THREE TYPES OF SUBMISSION

Submission can mean many things.We asked the same questions of three girls in submissive relationships and got some very different answers.

1. Jean: Occasional Submission

Handmaiden News: How would you define your relationship to your mistress?

Jean: Temporary slave, perhaps. I only see her on average about twice a month. I act as her slave during that time. I see it as a rôle or personality I need to express.

Handmaiden News: What do you call your mistress?

Jean: When we are actually "in role" I call her "mistress". Other times I just call her by her name.

Handmaiden News: Could your submission become more permanent?

Jean: I don't know. I am becoming more involved with it. Frankly I am not sure if my present mistress would be the right person for a permanent submission. One day, with the right girl—who knows?

Handmaiden News: Does your mistress punish you?

Jean: Yes. I am not used to it. It is fairly lightweight stuff.

Handmaiden News: Do you enjoy punishment?

Jean: What I really enjoy is actually being submissive. That means if my mistress wants to punish me I accept it, and, yes, I think I do enjoy it so long as I am confident she will respect my limits.

Handmaiden News: Are you afraid of your mistress?

Jean: Within our roles, I can feel a bit afraid of her when she is angry, but I know she does respect my limits and that I can end the "game" if I really want to (though I never have). So the real answer is no. I could certainly imagine taking it a bit further.

Handmaiden News: How public is your submission?

Jean: Not public at all. It is just between us.

2. Deborah: Gentle Submission

Handmaiden News: How would you define your relationship to your mistress?

Deborah: I am not quite sure. You see, we didn't start out with her as my mistress. We lived together and she always took the leading role. It was some time before I became formally obedient to her. We just sort of slid into it. I suppose I think of myself as her little girl as much as anything.

Handmaiden News: What do you call your mistress?

Deborah: Usually I just call her by her name. Sometimes if she is being a bit schoolmistressy I call her "Miss".

Handmaiden News: Does your mistress punish you?

Deborah: Very occasionally she will spank me with her hand or with a hairbrush. Not terribly hard -- well, once or twice it has been hard. But punishment does not play much of a part in our relationship. I do as I am told without being spanked. There is a cane which Anita says I will get if I am ever very naughty. I have never had it and I don't expect to.

Handmaiden News: Do you enjoy punishment?

Deborah: A very light spanking I can enjoy, but it isn't a thing I feel any great need for. Hard spankings -- I've only had two or three—I don't like, but I accept them.

Handmaiden News: Are you afraid of your mistress?

Deborah: Not at all, I love her. Sometimes it is a bit frightening if she is really cross, but she isn't often.

Handmaiden News: How well do you think you know your mistress?

Deborah: As well as I could ever know any one. It is much deeper than an ordinary relationship. You have to trust in ways that most people don't. That does bring you a lot closer.

Handmaiden News: How public is your submission?

Deborah: A few of our close friends know. A few others guess, I think. Sometimes she speaks very authoritatively to me in public, and it is clear she expects me to obey her. It seems like a sort of flirty game.

3: Alison - Absolute Submission

Handmaiden News: How would you define your relationship to your mistress?

Alison: I am her slave-girl. I regard myself as her absolute property.

Handmaiden News: What do you call your mistress?

Alison: "Mistress". Never anything else.

Handmaiden News: Does your mistress punish you?

Alison: Yes, quite often. I am trained to a very high standard, which I am proud of. I am punished for nearly every fault, and sometimes I am punished just for my good.

Handmaiden News: Are you punished severely?

Alison: It varies. Anything from a few strokes of the strap to a serious caning. Sometimes I have longer, "ritual" beatings. I think a lot of people would consider these unduly severe. They do leave me quite marked, but they are right for me. I need them.

Handmaiden News: Do you enjoy punishment?

Alison: That is a difficult question. I am actually quite sensitive to pain. A sound caning can be really horrid, but if any one told me I should never be caned again, the bottom would drop out of my world (oops! no pun intended). I always feel better after serious discipline. I get very highly-strung if I go without it for a long time.

As for actually enjoying it. Well, I don't usually enjoy it at the time, or enjoy the prospect of it just before. If I enjoyed it, it wouldn't be punishment, would it? I wouldn't actually want to enjoy it.

