...to want to say 'honour and obey' in my vows?

(522 Posts)
SteelyMindedLiberal Thu 08-May-14 13:46:00

Background: we're both feminists. He's a strong personality, very intelligent, very loving, considerate, supports my career, does (more than) half the housework, cooking etc. We're not Christian or conservative.

But...

I am completely submissive to him and he sets the tone in every aspect of our relationship. Obviously there is a strong (and very hot!) BDSM undercurrent to all this. But it goes way beyond the bedroom: he leads, I follow, it's obvious and noticeable, and we both love it.

He's 'in charge'; never controlling. I am always listened to, and feel completely equal. I just do as he says and trust him to do the right thing. We're not ashamed of how we are, it's fundamental to us and because of that we want it to be included in our vows. He says it's up to me but he would like it very much, and I really, really want to say it.

BUT: it would mean outing our 'activities' to all our family and friends. I don't want our wedding to become all about that one line. Maybe no one would really care or give it any thought? We're happy to simply say: 'that's our dynamic and it works for us', to most people, but he has a 20-year-old daughter and it's her we're most worried about. She's sassy and worldly and she'd get it at once and probably be fine with it in private, but might find it really embarrassing and awkward... argh!

Help! It's the whole please ourselves or please others thing, I suppose...

ComposHat Sun 11-May-14 10:29:56

Jessica yes some registrars eill bit you are not allowed anything that replicates a religious vow in a civil ceremony.

daisychain01 Sun 11-May-14 10:23:24

are

daisychain01 Sun 11-May-14 10:22:23

compos sort of like people who can't their rocks off unless their partner is dressed postman pat or Admiral Nelson

grin ROAR at this!!

I have read more of this thread and I think my conclusion is

-OP takes herself far too seriously
-talk about giving yourself labels to define who you are! Strident lefties, staunch feminists. Fine whatever floats your boat
-why need to validate a choice when the mindset is fixed
-I absolutely am with you re being greener than green over some of this stuff. i fully respect what people do in their private lives is important, meaningful and special to them. What I dont get is the fact they have to discuss and validate and give themselves labels, for gawwwwds sake just get on and do it! Starts to become self obsessing, as if people at their wedding is going to haul them over the coals for mentioning the Obey word. Maybe they mix with the wrong people!

Martorana Sun 11-May-14 09:29:25

You know, I have only ever heard the word "sated" used in a d/s context.....

"We used to think boys who were gay had a domineering mother and we blamed a parent for the sexuality. That has now been found to be wrong. The sexuality is inherent at birth. The same points arise to what we are talking about here. It is not a sexuality caused by damage."

That may or may not be true. I don't know how we can possibly say. But to use homosexuality as an analogy is false- there can be gay bdsm relationships. Which may or may not stem from childhood damage.

NinjaLeprechaun Sun 11-May-14 08:58:10

Yes you don't see fat, unshaven, dominatrix women wearing jogging pants and a frumpy top.
Funnily enough, that's what I see every time I look in the mirror. shock

It's not what you're likely to see looking at internet porn sites, true - but then I doubt you'll see much that looks like real life when you look at internet porn.

JessicaMary Sun 11-May-14 07:45:58

www.confetti.co.uk/wedding-ceremonies/your-vows-at-the-ceremony/ this suggests some registrars allow you to choose your own vows and others not.
As for innate sexuality I would make the gay analogy. We used to think boys who were gay had a domineering mother and we blamed a parent for the sexuality. That has now been found to be wrong. The sexuality is inherent at birth. The same points arise to what we are talking about here. It is not a sexuality caused by damage.

ComposHat Sun 11-May-14 07:25:41

Oh and to reinforce what numerous other posters have said... you will not be able to co-opt bits of the book of common prayer for a civil marriage. so the whole debate is redundant.

ComposHat Sun 11-May-14 07:23:12

Yes daisy as someone who is by my own admission seemingly as a green as grass on this topic, it seems a bit humdrum and rather like old school sexism. Empty the dishwasher...yes. I want an automatic car...tough you're getting a manual. I want to go for a walk this weekend...no we are watching antiques roadshow.

I always assumed that the sub/dom relationship wouldn't extend outside the bedroom and that the couple lived normal and equal lives outside of this. I tbink rightly or wrongly I saw it as role playing (sort of like people who can't their rocks off unless their partner is dressed postman pat or Admiral Nelson) it is divorced from their everyday life rather than an all enveloping lifestyle.

