Sex Writing

Is This A Submissive Thing?

While the following may sound like a rant about my life, I actually don’t mean it that way. I’m asking a question of submissives, male or female, and of Dominants, male or female. I’m curious if what I’m feeling and the way I’m reacting is common in submissives. 

I’ve always had high expectations of myself. My father instilled that in me from a very early age. He taught me that anything less an A in school was unacceptable. Only my best was allowed at all times. That probably sounds like a lot of pressure. Maybe it was, I don’t know. It was normal to me.

Either as a result of how I was raised, because it’s just genetic, or both, I enjoy working hard to being good at things, the best, actually. I like to excel. I loved getting good grades and then the praise of being a smart girl or a good girl. I felt ten feet tall whenever someone complimented my intelligence, my maturity, my positive attitude, my helpfulness.

That attitude carried over to my adult life after I finished school. The idea of being the best at something, at being known for being smart or dependable or just good at something , pushes me to work hard. It helps that I enjoy hard work. A former boss, and very good friend, has told me on numerous occasions that he’s never seen anyone work as hard or as tirelessly as I do, and he doesn’t think he ever will. I glow with pride at statements like that. A strong work ethic is in my DNA – the desire to be needed, wanted, and invaluable is a bonus that makes the hard work feel easy.

I tell you all of that to say, I take on a lot – at work, I mean. I do it because I enjoy my job. I do it because I have a sense of loyalty to a company that provides me opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise. I do it because I don’t know how to be any different. I like being needed. I can’t help myself.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m also a single mom. The kind with a sperm donor for an ex husband. I don’t have family near by. I have babysitters but not a lot of extra cash. So, it’s just me about 90 percent of time. That’s not a complaint. As hard as it can be, I prefer my life now than when I was married. But, I want to be a good mom. I want to have a clean house. I want to cook healthy meals for my children. I want to enroll them in sports or activities and allow them to actually participate. I want to give them as close to a “normal” life as I can, even if it’s just me. And yes, I realize there is no such thing as normal, and we all do the best we can. I get it.

When I feel like I’m not performing at my best or doing what I know I should be doing or even what I think I ought to be doing, I feel like I’m letting everyone down. I have a standard that I think I should meet as often as possible, and when it doesn’t happen, I stress out.

My boys are getting the best week EVER from their point of view, because the only night they get a home-cooked meal will have been Monday once this week is over. My house is a wreck. There’s a load of laundry in the dryer that has been sitting there since Sunday. I can’t see my desk at work. I have three voicemails and 50 unread emails just from today.

None of this is unusual. Everyone experiences this. This isn’t really about those small, very normal, details of my life. It’s about my reaction to it.

You can tell me to calm down and breathe. You can tell me not to worry so much. You can reassure me that I’m doing a great job and that everyone goes through this. Logically, rationally, I agree with you. I would say the same thing to someone else.

My reaction is visceral. When I feel like there’s too much coming at me, when I can’t keep up, when I’m not performing the way I should, I want to shut down completely. I want to tell the world to go the hell away and let me get this right. Let me keep working day in and day out until I’m caught up and back on track. I want to turn inward, go deep into my head, find a solution for the problem (whatever it may be that’s causing me to feel overwhelmed) and fix it until I’m back to normal (or what I consider normal). I have this fear that I’ve disappointed someone – my boss, my kids, some unknown force that apparently judges me (at least in my imagination, I guess). I feel like I’m letting my world down. I get headaches; I don’t sleep well; I snap at everyone. I feel like I’m no longer the good girl

So, I’m back to the question for any and all submissives or those that love submissives – am I alone in my reaction? Is this a me thing or a submissive thing? I’m curious to see if there are common traits among us. Even if you consider yourself a bedroom submissive, are there certain traits that carry into our vanilla lives that we might not even recognize as the submissive side of who we are? I’m not one to beg for comments, but on this, I would really love to hear what you think.


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 have no idea if all submissives do this, but I am doing it right now too.I’m trying to ride the wave of life and deal with what takes priority, but I am missing my perfectly clean home and under control life. I don’t like regressing, even if it is temporary.

