I was thinking about this topic a while back when kaya brought it up and it’s something that frequently comes up in discussions about M/s relationships. There seems to be a general belief that subs get into these kind of relationships to somehow better themselves or become something more than they were.
I have to admit that I started out with similar grand ideas and was firmly of the belief that being a slave would cure my weight issues, end my membership to the social hermit club and would add 20 IQ points.
Of course, none of these things is ever going to happen – especially that IQ point one. There’s just no hope for me in that department…and I know this because I tend to repeatedly try to put the kettle in the fridge after I’ve poured myself a cup of coffee.
Recently while doing some thinking a.k.a spending too much time in my head on the bus (btw, there was a highly amusing comment left on my blog a while back saying that I seem to get myself into trouble most on the bus and it’s so true!) I actually realised that my need for a purpose as a slave is another expression of my need for growth.
Bottom line: I have a need to be pushed, a need to endure and need to add more notches to my belt.
That’s what makes slavery meaningful for me.
I think this need for ‘growth’ is also why routines and rituals tend to get stale quite quickly. If you’re repeating things constantly or doing the same things day in, day out – regardless of how edgy or funky they seemed at the beginning – they’re going to stagnate quite quickly. I realise that a lot of the time the rituals or routines are initially implemented in order to create a structure or routine and therefore put you in a slave ‘head space’, but once the challenge is gone or the act becomes a part of everyday life, it stops doing exactly what it was implemented to do in the first place: make you feel like a slave. Once something becomes as familiar as brushing your teeth, it’s not going to impact on you mentally.
And that’s where the challenge comes in: how to keep the spark when your mind is in “park”.
I’ve always been a bit of an experience junkie and a fair bit of the attraction to D/s for me was the opportunity to do things, experience things that I wouldn’t in a normal ‘vanilla’ lifestyle. I like to do things and go to places just to be able to say, “Oh, I’ve done that!” or “Oh, I’ve been there!”. It’s not that I like to brag (well, maybe I do…) but lacking anything else to brag about, it’s always good to have something ‘up my sleeve’ to discuss at barbeques like, “Yeah, I’ve got 6 barbells in my pussy and how’s your steak?”
I don’t think for most people, the ideal of becoming a ‘better person’ by being a slave is something that is truly attainable. There may be some changes that are brought about by being someone’s property such as losing weight or quitting smoking, but really when you think about it, it’s not the owner who is actually doing those things, it is the slave themself. Any real changes made to a person have to come from within and no amount of external pressure will change that (I’m talking, of course, about during the post-formulative years).
What an owner can do is provide opportunities for new experiences, create challenges and encourage or discourage.
Growth starts from within, but without the right environment, nothing blooms.