Explaining the Dance of Dominance and Submission
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.
I’m being challenged to explain myself. Nothing new about that, mind you, but this time, people want to know exactly how I see this whole Domination/submission thing that’s emerging with my exploration of my dominant side.
Of course, I don’t need to explain anything to anybody. Then again, I do need to explain it for myself, to try to pinpoint for myself exactly what I believe.
When I talk about exploring my dominant side to people who’ve known me as compassionate, caring, and loving, they immediately think “whips and chains” and bloodshed. I feel that sense of judgment and worry starting up already with them that this new facet will be too much.
When I talk about exploring my dominant side to
friends in the “lifestyle,” many of whom are submissives with desires for pain and bloodshed, they worry that I can’t be “cruel enough” and therefore “not truly dominant.” (Personally, I find a potential liaison telling me I’m not dominant because I’m not doing things his way to be solidly laughable, but that’s another story.) So these more open-minded friends and acquaintances, too, are already starting that sense of judgment that this facet will be too little.
Like most things in life, I think dominance comes in a lot of different, um, non-vanilla flavors. Just like with my spirituality, it’s a unique brand of beliefs that are mine, mine, mine and very meaningful to me, but I recognize that spirituality comes in a lot of shades and hues and that what one person finds wondrous, another will find boring or horrifying. I happen to like diversity in most things.
I’ve done enough research to know what is and what isn’t “me.” Certain things, I don’t see myself as doing because they hold no appeal for me, and if I did them just to prove my dominance, then I’m letting someone else dictate my life as much as when I let my ex have control of my dreams. I have no trouble reconciling dominance with treating someone well, even if that includes “punishment” for their screw-ups. I don’t think I can ever intentionally devastate someone I love by holding up them for public ridicule or mocking their most sensitive inner secrets, and I don’t care for casual sex because I don’t think it provides the maximum intensity I desire. For me, dominance is not mutually exclusive of nurturing.
I very much like the idea of being in control, guiding the relationship and its facets, working to make us an extraordinary partnership, managing and making decisions and being treated as Goddess Incarnate. I don’t care for mindless wimps who have no desires of their own and can’t hold a conversation—how boring (to me)! Why would I want a power exchange with someone who exudes no power at all?
I see my ideal Dominant/submissive relationship as a dance that’s more equal than some might think it to be. I don’t see dominant loving as being only about what I want—though it’s finally about getting what I want—but also about understanding what a submissive man wants, what makes him cry or beg or sparkle, how to use that knowledge to create an incredible world for him to live in and for me to observe and enjoy whether he is my slave, my little boy, my errant pirate captain all knotted up, or my naked footholder, how to map that extensive labyrinth under the surface of his public personality and know its dark corners and shadows and unexpected twists and turns that delight me. Scripting our most intensely emotional moments? Yum! It’s a dance that I find intriguing and exciting and intense, and I would hope my partner would feel the same because as an empath, I would get to enjoy the dual sensation of the intensity he feels.
A counselor once told me that sex with someone new is like thinking the guy is your Star-Spangled Banner. Later, when he doesn’t spangle your banner anymore, you realize that pretty much all sex is physically the same but what makes it spangle-worthy is the connection and if you don’t have it, then that’s where the relationship often ends. If you can keep the connection going, you can keep the fire in the relationship, long after all the positions have been tried. Sex is just sex, but it’s the combination with psychology that creates a world of life-long adventure.
So for me, D/s is all about the marriage of sexuality and psychology. Besides, I’m a demanding but benevolent Goddess.