Submissives all over seem to know what they want out of a relationship; it's always present in their minds: the play, the sex, the love, or the strictness of dominance. Wants are very valid to the happiness in your life, but more important are the needs. When you think of needs, the list seems to become harder, and people struggle more with defining what they really need.
My wants and needs are always changing. As my submission develops, I have to review what I want and need from my Owner to make me feel comfortable in my role. We discuss our desires and needs to ensure our relationship stays strong and we are both getting what we need out of it.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
You may already know that humans have basic needs to fulfill to survive: water, food, and shelter. But that can’t possibly be everything a person needs to live a happy, fulfilling life, right? Exactly right. But once you get outside those base needs, we have more difficulty coming up with what needs we have and if they are being satisfied in a way that elevates us. So, let’s get our basic needs sorted out in this lesson and learn how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid presents us with everything we need to help identify all of our personal needs.
From the bottom of the pyramid upwards, basic needs are physiological, such as food and water, **safety and security, love and belonging, esteem, ** and at the top, self-actualization. So when you look at the needs pyramid, the lower-down needs, the ones at the base, must be satisfied before you can work on higher needs.
To think about it another way, the needs in the bottom layers of the pyramid are deficit needs. You feel driven to have them fulfilled because you lack something. Motivation to fill them is part of your psychological processes that create excitement and persistence to drive voluntary actions to achieve your goals. The longer you go without, the stronger your drive is to have them fulfilled. For example, the longer a person goes without food, the more hungry they will become.
The higher up the pyramid you go, the drive is no longer because you are missing something but because you desire to grow as a person. The motivation you feel for these needs is highly individualized, and you will use a wide range of techniques to satisfy these needs.
Satisfying needs isn’t an “all-or-none” situation. You don’t have to fulfill your lower-tier needs entirely before you work on the following tier needs. However, you must feel some satisfaction for those lower-tier needs before the next need emerges.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is a primer for understanding how needs fit into our lives as happy and fulfilled submissives. Being submissive, we often forget that our needs are important and may even push them aside so we can focus only on pleasing our Dominant partners. We’ll determine your core needs by accepting their value in our happiness.
So what DO you need then? Answering this question can be one of the most transformative things you can do for yourself. When was the last time you asked yourself, “what do I need right now?” Ask yourself, what are my needs? What are your prerequisites for contentment? Each person must satisfy a unique set of personal needs to be at their best. When we don’t meet our personal needs, we feel depressed, angry, frustrated, unloved, lonely, and lost.
If it’s been a while, or if this is new to you, that’s okay. Let me help you figure out what your needs are to be your best self as a submissive.
First, realize that having needs is healthy, not selfish or weak. When we meet those needs, we have a genuine sense of relief and satisfaction in our lives. Trust me, meeting your needs will allow you to be the best you can be. There’s this idea that having needs makes someone selfish. Sometimes we feel this way because we think the needs of others should come first. It’s more pronounced in a D/s relationship where sometimes the submissive puts their Dominant’s needs over theirs to the detriment of themselves and the relationship. But think about this for a moment. When you’re happy and taken care of, the needs of others feel more like a joy to care for instead of a burden. Putting your needs first will make you better at serving others.
There are three sets of personal needs; love, emotional, and human. Each set of needs serves as part of who you are.
Love and Belongingness Needs
Love and belongingness needs are how you feel love from others and yourself. This need can be fulfilled within general relationships, such as belonging to an ingroup, or within specific relationships, such as friendships, parent-child relationships, or romantic relationships.
Take a moment to consider how important maintaining various relationships are to you and where you’d place different kinds of relationships in the list of your personal needs.
Emotional needs are what build connections and bonds with people. It is a state or condition that must be fulfilled to experience happiness and peace. Giving and receiving quality contact with others, as well as with yourself, is core to feeling valued. Some examples of emotional needs might include feeling appreciated, accomplished, safe, or part of a community. This contact may be in the form of affection or validation, or it can even be as simple as acknowledgment.
Think about the following questions to help you assemble your emotional needs: Do you need touch or physical contact? What kind of praise or acknowledgment do you need? Are you someone who loves charity work or helping others? Do you feel most comfortable in groups of people with similar interests? Or do you need privacy and space to be alone?
Human needs are the reasons you do the things you do, for example, comfort and security, variety, significance, love, and growth. Humans need to have something we are working toward and are commonly used to refer to the drivers of peoples’ actions and the motives behind human behavior. We can identify, analyze, problem-solve, imagine, create, and strive. We need to feel like we have an answer to the question, “why are we here?”Human needs give us purpose and satisfaction in living the good life.
