tagReviews & EssaysThe Man Behind the Curtain

The Man Behind the Curtain



Remember that scene in the "The Wizard of Oz" movie, when the Wizard is revealed as a man working special effects from behind a curtain? Remember the Wizard, frantically flipping levers and speaking into a microphone exhorts Dorothy and her friends to "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"? And, of course, they all immediately give him their complete attention – they find out that the Wizard has no magic of his own, that he used Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion to wipe out the threat of the Wicked Witch in order to protect his people and his image as a benign, all-powerful ruler.

In many ways, my submission has helped me realize that the Dominant I serve is a lot like that Wizard. He is a human man whose acceptance of the role of Dominant confers tremendous power and responsibility upon Him. In accepting my submission, Master also accepts responsibility for me. He monitors my activities, my moods, and my health. Even though we live hundreds of miles from each other, Master is in nearly constant contact with me. Nothing that upsets me escapes Master's notice. Personal problems or emotional issues, some of very long-standing, are analyzed and resolved by Master's guidance of my development in submission.

Like Dorothy and her friends, Master sends me out into the world to do battle. I have overcome the Wicked Witch who sucked all the energy and enthusiasm from my life with her bitterness and depression. Master has taught me to take energy from the Wicked Witch in my life instead. The Flying Monkeys – in my life, the myriad fears that have restricted me from full enjoyment and enthusiasm -- are retreating through the efforts encouraged by Master. The fields of poppies that lulled the travelers in Oz into sleep and would sap away their very lives are like the ongoing battle with weight issues that I am battling even now. Instead of allowing myself to linger in a somnolent state, insulated by blankets of excess weight that keep the outside world away, Master is encouraging and supporting me in my work to once and for all enter the waking world where I belong.

It is easy to look at the "Wizard" and blame him for fooling Dorothy and her friends into risking everything in support of the illusion he has spun for the citizens of Oz. It's easy to look at a D/s relationship and see the services rendered to the Dominant by the submissive – the submissive may polish his shoes, cook his meals, launder his clothes, submit her body to his restraints, blindfolds, gags, and crop. All that may be given, but those gifts exist merely on the surface of the relationship. The gifts that the submissive gives that make all those obvious gifts meaningful – her trust, her faith, and her understanding of her role in the Dominant's life – are unspoken but fully demonstrated by the outer trappings of her submission.

What usually is completely unappreciated by others -- and sometimes even by the submissive herself -- are the gifts the submissive receives from the Dominant. By being granted permission to serve the Dominant, the submissive is allowed to be most fully her self. For those of us who are submissive in our private relationships with a Dominant, but who take a leading role professionally or with our families, the opportunity to serve is valuable as The Emerald City was to Dorothy and her companions. A submissive with no outlet for her submission usually is frustrated, unhappy, and incomplete. And only a Dominant can provide the submissive with that outlet.

A Dominant gives the submissive even more than the chance to submit – He accepts the service, He understands and appreciates the submissives' needs, and He devises ways in which the submissive can serve that will serve and reward the submissive, as well as himself. A Dominant looks ahead to see the problems and trials that the submissive will endure and devises ways in which He can help the submissive learn from the tasks and challenges, as well as grow as a person and as a submissive.

Like the Wizard, a Dominant keeps himself behind the curtain – He reveals only those needs that He can use to help His submissive grow and improve. Like the Tin Man, in performing the tasks that the Dominant sets for the submissive, the submissive can find her true love and explore the fullest capacity of her heart and service. Like the Cowardly Lion, the submissive learns, by facing the fears that once made her cower, secure in the support of the Dominant, that she is braver than she knew or acknowledged to herself. Like the Scarecrow, the submissive appreciates and uses her intellect and intuition as tools to serve her submission and bring her through the trials that the Dominant sets to help her develop. And, like Dorothy, the submissive wakes to her true self by performing the tasks and services for the Dominant, finding her true home.

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