Editors note – Kink and mental health
A kink and mental health blog. This started out being written at 3am during a particularly stressful day. Therefore much of this will be sans filter and incredibly raw. If suicide, depression, drugs, violence or mental health are triggers for you my advice is you do not continue reading. This is a tale of a submissive man who grew up passionately resenting an integral part of him.
While the Podopheleus website is mostly fun, one of the key factors in setting up this website was to help with men’s mental health and indeed Kink and Mental Health in general. You can read or mental health section here.
I wish I wasn’t
Existing in my mind
It is 3am as I write this. My fingers tap busily against my keyboard but I am barely aware of the clicking sound of my keyboard let alone the words that appear blurred on my screen.
My thoughts, as often they do during difficult times, have drifted to a happier and less complicated place. A place where a woman is standing above me. Her boots inches from my face. Were I to glance up at her she would look almost regal in her majesty, wearing a knowing smile. What she knows, of course, is that I am hers. That her word is my law. Her embrace my comfort.
I have never met this woman outside of my day dreams. She does not exist. I have never been in a position where I surrender control to another. And I only have myself to blame. This is an account of the self-hatred that is born from longing to serve another, written at a time when that longing is at its strongest.
Kink and mental health – The early years
Born to a middle-class family with a happy childhood I had no traumas in my early childhood. I say this because a common response I have had on dating sites is to find out what caused my need to be subservient. Trauma is very often the suggested reason.
My first memory of what I refer to as my subby side is from when I was 4 years old. I had been reading a He-Man comic and my mother had asked me what I was doing. I flipped to the back of the book to show her the villains and explained that I wished to be tied up by them all.
There was nothing sexual involved in my desires. Even had I the literary tools to communicate eloquently I doubt I could have. 36 years later I still cannot explain what it is that drives me to crave this treatment. It is my mother’s look that I recall the best. She looked at me as if I were a danger to her and her kin. She regained her composure and explained to me why that was an odd thing to want.
I knew then, as I know now, that my subby side would not be well received by the vast majority of those I encounter. And so, at 4 I learned that this difference within me was to be kept to myself. Life continued to reinforce that lesson.
Men are taught, both explicitly and implicitly that we have to be a certain way. So are women for that matter. When dissected the notion that all people should behave a certain way due to the parts they were born with is easily taken apart. But never the less, that is the way of things.
And so I learned to be a “man”. I was taught to be strong. Emotionally distant. To allow others to lean on me but never to lean on another. And above all things to be dominant and “manly”.
Before I had seen 10 years I had an encounter with my adopted cousin that left me confused and torn. She had been abused as a child and as is so often the way she passed that abuse on to those weaker than her. Being years younger than her I was one such victim. She tied me to a tree and tried to force me in to her. At the time I was frightened but it was how I felt after the event that made me angry. Not at her. But at myself.
I hated the experience but some part of me, a part I had already learned to keep deep inside enjoyed it. Not the Non-consensual aspect of it. But the humiliation I felt left me hurt but oddly I was drawn to it. As a 9 year old boy I could not understand these feelings and I had no one to turn to for comfort or education.
Falling from grace
I fell in with a bad crowd as a teenager. I think this was in part my over compensating for the confusing submissive emotions I felt inside. I started fights. Took drugs. Was rarely sober. All to mask the deep-seated desire I had to submit.
The differences between me and my fellow man only widened. When out at the pub a friend would say “Fuck me mate, she is fit. Wouldn’t mind a BJ off of her” or words to that affect.
Every time I heard this I felt the gap widen between me and my peers. I didn’t want a blow job off of anyone. I didn’t want to “rip her knickers off with my teeth” or “pound her” her in the back of my mates Peugeot 205. I wanted to treat her with respect. I wanted to speak with her as one human to another. I wanted to see if we had chemistry and slowly surrender myself to her.
Of course, I didn’t say any of these things. Instead, I nodded with non-committal agreement.
At that time I longed to be like them. Perhaps not to view women as objects to be taken to the bedroom but to be satisfied with what everyone else seemed satiated with. To have sex in whatever position and for climax to be the goal. Neither their goal or their means to reach that goal had any real interest to me. Their desires seemed so simple to me. So easy. You see someone you are attracted to and have a desire to see them naked. Oh I longed for that. In-fact I still do.