That said from theoutside what the op describes isn't't dissimilar to what I've known of the relationship dynamic where an older man gets together with a younger woman who is a similar age to their children. Thet can be overly parental with their partner.

daisychain01 Sun 11-May-14 03:54:37

Much about this thread seems contrived and artificial to me A bit attention-seeking if you ask me--

I havent waded thru all 500+ comments Im afraid crime of the century got to the bit that said

And if he asked me to empty the dishwasher, I'd do it

and thought "how is that all submissive and SM? Sounds all very polite, civilised and ordinary.

Surely he should be dragging the OP along the floor by the hair shouting "oi wench, empty the fuckin dishes out the machine"

Or maybe Im clueless about SM!

ToffeeMoon Sun 11-May-14 02:39:37

Interesting comments above about everything being ok so long as the motive is sexual.

When people self-harm, cut themselves as an emotional release, we pity them, send them for psychiatric treatment, encourage them to stop.

When people engage in bdsm in the pursuit of an orgasm (another emotional release), we say fair enough, whatever floats your boat.

Don't those desires/needs both come from a place of damage?

FatalCabbage Sat 10-May-14 23:21:36

I'm nodding as I read, even though I don't quite agree with you.

It probably has to do with how far out of the bedroom it creeps. I agree that a fully immersed relationship must necessarily be dysfunctional. Very popular in literature, but not with actual people.

BridgetBardotte Sat 10-May-14 23:03:25

I think, without it becoming an argument of semantics, that that almost depends on how we define damaged. I'm not using it to refer to somebody living a car crash, desperately unhappy. When I say damaged, I mean anybody who is stuck in a loop of behaviours that do not advance them towards their full capacity as a human being.

I think damage can and is done in insidious small ways that can shape us and make us susceptible to bdsm. And enjoy it, and find it fulfilling. If balance can be maintained - then great. However, like I say, when it is taken outside the bedroom it always leads to a compromising of the self. When balance goes severely askew, it is also very easy to exploit your masochistic streak, which again is very damaging.

Florrypops1 Sat 10-May-14 22:45:21

None of your guests, or your step daughter to be will understand the hidden meaning. It's your wedding, your vows are exactly that, yours. So say whatever you want

FatalCabbage Sat 10-May-14 22:44:12

Oh I agree that there's an awful lot of weird and sometimes heartbreaking history behind a lot of people on the scene. I'm questioning your cause and effect, that's all.

Having the proclivity doesn't prove you are or were damaged - how you act on it might.

BridgetBardotte Sat 10-May-14 22:37:00

I don't quite understand your post FatalCabbage.

In any case, I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. I've been on the opposing side of my own argument and know how I resolutely refused to accept the kinds of things I now see to be facts that occur again and again and again with lots of individuals. Too many to be dismissed as mere coincidence.

FatalCabbage Sat 10-May-14 22:30:41

Some of us are just people, you know. It's possible that in some cases that pre-existing proclivity led some of us to bad choices and thus to abuse, but it can happen in that order.

BridgetBardotte Sat 10-May-14 22:19:11

Epically missing the point there, JessicaMary.

To 'be how you are made' - made by who, exactly? The messages of your upbringing and subsequent life experiences seep in and have an effect. Sadly the upbringing many of us have is not good enough. Not a big leap to see the connection with doing the kinds of things I outlined in my earlier post. And essentially inhabiting a D/s role means becoming a caricature of yourself in a way, at least for short periods of time. Hence the reference to stock characters - the naughty schoolgirl, the brattish sub, the perfect obedient slave, the Twoo Dom types in their leather trousers with utility belts, the sauve charismatic older men, the young cool doms with special talents for rope, etc etc etc.

It is a first hand observation that many people (including me) I encountered on the scene came from childhoods that were not good enough. This does not make them bad people - some of them are very dear friends I will love forever. It also does not mean that they all came from backgrounds akin to misery lit books - 'not good enough' has a broad range, from outright sexual or physical abuse to subtler forms of psychological abuse, such as not teaching appropriate boundary setting, or a child never having a safe adult to rely on.

JessicaMary Sat 10-May-14 20:47:16

I don't think it is a stock character to be how you are made.

