Sunday, April 04, 2004

10 Steps to Caring Dominance

It seems to me there are a lot of questions about what to do when you're on top. The "do nots" abound anywhere you look. Don't do this, don't do that, be careful about this. Of course, any advice is good advice, but if you are the person who is in charge, what should you do, if anything, to satisfy both yourself and your slave.

So, to shed some light, or at least to shed my little bit of light, here are 10 things you might want to consider if you're a top. I've put these in no particular order, as they are all equally important.

1. Understand your relationship with your submissive.

Is this a lifestyle relationship? Is it a bedroom relationship? Believe me, they are very different things, and you need to know the difference if you want to be a good Dom/me.

To clarify let's define lifestyle relationship as one in which the roles of Master/Mistress and Servant permeate all parts of your life and relationship together. A bedroom relationship is one in which the roles of Master/Mistress and Servant only become apparent behind closed doors, when the lights are off, after the kids have gone to sleep, or when your naked and intend to maybe have some kinds of sexual relations.

To me the difference between the two should be obvious, but it's not always easy. Don't assume that if you practice dominance in bed that your partner wants to live the lifestyle 24/7, and vice versa. Talk to your partner and be sure you understand what they believe your relationship to be. It is important and it might not always be clear. If you've never discussed it, you don't know. If you want to have a good relationship, find out. In general, when partners are confused about the roles that dominance and submission play in their lives and relationships it won't be long before that relationship comes crashing to a close.

2. Discover your submissives needs.

The submissive partner in a relationship is putting a lot of control, power and authority in your hands. However, do you know what they intend for you to do with that power? Did you talk about it before you began to play? Is your partner truly comfortable with all the things you might want to do with them? When you start asking the questions, you might find that the answers surprise you.

Submission in and of itself is not a black and white thing. Many Dom/mes make the mistake of believing that a person who submits is interested in pain. That is not always the case. Submission can mean a desire to be absolutely controlled, a need for pain, a need for humiliation, a need for change, a need for attention, a need for certain sexual acts or fetishes, and a desire to simply be fucked silly without the need to ask.

Not all subs are interested in the same things, if you don't ask your sub what they want then you will never know if you are actually satisfying their needs, or if you are satisfying only your own needs. If you want to be a good Dom/me it is very important to understand your subs desires. Nothing will alienate a sub and end a relationship faster than inflicting your private desires on a submissive when it is not something that interests them. Just because you find putting a carrot in ones mouth, then mounting a saddle to their back to be arousing, does not mean your partner will feel that same way. And I can guarantee that if you force your sub to do something they don't want to do, or aren't interested in, it won't be long before it's over.

3. Discover your needs with your submissive.

So you're the Dom/me. You know what you want, and your going to take it.

I'll let you in on a secret; very rarely in a loving Dominant relationship is that ever true. Often the Master/Mistress has a good idea of what they desire to do with the power their sub is giving them, but generally it is unfocused in various different areas of relationship power play. As the Dominant you're in control, but what do you want in your relationship with your sub. Dominance is not just fetish; it means a lot more than that. Why do you want the power? How did you come to be the dominant partner in the relationship? How do you see that role evolving for both yourself and your partner?

It is important for you to determine what it is you desire as the Dom/me. You may have the control, but where do you want that to go. Just because you are in control of someone else's desires and aware of what that means, it does not mean that you can skip having that same awareness with yourself.

Take time and determine what you need to be satisfied.

4. Establish boundaries with your submissive.

Just because you're the Master/Mistress of the house does not mean you're a mind reader. Talk about when to stop, and what's going too far. If you don't discuss it before hand you'll only find out after you've crossed the line, and by then it will be too late.

Your submissive may like talking about being a whore, and being prostituted out to your friends, but that is not the same as saying, "bring your friends over and have them fuck me." Find out where your relationship begins and ends. Establish a comfort zone you can both live and work within in your relationship. Be honest with each other about those things, and you will find your relationship to be healthier and happier, with less confusion.

Essentially establishing boundaries is creating the rules of the game. And that is very important when having a Dominant relationship with another person.

5. Understand the difference between dominance and control.

Frequently in the Dominant scene there is not a distinction made between being dominant and being in control. Essentially, they are the same thing, however in regards to the B/D relationship, there is a difference and it needs to be respected.

