The other day and I can’t recall the reason, but I was thinking about something that happened during a play party I had once attended. I had just gotten my butt whacked and in my happy space. I had my blanket and plate full of snacks(after scene munchies), and was wearing my brand new flannel Tinkerbell pajamas. I was also sitting among several doms, which probably wasn’t the smartest move, considering my pajamas. So, I’m sitting there, all nice and cozy in my happy spot with my toasty butt, not really listening to the conversations that were going on around me until I hear “Are you sure that’s appropriate for a sub to be wearing?”, in a joking manner. That rather quickly got my attention because well, I couldn’t imagine how there could be an inappropriate dress at a play party. The dom notices my look at the confusion and tells me to check my shirt.  The shirt had Tinkerbell on the top and underneath her, “It’s All About Me”. Things started clicking then. I asked what was wrong with my shirt and was told that a submissive shouldn’t be selfish and that it shouldn’t be all about the submissive but all about the dominant.

By this time, all the other nearby conversations had stopped and was paying attention. Before I could answer this dominant’s question, I had to think about the appropriate answer, especially since I had an audience now and what I mean by appropriate, I mean smart ass. I looked him dead in the eye and said that yes, ultimately, it is all about the submissive, with a slight smirk on my face. That really got the group of dominants in an uproar. They wanted an explanation. I said, "Easy. I make it all about the dominant, who then in turns makes it all about me so, in the end, it is all about me." Let me tell you, shutting up a room full of dominants is an extremely amazing feeling. The dominant then got up, shook my hand, and told me heaven help whoever collars me.

Even though this entire conversation was in jest and good fun, it’s one that has always stuck with me. Is it good for a submissive or slave to be selfish? You always hear that being selfish is such a terrible thing, that a submissive or slave is supposed to be selfless, always giving of themselves to their owners, no matter what. This is just something I don’t agree with. I don’t feel there is any way can be not just a little selfish and still have a successful relationship.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines selfish as concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself:  seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others and selfless as having or showing great concern for other people and little or no concern for yourself. Now with reading over those two definitions, I think you can see for yourself how an individual can’t be completely selfish or selfless and be a happy slave.

In the beginning of my journey into submission, a dominant, and here I will use that term extremely loosely, he told me that I wasn’t allowed to have any kind of limits with him. When hearing that, all the warning bells had started going off because this was different from everything I had ever read online. I asked him why I wasn’t allowed to have limits and was then told as a slave, I wasn’t allowed to be selfish and having limits would control what he could and could not do to me and he wasn’t allowing that since he was the one in control. Needless to say, conversation with him ended abruptly. I hadn’t seen having limits as being an act of selfishness, I saw it as an act of self-care and I am sure most of you will agree with that. Now, if I had gone along with his no limit rule, then yes, I would have been completely selfless, giving him everything he wanted without any concern for myself and well-being.

It’s okay to be selfish, no matter what people in the community may tell you. That was a point that was hard for me to come to terms with. I thought by not being selfish, I was going to be a better slave and I found out the hard way, that wasn’t true. You have to be selfish once and awhile to take care of yourself and to meet your own needs. Some of you may be thinking “Tequila, that doesn’t sound like being selfish”, and while to some it may not, there are some out there who think once they have a collar around their neck (and yes, I was one of those), that doing anything to take care of themselves meant they were taking their focus off of their owners, which can be seen as selfishness.

Some “selfish” things to do for yourself:

  • Having alone time-Yes, it’s all nice and shiny to be with your owner all the time, but over time, it’s gonna get old and need some breathing room. Taking time to yourself will help you focus, regroup, and even recoup. It can be very exhausting being a submissive.
  • Stick to your limits-Never, EVER pay attention to a dominant who tells you that submissives/slaves don’t have limits or can’t have limits. NOT TRUE! You have limits set in place because those are things you’re not comfortable doing and shouldn’t do until YOU are ready.
  • Pamper yourself-There’s never any reason why you can’t buy yourself a little treat once in a while. A cup of Starbucks(my personal favorite!), eating out, going to a movie, a nice hot and quiet bubble bath, or some other small trinket; spoiling yourself every once in a while is a good thing. It can be the little pick me up that you’re needing.

There are many other ways out there to be selfish and these 55 Self-Care Tips has quite a few great ideas if you need some help coming up with some!

It’s a thin line between being selfish and selfless in the BDSM community and you’ll always hear how you should be the selfless slave if you are to be a good slave, but that isn’t the case. I know it’s really hard to not get caught up on all the hangups and stereotypes that are out there. There’s not a one size fits all way to have a power exchange relationship and you have to remember to find what works and fits best for you and your partner.