I must admit to a bit of hesitation every time I hear the adjective “REAL” (usually in caps) applied to either submissive or Dominant. It is most often used to describe how “you” or “he” or “she” is not a REAL submissive because…. Or how a REAL Dominant should behave. It can also be used to state how “You” should behave either so you will act exclusively for their pleasure, or to make sure “You” understand that any submissive or Dominant behavior you may exhibit is far inferior to their’s.
I do not believe that there is a behavioral or emotional borderline one side of which would be “submissive” or “Dominant” and the other some sort of “vanilla.” Beyond the concept that all things are parts of the fluxus Quo, across the broad spectrum of human behavior, and even within an individual, all things, in fact all ASPECTS of things are a spectrum. While we can certainly decide that one person taking a whip to the back of a willing participant can be called an act of Sadomasochism, so is taking the bottom lip of your lover in a kiss between your teeth and giving a light bite. But it is rarely called that. Perhaps it is not REAL.
While greeting your Master at the door naked on your knees and stating your dedication to his pleasure each day can certainly be considered an example of a Dominant and submissive relationship, so might be handing your husband his lunch with a kiss as he goes to work each day. Is that not REAL submissive service?
But more importantly, if one accepts and structures their current relationship as one of Dominance and submission, how that relationship is structured and the quality of its Dominance or submission is defined exclusively by the people within it. It is not open to the judgement of someone else, no matter how they identify. It is their relationship and structured, defined, and enjoyed by the people within it and them alone.
Be aware. While it is always to your advantage to find council and advice from others within your community who you respect, they have no authority to define or judge how you live your life except by the authority you give them. So if you find someone discussing another’s behavior and judging it less REAL than theirs, it may be far more a statement on the speaker’s behavior than on those about whom they speak.
You are real, however you are, it is you. I end with a quote from Brad Warner, a Sōtō Zen priest, author, blogger, documentarian and punk rock bass guitarist. “The fact is, the universe has chosen you as the vehicle through which to experience the uncanny thrill of cutting up cabbage for dinner, the wonder that is inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, the fabulous spectacle of watching your clothes dry at a coin-op Laundromat where the radio is stuck on an E-Z listening station and an old lady keeps staring at you for no discernible reason. The universe has demanded that you be you. Ain’t no avoidin’ it.” Enjoy it.