Dear Carolyn: I love the thought of the kind of man you write about but I'm afraid of losing "me" by giving someone so much control over me. Like what if I'm in a sad mood when he says I should be punished and what if I just would feel way worse about something to be punished. My mom would think I was just being abused if I ever had any kind of marriage like you write about. What's the difference? I mean, how do I make sure and not lose ME if I give all that control up to someone else?
Far be it for me to consider myself any type of expert on these matters, but I'd be glad to give you my humble opinion.
I can understand your concern about losing yourself in this type of relationship, but, if your guiding SO (and I use that term as an all- encompassing term for any dominant, be he or she a Daddy/Mommy/Master/husband, etc) truly has your best interests at heart, then he/she won't let you do that regardless.
Daddy's said to me, several times, and I agree completely, that it's truly the submissive in a relationship who has all the power, and is really the strongest component within the relationship. What your guide does or doesn't do MUST be based on what is best for you - whether it's a looser, more permissive style or a more restrictive relationship, it has to be what YOU need. If you need a strict bedtime, or just someone who makes sure you get to work on time, you have to be able to recognize your own needs and communicate those to your partner.
This is not an easy thing to do, but the ability to do is bespeaks a strength that I think alot of submissives don't even realize they have. It's this strength of character, this self-knowledge, that will help keep you - along with the gentle but firm guidance your dominant provides - from letting yourself slip away.
Of course, your guide's attitude is of paramount importance, too. He or she should support this side of you. The essence of submission is strength, and your partner should be looking to use the trust and faith you've granted them to fortify your innerself, not beat it down. I think that's an excellent test of whether or not the person you'rewith, or are considering being with: do they build you up, or tear you down?
Not to discount your Mother, but I'd be much more interested in knowing if YOU feel abused after you've been lovingly disciplined? Your guide's judicious, conscious, adoring application of the control you've entrusted him/her with should always leave you feeling the better for it - whether its an awful, horrid, half hour spent bawling your eyes out while he paddles your bottom with your own hairbrush, or his gentle insistence that you take your vitamins and go to bed at a time that will assure that you're not dragging at work the next day.
True adoring discipline should feed your heart and soul (and his!), and make you feel stronger - very loved and cared for. Someone has to love you very much to watch over you closely and make sure that you're doing things that are good for yourself. It can't be easy to commit to the idea of reducing the person you love the most to tears when necessary, but a loving guide will do so with no hesitation, becauase he or she has the safety and welfare of your heart in mind in everything he or she does.
Hopefully, your mother (or anyone else whose opinion you would worry about) would see how happy and loved you are within your disciplinary relationship.
I know mine do.