I am lucky in some ways. I have always had the gift of the gab. A golden tongue. So I have always been able to disagree with people while leaving them satisfied that I had not disagreed too strongly. To make myself look “manly” while still treating people with respect.
I was also quite good with women as a teenager. They liked me. And so to the other men in my life I was a womaniser. And to hide my true nature I allowed them to think that.
Little did they know I rarely slept with the women I spoke to. Because it was at that stage that another difference between me and my peers became most evident. I was and have always been indifferent to vanilla sex. So that, coupled with my desire to treat all people with the respect I would want to be treated with meant I would often take things no further than kissing.
But there was a selfish reason to not allow a partner to be more intimate than that. I have never found it easy to climax from vanilla activities. The women I met would always try to get me in the mood by offering a blow job. I am afraid to say I did not have the bravery to say I was indifferent to them. And even on the occasions that I did state my indifference I was always met with the same response. “Yeah but you haven’t tried mine yet”.
During sex I learned to fake climax. Or if the lights were off to allow my mind to wander to a far-off place where more appropriate activities would take place. Then and only then would I reach the finish line.
I went from partner to partner, more often than not allowing it to last only one or two meetings. I had a name as a womaniser whereas this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
After hiding it for so long I grew angry. At myself at first. Then at the world around me. I hated being different. I so wanted to be like the friends I spent time with. Even at the cost of my morals.
Seeking a cure
With all the drugs, alcohol and fighting I soon became homeless. This time was a life defining time for me. It shaped so much of what I became. I mention this because it is a testimony to the strength of my subby side. Even when every day was a fight for survival with no roof over my head and no food I still felt my need for subservience bubbling just beneath the surface. When people hurled abuse at me for existing in squalor I both resented it and wondered if in a controlled setting I would enjoy it.
Once I had managed to get myself back on my feet I still resented the need for subservient and looked back at my homeless days wondering how I could be so ridiculous as to want it as much as I wanted food. It was then that I realised this desire was as strong as the desire for life sustaining necessities. It was more akin to a need than a desire. It feels entitled to even write that but there is truth on those words.
In my late teens I started trying to rid myself of this curse. Every time I had even the start of a submissive thought I would hurt myself. I used a compass to scratch myself. I even broke my nose once. Anything that would deter me from having these thoughts.
At 18 I sought therapy. I had been told many a time that therapy was for the weak. But at that time in my life I believed I was weak. No amount of self harm or mental flagellation had rid me of my need to be dominated.
I feel sorry for that therapist. He was not equipped to deal with the subject matter. His face was of a deer trapped in headlights as I explained these bizarre feelings I had. Needless to say he was unable to help.
At 19 I went to a sex therapist. I have to confess I had difficulties opening up to her. She was empathetic to my troubles but my embarrassment combined with her inexperience with male submissives provided an insurmountable obstacle to that path.
All the while the unseen differences between me and everyone around me were brought more and more to the forefront of my mind.
I felt alone. I felt like I had tried all I could to become “normal”. Despair started to hit me at 20. How could I live a life when an integral part of my being fought me at every turn? It was around then that I realised it was not a subby side. No more than a person’s temper or love of biscuits is a side.
Our personalities are constant ever-changing weaves that tie together to create a greater whole. I could no more distinguish my subby side than I could a drop in an ocean. I am one. And the aspects of my personality are so intertwined that they cannot be separated or identified.
This was a disheartening realisation for me. It explained why it could not be removed. Not without removing my entire personality.
My only solace was my passion for martial arts. I was fighting competitively at the time and when I was before my opponent my subby side slept. I could be the part of me I had accepted with no confusion. And only that part.
Unfortunately the despair only grew. Every time a friend talked about a partner. Every time I met a woman and we became intimate. Even every time I tried to pleasure myself. My despair grew.
Not long after I turned 21 the hopelessness that had become my primary emotion got the better of me. I took a knife and dragged it slowly and precisely across my wrist. To be sure I then took a number of paracetamol to finish the job. This was not a cry for help. I told no one of my actions before or after the event. I no longer wanted to continue this exhausting internal battle. I wanted an end to the constant shame. I wanted to die without anyone knowing why.