Think about what you need in your life to feel like you are moving forward, achieving your goals, and progressing toward your idea of a good life.
The characteristics of personal needs are critical for you to thrive and live a life you LOVE. It’s not just about surviving; it’s about thriving and being genuinely happy. Moments in your life where you felt the most joy, were successful, or experiences that gave you a sense of meaning and purpose. These are possible personal needs.
Once you identify what behaviors provide you with the emotions you’re looking for, consider what you need from yourself or others to make them happen. Think about your personal needs as the underlying experience or feeling you are attempting to create through your actions. For example, I get a sense of peace from being creative, and I love having moments where I get just to relax and write or draw or create something with my hands. I need that in my life regularly to get that feeling of peace, and it’s something that I need to live a fulfilling life.
In my submissive life, I crave structure. I like that my partner requires things done a certain way or at a specific time. It gives me a sense of predictability and security in their expectation that nothing else gives me in full measure.
You want to automatically satisfy your personal needs so that they are nurtured and cared for regularly. Reflect on your own personal needs and how your submissive identity can help satisfy them. Once you identify what characteristics or behaviors help meet your needs, you can pinpoint how you, or with the help of others, can meet those needs.
Personal Wants and Desires
Did you know that your wants and desires might have hidden needs inside them? I’m going to share with you what drives our wants and desires and how, when we indulge in the things we want, they can increase the happiness that our fulfilled needs have started, resulting in a higher quality of life than needs can do on their own.
It’s so easy to say what you want in life, but do you know why? Talking about your wants and desires comes so quickly, impulsively sometimes, but when someone asks you what you need, often that is a more challenging answer.
First, wants and desires are usually described as nice things to have or what’s expected of us at various phases of life. Wants are not necessary to satisfy your base needs or your personal needs. They are things we “think” we need. We often live our lives based on the idea that we constantly try to obtain what we want, while the truth is we only put in the effort to satisfy needs. We are driven to find what fulfills those needs. Wants do not usually lead to behavior changes or the drive or motivation to meet them. Losing focus on a want often goes unfulfilled because it’s not important to you any longer.
So why is it so easy to talk about your wants and desires? Frequently, our desires project the future with a promise of well-being and satisfaction. Think about the last time you fulfilled a want for the newest smartphone everyone is talking about. You probably felt great having this new thing, and the short-term reward of fulfilling that desire can be precisely why you sought out the purchase. When describing our desires, we use words like “dream,” “nice,” “wish,” “would,” or “could” to visualize an ideal situation in the future where our lives are better for having fulfilled that desire.
It’s hard to dream about what we need in life like we do our desires. But, because of the subconscious nature of our needs, we find it challenging to describe needs in the same way. Needs are focused on the present or the immediate future and significantly impact our personal satisfaction. When describing needs, we use words like “want,” “must,” and “should," but being able to pinpoint the need and the outcome is often difficult because it is based on our internal beliefs. Expressing needs may only come up if your deficit is prominent or immediate.
Can you now see how talking about a perceived future can be much easier? Dreaming and wishful thinking are always easier than trying to implement change in the here and now.
When we talk about the things we want, they are often connected to a need we’ve identified or one unknown to us. That’s because the desires we feel strongly about will deepen the satisfaction of a personal need set. We feel even more focused and fulfilled when we can see that our needs are taken care of, and we can begin enjoying some of the desires of our hearts.
What this means for most of us is that if we dream of wants and wish for desires, we’ll never feel fully satisfied until that need is secure. If you’re struggling to put food on the table, you are likely not saving up for a night out at a three-star restaurant, are you?
When we apply this thought to submission, have you decided if submitting to someone is a need or a desire? If it is a desire, you should be able to walk it back to the personal need that submission would amplify; for some, that could be a sense of adventure, sexual variety, security, or intimacy. For others, being submissive is a need, and you should begin to see how you could amplify that need with wants and desires.
It’s important to realize when you’ve fulfilled a need and are using wants to improve your life. When you can focus on personal growth and draw nearer to self-actualization, those fulfilled needs are stepping stones. Then enhancing your life with desires will become easier for you.
Everyone needs to meet their basic needs to live a fulfilling life. The wants and desires we have often amplify the needs we have for ourselves. What makes us unique are the personal need sets we have that we strive to bring us joy and a life filled with accomplishment and happiness. Set realistic, achievable goals to reach our dreams and satisfy our needs. You’ll be living your best submissive life in no time.