    • I think we’ll be able to see if its common among subs, if people share with us here…hopefully they will…

      But I get it…

      Sometimes, what I wish for more than anything is something to snap me out of my feelings – a spanking would do that, but there must be a spanker for the spankee – if that makes sense.

  • I shut down, when things get too much, Master says it is a self destruct button that I can press in seconds, I shut down everything I become angry,short and abrupt because I have this need to be that good girl,like you say even at school Ia had to get it right, had to the best,my team had to win,I had a need to be a race It was all about pleasing others,making them proud, even now I have Master for a chance to be a wife,a chance go have less hours sp I can keep our home.up to the standard I need it to at, I can feel the stress building isn’t sitting just so, its like I have failed, I need to have the good girl.feeling inside, x

  • A number of questions here really or maybe statements. I too can relate to the over achiever in you as I was brought up thinking the only way out of the life I had was to be better than everbody else at what I did. And for the most part I was. I relation to the shut down I dont think its a sub thing, its very much a normal life thing. When I get to the point where im over whelmed I often shut down. I think the difference is what you do during that shut down period that counts. If you wallow and run from all the expectations of life then thats a problem as it will only breed more issue. If you step back realize your overwhelmed take the time you need to rethink your plan, decompress and then get back on it then youve turned that shut down into a positive by using the time to take a look inward and regain ones strength. OK enough from me.
    Best wishes

    • I think being overwhelmed is a common feeling in vanilla or D/s…but the why of it may not. If I become overwhelmed and I feel like I’m not meeting expectations, it’s not just that I feel like I’m letting people down…it’s that I don’t think I will be considered liked, pleasing, loved, whatever. That somehow this makes me a “bad girl.” Logically I know it’s not true, but that’s how I react.

  • I think it is quite common. I to was one of those pushed kids. Pushed to achieve, behave, get it right. And now i am a driven woman. Nothing less than perfection at work is acceptable. I am the care taker of others and their emoitons. And yet when it all gets to be to much, i buckle. Close down, shut off. Not for long,but for a bit. It is my way of regrouping. Then i come back and kick the worlds ass.

    • I am demanding of myself, but not at all unhappy most of the time. Most of the time I perform up to my own standards. But when I don’t, yes I am unhappy.

  • Hi, I popped over here from Nilla’s blog, ( I’m trying to read as many blogs as I can before starting my own).
    Your post here really struck me. I’m not in a D/s relationship, however I am married to a man( Husband) that has Dominant traits. And I am very much a submissive.
    I am very much like this. I have these super high standerds I feel like I must achieve, otherwise I am not ‘good enough’ and dont deserve to be loved, liked, or even live at times. I had always thought it was because my parents were über religious and had that ideal of ‘ we are sinners and will never be good enough , but try harder anyway.’
    I used to be very able to ‘ go inside’ and come out fighting with a solution to problems. But I was depended on too much, by too many people and had an emotional breakdown of sorts.
    Now I just go inside and shut down most of the time.
    Is this a submissive thing? It could be.
    Wouldn’t that make sense? The spanking, paddling, ( etc.) gives us a release, not just sexual, but emotional. Perhaps we feel as tho we need that as ‘ punishment’ for our shortcomings. Maybe it brings us out of ourselves enough to take a step back and re-evaluate where we are.
    This is an interesting question. And it is a relief to know I am not alone.

  • All I want to do is hide when life gets overwhelming. I procrastinate even more. It does nothing to help me. It only makes it worse. What I want is for someone to take care of it for me. To give up. When those feelings subside, I pick my ass up and make a list to get my shit done. I still don’t feel I’m any further ahead, but at least I know where I’m going….

  • I just wrote a post about how I’ve been feeling the same way but honestly never even thought that maybe it was more common than I thought with some of us who are submissive…I know I’m late reading this but I happened across it while clearing my email out & read it at just the right time. So for this submissive…yes…I feel so many of the same things & am both glad & saddened that it’s not just me because no 1 should ever feel like that.

    • It makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one. I will have to read yours. Maybe it’s a case of great minds thinking alike? I think I like the sound of that… 🙂

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