I woke up in hospital that same day. My housemate had somehow found me and dragged me there. Luckily my inexperience in fatal violence had meant I missed anything that might kill me and had not nearly taken enough of the pills to do myself too much damage. I am eternally grateful for that inexperience.
The problem with society directing men not to talk about our problems combined with society being so prudish when it comes to sex means when a sexual problem becomes overwhelming there is no way to get support or put the problems in to perspective. Such was it with me.
As time went on I managed to find coping mechanisms for my subby side. I accepted she was there but refused to give her agency. I learned to pleasure myself to femdom stories but never allow my subby side more notice than that.
I ended up in a relationship that had lasted for four months. It was going well and we were becoming close. I no longer felt I had to be the hard man around her. I even introduced her to my love of mythology. Another closely guarded secret.
Then one day I told her about my subby side. Gently and with no expectations. I said I had this inexplicable desire to be dominated.
Her response still haunts me. “So you are a pervert? Do you like kids?” she asked with a look of abject disgust on her face. I tried to explain and she finished with “I’m sorry but I can’t be with a freak.”
I did find another girlfriend weeks later and after 3 months I also told her. She was far kinder with her response but also stated she could not be with “someone like me” and ended our relationship. I never told a partner about my subby side again.
As time wore on I found distractions to help me repress my subby side. I started charities for the homeless. I started a career which I ended up having some talent for. I threw myself in to these activities to help me repress my subby side. I attribute much of my subsequent success to being a submissive. And while I still wish I wasn’t a submissive I am thankful for this unexpected side affect.
Acceptance and resentment
I met women and started long term relationships. I managed to learn to fake orgasms convincingly and to keep my subby side so repressed I often didn’t even know she was there. As I grew older I learned new tools to keep this side of me from having autonomy. I accepted what I was as long as I did not allow her to speak for me.
I joined Fetlife and spoke to others like me. This was the first time I learned that I was not as unusual as I had initially believed. So my acceptance grew. I became less concerned with who I was and more concerned with what I did with the cards I had been dealt.
I joined Twitter and started interacting with other kinksters. I even went to a few events and did some basic play. These were so immensely valuable to me and my growth and I am ever thankful I found these channels to explore.
Of course joining Fetlife and Twitter introduced me to another difficult truth. That so many people in the BDSM scene also resent submissive men. They have cause to of course. So many submissive men behave inappropriately. But I began to realise we neither belong in the vanilla world nor the BDSM one. We are not “normal” nor are we LGBTQ+. And that resentment towards us would be prevalent externally as well as internally regardless of where we set foot.
I do my best to ignore the disgust at my existence externally. And I have been told on countless occasions that being a sub is a positive thing. I have yet to reach that conclusion however. To be born with something that removes the majority of people as potential partners. That makes us wonder why we would crave something that goes against all natural desires. To be hated, feared or looked down on no matter where we go. I cannot understand why being a submissive man is a positive thing.
Bright side of life
But I am working on it. We are gifted with a solid understanding of who we are from an early age. Some people are driven to distraction trying to gain that insight. We are driven by our desires to achieve greatness and a need to please translates well in the working world.
And of course, the feeling of elation when we do serve is beyond anything I can imagine. When I went to events and was asked to massage feet or in some way serve a Domme my heart raced and it was forever etched in my memory as a highlight of my life.
When on Twitter an incredibly friendly and intelligent Domme offered for me to do some tasks for her. I felt so overjoyed. As I worked for her I felt like a warm glow emanated inside of me. I felt like I was in the right place doing the right thing and no external influence could change that. I looked forward to sending the emails to say I had done the work. And to her responses saying the work was well received.
Even the smallest of things put a smile on to my face. Another Domme I have spoken to said to me one day “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it”. I have never been spoken to like that before but I was smiling for the rest of the day. It is like She had reached in to my mind and knew exactly how I liked to be spoken to.
If being a sub who is active in the scene can bring these kinds of positives regularly I think I can understand how someone might go from resenting who they are to being positive about it.
I am not there yet. I have grown for sure. I dislike being a sub instead of hate it now. I am slowly, tentatively exploring the scene and who knows what the future may hold.
To all the subs out there I understand. It is a constant internal battle with no support or understanding outside. But it gets easier. Humans are an adaptable species and you learn to cope with it at worst and, I understand, embrace it at best.
I am Manlock. I am a sub CD and I wish I wasn’t.
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