The Damsel And The Hero

Dumb Domme blogged here about her views on the “damsel in distress” archetype which sparked some interesting thoughts in my own head.

You see when I think about the “damsel in distress” I see her either without interest or, if I’m honest, a little bit of envy. You see the damsel doesn’t have to do anything. She waits passively and the hero comes and rescues her and carries her off to “happy ever after”. I like the idea of “happy ever after” and how lovely to have the certainty of getting there without any effort on your part.

When I look for myself though, I find myself in the “hero”. I don’t mean I see myself as amazing or all-powerful or anything like that. I mean the classical hero archetype in which the hero is set a frankly impossible challenge and ultimately must suffer, often unjustly and apparently without hope, before winning through. I think I found my vision of myself as a submissive in that understanding of suffering as part of my role but now I begin to see that is only a part of my journey for me to become something else.

I recently found this powerful piece on bullying. If you’ve ever been bullied (and I was) I’d recommend watching it. I think this explains some of why I find the hero archetype so powerful for me. I suffered for a long time and although it still does and always will hurt in some ways – I survived.
I learnt though, that I’m not the damsel; no one is coming to rescue me. I survived and out of pain comes strength. What comes too is the desire to be the hero, to protect and support others, to rescue the damsel, to ensure that no one else ever cries for a hero who is not there to rescue them.

Of course I’m only human and a weak and hugely flawed human at that. I cannot hope to be the hero I want to be, I am still not strong enough and sometimes I still wish I could simply give up and be the damsel. Yet I find myself always striving to be the hero.

I think that role is partially reflected in my D/s too. As a Domme I see myself as a protector, as a comforter, not as the “villain” (despite the fact that, yes, I am the one causing physical pain). Yet don’t confuse the two, my Domme side is more than a “hero” and my “hero” side does not exist solely in D/s. It is simply part of who I am, or who I strive to be.

Author: Caitlin

Geeky, kinky and poly. Discovering my Domme side. Sometimes NSFW and 18+.

6 thoughts on “The Damsel And The Hero”

  1. My ex-wife was a damsel. I had to play the hero throughout our marriage, but I never felt rewarded. I always felt as if I owed her something. Even today, she’s still waiting to be rescued. Even as I’m still learning and adjusting to the submissive role, my Domme and I see each other as both heroes and damsels. She protects me in her way, and I protect her in others. We’re both actually rescuing each other from our past lives and nursing each other’s wounds.

    1. The mutuality of support you have with your Domme sounds very healthy to me. The whole point of the archetypes (as I understand them) is that we all have something of each of them in us. Learning to balance those parts of ourself is important.
      I probably could do with a little more “damsel” in my life but I lack the trust to embrace it.

      Caitlin xx

  2. “I think that role is partially reflected in my D/s too. As a Domme I see myself as a protector, as a comforter, not as the “villain” (despite the fact that, yes, I am the one causing physical pain). Yet don’t confuse the two, my Domme side is more than a “hero” and my “hero” side does not exist solely in D/s. It is simply part of who I am, or who I strive to be.”

    This is the exact same for me. I’m not the villain — I’m the lover, the giver of what’s needed, etc. (despite the fact that sometimes, I take).

    “if I’m honest, a little bit of envy. You see the damsel doesn’t have to do anything. She waits passively and the hero comes and rescues her and carries her off to “happy ever after”. I like the idea of “happy ever after” and how lovely to have the certainty of getting there without any effort on your part.”

    This is an interesting bit of analysis. Part of me envies her for the same reasons you suggest, but a far bigger part of me thinks: she’s deluded… how the hell does she know someone is coming? Life isn’t like the movies, and sometimes, no one comes (like you said).

    Besides that, my self-centeredness also means that I can’t ever really believe that someone will come for me… even if he loves me, even if he promises, even if he wants to. I couldn’t ever trust someone that much. Of course, I expect others to trust me that much, but I can’t return the feeling. It’s just not in me. *sigh*

    1. I agree that logically the damsel ought to be deluded but of course the beauty of the story is that she isn’t. She is utterly confident of rescue because it is actually coming.
      How does she know? Because the hero tells her.
      I too want people to trust in me that much but find it impossibly difficult to believe in a hero to rescue me.
      It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like one though, it’s just safer (emotionally) to be the hero.

      Caitlin x

  3. “…in which the hero is set a frankly impossible challenge and ultimately must suffer, often unjustly and apparently without hope, before winning through…” I get that a lot – it’s called being a Stage Manager.

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