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I have been wanting to write a post for some time now on submission.  On how far too many people today view submission as letting the man have his way in everything, that if one is submissive it automatically means the woman is a doormat.  It’s not all that easy to write and given that since well before Christmas at least one person has been sick in our house (give or take a few days) continuously, I haven’t been able to put it together as I had hoped.  Then, a few days ago, commenter Kate asked:

This reminds me of something the Baroness said to Maria in the Sound of Music. (Excuse the cheesy reference.) She said something along the lines of “There is nothing so irresistable to a man as a woman in love with him.”

I’m inclined to believe this is true from my experiences as well as those of other women I know, but HOW does one show this without coming off as a doormat with a man who has options? Any advice?

Given the views of many people today, it’s an understandable question.  Shortly after I read this question I came across this piece from Matt Forney (I can’t remember where I found the link, though.  Heads up, too, as Matt is not shy about his language or content, but he’s good).  I think this post answer’s Kate’s question very well.  There are two key words in it: femininity and confidence.

Michelle Jenneke oozes with [femininity]. Her youthful beauty, her exuberance, her aura: these aren’t things that can be faked. Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have honed men’s tastes for sweet, submissive, complimentary women. As much as feminists  . . . . wail about “social conditioning,” when it comes down to brass tacks, all men want the same thing.

Not only that, Michelle Jenneke has something else that few American/Western women possess: confidence.

Read the rest of his piece as he goes on to explain that so many women mistake their shields as confidence.  Only those shields actually betray their insecurities.  A woman with real confidence has no reason for these shields and Michelle Jenneke oozes this in spades.

So, back to Kate’s question . . . How does a woman show love without coming across as a doormat?  The first thing I think women in this position need to realize is that showing this love might very well come across to other women (and some men) as being a doormat.  It does not matter what they think.  Have the confidence and the fortitude to show this love anyway.  You may get some very unexpected comments.  Some good and some bad.  They don’t matter.  What does matter is your man’s perception and what is important to him.

Now, in my experience, men do not care for doormats, either.  At least not in the dominate men we are attracted to.  (remember dominance and domineering are different as a domineering man may very well seek out a true doormat).  This is where confidence is really key.  The difference between a confident, feminine woman is that she wants to care for her man.  She wants to love him, be with him, serve him, cook for him, be pretty, et cetera.  It is not something he makes her do or that she does for the sole purpose of hanging on to him.  It is her choice and something she relishes and has fun doing.  She strives to be good at it, not only for him, but for her.   She is also very confident in her very femininity regardless of what others may think. She likes to dress in nice clothes, wear her hair long, wear makeup.  She knows there is a line outside the home between pretty/beautiful and way too much skin.  She also knows that inside the home, that line is very different.

There is another big key to all of this and that is respect.  Commenter Phedre stated it thus:

1- always keeping her respect for her man foremost in her heart, so all of her actions for him and around him stem from that feeling. Respect/appreciation are a crucial aspect of how men understand love. It’s foreign to women’s nature though, so we have to keep consciously put it to the forefront and work actively to keep it there. All the actions that flow out of that feeling will show him that she loves him the way he wants to be loved.

2- It’s in the eyes. This is secondary to the first point, because no matter how much love is in her gaze, if her actions don’t support it he will ultimately feel unloved. But when the behaviour is right, letting your love overflow into your gaze as you look at him can be a very powerful thing. They’re flashes that show him the full depth of your feeling.

A women in submission to a man she loves will almost automatically convey respect in most everything she does.  I don’t think a woman really can respect a man without being submissive to him.  I also don’t think a woman can respect a man and be a doormat at the same time.  A doormat, a woman who does as she is told out of fear, does not have respect for a man.  She can’t as her fear stands in the way.  Both the man and the woman may mistake her fear for respect but they are two very different things.

What I have found is, through this confidence and love stems something that many women strive for from the men in their lives but can never quite reach. Respect returned.  But far better than that respect is a man who is in love . . . with you.

***Now, I realize I didn’t answer all of Kate’s question, namely the how.  That is the truly hard part.  Each person needs to find for themselves their own confidence.  The particulars of love and respect are going to stem from this confidence and the particulars of each couple.  I welcome ideas on where to start in the comments.