The first step is admitting you have a problem! My problem is that much of my learning about dominance and submission is coming from the writings of other people and that has to fight its way through my perception and bias just as it does with any individual. Without the ability to interact, ask questions, present “what if’s” and identify with the individual on a personal level it is difficult to take their lessons and apply them. At least for me.
Some things I can learn from a book… some… well I guess I am stubborn in some of my beliefs.
I think a lot of my “issue” comes from the fact that I love life. I love life because it is chaotic. Children to me are amazing, they are smart but naive. They are pure and beautiful. They are everything that we adults have forgotten we should be; and they define chaos.
Being a dominant often times conflicts with my love of chaos. I even love Chaos Math! The idea that complex systems can be impacted by small changes half a world away – it is amazing stuff!
Perhaps my “issue” is better defined as my belief that control is an illusion; and perhaps you are thinking “How can you be a dominant with that ideal?” Well…
I believe that as people we are always looking for some form of control in our lives. Some people like to have the control “exerted” on them so that they can find comfort in giving of themselves. Others find comfort in having control and helping people to find the person they want to be. At least to me that is the definition of a submissive and a dominant.
However, I don’t believe that we ever truly have control, nor are we truly complete as individuals. A dominant is not complete without a submissive and a submissive needs a dominant (sure, there are lots of variations on this – a dominant might have many submissives, a submissive might be at the service of multiple dominants, or they might switch from time to time).
As for control, we suffer from the illusion that we are in control. A lot of times we can be successful at this, such as during a scene (or if you prefer “playtime”). It is easy to manufacture control when everyone knows what is happening and there are previously set limits. In that “virtual” space we can have control. Outside of that space, our control is limited. I can tell my wife “Stand here for 10 minutes” but she has to choose to obey. Short of physical or mental abuse, I cannot force her to do so. I could tie her up, I could punish her, but in the end even the RIGHT to do that is given to me by her. Not by my control.
So the act of my wife standing in place for 10 minutes is not control, it is a mutual agreement that one individual will elect to follow the commands of another.
Control is absolute, control is unyielding, control is unforgiving. To me, being a dominant is none of those things. Being a dominant is about creating an environment where my wife [or submissive] can achieve and grow. Not to mention have a series of mind blowing orgasms (At least I hope they are mind blowing). It is about coming to an agreement on a set of rules that work for our relationship, it is about compromise to create a scene or to set limits, it is about sometimes yielding to her needs before my own, it is about forgiving more than anything else because she was my wife long before we made the turn to be a dominant and submissive.
To me, being a dominant is very far from control. Sure, that is a part of it; but the moments I am in control are far outweighed by the times we spend together enjoying the chaos of a rainy day on a camping trip, the results of a over cooked dinner, or the discoveries we make through trial and error with riding crops or handcuffs. It is the chaos of our relationship that creates the amazing moments, not the control.
My answer to what is a dominant is, an individual who gives of themselves to create an environment that helps a submissive to be more. This is accomplished through careful negotiation, organization, management, and love.