My spiritual director (who is kink-friendly) offered me a word today in our session, a word for a role I play in kink activities – supplicant. Right now I’m resonating with that above all other words in the bottom/sub genre of labels.

‘Submissive’ is a large word with little context for me. I embrace it uneasily as the best word in common usage that I have found for what I do. But it’s not quite right for me. It’s often thrown at fundamentalist women as an ideal for them to embody. Sometimes, I get angry at the thought that I would be submissive to anyone but God. Another problematic aspect for me is that it is often conflated with “slave” in the bdsm communities, a word I have absolutely no interest in going near.

‘Supplicant’ is the word for one who prays, one who brings forward a prayer. It is related to the word ‘beseech’. A supplicant is actively pursuing the fulfillment of her desires. She has a role worthy of honor, respect, and contemplation through the ages. She is a seeker. She may come as a blank slate, looking for direction, or she may come with particular blessings or questions in mind. But she comes with thirst. And that thirst touches the officiant’s agency, or touches the Divine directly, and drives what happens next. The supplicant has a powerful heart, and is also open to being filled by God.

The posture I immediately think of for supplicant is on one’s knees, head down. The “prayer position” for some Christians… or Child’s Pose in yoga. I like that position. It’s centering. The supplicant is submissive, entirely dependent on God, and she has faith that this humility will make her stronger.

Not all of Gabe’s and my play is religious in nature… but it is indeed all in a context of our relationship, which has deep roots in Spirit. So there is always this feel of consecrated activity going on just under the surface. I think that may be the 24/7 kinky thing that we feel, but don’t have language for.

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