Author: Raven Shadowborne © May 1, 1999


Obedience is basically doing what you are told to do. Interesting enough it seems to me that many take this to mean that submissives are mindless robots who do everything they are told, all the time, without any thought for themselves. (blind obedience) This is not true. Being obedient, by no means, says that you can't think for yourself, question things or have negative feelings about things. When one speaks of obedience they do not mean blind obedience.

Often though, you will see people discussing obedience and a submissive will say "I do what I am told all the time". What gets lost in a statement like that is the length of time the relationship has been in place, the level of trust the submissive has in the dominant, and the similarities in the couple's desires.

As a relationship continues and the trust grows eventually a submissive will reach a point where they do everything they are told without question. This comes about because the submissive knows the dominant will probably not ask something totally outrageous of them. The pair know each other and are comfortable with one another in that knowledge. Often the periods of time in the beginning of a relationship where doubts and questions were more prevalent have been forgotten. The submissive can no longer image having doubted their dominant for even a moment. Yet, most likely, he/she did at some point question or doubt their dominant.  Questions and doubts are normal. Each relationship should have some way of discussing these things as a part of their communication process.

Obedience is a requirement in a D/s relationship. If a submissive does not obey orders then he/she is not submitting, in my opinion. A submissive should be able to talk to their dominant about how they feel and what their thoughts are. Being able to communicate this way does not take away from obedience so long as the final decision remains the dominant's.

There are times where a dominant might expect blind obedience. (for example, at a play party or other gathering, during a "formal" period of time etc.) This is something that should be discussed before entering into the collared relationship and falls under expectations from the dominant. 

By submitting to someone, you are agreeing to obey that person in the areas in which you gave them control. There must be a balance between questions and obedience. A submissive can question an order, but should also realize that there will be times he/she will be told to do something they may not necessarily enjoy but that is not against their sensibilities. Obedience is one of the reasons it is so important to find a partner that matches you as closely as possible. If you hate golden showers for example, and you submit to a dominant who enjoys them but doesn't allow the submissive to set any play limits on the relationship, you may find yourself having to submit to a golden shower because you agreed to submit to someone that does not allow the submissive to set limits of physical play. Having to occasionally submit to something you do not enjoy, in no way means you must submit to something that is totally immoral to you (like child abuse or murder). But it does mean that the very act of submitting is not about the relationship going your way all the time, but is about the relationship being in the control of the dominant and the actions (scenes, sessions, behaviors) are controlled by the dominant. 

Obedience does not mean a submissive obeys everyone, but it is definitely a part of submission. Without obedience, there is no submission. A submissive must learn how much obedience they are willing to give a dominant, before they enter into a relationship. Some people enjoy giving full obedience at all times, others prefer to be able to set limits. Take your time and learn what obedience counts for to you. 


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