” but despite that, isn’t the grandeur of this experience the very thing that makes a woman’s life worth living?