S Without D

Since I’ve joined Facebook as Kayla, I’ve met a lot of very interesting people, liked a lot of very interesting pages, and learned new things already. Questions are asked all the time by people just entering D/s – and I recognize that I am extremely new with a lot to learn.

The conversations that I lurk around (because I’m not ready to join in) center around the heartbreak. Most of the things I see talk about how a Dominant isn’t a D without a submissive. What little is spoken about submissives with no Dominants centers around the heartbreak, the pain. I’ve done that already.

What doesn’t seem to be talked about much – at least not where I’m lurking around – is whether a submissive is still a sub without a Dominant. I can’t speak in grand generalizations because D/s – like everything else – is unique to the individual. But I have been thinking about what’s different between then and now.

I realized that I need structure and rules. Without them, I ignore what I need and seek out what feels good, even temporarily, whether it’s healthy or not. Example: Before, I gave up control about food and exercise to help achieve my weight loss goals – and because I’m an emotional eater. Some might think that without the D/s part, I’ve thrown my hands up in the air, done a little dance, and reveled in my freedom. Not quite.

I tried to follow my old rules, habits, and patterns. And then I began to find comfort in food again. I’m an emotional eater. My analytic, thinking side recognizes it’s not healthy for me. My emotional side just wants to feel good, even if it’s for the 30 seconds after I taste something yummy. I have, however, kept up my workouts, but with a twist.

Before, I woke up early for a few reasons. It was a time to talk for a few minutes every morning. It was better to get my workouts done in the morning because then I had time to talk at night. And he was an early riser, and I knew that when we were together, he would expect me to get up too. I figured it would be better to get used to it before he forced me to get used to it. Ah, the things we do for love.

Now, I hit snooze about 6 times and I workout at night. I had to change the routine or risk losing my mind. Because, remember, I like structure and rules. My day had become fairly structured – not because he created rules, which many Doms do, but because we developed habits and from those habits came structure that worked for me. I missed the habits we’d developed but if I hadn’t made a change, I’d probably still be wallowing in grief.

I may get angry at some point about my eating habits. Knowing me, once I do, I’ll force myself to change. Right now, it’s easier to lock away what I don’t want to think about and find comfort in food. No, it’s not healthy, but it is easy.

What else is different? Try anything sexual. Every fantasy I have is tinted with a submissive hue. Even if you don’t see it, I do. My need to be fucked rough is certainly not unique to D/s, but my response to it probably is. I still have a hard time with orgasms – I can, and I will. Clearly. But do I want to? Not particularly. It feels good, it brings release, it relaxes me – orgasms are amazing things. But when what you want is to be commanded, directed, forced, used by and for someone else’s pleasure, the rest is very much like cold oatmeal – rather unpleasant and unappetizing.

Don’t get me wrong. I still get turned on by stories, images, and errant thoughts. And everything I’ve written lately that’s turned both you and me on has been real and heartfelt. But don’t think for one second that it’s anywhere near as satisfying as submission – because it’s not. It pales in comparison every time.

I know there are people who come out of relationships (vanilla or not) that, once they get through the grief, enjoy their new found freedom. And maybe submissives who come out of bad D/s relationships do, too – I can’t say. But I imagine that if you ask any submissive who is without a Dominant whether they’re happy to be “free” or not, most are going to say no.

Submission is a natural part of who I am. I don’t have to work hard at it, I don’t have to make myself do it, I don’t have to force myself to endure anything about D/s that I don’t like – because for me, pleasing the D is all that matters (once all hard limits are discussed and understood, of course).

For me, to be the ‘s’ without the ‘D’ feels unnatural. It doesn’t help matters that I’m still madly in love with my D, of course – that definitely makes things a little more difficult. But when I say that I feel like a piece of me is missing, I’m not just referring to a broken heart. I sincerely mean that a piece of who I am is gone. Without Domination, there is no submission. It’s a yin-yang partnership.

What I can feel happening, because with any injury you begin to compensate for the weakest part, is that my control issues are coming back. At work, at home, I’m a control freak. I worry a little too much. I think a little too much (which I believe is a characteristic of most submissive women). I need to have a plan, a back up plan, and a back up for the back up plan. I’m back to depending solely on myself and strange as this sounds, I don’t trust myself the way I trusted him – and yes, I understand that to some of you that sounds crazy.

He said to me once (ok a few times) that he didn’t do anything but give me a little kick in the ass to get me going in the right direction. He completely undervalues himself when he says that. He was a good D – he was my rock to lean on, my lion to draw strength from, my safe harbor when things got rough and scary. Looking at that list, I’m not really sure what I did as the s, but that would be me undervaluing myself, now wouldn’t it?

Am I submissive even though I have no Dominant? Not really. Without anyone to submit to, I’m just me, plain old me. Just as, without someone to Dominant, a Dom is simply a man. That being said, whether someone is a Dominant or a submissive, if it’s a natural part of who they are, it doesn’t just go away either. My subby side is still there, lurking beneath the surface. I’m pretty sure that all it would take to find her again is a gleam in his eye, a tone in his voice, or a single word.

About the author

Kayla Lords

I am a sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, international speaker, kink educator, and all-around kinky woman. You can find me online sharing my innermost sexual thoughts and experiences, teaching other bloggers how to make money writing about sex, and helping kinksters have happy healthy BDSM relationships. I'm also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom and business partner, John Brownstone. Welcome to my kinky corner of the internet!


  • I would’ve said yea you were still a sub without the Dom, but I’m reconsidering that after reading. It’s just a title though ultimately. Still who you are, but there’s no one to compliment you. Interesting thoughts.

  • Thank you. Although will add, sometimes it is very lonely wanting something that you’ve had before and fear you won’t have again; stay strong- the right D will find you, and you him.. Xx L

  • Flying without a wingman doesn’t change who YOU are in my opinion. Check out this site:

  • I think that we all place to much stock in labels, rules or definitions. What ever or how ever you want to define it. When you try to conform to those labels you can help but to fall short. And so the cycle of doubt continues. The duality of am and am not is the basis of the struggle. You just are. Nothing more nothing less


    • Wise words, and I don’t disagree.

      My label isn’t a typical label IMHO…it’s a fact of who I am…and without it, I feel like half a person…I will overcome that, because that’s all anyone can do, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the incomplete feeling exists…

  • You are submissive, you’ll always be submissive. You’re just not actively serving anyone. That doesn’t have to be the case though. This could be a time for you to improve yourself, in honor of your D, whether he be the one you’re still in love with or the new one that will come into your life. How would he want you to self care at this moment? You could use this time to work on being the best version of yourself, for Him(if not for yourself)
    We are always in service, whether we realize it or not.


    Good luck, I know it’s not easy

  • I’d say if you’re still heterosexual when you’re celibate, you’re still submissive without a dom. Doesn’t mean it’s fun to go through.

    • I agree. All these years later, it’s definitely something I’ve learned about myself – and I think other people are figuring out for themselves. We are who we are, regardless of whether we have a partner or not.

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