Oddly, there are two opposite sorts of occasion on which I come nearest to enjoying it. When it is quite light (my mistress never gives really light punishment)—say a few strokes of the strap—they hurt, but the fear and pain is very moderate, and I can sort of enjoy the idea of being punished.The other sort of occasion is when I have a long, ritual beating. These are very painful, but I sometimes come to a point that seems to go beyond pain and into something else; almost a sort of mystical experience of complete submissive union with my mistress.

Handmaiden News: This is a delicate question, and don't answer if you don't want to: but would you say there was a sexual aspect to this?

Alison: Certainly not in the obvious sense. Actually, sexual um -- actuality -- either with my mistress or on my own is strictly forbidden. There is a continual, high, fine thread of sensuality in our life. The extraordinary tension of that would be released if it was ever allowed simple bodily expression, and it never is. This is part of the discipline for us. But I think you could say that our bond transcends "sex" and passes into a higher and rarer and much intenser form of eroticism.

Handmaiden News: Are you afraid of your mistress?

Alison: Yes. I think a slave-girl should always have a healthy fear of her mistress. I love her more than any one alive. I give my whole life to her willingly. Fear does not mean something bad to me—I mean.there are bad kinds of fear, but this is a good kind. It is a warm fear. I trust my mistress absolutely. I do not fear her doing anything bad to me. I do not fear her leaving me, as many people do. I fear her displeasure, because I want nothing but to please her. I fear her anger, and I fear her rod. A slave-girl should fear those things.

Handmaiden News: How well do you think you know your mistress?

Alison: You can't understand an absolute bond like ours unless you realise it is absolute in every respect, and on both sides. Your souls melt and fuse together until you are not two separate people any more. It is much closer than marriage: closer than anything. I know her as well as I know myself, because she is myself.

Handmaiden News: How public is your submission?

Alison: Completely public. We make no secret of it. All my mistress's friends know. I open the front door in my maid's uniform to every one—friends, meter readers, neighbours borrowing sugar. I never refer to my mistress as anything but "my mistress" to any one. If any caller asks to see her, I say: "My mistress will be with you presently." If I go shopping with my mistress I often go in my uniform and always carry all her bags.

Handmaiden News: Does this mean you are always a maid? You are clearly an intelligent girl. Is your life given over entirely to domestic duties? Have you friends of your own?

Alison: No, my life is not given over entirely to domestic duties. I do a lot of writing and am a published authoress. I have no friends separate from my mistress. We move very much in our own circle. They know me as and individual and do not simply think of me as my mistress's slave-girl—a sort of shadowy background figure. They know me as a clever friend, a good talker, an amusing and passionate person. At least, that is how I think they see me! But they also know I am my mistress's slave-girl. Some evenings I am in uniform and people who, the night before were engaged in philosophical conversation with me may find me limited to "Yes, miss" and "Very good, miss" at least for part of the evening. Even when I am out of uniform and talking like a free, independent individual, my mistress is in absolute command and may assert her absolute authority over me in various ways.

Handmaiden News: What do your friends think of this?

Alison: I think they quite like it on the whole. It adds a certain frisson to the atmosphere. Mostly they treat me as a friend, but sometimes they think of me more as a slave-girl and tease me or order me about.

Handmaiden News: Do you like this?

Alison: Yes, mostly.

Handmaiden News: And you are quite happy to live in complete obedience to another person?

Alison: I should not want to live any other way. I see my mistress as representing a higher good. Sometimes my mistress tells me to do things I had rather not do. Sometimes I want to talk and I have to serve and be silent instead. Every person has her own will and desires; and discipline means submitting that will to the will of another, and sometimes that means thwarting your own desires. One's will to submit has to be stronger than one's will to follow one's own desires. That is the essence of discipline.

One has to trust one's mistress absolutely. It is a very special bond, and it is a very serious responsibility for the mistress, too. As I said, the mistress/slave-girl bond is closer than marriage, it is a very rare and precious union. To find two people compatible enough for a total unity like this is not easy. But if you can find it and you are prepared to accept the discipline -- in all senses of the word -- then, if you are made for this way of life, there is really nothing more deeply rewarding.

For me to go back now into an ordinary "independent" life without a mistress would be like going from a world of colour into a grey world.


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