I just read an interesting set of rules of submission - clearly geared toward a male on male relationship, which is fine - I can adapt verbiage to mean me when needed (I am good like that). One rule in particular stuck out at me:
Bottoms seek their own pleasure; boys seek to be obedient. The bottom in you
must yield to the boy. Pleasure is to be enjoyed when it comes. You need
not seek it.
Okay, it was actually two rules, but it did make me pause.
Perhaps W/we need to find out if I am a bottom or a submissive or something else. And how that fits in with His original desires. Maybe I am a true bottom who functions as a service submissive. (Yes, I am trying to be a bit ridiculous with that last sentence, but not totally.)
Mind you, I have been purposely avoiding defining terms. I have interchangeably used the terms submissive and slave with intention. I know there is a difference - I have read quite a bit on it actually. What I don't like is engaging in ANY community's linguistic exercises that ultimately appear to rank a person's ability to stay within a traditional framework versus adapting it for themselves. And to date, that is how I felt about all the so-called definitions. The "true" practitioners of the Art and the rest of us. Right?
However, there is clearly a difference - and yes, I think that you can have aspects of all - but not understanding the difference may be resulting in an Expectation Gap that is unfortunate. Actually, it sucks, because W/we are both desiring fulfillment - but if I am coming from one direction (bottoming so to speak) and He is coming from another (submission), well, we aren't quite on the same page.
I guess it makes sense - when we first got together in real life, we fought like crazy for the first six months... no one could understand what the hell we were doing together. Since that time, we rarely fought again. I think we were just engaging in the negotiations of our contract to be with each other. We knew from the moment we got together we were going to be together. There were some details to work out however, things we both knew we needed in our lives to be happy. And once that was done, for the most part, we have gone on fine.
Well, this is the first new contract for U/us in a long time and perhaps the negotiations will continue to rage for a while. And then it will just be. One can only hope.
On a side note, I find Wikipedia super fascinating on the subject of BDSM relationships and this quote from the article, Service Top, to be particularly apt:
There is not, however, "one true way" to maintain a BDSM relationship dynamic, and a mutually negotiated Top/bottom power exchange that varies from the stereotypical is just as valid as power exchanges that are arguably more traditional.
A mutually negotiated ... power exchange. Exactly.