Help Decode The Comment

Someone made a comment in my most recent post that has me perplexed. I’m not sure I know what she or he is saying here. I know what the words mean (even fancy words like “effacement”) but I’m not quite sure how to take it.

I’m not disagreeing with the comment. Just that I may not be smart enough to know what it means.

Any help?

Please note: I’m not asking for readers to come to my defense. I’m just interested in getting more details. I think the person was trying to leave some constructive advice. Not that it was meant as an insult. The comment was anonymous but that doesn’t mean anything less in my book.

“This is a sweet post, but I do find your complete effacement of self _very_ disturbing. There is a huge difference between being a sexually submissive man, and not owning the right to your own pleasure or presence in the world—and you often read like the latter.

Good luck with it however—Im sure it aint easy.

Is the person trying to say that I need to go out and just find what I need?

Feel free to comment as anonymous:) Go ahead. I promise I can take it!


There seem to be a number of ways to read this. The first that occurs to me is that they are saying that you are submissive in life instead of just sexually submissive. I have no idea if that is true of you or not. Perhaps less judgmentally, the comment just means that you are being too passive. Waiting for things to come to you instead of “going out and taking them”. From the short time I’ve been reading your blog, I don’t think that is the case.

I understand the comment itself, but I don’t think it fits you particularly well. You don’t really come across as someone who confuses submission with completely subverting his own desires or losing the right to seek pleasure and fulfillment.

Yeah, I doubt this reader meant anything insulting. I don’t know you well, or actually, hardly at all, but I do think you are actively seeking people to be in your life that will match your needs and desires.

I do know that tone is so very hard to interpret, when you don’t know the writer. Lots of my (hopefully funny) posts have been taken the wrong way…

So maybe the reader is sensing something that isn’t there or you aren’t meaning to be there. Perhaps he or she thinks that since you are feeling (understandably) frustrated, you might be focusing that frustration inward, in a self-effacing or sad way?

I dunno. I liked the last post, though.

I’d say the writer is a person who reads some of your desires, but not all. you are pretty strong when it comes to protecting your space and pursuing your sexual desires – it’s just that your sexual desires does not fit with aggressive approaches. Even if you write things like how you want the woman to take charge and decide to play with you/have sex with you in a bdsm context, you also make it very clear that the woman to do that has to fit some pretty specific measures. This will make you submissive to that woman who fits your standards, but it does not make you submissive to the world.

And not being an english speaking native, effacement eludes me. Give me a translation and I’ll see if I can make it fit 🙂 (Yes, I am too lazy to google it right now…)

I agree with Dov that you don’t seem to be communicating an intention for your own desires to be fully subsumed in another’s. Indeed, I think that’s the very problem you wrestle with at several points in your writing–you have certain desires and criteria, and you will not submit to someone who doesn’t fit those criteria.

It may be that your blog does focus on how you are sort of “unwanted”–how you’re struggling with finding a person compatible with you and also desirous of you. Another commenter saw qualities of pity and generosity in your friend’s practicing on you–doing you a favor, I think, is how she put it–and this anonymous person might have seen the same. Depicting yourself as receiving attention as a favor or gift (rather than as a mutual exchange, or as your due) might be seen as overly modest, a failure to recognize your own value, and, thus, as self-effacing. I didn’t really see as much of that in that particular post of yours as I’ve seen in other posts, but a bit was still there, (the penultimate paragraph, the dialogue section, and the overtone of eagerness) and another commenter saw it, so it’s not irrational.

Personally, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with doing people favors, nor anything inherently wrong with recognizing those favors as favors (although it can be a bit unflattering and disempowering to broadcast it, sometimes, but that’s a different issue), but this isn’t about me, this is about your anonymous commenter.

I read it that your self effacement prevents you from going out and getting or finding what you really need. So as Ellie said, submissive at life.

I agree with Ellie and read the comment as she interprets it, not very original of me but I could add no more to Ellie’s response. 🙂

I am sure it ain’t easy. The commenter replied that such a lifestyle must be difficult… hmm… said that being sub does not mean a man does not own his presence in the world. hm, I’m not exactly sure, but I think the person means that there are two different ways to be submissive:

One is to *choose* to be submissive because you acknowledge that it gives you pleasure.

The other way is to just accept domination because you have low
self-esteem and think that you deserve to be treated badly.

It’s hard to know for sure without context.

I think the commenter assume that you must have said that a sub really needy completely on the Domme for pleasure. I don’t think it actual fact. I have known you very well.

Wow…definitely some intriguing insights here. I think you’re actually pretty brave to put this all out there…it kind of leads the readers to inadvertently analyze you in the process of decoding the original comment. And that, my friend, would seem to be a sign of your own personal strength–opening up such a dialogue and taking it all in to process for yourself.

Lots to think about for sure.

I agree with Dev . . . the writer seems to be suggesting that you would basically let someone else’s desires swallow you up, or perhaps that you would not even know yourself well enough to articulate or defend your desires. (To be concrete: in the specific post the person was commenting on, you wrote: “One of the complex aspects to playing with someone is how I’ll sometimes feel the urge to say “please just fuck me”, even though that wouldn’t happen.” Now, someone could perceive that as a failure to articulate your own desire to say “please fuck me”, whether or not the fucking happens . . . Other people might assume you were quite rightly respecting negotiated limits. It all depends on context.)

Not sure if I am making any sense. The comment and your questions about it resonated with me a lot though because sometimes I am not sure whether I am being “appropriately submissive” (aka not topping from the bottom) or just failing to ask for what I want in a way that would be helpful (uh, topping from the bottom?).

Dev writes about this stuff much better. I figure you have to be a Dom to understand it. /duck and run.

Not quite the way I would put it, but I’ve said this to you before… maybe not so directly. But I think you are the your biggest roadblock to your ultimate goal. You undermine yourself before you get anywhere (“I’m not rich enough.” “I’m one of a thousand sub guys”). I understand the uphill battle you face as a single, straight, submissive guy. However, I think you hurt yourself by being so resigned to not succeeding. [Cheesy, pychobable alert] Sometimes the power of positive thinking does work.

I don’t know you at all. I do think there is evidence of some self effacement in your writing. I think there are other things too, but the comment author didn’t refer to those, so I’ll just stick with what was written. I think the biggest clue for me is in how the comment author put it:

“I do find your complete effacement of self _very_ disturbing”

The comment author felt very disturbed, and therefore assumed that their level of disturbment was equal to your level of self effacement. I noticed that the comment author did not ask you anything at all about clarifying your statements, simply assuming whatever they were assuming, without specifying why they felt it, or on what they were basing their opinion.

I think the simple answer here is that the comment author

1. invested your self effacement with their level of disturbment
2. made assumptions without clarifying anything with you
3. made a blanket statement without identifying or specifying any basis for it
4. said all of this without leaving a name or even a gender

I therefore cannot rely on this person as a credible source. I mean, for all we know the comment author could be correct, but based on items 1-4 I cannot consider that they have any credibility at all.

Now, if it were me, I’d’ve made a whole signed and dated and notarised blog post full of detailed minutiae picking you to shreds, but then again, I’m really meticulous when I’m tossing those ole blanket statements round the place. 😉