Coldlightofday Sat 10-May-14 19:37:27

That's a mighty insightful and intelligent post, BB

BridgetBardotte Sat 10-May-14 19:05:07

I have been very involved in bdsm relationships and the scene, since quite a young age. I have had a D/s relationship, where he was the 'master' and I the 'slave'. I have had casual play partners, and a polyamorous 'daddy' and 'girl' relationship. I have lots of friends and acquaintances who have all kinds of relationship dynamics. I know what it is like to be aware of that draw towards those things from a very young age, where it's stamped through you like a stick of rock. Where you can never imagine being other than this person who craves pain and delights in it in a consensual context. I know all about feeling so safe and sated and utterly content when the relationship is functioning at its best. So, I do not say this lightly, or from a place of inexperience or ignorance.

BDSM, when it extends outside the bedroom does damage a great many people. Because it warps what it means to be a whole human being. It is absoutely adverse to reaching your potential as a full person. It doesn't matter who is submitting, man or woman, for this damage to be done.

I know there are a few fellow scene people who have commented on the majority of male subs on the scene - but an awful lot of these are still objectifying women.

"Up on a pedastal or down on your knees, it's all a male fantasy" Margaret Atwood. Pretty much sums up what I think about the BDSM scene en masse. There are many wonderful feminist individuals in it, but both the public image and the culture of BDSM is not feminist as far as I'm concerned. It can't be.

I always used to say how empowered it made me feel, to choose this lifestyle which satisfied my sexual longings so well and met many of my needs. However, looking back I see I really did eroticize negative life experiences I had had (emotional abuse, no father, etc etc) and the choices I made were not truly free choices. Choice does not exist in a vacuum.

I learned a lot from my time as a hardcore masochist and submissive, and I wouldn't change what I did because I think I had to go through it and in some ways got what I needed at that time. It will sound horrific to many who read this, but in my role playing with my 'daddy', I finally got a little bit of what I had been yearning for for so many years, a taste of paternal love. It all allowed me to move onto where I am today, which incidentally is no longer masochistic at all. The types of relationships I have now are equal and more importantly, are focused on the human beings involved, in all dimensions, not just on using stock characters to avoid discovering all of who we are, and using the thrill of pain or humiliation to distract away from that.

So yes, OP, I do get it. But think carefully. In the end I didn't marry my much older dominant - thank fuck.

Martorana Sat 10-May-14 17:13:25

"I know people who have explained polyamory, transition, genderqueerness, alternative sexualities, and all sorts to their children. It's a statistically insignificant sample size of course, but those children, whether by luck or otherwise, have turned into pleasant, well adjusted, curiously non-judgemental people."

I would have no trouble at all explaining any of those things to my children. I would have a lot of trouble explaining why they had to wait until dad decided what we were going to do on Saturday afternoon because he makes the decisions in the family.

Coldlightofday Sat 10-May-14 16:47:43

But if the thing you're explaining is that mummy let's daddy make all the decisions because it gets her off in the bedroom then that is a dangerous idea. Easy for a child to generalise that daddies are the ones who make decisions and mummies do as they are told.

FWIW I don't believe being subservient is anything to do with sexuality.

Haha! Puts a whole new twist on Cinderella!

^And after the wedding, the Handsome Prince took Cinderella upstairs, and she tied him to the bed and rode him like a cowboy."

I think any explanation, done with care, has to be better than the explanation I got about homosexuality when I was about seven. "Some people have something wrong with their brains. They're not normal." hmm

CorusKate Sat 10-May-14 15:57:43

Quite liking the idea of a NSFW chapter at the end of all fairy tales TBH.

And it always ends up about sex in people's fevered imaginations. Why can't you tell a child

Mostly boys grow up and want to marry girls, but sometimes they grow up and want to marry boys, and that's unusual but it's okay

or

Sometimes there are people who want to be in charge and other people who don't, and if that's how they want to organise their lives then that's okay but it's not for everyone

rather than

Those men are having UP THE BUM SEX OMG ITS THE BUMSEX, and she doesn't like being in charge and SHE'S DOING THAT FOR SEXY TIMES. In the "think of the children" argument it always follows that you HAVE to explain that it's all about sex. You really don't.

Otherwise when the fairytale prince and princess live happily ever after there would be a NSFW chapter on the end.

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