Thursday, September 8, 2011

Being a Dom vs. Being an Asshole

Domination: to have control over someone or something.

Very easy definition, no?
In a Domestic Discipline lifestyle, that definition is so generalized and simplified, it's rendered almost meaningless.

Husband is my Dom. He has authority over me. Certainly, when we are in the bedroom, he has control over me.
But in many ways, I have control over him, too. I can make his life easy--or I can make his life hard. I can submit quickly, or...not. I can be fun, experimental, enthusiastic, and kind, or I can just go through the motions of being a "good" wife without really putting any effort into what that means. And the differences between the two are striking.

This is what domination means for us, and while I can only talk for us, I think it's basically true in any BDSM relationship: it means having authority over someone that you would otherwise think of as an equal. It means being granted control over the other person's behaviors for whatever time and extent has been agreed upon, but once that time is up, the two of you stand on equal ground again.

There is no inherent superiority involved.

This, in my humble opinion, is a very important distinction. There is a difference between a Dom who believes a sub's submission is a power to be taken when offered, a privilege, something he must care for and return when it's time, and a "Dom" who thinks submission is is his right to take whenever he wants, like an apple fallen off the tree, on the grounds of his natural superiority.

One is a good Dom, or at least holds the potential to be one; the other is just a misogynistic asshole. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misogynistic assholes out there posing as "Doms."

A Dom will be a gentleman. A Dom will look you in the eyes, shake your hand, and greet you respectfully. A Dom will send polite emails when corresponding. A Dom will listen to what you have to say, accept what is important to you as important to him, too (no matter what your reasoning for it), and hold your thoughts and feelings and opinions dear. A Dom will make no assumptions, because he knows he has no right to.

A misogynistic asshole posing as a Dom will, very quickly, show his crassness and insensitivity. He might send you a message saying something to the effect of, "hey baby, want me to tie you up and fuck your face?" Just to see the kind of reaction he gets. He will not care about your desires, or your limits, because all he considers are his own. To him, his wants are always going to be more important than yours, because in his mind, the two of you are not equal.

Subs who are prone to low self-esteem should especially be wary of these kinds of "Doms." It is the job of the Dom to bring the sub up, not kick her further down. One sign of a good Dom is a sub who believes, with all her heart, she is becoming a better person through his help and guidance.

This is why I firmly believe Domestic Discipline should never include coercion, or belittlement, or any kind of mental cruelty that makes one person feel less than the other. Because that's not discipline anymore: that's just simple malevolence, and doesn't belong in any relationship, kinky or otherwise.


  1. *punches air and shouts out YES in agreement with EVERY word here.

    The bit about a Dom being a gentlemen is so right. At a recent munch we went too as we were leaving someone commented on the fact that Sir was carrying all our bags for us and "wasn't he the dom?" he turned round and replied... "Yes, but that doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't be a gentlemen too" *sigh.... THAT is why he is my Dom and I submit to him because he sees me as a woman and an equal as well as HIS!


  2. Sometimes it's the more obvious distinctions we overlook the most. I just wish so many subs (and Doms) didn't have to learn this stuff the hard way.

  3. Very, very nicely put. It touches on some of the problems I have reconciling my feminist side with my submissive side.

  4. Lol, good luck. That's one battle many of us have to fight!

  5. Bravo! I <3 this post!! Of course, I'm seeing it way after the fact, but this is so fucking obvious, yet I've had the experience (and misfortune) of a faux-Dom. In hindsight, it's clear, but at the time? *sigh*

  6. I think we've all had the misfortune of dealing with a "faux-Dom" or two (very nicely put, by the way). You learn with experience and research.

  7. You're a great freakin' writer! I keep flipping through your blog because the topics are interesting, yes, but also because I want to read more of your writing. You're great!


  8. This is so true. There are too many Doms who think it makes them all that. The best ones are as had been said, gentlemen. Their first prioity is always seeing to the wellbeing of their sub. And please save us from the inexperienced ones that think they know everything there is to know about it. They can be dangerous.

    Great reads. Just got back into blogging and glad I found you.

  9. Thank you for commenting. And I will add your blog to my list!

  10. I FOR SURE needed to read this. Thank you :)

  11. Sensibly put!I see too often in counseling (Clinical Counselor) that clients are dishonest with themselves, getting into unhealthy relationships that: 1) they poorly understand, 2) don't set good limits for themselves, 3) don't set healthy limits for the abusive-wannabee-Dom/shit-human-being, 4) give away ALL their personal power, then feel powerless to get OUT of the toxic relationship. 5) they can't/won't (enablers) stick to any boundaries they set.

    They tend to seek out the same dysfunctions as they grew up with, and justify it (lie to everyone) by calling it DS or SM, and a 'lifestyle choice'. must be in a mentally stable, healthy place to play any letter of the BDSM alphabet. It's no place for narcissistic, psychotic, or schizophrenic people, who are incapable of valuing others/self fairly, or respecting good boundaries. (meds don't fix such people - personality disorders are tragic).

    It's not for PTSD or abuse survivors, either. Stick to manageable, safe kinks.

    I have known 3 Dom-type men (one was a Dom-jerk - xfriend), and one callgirl-Mistress (friend).

    Mutual respect is important.

    The thing I liked with the 2 men I dated was that I felt safe giving them control, and they were considerate gentlemen within the role. "Lordly". That adds to the turn-on. IMO that's what healthy male chauvinism looks like. .

    I also trusted them because I saw proof they were thinking ahead and protecting me - sometimes from myself. Like brakes on a runaway train.

    I wholly agree - it's unacceptable to use BDSM as an outlet for personal problems, the need to bully and hurt weaker people, etc. It's NOT about proving oneself better than the Sub/Bottom. Geez, in that case, I may as well look up a nice Reptilian Alien to play with! :-) At least they're up-front being evil.