Submitting is hard, and the more deeply the boy submits, the harder it gets. Even the most naturally submissive boy will occasionally run into situations where he just doesn’t want to do as he’s told. Like any other relationship, power exchange relationships take work. It’s not easy for a boy to learn to put aside the human inclination to do what he wants and accept his Sir’s wishes instead.
No matter how supportive a Sir can be, there are some parts of submissions that they simply can’t wrap their heads around (although a Sir who has been a boy can get further into a boy’s mindset than those who haven’t). As amazing as we are, we doms simply cannot be everything our boys need. A desire to submit is not enough, any more than love is all you need.
There are some things that only other subs can help a boy make sense of. They can offer encouragement to trust and obey the Sir. They can offer new perspective on why a Sir is asking for something. They can commiserate over failures and encourage the boy to try again. They can listen when the boy vents the normal frustrations that all relationships have. And, occasionally, they may have to warn him that what his Sir is demanding is unsafe or unreasonable.
That’s why two of the 10 points of the Boy’s Bill of Rights involve socializing:
8. Every boy has the right to seek refuge, counsel, and advice from other subs and DOMS without the expectation of sex, money, or any other service in return.
9. Every boy has the right to a physically and emotionally available circle of friends.
Many subs, particularly those of a more slave-oriented nature, fantasize about the idea of being locked away from human society for the rest of their lives. It’s not a realistic idea, and one of the reasons is that it denies the boy the socializing that virtually all human beings need to some extent. It also cuts the boy off from the social support that being submissive requires.
Additionally, as many people understand, there’s a fine line between power exchange and abuse, and it’s easy for a dom to cross the line into domestic abuse if both partners aren’t thinking about the difference. Social isolation is one of the standard techniques used by abusers to exert power over a partner, because it is much harder for an abused partner to leave if they don’t have friends or family to fall back on, or if their social circle has been convinced they are unstable or prone to lying (both techniques I’ve seen abusers employ). Physically re-locating a partner and then undermining their ability to develop new friends and relationships is another classic trick abusers use. And if you think about it, that’s the same thing that the Locked in a Cage fantasy involves. Thus a boy needs social resources who can advise him if his relationship has crossed the line and who can help him get out if necessary.
For all these reasons, it is important that Sirs encourage and facilitate their boys developing new relationships. They need to give the boy down-time so he can hang out with friends, chat online, and otherwise develop healthy relationships. He also needs to make room for the boy to have relationships with his family and support him when family dynamics may become difficult.
Obviously there are situations where a Sir might need to intervene. Some boys have trouble setting healthy boundaries or may have friends who take advantage of them. Many boys almost instinctively give more than is wise for them, which makes it easy for exploiters to seek them out. Some boys have toxic family relationships that a Sir may need to shield them from, and really submissive boys not uncommonly have abusive family members or exes. A good Sir protects his boy. As I sometimes say, “No one gets to beat up on my boys except me.”
But that sort of thing ought to be rare. There’s a big difference between “I don’t want you seeing that abusive ex” and “I don’t want you seeing anyone.” The former is generally a sign of a concerned, caring Sir. The latter is usually a sign of an abuser masquerading as a Sir. Intentional social isolation is a red flag, one of the biggest. I actively encourage my boys to socialize at whatever level feels right for them and I’m always happy when they make a new friend or discover a new hobby that I’m not a part of, as long as it doesn’t make it really hard for us to find time to build our dynamic.
Does your dom encourage you to build new relationships? Or does he discourage that and try to monopolize all your time and attention? If the answer is the latter, you might want to reassess your relationship with him or talk about setting some new limits.