Being the Dom/me means you have the authority to do what you will with your submissive. Having control means understanding their desires and needs and limits. If your only in this for the authority and do what you want regardless of your submissive's wishes and desires, than I would argue your not a Dom/me, you're an abuser. Having the dominant role means taking responsibility for your actions and exercising a certain amount of control. If you cannot be in control of yourself, you should not be in control of someone else.

6. Be available to your submissive.

Being a Dom/me does not mean that you can't also be a lover and a friend. A big mistake that many Dom/me's make is to change the nature of the original relationship so much that it is no longer possible for the submissive partner to communicate their needs, fears, desires, mistakes, or personal confessions.

In a relationship you need to be able to talk. The submissive partner needs to have the freedom to do that without fear of reprimand. It's the difference between being a loving caring and thoughtful Dom/me or a manipulative controlling abuser.

A caring Dom/me is concerned and wants to be someone that is available. You are the most important person in your submissive's life, and as such, need to be there for your bottom. If you can't listen with an open mind and heart, or if you always have to judge, or give punishment, your just not available. Don't emotionally divorce yourself from your sub. They are giving themselves over to you, and recognizing your power and authority in the relationship, that means they can trust you. If they can't trust you, then, really, who can they trust?

Be open, be willing, be available. If you can't do that, they will eventually find someone who can be, and you won't find out until it's unalterable.

7. Be willing to accept your bottoms changing needs.

Oftentimes when having a Dominant relationship with another person one tends to forget that there is still a need for change. People change, as we grow, as we grow older, our needs, our desires, our lives change. It is hard to predict from one minute to the next how and why a person might change.

Just because when you began your relationship your sub enjoyed giving head all the time does not mean that this will always be something your sub enjoys. As with any person, your sub will change during the course of your relationship. Regardless of the outside influences that can cause change, the nature or your Master/Mistress/Servant relationship will lead to changes within yourself and your sub. Be willing to accept that your sub will not always be the same person. Be ready to accept your sub for whomever they may eventually become.

8. Allow for personality.

Your the Dom/me in your relationship, and you may have certain expectations from your bottom. This can be particularly true if your relationship is the lifestyle type. However, just becauseyou have certain desires, demands, and wishes, this does not preclude your sub having a personal sense of self. Regardless of how bonded your are to you sub and they to you, it is important that they maintain a some semblance of a personal identity.

In any relationship you start with two people. When one or the other of those people become a complete mimics, or loose all sense of self, the relationship begins to become dull. There is nothing exciting about living with a paper cut out of a person. Particularly if what originally attracted you to your bottom was the person they were. The nature of your relationship may eventually change the person both of your are, however, that should not mean a destruction of one or the other.

Even through the dominance it's still a relationship, and as such, it still takes a lot of work. It also takes two different people. Creating one person makes the relationship monotonous, and will eventually lead to it's doom.

9. Have a sense of humor.

Just because your a Dom/me it doesn't make you a dead, lifeless stern discipline machine. You should be having fun in your relationship be it lifestyle, or bedroom, and you should also be able to occasionally see the humor in that.

If you simply must take yourself seriously all the time, and take the dominant nature of your relationship seriously all the time, then eventually it will wear all the joy out of that relationship, and out of you.

It's okay to laugh, to have fun, to tease, and to be silly. Being dominant does not eradicate laughter from your world. And, to clarify, I don't mean laughing at your slave. If you can't occasionally look at what your doing with a sense of humor than your on about the same level as those who claim to know the true nature of "gawth".

Walking around in leather and shoving black butt plugs into the anatomy of the sub you love is just sometimes downright silly. Take a step back and enjoy that, it will bring playfulness into your relationship making it that much easier on yourself, and on your sub.

10. Evolve.

Think about it this way. A typical relationship is about finding a balance of power. In the Dominant/submissive relationship it is pre-determined that there will not be a balance. One partner will have more power than the other in certain areas. However, your relationship will still need to achieve balance if it is going to be serious, committed, and long term. If you don't allow your relationship to evolve and develop into a sharing, and balanced relationship, you will probably not be having that relationship for very long.

A Dominant/submissive relationship does not exclude balance. Balance is not something that will happen immediately though, it takes time, commitment, caring, and understanding, and a willingness to allow for change. If your not willing to evolve in your B/D relationship (or any relationship really) than your just not ready for a relationship at all.