I’ve felt “owned” many times, but only once was it explicitly part of my dynamic with that partner. It’s a heavy responsibility to carry. I don’t like to think of myself as a burden, but let’s just say I don’t go around asking people to “own” me all willy-nilly.
But those of us who know the feeling, we know when it’s happened.
In the recent story I posted “The Mindgasm” the two characters don’t have that sort of relationship. The simplest way to describe it would be to say they’re just casual play partners. And when she realizes that something he threw out as an offhand remark triggered a response in her that made her feel owned, she was overwhelmed by it.
In the story, she gets her footing back through the power of snark.
I want to point something out here, in case it’s not clear. That whole story is made up. It was inspired by someone who DID say that line in a hypothetical, throw-away, and joking way, and my REAL response to it was to shake my head and laugh it off. But on the drive home, I wondered about the headspace of someone who would take that seriously and the rest of the story pulled itself together.
This whole thing ties into a lot of my feelings about submission and dominance and how that dynamic works as an exchange between two people and not just one person serving another.
‘Cause when you really think about it, which one of us is doing the serving?
I get to lay there and be still while my top has to do all the work. Learn the skills. Carry the large suitcase full of toys. Keep their needs and my needs in mind. Ensure my enjoyment without me explicitly telling them what I want. Keep in mind (if in a public place) not to interfere with other scenes in progress.
All I have to do is obey.
My partner will tell me what he or she needs or wants and I just get to do it. I don’t need to read minds. I don’t need to worry bout his or her health. I don’t need to be cognizant of anything but “obey.”
And through it all, I really have all the power. One word. I can stop the whole thing with one word. Only, I really don’t have the power ’cause they could ignore it. That’s what makes this an “exchange” and why trust is such a huge part of it from both sides of the slash.
I hear the phrase “greedy fucking bottom,” a lot and it makes me smile, ’cause it’s true. I am a greedy fucking bottom.
Anyone who has ever spent time behind me with their palms in the air has probably heard my response to a good healthy smack on the ass:
But yes, on the surface – it would seem that the submissive/bottom is serving the needs of their toply counterpart. Giving over that control, learning to anticipate and match their moods (playful? serious? primal? sadistic?), and in our own way, ensure they are enjoying their time as well.
Ever feel like your top was going through the motions just to please you? It sucks. I want to know they’re getting something out of it. In a funky figure-eight of codependent narcissism, I get nothing out of it if they get nothing out of it, and since I want something out of it, I will damn well ensure they get something out of it.
It’s not like we don’t bring anything to the table. It’s our ass ON the table.
But ownership – that’s, like, a big deal, man. At least to me it is. That’s taking on all that responsibility, not just for the duration of a scene, but outside of it, too.
The bottom in my story has a little mini freakout in her mind when this is happening because putting that responsibility on her top had not been negotiated. I’m not saying all my characters are me, but in this case, she reacted the way I would have.
But, what if he hadn’t asked her that particular question in the end? What if he’d asked a different question instead?
What if the end had gone something like this:
“You made me feel owned,” she admitted.
“And that made you come,” he responded, understanding.
“Yes,” she answered.
He paused for a minute. The tension in the air was thick.
“Do you want to be owned?”
She didn’t respond. She didn’t know how to respond. With deliberate intention, he walked around the table. Her eyes closed involuntarily as she sensed and listened for his movement. He was standing behind her now.
“Stand up,” he said.
She stood, blood draining from her face. This was too much to put on him. This was where he would let her down. Where their relationship would end.
“Look at me.”
She lifted her gaze timidly and started into his focused eyes. She could feel her heart beating in her throat, all the moisture, having left her mouth was pushing its way past her tear ducts.
He softly pressed his thumb to her chin and traced a line down. Slowly, his fingers spread across her throat. Gently he added pressure – more and more until her breathing became calm and measured.
“Tell me,” he ordered.
With a hoarse whisper, she answered him. “You’ve already owned me for a while now.”
“Took you long enough to figure it out,” he murmured just as their lips met for what felt like the first time.
I’m gonna leave you with that, for now.